Monday, March 1, 2010

The Birthday Countdown Board

It is birthday week at our house so I am going to be posting birthday ideas, traditions, and crafts galore. 

The birthday board. 
                     Front                                                                                Back                                     

A couple of years ago (when my oldest started first grade) I started thinking that ONE day is not quite enough time to celebrate a birthday!  There are too many fun birthday things to do for just ONE day, especially when they are gone at school for 7-8 of their waking hours!
I recruited some friends to help me and we designed a Birthday Countdown Board. 
Here is what I do with it:

We put the birthday boy's name up (or girl's) and then we count it down: 
Each day the little square number tells how many days until BIRTHDAY, until the birthday arrives and then we flip the board over to the back (shown above).

We let the birthday person choose dinner for a week prior to the birthday:
Dont worry super mommy's, this usually makes dinner each night EASIER!  My kids usually pick things like mac and cheese, quesadillas, pizza, cereal, half priced Happy Meals at Mcdonalds, you get it....Easy kid food. 

We have a special activity each night.  
I put them in any order depending on what is happening during the week:

1.  Have a family night of fun at home.  Watch movies, make cookies, play games, whatever the birthday person chooses.

2.  On the Monday previous to the birthday we have a special night when we celebrate the birthday child by looking at the child's pictures, baby scrapbooks, watching the home video of the child as a baby (kids LOVE this), and telling the story of when the child was born.  I start it out once upon a time....and make it as entertaining and elaborate as I can.  My kids just eat it up.  They love hearing about themselves!  We also play the Present Game,  eat the "I am thankful for you" birthday treat, and then display an assortment of photos from baby to present time of the birthday child on our WISH letters.

3.  Put a birthday sign on the front door so anyone coming over will know there is a special day coming up in the family, put the Birthday Tablecloth on, and decorate the birthday child's chair with The Birthday Chair Cover.

4.  Have a special birthday date with mom and/or dad.  This is a time when we try to do something special one on one.  Here are some of my ideas:  Dinner and a movie, Icecream and Shopping (for a new birthday outfit), Donuts and Pedicures, or Hot chocolate and Hockey.

5.  Make a "We love you because" sign.  I like to do 12x12 scrapbook paper so that we can easily save the nice things people write.  Here are some other ideas:  make a cutout of the birthday child with butcher paper and cover it with nice comments, cover their bedroom door with post it notes of good qualities of the person, or hang little cards with ribbon from the bedroom door molding with special birthday messages. 

6.  Put on The Birthday Pillowcase, read The Birthday Book, and get rid of a few old toys or clothes to make room for some new ones.

We have a birthday bag that is stocked with a small gift each morning for 7 mornings: 

We keep these really small.  We dont want to over do it and ruin the real birthday gifts.  Here are some of my ideas:
1. The birthday child's favorite box of snacks, cereal, or cookies.
2.  A gift of freedom like:  "You dont have to do the dishes today" "You get to stay up a 1/2 hour later tonight" or "I will clean your room for you."
3.  Birthday decorations, like the birthday party themed balloons, crepe paper, or party blowers .
4.  A fun candle with the number they are turning.
5.  A card game, book, or DVD.
6.  A treat with a fun note, like a package of gum with a note about how you would "chews" him/her again if you had the choice.
7.  A new shirt to wear on their birthday. (I usually do this one on their birthday)

This was a big project and I had lots of fun doing it with friends.  Alison helped design the wood and vinyl, Amber shared lots of her fun ideas and did the painting, and Missy made the cute placemat bags!  Thanks Gals, you are true Super Mommies!


  1. The board is such a wonderful idea! I'm definitely going to borrow some of the ideas when my little one's next birthday rolls around!

  2. This is so much fun ! All of my boys bdays are in the next few weeks . I really want to make the bday board ,can you explain how to make it a little better for those who don't know ( Like what the board is made out of and where you got the stand or did you make that too . If you can I would greatly appreciate it :) ! .
    Thanks , Martha Schultz

  3. Hi Martha,
    I am working on a tutorial for how I did it all. I got the easel at Michaels with a 50% coupon it was only 7.50. I will hurry since your birthdays are coming up!!

  4. This is Great! Thanks, I have twins so I am trying to think how to adapt this but I love it! I am planning on sharing these ideas at my moms club. Cant wait for the tutorial Jill

  5. Angela I just found your site here and you have some super GREAT ideas!! You are a fun mom!

    I notice you are in Boise - I'm in Meridian :D

    I am posting your birthday board and a link to your blog on my blog today. I love this - It is a stinkin' WAY CUTE idea!! Thanks for sharing and have a Goodie!!

  6. Great Idea! I am thinking to giving this a try at our home, it is never to late to start a new tradition.

  7. What a great idea. I am impressed with the whole blog actually! Thanks for sharing your secrets

  8. Love it! Where did you get the vinyl? I would like to try to replicate to an extent, and that is the one thing I am having a hard time finding. Do you custom order online? thanks!

  9. I meant did you custom order it? ;)

  10. Any suggestions if you have twins?

  11. I love this!!! My son's birthday is next week and I'm hoping I can pull this together for him! :) Thanks for sharing!

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