Motherhood
You have no idea how difficult it was to send this birthday card in, never to be seen again, and not knowing if all my crafting would be in vain! I snapped this pic the day we mailed the card out at the post office.

Happy, Happy Birthday to You!  Happy, Happy Birthday to…(wait for it…)…You!

If you know that Caillou comes on before Berenstain Bears during “The Goodnight Show” and if you know that the co-hosts of said show are Nina and Star, then you (undoubtedly) have a Sproutlet living in your home!  We don’t watch Nick Jr. or even the Disney Channel, for us it’s all about Sprout!  Being the obsessively-crafty momma that I am, it was only natural (and about time) that I endeavored to make Kysen a birthday card to (hopefully) be read on “The Sunny Side Up Show.”

Seven months pregnant and insanely dedicated to this cause, I set-out to get our “shout-out” on TV!  I’m happy to report that we indeed made it on the air and Kysen’s hooting and hollering when he saw it on TV made it all worth it (see video clip below)!  Here are my bits of advice to help get your child’s birthday card on Sprout TV!

First things first: If you haven’t already, get your butt over to SproutOnline.com and read up on birthday card submissions.  If you’re up for the creative challenge, print out the entrant release form and stick that puppy on the fridge as a reminder and motivation that you WILL get your card on TV (positive vibrations people)!  Now, follow these tips and let us know how you fare!

TIP #1: START EARLIER THAN YOU THINK YOU’LL NEED

Sprout states that cards must be received at least 2 weeks before your child’s birthday to be considered.  I wanted to ensure success, so I aimed to have my card mailed in one month before Kysen’s birthday.  In actuality, I got it in just over three weeks before his birthday because I underestimated how much time it would actually take me.  Um, hello!  We have kids to raise here!  So, get started early!  It took me about 2 1/2 weeks to get the card made and in the mail; and trust me there were a few late nights sprinkled in there.

Kysen had a blast watching me sweat over his birthday card and I had a blast making it!

TIP#2: THINK OF SIZE & COLORS FIRST

Size does matter!  Decide how you’ll be mailing the card before you get going.  Get the mailer first so you don’t go and make a ginormous card that won’t fit in any shipping envelopes and will require special handling and $30 in postage to get over to Fort Washington, PA!  Seriously though, have these small details worked out in advance so you won’t have to trim down your card at the last minute.  My card was on the smaller side of the cards I have seen grace the airwaves on Sprout.  I felt that, much like my wedding ring, the quality of the card would be more important than the size.  I concentrated on making an impeccable design and forgoing the 3×3 foot monstrosities that somehow make their way on air.

Sprout advises to stay away from white, orange, and pink papers, as those read poorly on air.  I went with a blue and green color scheme because I thought it would be a decent contrast with the red and orange colors of the Sunny Side Up Show’s barn.

TIP #3: CREATE A THEME

I decided on a dual theme.  First, taking the advice listed on Sprout, I knew I wanted to use Sprout characters.  I also wanted to make something unique, that I hadn’t seen before.  I decided on a “Goodnight Show” themed card, using Nina, Star and Kysen’s favorite show’s from the nighttime line up.  I also thought that by doing a nighttime theme, the producers would have the card be used on the nighttime birthday spot (although that’s not how it ended up).  The second part of the theme was coloring book-inspired.  I have experience with coloring-book-style cards and used the same technique I did with my niece’s birthday card (take a look if you’d like to learn how).  You know how HGTV advises you sum up your style in two words so you can stay focused while accessorizing your guest room?  Well, mine was: “Coloring Book Goodnight Show!”  Me: Babe, does this read ‘Coloring Book Goodnight Show” to you?  Husband: Huh?

Honestly though, having a decently defined theme will catch the card-selector’s attention.  (Tangent and a word of advise:  Don’t wreck your brains trying to figure out the inner workings of the “card-selector!”  There were low times when I envisioned a slovenly and disgruntled college intern shlepping through submissions and accidentally spilling his caramel macchiato all over my card!  Just don’t even go there!)  Your theme will help you keep everything in the card relevant, not merely decorative, and it will also help you edit.  I’d err on the side of less is more.

By hand-coloring my pictures I let my card stand out in the crowd and up-ed our chances of getting on air!

