It’s birthday month for my twins, and they have been so excited for their big day. I can’t blame them. I have always loved birthdays. My kids love birthdays. If we’re being totally honest, I think everyone should love their birthday. Your birthday can be a magical time with amazing birthday traditions. It’s full of attention from the people you love. Not to mention cake. Who doesn’t love cake?
I come from a large family, so when I was a kid, my oldest sister threw my birthday parties. Those parties were amazing! She spent so much time, money, and energy planning (and then corralling) hordes of little girls. I’m glad she was willing to deal with the crazy because I loved every second. It helped me to feel loved. Thankfully, you don’t need to throw an enormous party for your child to create meaningful birthday traditions. Oftentimes, it’s the little things that can make your child’s day special. Those little birthday traditions create lasting memories. I’ve been thinking of the fun things we do in our family to make birthdays special. Here are some birthday traditions that your kids will love.
Balloon wake up
An early morning birthday tradition that we started with our kids is the balloon wake up. Essentially, we blow up a lot of balloons and quietly slip the balloons into their bedroom before they wake up. When they get up, they are always surprised and excited, even though we do it every year.
Sing a wake up
One of my uncles had a special tradition with his kids on their birthday. He would sing the birthday song to wake up my cousins on their birthday. Ever year he would stand outside their bedroom door in the morning and sing until they’d wake up. It was a little thing. It just took a few minutes. But it made them feel loved on their big day.
Wear something fun
When it’s your birthday, you want to look good! Let your child pick out a new outfit. Or, save some money and make a special effort to ensure that their favorite outfit is clean and ready for the big day. As long as they feel like they look good, it’ll be a good day.
Make it a treasure hunt
Everyone loves a bit of suspense. Instead of just handing your child their birthday present, make a game of it. Set up clues for a birthday gift treasure hunt. It’ll heighten the anticipation and be a fun activity for their big day. Bonus points if you have them do activities that will get out some of their post-cake sugar rush wiggles.
When our oldest child was a baby, I made a measuring ruler that hangs on our wall in our living area. Every year on their birthday, my husband measures the kid’s height and marks it with a line and a date. It’s fun to see how they grow over the years. It’s also been a fun way to compare how tall each child was on the same birthday. We’ll often refer to those little marks throughout the year to see how much they’ve grown since their last birthday.
Create a fun cake
We are not cake decorators. Not even close, but Ryan and I love creating fun cakes for our kids on their birthdays. We usually take requests but try to keep the surprise until the morning of their big day. We’ve made everything from train cakes and puzzle cakes to a My Little Pony cake and kitten cake. No, they don’t always turn out how we’d like, but our kids love them anyway.
We let our kids choose what they would like for dinner on their birthday. For my oldest it’s usually pizza. But both of our twins are fruit lovers, so we’ve had simple requests like strawberries too. It’s fun to sit down together and celebrate with their favorite meal. My husband Ryan requested a giant version of these meatballs for his birthday one year. They were amazing!
A special plate
Speaking of eating, my husband’s family has a tradition of getting to use the “special plate” for their birthday. The plate that they used when he was growing up was red like this plate. When we were married, my mother-in-law gifted us a special plate for our kids. Through random chance, we ended up with the exact same plate later. Which was perfect because we found out that we were going to be having twins! We use our special plates for dinner on our kid’s birthdays.
Tell their birth story
My kids love to hear about the day they were born. That might change as they grow, but for now, I usually lay with them in bed right before they fall asleep and tell them about their first day on earth. I tell them all the dramatics. We talk about how lucky I am to be their mom. It’s a fun yearly tradition to remember those special moments when they first came to our family. I also love that it’s a chance for me to connect with my birthday kid. Subscribe below for more ideas to help you connect with your kids.
Make a birthday crown
You could go all out and buy a special birthday crown. But most kids will be happy with a simple paper crown you make. Let them wear it all day (or just a few minutes) if they want.
Serve breakfast in bed
Everyone loves breakfast in bed. My kids are enamored with the idea of eating food in bed. Pick a breakfast that won’t make a huge mess and let them eat in bed. It’ll start the day on a high note.
Family activity birthday traditions
Regardless of whether you plan a party for your birthday kid, let them choose a family activity to do together. You don’t even need to do it on the day of their birthday if there isn’t enough time. Just sometime during their birthday week, let them choose what your family gets to do. From swimming at the local pool, to going to the park, there are a lot of fun activities your family can do to celebrate.
Write about them
Some parents write a yearly birthday letter. I keep a journal for each of my kids, so on their birthday I write a special journal entry. I love to include funny things they say, activities they love, some of their favorite things, and anything else I don’t want to forget.
Does your child want a birthday party, and you just can’t stomach the time, money, or chaos? Tell them they can invite one or two friends for just cake. No gifts, no crazy games, no commitment. Just cake. It takes a lot of the pressure off you, and still lets your child enjoy the day with a friend or two.
Birthdays are a fun time for kids. They love to feel celebrated and special. You can make them feel loved, even if you don’t plan a party. All you need are a few birthday traditions to make the day feel special.
Don’t forget to sign up for that list of ideas for one-on-one time with your kids. I notice that when I take the time to connect with my kids every day, that my kids are happier, I’m happier, and our home is more peaceful. Go grab that free printable!