Balloon Surprise Birthday Countdown

Create an easy birthday countdown with balloons containing little surprises, ready to be popped in the lead up to the big day!

I don’t know about your kids, but when mine are approaching their birthdays the excitement is palpable and it almost feels like they’re going to burst before the day comes! In order to help with the anticipation, we set up a count down system to begin one week beforehand, using just balloons and a few extra additions!

I wrote out some really easy-to-achieve activity ideas for each day of the week preceding the birthday, including one really special outing (the cinema with Daddy!) For the final day, on Birthday Eve as we call it, the note said we would have a movie night with popcorn and open one present from under the Birthday Tree!

I found some small sweets (you could use healthier snacks too, of course) and some stickers that I could fold up. Into each balloon went one surprise ticket/note, 2 sweets and 2 stickers. To get them in they needed to be rolled up and slipped into the neck of the balloon before inflating.

Then the numbers were written on from 7 down to 1, using a permanent marker. They were stuck up from the ceiling using some blu-tac, ready to be popped each morning to discover their hidden contents!

The first thing that Cakie mentioned every morning was her birthday surprise balloons and she came rushing downstairs, asking to pop them! The great thing about doing this before they can read, is that you can change your mind about what the papers say if needed!

Have you ever done a birthday count down at your house? What did you do? I’d love to hear about it!

You may also like to see our Birthday Tree tradition too!


  1. says

    This is adorable! I’ve seen countdowns using a paper chain before but popping balloons and including treats and special activities is a great idea. Birthdays are very exciting for little children and I think as parents we should do all we can to make them special.

  2. says

    This is a fabulous idea. I absolutely love it. What a great way to prepare for the big brithday celebration. I never thought of a birthday count down. All the notes and candy added to the balloons make the kids b-days super special. It looks like you guys have a lot of fun popping those baloons.

  3. Sarah says

    I love this…i am going to do something similar this year as we are away for my daughters actual 5th birthday so her celebrations are spread out a bit – ad it makes it all special! Thanks again Anna x

  4. Anonymous says

    Another brilliant idea!! I absolutely LOVE your blog- very inspirational :) thanks for all the great ideas.

  5. says

    I love the birthday tree! My big guy, who is turning 5 at the end of October, has been asking “how long until my birthday” since summer BEGAN! He was so jazzed to find out that as of this morning (Sept. 1), his birthday is now NEXT MONTH! We have hundred charts hanging in his room that we’re using as a birthday countdown.

  6. says

    I’ve just done some of these, it’s my big little boy’s 4th birthday on Friday, he’s got 4 to pop this week, then a special one to pop on his birthday too. You didn’t say how hard it is to get the sweets in the balloon!! I spent about 15 minutes trying to wrestle the first two in!! (I think I managed to get it down to 1-2 minutes a sweet by the end though!! Think I’ll get m&ms next time… (I chose starburst LOL)

  7. says

    Hello! I’m from Brazil and I’m using Google translator .. sorry if there are many mistakes :)

    I love your ideas and I loved the countdown! Will turn our tradition too!

    Here on our blog has some activities we learned here! Thank you for sharing!

    Kisses, Johanna