TIP #4: USE YOUR WORDS

First off, think of a witty opener.  Just like a joke to open up a public speaking gig, you need something to get attention and hype up the reveal of your little cutie.  Try to think of something relevant to your theme, show, or just Sprout in general to create some special anticipation in opening the card.  Going along with my Goodnight Show theme, I chose to use the show’s catch phrase, “Lucy, light the way!”

Don’t forget the heartfelt message!  This one is easy, just have your Kleenex handy.  And then, make that card “from” every conceivable relative know on both side’s of your child’s family tree!  I noticed that cards that were sent from about a million people seemed to be on air more than the ones form just mommy and daddy.  Throw in the names of your goldfish, your dentist and your former wedding planner–honestly, this is one of the most annoying aspects of the Sprout birthday card production.  Sure, it’s cheesy, but it works!  I was tempted to write “and from baby sister who is still inside mommy’s belly” but thought it a bit too much 🙂

TIP #5: YOU CAN’T CONTROL EVERYTHING

Who will read the card?  Sean?  Kelly? Denisha? Or that annoying new girl that I don’t like?  When will it air?  How many birthday card submissions will there be?  Are there more on Saturdays?  There are a million aspects to this that are out of your control.  Point in fact: Sean read Kysen’s card and pronounced his name totally wrong.  He called him KISS-IN, instead of KY-(like Hi!)-SEN.  Maybe the new girl could have done better?  Luckily, Kysen didn’t care, but this illustrates that there’s only so much you can do.

Then there’s the fear of rejection and the fact that they don’t send you your card back.  I ended up falling so madly in love with Kysen’s card that I almost didn’t want to send it in (fortunately I knew I had to or my husband would have killed me for using all of his babysitting hours in vain).  Just like when you don’t want to tell friends that you are starting a diet for fear of not succeeding (okay, I heard that on a Dr. Oz episode), the same goes when submitting a birthday card to Sprout.  Hey!  Why do you think I’m posting this AFTER it actually got on the air?

All of a sudden, when glittering the front of the card one night, I realized that it might all be for nothing.  For whatever reason that hipster college intern, who really couldn’t give a damn about my toddler’s birthday, might just toss my card to the curb and not even care that I bedazzled Lucy’s eyes with sticky-back rhinestones and had to use tweezers to place them on just right!  Bottom line: Know that sometimes good cards aren’t chosen and it could happen to you!  Didn’t Britney Spears get runner-up in Star Search?  Okay, bad example.  Just do your best!

Here’s the video of Kysen’s card being read by Sean on “The Sunny Side Up Show.”  You can hear Kysen hooting and hollering when he see’s it–sorry for the shaky footage, he jumped in my lap in the middle of shooting!

For another (more hilarious) Sprout birthday card success story check out “The Socially Inappropriate Mom”!

Please let us know if you submit a card for your child and any tips that you think could help other Sprout-loving mommas!

xo, Kristen
Kristen Hong of Hello Nutritarian

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Discussion

  • lisa says:

    Yes! You just read my mind. Aiden is crazy about Sprout especially Play with Me Sesame. I want to try to get his card on the show, he turns 1 in May. This is great and funny. It is annoying to me to with all the people the cards are from and the nicknames oh geez. You motivated me to try to do it thanks for the tips.

    • lisa says:

      Questions- Do you think just Sesame Street for the theme? I have a lot of stickers or should I do it another way? Thanks!

      • Kristen says:

        I’ve seen many cards that get on the show with stickers, but I noticed that since I submitted Kysen’s card the guidelines have slightly changed. It encourages kids to “draw characters yourself.” I think the stickers would work but if you want to go that extra mile (and insure getting on) then go with the coloring in approach! Please show us your completed project!!!

    • lisa says:

      Me again! Now I got the bug to. What do you think of doing his name in the circles like the show title and coloring in the coloring page they have on sprout

      • Kristen says:

        Love your idea of putting Aiden’s name in the circles like the Play With Me logo! Sounds like you’ve got the ball rolling and 4 1/2 months ahead of the game! I’ll be watching for Aiden’s card on May 1st!!!

  • Gabby R. Wilson says:

    ok, you rock girl! inspiring me to try this when my little whipper snapper arrives, yup surprise ladies and gents I am pregnant, due on August 7, hoping for a boy, fingers crossed!

