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Birthday season begins
January 24, 2011
by Jenni Sebora

In our home, we have five seasons. Our fifth season has just begun. It’s birthday season. It begins in January and ends in March. We call this season “birthday extravaganza.”

My husband’s birthday is right after the New Year and always includes chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and vanilla ice cream, as well as a game of “hide and seek – surprise Daddy.” We turn off the lights, hide, and, of course, yell, “Surprise!” Our daughters love it. Our son, who is now a teenager, participates because he knows he should. It really is still fun for him.

On to February – our youngest daughter’s birthday is Feb. 27.

Then it leads into March.Our other two children and I share this birthday month.

The streamers are put up in February and taken down at the end of March. Just the balloons are replaced for each birthday celebration. By the end of March, I have eaten more cake than the rest of the months combined.

I do enjoy hosting children’s birthday parties, we have had plenty of them, and will continue to do so. Delaney, our youngest, certainly enjoys birthday parties with games, always some classic and, maybe, a couple new. I am always researching new game ideas.

Musical chairs is always a hit. We try and play with some type of a twist. The participants who get “out” need to act out an animal or a dance step, get a prize, or help be a judge. This helps keep them in the game.

We also usually do some type of art project, whether it’s making a necklace or bracelet with beads or an edible necklace with Fruit Loops, Lifesavers, or Cheerios strung on a piece of yarn.

Temporary tattoos are always a hit and can be purchased in many places. Face painting is fun, too. How about a goofy hair station for girls (or maybe even for boys), a fingernail polish station, or lip gloss station? (Remember to ask for permission from parents for some of these activities; you don’t want to send a child home with purple hair sticking up and tattoos on their cheeks without prior parent approval).

Our middle daughter, who will be 11, and her friends thoroughly enjoy the massage, hair, make-up, spa theme. Last year, my daughter had a sleep-over for her party, and each girl brought make-up, nail polish, hair twists, bows, binders, and, curling irons. You get the idea.

Each birthday guest was the leader of a spa station. One did facials with cucumbers, warm wet towels, and face lotion. Another gave foot massages. Another girl gave manicures. Hair styling and make-up artistry were part of this spa set-up. This was a big hit. They also made their own lotions, which involved some science and creativity.

A movie theme is also a good idea for children of all ages. My daughter suggested an “Eclipse” movie theme this year for her birthday party. It is her star birthday this year, and her friends are “into” the book and movie series.

Instead of gift bags for each birthday guest, try a “pass the gift” game with music. Pass a guest gift around, wrapped or unwrapped, and whoever has it when the music stops gets the gift. Make sure you have enough gifts for each guest and run the game until each guest end up with a gift.

Another version of this game is to have all of the guest gifts in the middle of the circle. Pass another object around and when the music stops, the guest with the object picks a gift from the middle.

I also like this version of the game. Pass a gift around that has been wrapped with about 10 pieces of tissue paper. When the music stops, the guest with the gift unwraps one sheet of the wrapping, and it goes on until it is totally unwrapped.