Kid’s birthdays aren’t just about big parties or goodie bags; birthdays are a celebration of life and birthday traditions are important for this reason. Unforgettable birthday traditions create lasting memories with your children, which they’ll cherish forever and even pass along with their own children.
Kid’s Birthdays aren’t about the size of the party, it’s about how special they feel on their birthday. Making a person feel extremely loved and important, doesn’t cost a penny with special birthday traditions which do this all day long.
24 Unforgettable Birthday Traditions to Delight Your Kids
1. Cover the Floor in Balloons
If your child is out of their crib (and best to be over the age of 4 so they’re potty trained and not waking in the middle of the night), cover the floor with balloons while they sleep.
Here are some fun balloon choices every child will LOVE:
- Rainbow confetti balloons
- Giant jumbo gold confetti balloons (they are huge!)
- Latex spiral balloons
- Butterfly print balloons
- Tie dye rainbow agate balloons
2. Decorate the Bedroom Doorway
While your child is sleeping, hang streamers and crepe paper in the bedroom doorway. You can attach balloons or a birthday sign to the streamers for a little extra touch. We used this Happy Birthday foil sign last year for my daughter’s room and it looked great! You can also use birthday number balloons which are easy to blow up at home and use, too.
Tip: Use double stick table to help adhere these types of letter and number balloons this to a wall or ceiling. Then you can position them exactly how you want!
3. Create a Balloon Avalanche
If your child is older and sleeps with their door shut, this is a fun way to start the day off! Otherwise, with youngsters, this may scare them to death and you might want to avoid this birthday tradition until they’re a bit older.
Tape up a loosely hung plastic bag to the door frame and fill the space between the door and the plastic bag with balloons. When your child opens their door in the morning, all the balloons will fall in on them and starts the day with the perfect small celebration!
Here is a quick tutorial on how to make a Balloon Avalanche.
4. Bust Out the Baby Pictures
There’s no better day to reminisce by pulling out baby pictures, video of the day they were born and rehashing the stories of their birth, when you brought them home and the baby stage. Print out a few pictures from your phone (we used to use places like Walgreens or Target, but have since purchased this mobile instant photo printer for school projects and special things like this. Or just when I want to change out pictures in picture frames.)
5. Conduct a Very Special Birthday Interview
Each year, on your child’s birthday, interview the birthday kid with a set of fun questions, but don’t forget to record their answers on the printable birthday interview form.
The birthday interview is a special birthday keepsake to document your child’s likes, dislikes, interests, best friend, favorite memory, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite movie, subject in school, and so much more!
Download This Fun Birthday Tradition: Birthday Interview Printable
You can take this one step further, and conduct the interview on video too! Then, you’ll have something to read or watch when you look back in the future.
6. Dinner of Their Choosing
Let the birthday boy or girl pick the menu for the night!
There’s nothing that kids like more than to have control and picking dinner is an easy way to make them feel extra special, and in control.
If spaghetti is their favorite meal, then a delicious spaghetti dinner is on the menu. Let your child create the menu, including the main course, sides and of course, dessert.
Do they want a cake, cupcakes, ice cream, pie, popsicles, or something else special on their birthday? My best friend does pies for each of her kid’s birthday and they all get to choose their favorite pie filling for their birthday treat.
7. Go Around the Table and Compliment The Birthday Boy or Girl
At dinner, take turns going around the table from person to person and giving compliments and share what you love, appreciate and enjoy most about the birthday girl or birthday boy. There’s nothing sweeter than love shared between friends and family.
8. Give One of Your Childhood Toys as a Memorable Gift
If you have a stash of toys from your own childhood, sift through them to find one that’s age appropriate or matches a particular interest (if they’re into dinosaurs, dolls, matchbox cars, etc.) and pass down this heirloom to your child on their birthday. It’s a meaningful, inexpensive and a special birthday tradition in one.
9. Grant 3 Special Wishes for the Day
Indulge your child and give them three wishes for the day (within reason, of course.) This is your chance to say “yes” to your child on their very special day and let them choose what their birthday day will hold for everyone in your family.
10. Birthday Present Scavenger Hunt
Leave clues around the house and in the yard, leading from one birthday present to the next, or a special message or card, until all the day’s gifts and cards have been collected. Provide fun clues for the birthday girl leading them on the ultimate treasure hunt!
11. Donate Old Toys for Other Children to Use
If your child is having a birthday party and will be receiving a handful of new and shiny toys, it’s time to clean out the toy box and donate any unused or outgrown toys and books to others who may enjoy them now.
12. Birthday Countdown
Like an advent calendar for the Holidays, create a birthday countdown leading up to the big day.
You can create a colorful paper chain, leave out numbered envelopes with little notes, or small numbered boxes with a little piece of candy in each. This is a cute yet simple reusable birthday countdown calendar you can recycle over and over again for everyone’s birthday in your family.
13. Request Guests Bring Supplies to Donate
Ask guests to bring items or supplies to donate to the charity of your child’s choose in lieu of gifts. This can be as simple as books, canned food, toiletries, old blankets or towels, or a dog toy if they would like to have their birthday donations go towards a local animal shelter.
14. Write a Letter Each Year
Write a letter each year to your child, save it in an envelope with the date and age they are on their birthday and give it to the when they turn 18. This will be a sentimental and wonderful gift for your child to look back on. 18 special letters from their parents is something your child will cherish forever, and likely a birthday tradition they’ll pass along to their own kids.
