We don't normally have birthday parties or do traditional birthday celebrations at home, but we make every effort to make sure that the birthday person feels 'extra special' on the day (or perhaps the week!) just to make sure that they understand, once again, how special they are to the rest of the family. We all try very hard to spend the day (or the closest convenient day) together, spoil the person with a special breakfast (it is pretty much the same for our children as the request comes from them and it has not changed much so far: some homemade pancakes with lots of berries and fruit and some honey, maple syrup or berry sauce), do things that the birthday person enjoys doing the most or that has put in a request for. We also aim to do some donations on behalf of the birthday person.
At the end of the day, every child gets a little gift from the birthday child, which is totally optional. Our little princess wanted some finger puppets for her friends and we worked on it throughout the holidays. Even my son made his own finger puppets for a few of his friends, all on his own!
My daughter actually asked for 3 puppets for each of her friends but luckily, I was able to negotiate with her and we settled for two. We also packaged them together at the end. I now have one happy class-full of 3-5year olds. We still keep getting compliments from the school and the families about the puppets. Just today a mum was telling me how her 3year old son's puppets are also a favourite at home for her 14month old daughter too. They even play together! I surely had quite a few late-nights to make all those puppets but it was well worth it!