A Half-Birthday is very fitting for young children. So much can happen worth celebrating in 6 months!
For mom’s like myself who endured a traumatic birth, celebrating birthdays can be challenging with the season reminding you of the traumatic birth experience. Half-Birthdays are great because the focus is on the child’s achievements and not their actual date of birth.
It’s a tremendous joy and privilege to see Elowyn’s personality develop as she learns new skills and overcomes challenges. We took pictures of Elowyn every week for her first year and I made a sign with her little triumphs to use as a photo-prop. It’s incredible to look back on her first year now and see how much she changed every single week. After she turned one we switched to doing the progress sign and photos every month; since she’s always on the move, photo-shoots are much trickier now and sometimes we have more success taking videos. I’m so proud of the intelligent and caring daughter we’re raising. That’s reason enough to add an additional special event for our family every year: Elowyn’s Half-Birthday.
For Her First Half-Birthday…
I decided it was fitting to serve half a cake at her party. I made it myself and although my family was a little confused at first, “Why only half a cake, what happened to the rest?” They were onboard after I explained that the other half wasn’t eaten it was used to build an additional layer for the giant half cake!
How is a Half-Birthday different from a regular Birthday celebration?
- No Gifts: We made it clear to guests that gifts were not expected, that it was a day to celebrate Elowyn’s achievements with a casual family gathering.
- Just for Family: To differentiate it from the bigger annual Birthday Bash with friends and family (and one day classmates), we decided Half-Birthdays would stay a family only celebration. The intimate gathering was perfect for sharing stories and Elowyn felt comfortable, which was important to us.
- Less Fuss More Fun: With a smaller guest-list comes less prep, less decorations, less clean-up, and more time for family adventures and playtime.
Agenda for Elowyn’s 1 1⁄2 Birthday
- Family Breakfast: We told Elowyn it was her Half Birthday and got her excited for a day of adventures!
- Bakery Trip: Off to Phipps (our favourite local bakery) to pick up the perfect cake. I thought Elowyn would enjoy the Marble Cake and of course we got a few other treats to tide us over. FYI: You can’t go wrong everything is delicious at Phipps!
- Playground Adventure: Next stop was Elowyn’s favourite playground which also happens to be in our area (lucky us!). June Rowlands Park has an amazing playground and music garden that Elowyn adores.
- BBQ Shopping: Longos had everything we needed for this summer’s first epic BBQ. We picked up spicy hot-dogs, fancy buns, pork-chops, flank steak, potato salad ingredients, veggies to make spiralized zucchini and carrot stir-fry with mushrooms, corn on the cob, and salad packs.
- Off to Yiayia’s House: We were greeted with a surprise at my mom’s house. My nephew had bought Elowyn an awesome castle themed ball-pit and play house. Elowyn played with her cousins as my husband and I cooked up quite the celebratory feast.
- Dinner, Cake and Songs: With all of the excitement Elowyn skipped her nap but she made it through dinner and dessert in good spirits. She especially loved the corn on the cob and her marble cake.
18 Month Milestones
- Elowyn clearly Counts to Ten
- She knows almost all her ABCs
- Elowyn identifies and can name over 40 Animals correctly! Her favourite animal this month is the Ermine, a short-tailed weasel
- She’s working on her colours and can say Red, Blue, Yellow, Purple, Indigo, Green and identify them correctly (sometimes)
- She’s learning more Greek words and can understand directions in Greek and English
- Elowyn pretends to call her Yiayia every day. The one-sided conversation goes like this: “Hello, Who’s there? Yiayia? Hi Yiayia! Bye, See you soon!”
- New Interesting Words/Phrases for this Month: Report, Heart, Help Us Please, Oval, Thank-You, I See You, Cereal, Sunscreen, Strawberry Red, Lemon Yellow, Slide, Swing, Come on Let’s Go!
- She runs and climbs well (and can climb up and go down on the slide on her own)
- She tries to unscrew screws with sticks and wood-chips
- Elowyn can say and point to her head, hair, eyes, nose, ears, cheeks, mouth, teeth, chin, hands, feet, tummy and belly-button
- She still loves singing and dancing and sings along to “The Wheels on the Bus” “Old MacDonald had a Farm” “Mr. Sun” “Itsy Bitsy Spider” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and every song from “Moana”
- Elowyn doesn’t like to leave Yiayia’s house and she hides in my mom’s arms when she sees me starting to pack up for home. When I say “Elowyn it’s time to go, say bye to Yiayia!” Elowyn says “Aww No bye Yiayia, More?”
Fun Ideas for a Half Birthday Celebration
- Keep it Simple: Less Fuss more Fun
- Surprise them in the morning by Singing Happy Half-Birthday to wake them up
- Celebrate their milestones with a Sign or Poster Photo-Prop
- Do a mini Family Photo Shoot to mark the occasion
- Go to one of their Favourite Spots for Playtime before the party
- Try Decorating Half the Space with Balloons or Decorations
- Serve Half a Birthday Cake or Half Cupcakes
- For older children, let them Stay Up 1/2 an hour extra
Check out Elowyn’s 1 1⁄2 Birthday Adventures and 18 Month Milestones!