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35 Fun Ways to Make Birthdays Special at Home!

Blow out those candles and get ready to party because it's time to celebrate a birthday! In these uncertain times, it's more important than ever to find joy in the little things, like creating special...

Blow out those candles and get ready to party because it's time to celebrate a birthday! In these uncertain times, it's more important than ever to find joy in the little things, like creating special memories and celebrating our loved ones. Whether you're looking for inspiration or want to try something new, we've got 35 creative ideas to make birthdays at home truly unforgettable!

1. Cook an Incredible Birthday Breakfast

Start the day off right with a delicious and festive breakfast. From cheesy scrambled eggs to sweet french toast with a confetti twist, there are endless options to make the most important meal of the day feel extra special. Check out this recipe for homemade funfetti pancakes from Confetti and Bliss.

Funfetti Pancakes from Scratch, Confetti and Bliss Funfetti Pancakes from Scratch, Confetti and Bliss

  • Ideas for fun birthday pancake toppings:
    • Marshmallow sauce
    • Sprinkles
    • Fun candles
    • Fresh whipped cream

Not ready to follow a recipe in the morning? Try a premade mix for a homemade-ish experience!

4. Stay in for a Movie

Transform your living room into a cozy theater by creating cardboard box cars for each family member and setting up a concession table with popcorn, pretzels, candy, and more. Pick a funny movie and enjoy a night of laughter and relaxation together.

5. Build a Fancy Fort

Get creative and build a fort out of blankets, couch cushions, and pillows. Decorate it with Christmas or faerie lights for a magical touch. Gather inside the fort and exchange funny stories and jokes. Don't forget the snacks! Check out these indoor fort ideas from an interior designer for some inspiration.

Indoor Fort Photo credit: Lauren Vol

6. Invite a Virtual Guest List

Thanks to modern technology, you can now assemble a virtual guest list and celebrate with loved ones from anywhere in the world. Use apps like Facetime, Zoom, or Skype to connect with family and friends who can't be there in person. Set up a free online birthday registry through places like Target or Amazon and have gifts sent directly to your home for your child to open during a call with their virtual guests.

7. Make a Prank Cake

If you have a jokester in the family, surprise them with a hilarious prank cake. Inflate a balloon and tape it to a plate or tray, then cover it with whipped cream, sprinkles, and cake decorations. When it's time to celebrate, have your child blow out the candles and cut the cake, creating a messy but laugh-filled moment!

8. Schedule a Character Call

Bring your child's favorite characters to life by scheduling a surprise birthday phone call from Dora, Paw Patrol, Blaze, or SpongeBob. Sign up for the Nick Jr. Birthday Club and select a character, schedule a time, and enter your phone number. Your child will be thrilled to receive a special birthday call!

9. Bounce in the House

Turn your home into a bouncing paradise by setting up a bounce house in your yard or living room. Spend the afternoon jumping and bouncing around, creating hours of laughter and fun.

10. Organize a Present Scavenger Hunt

Send the birthday girl or boy on an exciting adventure as they search for clues leading to their present. Place clues around your home and yard, including word scrambles, crosswords, or riddles. A scavenger hunt is not only entertaining but also builds anticipation as your child eagerly hunts for their prize.

11. Par-Tea in the Afternoon

Create an elegant tea party for your special birthday girl. Pour some tea, bake a fresh batch of cookies, and make delicious sandwiches. Arrange dolls or stuffed animals around the table and use pretty heirloom dishes for an extra fancy touch.

  • Kid-friendly tea sandwich ideas:
    • Peanut Butter, Honey & Bananas
    • Ham and Cheddar Cheese
    • Raspberry Jam and Cream Cheese
    • Tuna, Mayo & Relish
    • Chicken Salad with Grapes
    • BLT's and Mayo
    • Grilled Cheese and Tomato
    • Egg Salad with Paprika
    • Almond Butter & Marshmallow Creme
    • Nutella and Strawberries

Tea Party

12. Gear Up for an Orbeez Balloon Fight

Take the birthday celebration outside with a messy and fun Orbeez balloon fight. Fill balloons with dry Orbeez beads and water, then let the friendly battle begin!

