The idea for this birthday balloon countdown has been bouncing around in my mind since the girls and I made the balloon surprise gift for my niece's birthday in April. (Although, I admit that even though I've had the idea for months, I didn't actually put it together until the day that she began the countdown!).
To make O's balloon countdown to her 6th birthday, I filled 10 balloons with either money, candy, or notes with activities. I printed numbers and taped a number to each balloon. I threaded the balloons together, starting with #10 and counting down to 1, using embroidery thread. (The idea to make a threaded balloon garland came via Pinterest...I'm not sure if this is exact link that I saw, but it's similar.)
Each morning O wakes up very excitedly and is ready to pop her balloon! The first day she received a pack of Smarties (candy)...1 for her and 1 to share and 5 dollars to go shopping for herself and her Grandmama (with whom she shares a birthday). On the 2nd day, she received a note that we would play hot/cold for her to find a prize. The hot/cold game led her to the refrigerator where she found a can of spray whipped cream (something we almost never buy), and I sprayed it directly into her mouth! She was SOOOO excited as this was certainly a novelty for this health conscious mama :) (one reason it's fun to almost always eat healthy is because it's makes these special occasions even more exciting!)
Other items in the balloons include...a treasure hunt for a gift (Magic School Bus Science Club subscription...yes, I give my children their homeschool curriculum for their birthdays!), a dinner date with her daddy, a trip the the YMCA waterpark near my hometown (but not so near to us), another treasure hunt for a gift (a mama made subscription to a monthly American Girl fun pack, which will also be a part of her homeschool curriculum and the core of our US History program), a couple of dollars to take on vacation, a trip to pick blueberries, and a visit to the Dairy Queen for a blizzard.