    • Kristen says:

      SO happy for you Gabby, congrats to you and your husband! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! Check out the Chinese Gender Calendar post to see your chances!

  • Gabby R. Wilson says:

    oh I also wanted to say that my nephew Oscar loves sprout also and particularly that super y show, maybe Aunt GiGi can get a card on TV for him, do you think I can make it his birthday is on feb. 10?

    • Kristen says:

      Sure! You can totally make it in on time! It would need to get there by Jan. 26th–go for it!! Kysen loves Super Why too–that will make a cute card! Let us know how it turns out!

  • Kristen says:

    Understood 🙂

  • Destenie says:

    I love sprout

  • Jessica long says:

    Hi what’s the mailing address I need to mail in birthday day cards

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Jessica! I’m not sure the mailing address but you can check it out on the link in the post!

      Good luck!

  • Alicia says:

    I did a pic and short bday wish for first time for my son didn’t see it hear nothing or anything very upsetting ain’t right for you to do all the work of a card or something special and it not end up being said or done my son sees as all the bday wishes all the time patiently waits for his bday to come where he can have his on there and can’t take few secs to read the sentence and show his pic just not right in my opinion disappointed with sprout honestly

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Alicia!

      So sorry to hear about your trouble with Sprout! I was pretty nervous myself when I submitted this card. All I can say is getting your request in as early as possible is the most helpful and effective tip for getting on the air!

      Don’t give up! There is always next year! Happy birthday to your little guy!

      xo, Kristen

  • Rosanna says:

    Dear, sprout my lil almost 3 year loves the sprout channel & the Chica show & especially her caillou lol an play with me sesame & ninas world as well an the lil girl who her grandma always helps her find a place to go potty as well she loves that an it’s so adorable her birthday is coming up may 19th 2016 she’ll be 3 years old this year an shes my first an only baby!!!! Would love to see her face when it comes on TV for her 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Rosanna!

      This is not the Sprout site! Make sure you go to their official site here: http://www.sproutonline.com/ so your little munchkin’s birthday can be shared!

      xo, Kristen

  • Leah says:

    HI, Kristen, I made a beautiful card for my daughter’s third birthday. Well, I think it’s beautiful, but I digress. I have been scouring Sprout’s website and it appears as though they don’t accept handmade cards any longer! I find this surprising because I’m fairly certain I just saw some featured recently. I can’t find an address or any indication that they want anything other than digital submissions. Do you know anything about this?
    Thank you!

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Leah!

      Oh my goodness! I just checked their site, and I’m afraid you’re right! It looks like they aren’t doing handmade birthday cards any longer–just messages!

      I am so sorry to hear this–I would have hoped they would have let viewers know when the cut-off was going to be!

      Thank you for bringing this to my attention so I can update this post! And I’m so very sorry to hear about your munchkin’s card 🙁

      xo, Kristen

  • Shamika says:

    Hello! I got my girl’s card on the show! YAY!!!! I also sent in my card 3 weeks in advance. I did not have a theme but I used a lot of colors, covered every part of the card with cardstock and pics of characters from her fave shows. I also included a poem for them to read that I made up inside the card. BIG HIT! Good Luck to all the Mommys, your child’s face when they see it is magical. You definitely feel like Mom of the Year when you make it !

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Shamika!

      Yay!! So glad you got it on air! I know, it’s so disappointing they don’t do it anymore 🙁

      Kristen

  • Shamika says:

    BTW that was several months ago, just came across this and thought I’d share my tips. SO sorry they dont accept anymore.

  • Patty Wood says:

    Did they inform you that they were going to feature your son? My biggest fear of submitting anything to sproutonline.com is that I won’t know if they actually use it unless I watch 24/7 which… ya know I would but… doctors say this is bad for their brains or something 😉

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Patty!

      So, I was told that Sprout doe snot read handmade birthday cards on air anymore 🙁

      Just to answer your questions: no, they did not inform me that it would on. You can record the episodes so the kiddos don’t have to wait for it–we were lucky because it was read on the Good Morning Show!

      xo, Kristen

  • Nancy says:

    Where do you mail the card?

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Nancy,

      So sorry, but I was told Sprout no longer does physical cards. You can head to Sprout.com and submit a digital greeting instead!

      xo, Kristen