15. Birthday Breakfast with Candles
Why wait all day to blow out the candles, when you can do it first thing in the morning? Whip up a special birthday breakfast, top it with a sparkling candle and sing “Happy Birthday” at the start of the day.
You can add candles to almost anything – fruit, pancakes, french toast, omelet, muffin, granola or even cereal. Just add a candle or two, light it up and sing the birthday song to kick off the special day.
Related: 15 Festive & Delicious Birthday Breakfast Ideas for Kids
16. Pull out a Special Birthday Plate
First, create a special plate for everyone to use on their birthday. It could be one you buy or create (which is fun if you use a kit like this one) and pull it out to use all day on birthdays. Serve breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Create your own Birthday Plate with this easy to decorate and cook plate, or if your child is ok with ceramic, this non-plastic option might be a longer-lasting and beautiful addition to your hutch.
17. You’ve Got (Birthday) Mail
Ask friends and relatives to send a special note or card in the mail. Sometimes something as simple as checking the mailbox and finding a letter addressed to your child, can be the most special gift of all on their birthday.
Image if they received a stack all addressed to them!
18. Have a Birthday Campout
Combining kids and camping is usually a recipe for pure fun & happiness… although it’s a lot of work for parents and with little sleep. Whether it’s in your backyard or in your living room, set up a small 2 or 3 person tent, lay out blankets or unroll their sleeping bags and spend the night together for a family campout!
If you want to do the real thing… here are some good camping with kids hacks.
19. Make a Birthday Picture Book
Throughout the year, you’ve probably snapped hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures of your children. Throw them together in a nicely curated photo album and have printed to look at on their birthday. This also helps you stay organized, get your photos off your phone or computer, and to have a nicely printed album as a family keepsake.
20. Plant Something Each Year on Their Birthday
Do something not only nice for the Earth, but together with your child and plant flowers, a tree, or add to your collection of house plants.
Let them pick out the plant or flowers and lead the way on digging the hole, mixing potting soil and adding to the beauty of your home. Then, watch it grow year after year!
21. Make a Birthday Crown
Crafty parent or not, making a birthday crown falls on the easier side of DIY and is one project you can most certainly add to the list of birthday traditions.
Plus, everyone person, child or adult, should wear a crown all day on their birthday! Gather supplies, cut out a crown headband or use a kit like this one and let them go wild decorating it as they like. If flower crowns may be more to your child’s liking, this flower crown kit is adorable and will last much longer than anything picked from your yard.
22. Nice Birthday Notes Jar
If you host a birthday party or gathering, set out slips of paper and pens, to have friends and family write down nice notes about the birthday boy or birthday girl. Toss all the notes into a bowl or fishbowl and after the party, read aloud all the nice things over have to say about them!
23. The Birthday Fairy Gives Money for Each Year They Are Old
Each year, the birthday fairy will visit a pair of shoes to fill it with quarters or dollars in the amount of year your child is old, plus leaves an extra quarter of dollar bill for good luck. For example, if your child is 5 the birthday fairy would bring 5 quarters or 5 $1.00 bills, plus one extra for good luck!
Read More about the tradition of the Birthday Fairy here.
24. Put it Under the Pillow
Place a small gift, treat or meaningful note under their pillow for them to find first thing in the morning. A simple note that says “I Love You” or “You Make This World More Beautiful” will mean an immense amount to your child.
Birthday Traditions: Kid’s Birthdays and Kid’s Birthday Parties…
It’s important to remember that kid’s birthday aren’t just about big parties or goodie bags. Birthdays are a celebration of life and birthday traditions are important for this reason. They create lasting memories with your children, which they’ll cherish forever and even pass along with their own children.
Don’t Worry! You can still throw a kid’s birthday party without going over budget or breaking the bank, and this article will help you stay up to date on the modern etiquette of planning a kid’s birthday party, but be sure to download the birthday party planning checklist in the article too!
Kid’s Birthdays aren’t about the size of the party, it’s about how special they feel on their birthday. Making a person feel loved and cherished doesn’t cost a penny because of special birthday traditions which do this all day long.
Download This Fun Birthday Tradition: Birthday Interview Printable
Carly @ The Mammas List says
I just found your site and I love this list! There are so many fun things on here to make a birthday memorable. I especially like #13 since I’m already trying to find ways to teach our toddler gratitude. So much of our celebrations focus on gifts for the child instead of ways they can pay it forward. So many fun ideas that don’t all focus on additional accumulation of presents!
Awesome suggestions! This style of birthday celebrating- really making the kid feel special- instead of focusing on a bunch of gifts or a big party- is so much more do-able. And IMO I think it’s more meaningful to the kids!
Pinning! I do a lot of these, but I love the idea of the letters each year and saying “yes” to 3 things. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday.
Alison | Moving Mountains With Motherhood says
My son is about to turn two, and this is just the post I was looking for. I’m so excited to start birthday traditions that we can continue for years to come.
I especially like the idea of a birthday interview! I will definitely be doing this one!
Thanks for sharing this post.
This is a great list with ideas that I haven’t heard of before! We may have to adopt some of these ideas for my kiddos birthday traditions!!! =)
I love these so much, I’ll definitely be adding some of these to my list.
My daughter’s birthday is in early January instead of taking down the Christmas tree after Christmas we strip the decorations and turn it into a birthday tree. Her presents go under the tree and we hang the goodie bags on the tree. She feels so special!!
I love this idea! I have a late December baby too and am also racing to get the tree down, but this is fun and I love your idea about incorporating it into her birthday.