13. Pizza Party!

Pizza is a classic party food, so why not make it the main event? Order your favorite pizzas or make them from scratch, and create a buffet of delicious options for the whole family to enjoy. Don't forget to try dessert pizzas or homemade cinnamon sticks with frosting for a sweet treat!

14. Break Out the Games

It's game night! Challenge the birthday person to a friendly competition with their favorite games or try something new. There are plenty of family-friendly games that will guarantee a fun-filled evening for everyone.

Game Night

15. Break Out the Paints

Unleash your inner artist and have a painting party. Set up individual canvases on an easel and provide a variety of paints and brushes. You can even add a touch of 3D effect with puffy paints or sprinkle some glitter for extra flair. This activity not only entertains but also serves as a party favor when everyone takes home their unique masterpiece.

16. Gamers' Night

Get your game on and have a night of gaming fun! Let the birthday child choose the game and snacks, and make it a family affair. Mix it up by playing active games like Wii golf or bowling to get everyone moving. Here are some recommended video games for families to enjoy together:

  • Dragon Quest Builders for PlayStation 4
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for Nintendo Switch
  • Harvest Moon for PlayStation 2
  • Just Dance 2020 for Nintendo Wii
  • Hasbro Family Fun Pack for Xbox One

17. Conduct a Birthday Interview

Make the birthday child feel like a star by conducting a birthday interview. Ask them a series of questions about their favorite things, dreams, and memories. Write down their exact answers and repeat the interview each year to create a sentimental scrapbook that captures their growth and changing interests.

18. Swing at a Pinata

Combine fun and treats with a festive pinata. Choose a pinata that matches the birthday theme or your child's favorite character, and fill it with goodies like candy, fidgets, stickers, and more. Swing away and enjoy the excitement as the pinata bursts open.

Boombox Pinata We love this boombox pinata!

19. Fill a Birthday Jar

Invite friends and family to shower your child with birthday wishes from afar. Ask them to write down their wishes, along with their name and a special message, on strips of paper. Fold and place them in a jar tied with a ribbon. On the big day, present the jar to your child and have them read the heartfelt messages aloud.

20. Go on a Virtual Trip

Experience the wonders of the world without leaving your home by going on a virtual trip. Visit museums, landmarks, or take a virtual field trip and engage in related activities for added fun. Read a themed book, do a craft, or recreate a famous tower you've seen on a tour. Here's a list of over 45 virtual field trips to enjoy from home!

21. Bake a Delicious Cake

No birthday celebration is complete without a cake! Find a family recipe or discover a new one on Pinterest. Baking a cake together is not only a fun activity but also a chance to create lasting memories. Let your child unleash their creativity by decorating their own cake with frosting and various cake decorations. Don't forget to capture the moment with a photo of their masterpiece!

22. Become a Master Chef

Put on an apron and let your child be a master chef for the day. The MasterChef Junior Essentials Set is a fun kit inspired by the show that teaches your child how to create amazing recipes while providing all the necessary tools. Choose from baking kits, breakfast kits, or pizza kits for a culinary adventure.

23. Channel a Famous Character

Get the whole family involved in a game of charades with a twist. Have each person write down their favorite characters from books, movies, or cartoons on notecards. Take turns acting out the characters, with the added challenge of giving a hint that rhymes with or includes the age of the birthday child. It's a game that guarantees laughter and entertainment for all.

24. Sing the High Notes

Set up a stage and grab a hairbrush for a microphone because it's karaoke time! Challenge each other by removing one sentence from the lyrics of a song, and the fastest person to finish the lyrics wins a point. Sing your hearts out and don't forget to include a rendition of "Happy Birthday"!

Family Karaoke

25. Backyard Camping Extravaganza

Pitch a tent in your backyard, bring out the sleeping bags, and gather supplies for s'mores. Spend the evening as a family sharing spooky stories, playing games, and stargazing. Don't forget to explore the night sky and try to spot constellations. It's an adventure that guarantees a memorable birthday experience.

