Celebrating a child’s birthday is so much fun! I love planning the perfect day for my kiddos when their special day comes. In fact, I often wonder who looks forward to my child’s birthday more — me or my child?
Just this year we started a new birthday tradition. I call it the Birthday Thoughts In A Jar game. It’s simple, quick and super-thoughtful. I made it a little bit more fun by adding some sneaky value to it. Kids are natural sneaks!
From July to September we are swamped with birthdays, so sometimes we double up. This year we celebrated two girls’ birthdays on the same day. Neither one of them felt jipped, left-out or thought it was second-rate to share. In fact, they LOVE sharing their birthday party! However, with all the gifts, decorations and food, expenses added up fast! But, still, I wanted to add just one more fun and creative event to the celebration. But it had to be something that didn’t cost a dime and everyone would love. Think, think, think.
Light bulb moment!
I am always encouraging the kiddos to build each other up. So many siblings fight and fuss and say some heart-wrenching, mean things that anger, resentment and bitterness. During those hurtful moments, I always make my kids play the love game. It really does help and my kids are friends again and hurts are forgiven — until the next squabble! Pondering on those thoughts, I asked myself this question:
Why not use a birthday party to teach these same principles in a fun way — without anyone having to apologize!
After my light bulb moment, I called some of my kiddos into my room and locked the door so the birthday girls couldn’t see our project. Before the kids knew what we were going to do, they were already excited about a sneaky surprise. It was cute to watch their faces fill with anticipation. After a few hints, (I love keeping them in suspense) I let the kids in on the birthday jar surprise.
I gave each of them construction paper and we all began cutting small strips of paper. I then told them to think of one characteristic they really loved about each birthday girl. I also reminded them not to sign their name — that’s kind of important.
Disclaimer: We have a large family, so each birthday girl had seven strips of papers to read. If your family is smaller, you could have each person write two or three different characteristics they love about the birthday girl or boy.
Then, we folded our papers and placed them in a glass jar. We did not show the birthday girls the surprise until the party began. Everyone tried to keep a straight face as each birthday girl read her compliments. We gave each girl three chances to guess the right one, and then we told her who had written the sweet thought.
To make the sweetness last, take your strips of paper and glue them onto a heart, birthday cake, or ballooned shape background that your child can keep as a birthday keepsake. It’s a great way for your child to be remembered that they are loved by family and friends! This simple game also works well for large birthday parties — even for adults!
Birthday Thoughts in a Jar
One clean, empty jar that is decorated for a birthday.
Strips of paper (we chose construction paper because it is more colorful and sturdy.)
pens for each person
Hand out strips of paper to each person. For a large group, only hand out one per person. For a small group, three per person will work better. Tell each person to write down one special thought about the birthday boy or girl. Then, tell them to fold their papers and place them in the birthday jar. Give the jar to the birthday boy or girl and have them read each special thought. He or she has three chances to guess the correct writer. *Optional: Provide a background for the birthday girl or boy to glue their strips of paper on to save as a birthday keepsake. Enjoy your special birthday memories!
*Affiliate links are included in this post to products I think you will love!*