For young children, there is nothing quite like a birthday celebration. Cake, ice cream, and balloons are some of the most wonderful things on earth to children, meaning birthday parties are pretty thrilling for them.
That said, sometimes we as parents want to do a bit more. When an especially exciting birthday is coming up, you may not feel like a simple party or any particular gift or two will quite fit the bill. In these cases, you might want to consider offering up big, memorable experiences in lieu of the traditional short-lived excitement found in toys and other birthday gifts.
Below are five of the very best gifts you could give a kid on their birthday. Most are not items but rather experiences, and all of them are sure to create wonderful memories your child will hold onto for years to come.
#1: Take a Trip
A quick getaway is an incredible way to celebrate a big birthday. Whether your child is turning five or fifteen, they are sure to appreciate a trip to the mountains or a weekend at the beach. Go as a family, or make it a parent-and-child-only trip. Whatever you do, be sure to make it an absolute blast for the birthday boy or girl.
#2: Visit a Local Attraction
If you don’t have the means to get away for an entire weekend, consider taking a daytrip instead. These little trips can be equally exciting, especially if you give them the same amount of attention you might give a vacation.
Every city has a variety of local attractions, but if you are feeling especially adventurous, you could head to the next town over. Look for a museum, zoo, or amusement park that looks like fun and go there. Take plenty of pictures and create a scrapbook page to commemorate the event.
#3: Encourage Gratitude
While it should probably be done in conjunction with a party or fun outing, volunteering at a local charity is a great way to make your child’s birthday memorable and help them understand just how lucky they truly are. Look around in your community and see how you can help. You might be surprised just how much your little one enjoys it.
#4: Provide Educational Tools
So your kid is adamantly against getting experiences instead of gifts this year? No problem! Just give a gift that offers experiences and you’ll both get what you were looking for.
One of the best examples of this is to offer your child a tablet—complete with case and screen protector—or a laptop that is fully loaded with age-appropriate educational materials. This might mean math games for the second grader, a creative writing program for the sixth grader, or a music writing software for the highschooler. Whatever your child wants to learn more about, include it on the device. This will give them a whole host of new experiences!
#5: Get Outside
If the weather will be nice on your child’s birthday, take advantage of it! Head to a national park or to an outdoor recreation area. Take hiking gear or play a round of frisbee golf. Whatever it is your kid likes to do outside, do it.
Fresh air and sunshine are underappreciated in our society, but you can help your child understand just how wonderful these things are by celebrating their birthday soaking them up.