26. Relax with a Spa Day

Treat your birthday child to a relaxing spa day at home. Gather nail polishes, lotions, bath salts, and soothing music. Create a tranquil atmosphere and let them indulge in a pampering session.

27. Walk in a Fashion Show

Encourage your child's inner fashionista by organizing a family fashion show. Each family member selects 5-10 pieces of clothing from their wardrobe and places them in a bin. The birthday child can then dress up and strut their stuff on a makeshift runway to fun tunes. Afterward, they choose the next model!

28. Best-Ever Photo Booth

Create a one-of-a-kind photo booth in your home with props. Find a blank space on your wall or hang up a decorated poster board. Make props using clipart or everyday items you have at home. Strike a pose, snap a photo, and capture memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy 101 free prints when you sign up for a free account with Shutterfly!

29. Scoop up Fresh Ice Cream

Make homemade ice cream to accompany the birthday cake. Get creative with flavors or stick to traditional favorites. Making ice cream together is not only a delicious activity but also a chance to bond and create sweet memories.

30. Hear it from a Celeb

Surprise your child with a personalized birthday greeting from their favorite celebrity! Order a video message on Cameo, a platform that connects fans with celebrities. Choose from thousands of entertainers and public figures, from authors to athletes, and make your child's birthday even more special.

31. Say it with Balloons

Fill balloons with helium, attach a long string to each one, and write special messages to your child. Tape the messages to the strings and release the balloons in their room while they sleep. When they wake up, they'll be greeted with a room full of sweet messages, wishes, and love.

32. Decorate their Door

Show your child some extra love by decorating their bedroom door. Write messages on hearts, hang streamers, pictures, or balloons. Get creative with your decorations and make it a surprise tradition for the birthday boy or girl.

33. Broadcast it on Air

Make your child feel like a celebrity by arranging a birthday shout-out on their favorite radio station. Most radio stations are happy to wish your child a happy birthday on air, creating a moment they'll remember forever.

34. Keep the Theme

Embrace your child's chosen theme and incorporate it into every aspect of their special day. From food and music to outfits and party plates, let the theme shine and create a cohesive and exciting atmosphere.

35. Seek Out New Traditions

Birthday traditions are wonderful, and it's never too late to start new ones. Put a unique twist on an existing tradition or begin fresh with one of these creative ideas:

  • Take a family selfie
  • Conduct a birthday interview
  • Record height and age on the wall
  • Watch home videos of past birthdays
  • Write in a wish journal
  • Bake a new cake or dessert recipe
  • Sing 'Happy Birthday' in a different language
  • Make a birthday time capsule
  • Have a cake fight
  • Write a birthday poem

Regardless of what's happening in the world, birthdays are always special. Celebrating your child and showering them with love is what truly matters. So get creative, have fun, and make memories without even stepping foot outside the house. Happy birthday, my friend!

We asked YOU, the experts, our readers, how you make birthdays special! Here is what you had to say:

  • "Other than a birthday party, we always have their day as a 'yes' day, where we don't say no to anything (within reason). We also use the same number of candles for all 3 kids." - Sheryl
  • "The birthday kiddo picks the meals for the day. We do cake and ice cream after dinner. We also decorate our dining room on Feb 28th to leave up for the entire month of March since all of our kids have March birthdays." - Stephanie
  • "Breakfast birthday cake!" - Ann
  • "We take a picture with our birthday kid with mom and dad only and then one of the three kids." - Bonnie
  • "Cupcakes for breakfast on your birthday!" - Leslie
  • "We only do birthday parties every other year. On a no-party year, we take a day trip anywhere my son wants to go. Two years ago it was to find Dory at the Shedd. This year it will be a trip to Lego Discovery Center." - Martha
  • "We have ice cream for breakfast!" - Breanne
  • "We have a 'you're special today' red plate that the birthday kid eats their meals from. Then the date is written on the back so we can remember all of our special days!" - Stephanie
  • "Homemade piñatas. The kids can either make them themselves (which usually ends up being a contest on how indestructible they can make them) or I will make them whatever they want." - Miranda
  • "Decorate the bedroom door so they wake up surprised." - Kristin