Birthdays are always fun when it’s not your responsibility to ensure your kid isn’t disappointed.

Kid's birthday

Image via: rabble

When your child’s birthday comes around, there’s always a temptation to keep things as simple as possible: As long as there are presents and a cake they’ll be happy, right?

When I was a kid, we didn’t do much for birthdays past the age of 8. Up until then, mum had gone all out.

I never thought about the change until university. My birthday came around and my flatmates adorned the flat with decorations and goodies. Suddenly I remembered how much I loved surprises and special occasions to mix up my daily routines.

Kids Party

Image via: Janet

So, for my brother’s 20th birthday I pulled an experiment. I strung up a banner, balloons and decorated the dinner table downstairs with a colourful spotty tablecloth complete with loads of yummy treats.

You should have seen his face, bounding down the stairs, so excited!

You know your kids better than anyone when they’re young, whether they like surprises, whether they’d feel comfortable spending their birthday with classmates, each child is different.

But I think its important one day out of a year to make things really special and specifically about them. It doesn’t have to be expensive, or elaborate, just something to make the day stand out from the rest.

Here are some great birthday party ideas for any special summer days coming up!

For the Under 5’s

Kid Playing

Image via: mollypop

If your child is much under 5, they’re not going to remember details. Be sensible. There’s no point lavishing loads on your 2 year old if they won’t know what’s going on.

But toddlers definitely notice colour and setting, so do your best to jazz the place up, get some bright, funky plastic table cloths in and let your child get as messy as they want to at the table! You could also try a picnic in the garden or park if it’s sunny.

Balloons are always great at this age – they’re perfect for throwing around indoors and your child will love any funny faces, shapes, or characters they know from TV.

Then let them go out into the garden and release their balloon friends into the air. “Wow, they’re flying!” – Just watch out for the loud pops if any burst!

Primary School age and above

Kid's sack race

Image via: Duncan Hull

The Avengers and the Olympics are going to be winning party themes this year.

Superheroes, princes and princesses, or sports stars – any of these things will give your kids a chance to partake in what’s happening up and down the country this summer.

If the weather’s nice then a sports day related event at your local park could be a great idea. You’d probably have to get a few other parents or family members on board for this and you won’t want to exclude anyone who’s not great at sports, so make the activities fun: Sack races, Frisbee, egg and spoon race, rolling down hills!

Regardless of which theme you go with for the party, these sports activities will still work. Imagine how funny the kids will look sack-racing in their superhero costumes!

Depending on the age and interests of your child, event-planning their own birthday could also be great. Give them a budget and allow them to choose the theme, event, night. Anything within reason!

This latter option will best suit those of or approaching teenage years. It could also work for younger children that might not enjoy surprises or the pressure of having loads of classmates around, they may need a little more support in planning and decision-making but this way you can guarantee they’ll get what they want.

Any other bright ideas I’ve left off my list?

What’s been the best birthday party you’ve ever thrown for your child?

Guest post by: Louise Gandolfi