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How do you make a summer birthday special for your child?

eli gurock and his son getting wacky
Today my little boy turns 7. He is the youngest of my three kids, my oldest girl being thirteen, and my second daughter eleven (she was born only four months before we opened our first store). Both of my daughters have spring birthdays, and my wife too. I was born in the blizzard of ’78, but my son is left out: he has a summer birthday.

You may say that stinks. All his friends are away at camp or on vacation. He doesn’t get a proper celebration at school. He gets relegated to the mandatory “summer birthday” faux-celebration right before the school year ends, but it’s not the same as having your actual birthday in school.

But you can make summer birthdays awesome for your kids, and here are some tips from the last six years of a kid with an August 5 birthday:

1) Let the kid take the day off. When you are in school, taking the day off is only kinda okay on your birthday. You may be able to get away with it in pre-school and the lower grades, but it gets trickier in the upper grades, and though it’s nice to be congratulated by your teachers and friends at school, you are still at school. In the summer, you can take the day off and do something special instead: going to the beach, going to a baseball game, or spending time with a favorite relative. It’s nice to spend a day dedicated to celebrating your kid.

2) Have an open house as a birthday party: We have been doing this every year since our son’s first birthday. We throw a big cookout in our backyard, and invite our friends and our son’s friends. Many people lose touch over the summer due to travel schedules, camps, and other activities. So it’s nice to be able to have an excuse to connect with not only your child’s friends but your adult friends too. Your kid will feel so special that so many people came out to celebrate his or her birthday, plus they’ll get more presents!

3) More kids are around than you think: Though some families go away, lots of families don’t. Maybe you are used to just having your kid’s class over for a birthday party, but the nice thing about the summer is that you are in-between classes, so you don’t feel that obligation to “invite the entire class.” That means you can stick to kids your child really likes! Invite kids from other sections of your child’s grade who he or she maybe only sees at recess, invite neighborhood kids, and invite kids from your church, synagogue or other place of worship. Having a party with some diversity of kids can be really nice.

Summer birthdays don’t have to be lame. They can be even more rich and interesting than birthdays in the other three seasons of the year. So if you are avid reader of Spilling the Beans, and are due in the next month or have just given birth, congratulations! And I hope these tips will make you feel confident about your child’s summer birthday.

Oh and finally, what does the owner of a toy store get his son for his 7th birthday?

Are you looking for birthday gifts? It’s easy to shop for toys by age on our site – or, just check out some of these staff faves separated by age and stage!

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