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Make every birthday special

It's already the month of March — the one with the ides, lions, lambs, wind and kites, sometimes Easter and always birthdays in our house!

If it's your child's first birthday this year, now is the time to show him or her how special the day is. Here are some fun traditions:

Surprise the birthday child with breakfast in bed, featuring a favorite cereal, muffin and juice. Sing a birthday song as you enter the bedroom, and always take a photo or run a video camera. Viewing the images of your children growing and changing through the years is priceless.

Make a simple birthday pennant and save it from year to year to fly in front of your home to let friends know there's a birthday in the house! Cut bright-colored felt or craft foam in a pennant shape, decorate with ribbons and paint your child's name in big letters with fabric paint. Cut slits on the wide side and weave a wooden dowel through the slits.

Birthdays are a fun time to talk about names and why they were chosen. Research origins together online and share your findings. Names often come from other cultures and have historical influences. For a rainy-day activity, make pictures or collages to explain the meanings. If someone is named after a relative, find a photo of that ancestor and talk about the person's life.

NEXT WEEK: Tips for throwing a successful birthday party at home.


Write Donna with your questions and ideas at www.donnasday.com. © Donna Erickson; Distributed by King Features Syndicate