Lizzie Catt has the tips to make sure your card bags a spot on the birthday slot.

If you live in a CBeebies house, you’ve probably thought about sending in a birthday card for your little one. How hard can it be? All you need is a photo in which your child is not gurning or covered in food, some pics of Bing, Duggee and the Octonauts and you’re there, right?

If only. Getting a card ready is at least as stressful as a passport application; it’s a small wonder they don’t have to have be countersigned by a magistrate.

What’s more, the feature is so popular that only 50 per cent will make it onto the screen. Here’s how to improve your odds and make it all less fraught.

Read the rules

For starters, submissions must be received four weeks in advance (six from mid December to mid January). Big no-nos: cards larger than A2, non- CBeebies characters, personal information on the front, rolled up cards, parcels larger than 61cm x 46cm, portrait shape cards and logos (including school logos) in the child’s photo. For the full rules ‘n’ regs, visit: bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/birthdays-on- cbeebies

Know your competition

Successful cards usually include a cheerful array of CBeebies ‘friends’. It can’t hurt to kiss up to Auntie Beeb.

Make a plan

A2 is pretty huge, it helps to sketch out what you want to do. A3 cards have just as good a hit rate and are easier to fill.

Assemble your kit

Use an app to order blown-up versions of your favourite photos. If you don’t have a drawer full of kiddy craft gubbins, now’s a good time stock up. You don’t want to be hacking improvised Clangers out of your favourite pink cardigan at 1am the night before deadline day.

Don’t bother cutting out letters

Do yourself a solid and get hold of some adhesive letters or an alphabet stencil.

Get a sibling to do it

Your dazzling Sarah and Duck tableau will be trumped by a five-year- old’s charmingly wobbly effort any day of the week. Obviously, claiming your own cack-handed efforts were the work of a fictional sibling would be morally wrong. Good luck…

 

@mushmums @lizzie_catt