With both my boys’ birthdays in June we’ve been busy celebrating here in my house this past month. We have some special traditions that their dad and I have kept going from our childhoods but we’ve also created some new traditions for our little family. I thought it would be fun to share some of those ideas along with a couple I hope to start with baby #3. If you have birthday traditions in your family I’d love to hear about them on social or in the comments below!
Write the birthday child a letter every year to help them remember what they did that year, things they did that made you proud, and what you love about them.
This is something I hope to start doing because I love the idea of them being able to look back on them when they are older. I also think it’s important to remind our kids, as often as we can, that we are proud of them and we love them.
Take a picture of them holding a bunch of balloons – one balloon for each year they’ve been alive.
This is something we started doing a few years back and I love their faces each morning they come out of their room and see the big bunch of balloons. (Mom tip: Save some money by checking your local dollar store for cheap balloons. We get them for a dollar each and they last over a month so they have some birthday decor in their rooms for weeks to come!)
Give them the day off from chores.
So maybe this isn’t exactly a tradition but older kids will love having the day off from cleaning and doing other chores they are responsible for. You can either let them skip the chore for the day or do it for them if it’s a necessity. What a nice perk of being the birthday kid!
Have cake for breakfast!
Start the day off with a special cake that you’ve baked them (or bought from the store). This was a tradition that their dad’s family started and is probably one of my kid’s favorite parts of the day because cake for breakfast is typically a no-no in our home. Each year we ask the boys what kind of cake they’d like and for Lucas it’s changed each year. One year he wanted a pink frosted cake with sprinkles, then the next it was carrot, followed by oreo cookie cake the next year.
Pick an experience over stuff.
Whether parent’s decide a young child has too many toys or a tween or teen has their heart set on doing something a little pricy, sometimes an experience gift is preferred over a bunch of “stuff”. Experiences for kids might be a trip to an amusement park with a few friends, a roadtrip with family to a local waterpark for the weekend, or concert tickets to see their favorite musician perform live.
Let them choose their birthday dinner.
One of my favorite birthday traditions as a kid was getting to choose where we went to dinner on my birthday. It’s also a tradition I carry on with my own kids (though thankfully they tend to choose cheaper places than the expensive seafood restaurant I chose as a teen). If you are on a budget you can let them pick a special dinner you can make yourself at home instead of going out to eat.
Decorate their room or doorway.
Many of my friends decorate their kid’s doorways with streamers and balloons they have to walk through when they wake up in the morning. I love the idea! When my boys were little (and I had a bit more energy) I loved to go crazy with streamers and other birthday decorations but nowadays we keep it a little simpler. Now that they are a bit older though, I think we will restart the tradition and they can help decorate for their younger sibling.
Do a service project together.
This is a tradition that I’ve been wanting to start for a couple years now and hopefully we will start it next year. While we do service projects year round, I love the idea of being intentional and doing a service project specifically during their birthday week to help them appreciate all their blessings and give back to others who aren’t as fortunate. I want to let the kids pick a charity that they want to support and find a way to help that cause. Whether we put toiletry kits together for a homeless shelter, bring toys to a children’s hospital, or visit a nursing home, I think this is a meaningful birthday tradition.
Let the birthday child choose something fun to do on their birthday.
Spending time as a family is the best so let the birthday child choose what your family will do for their birthday. In past years we have went to the movies and went to the pool. This year they chose to spend a morning copying their favorite YouTubers by going hunting for “Funko Pops”. If your child’s birthday falls on a school day you can always pick a weekend day to celebrate on.
Celebrate as long as possible by staying up late.
Their birthday only comes around once a year so why not let them celebrate for as long as possible? This was a tradition my youngest wanted to start and I thought, “why not?”. My boy’s birthdays are in the summer so this tradition is a little easier when there is no school in the morning but you can always let them do this tradition on the Friday or Saturday of their birthday week. I think it’s just a fun way to end their special day.
What birthday traditions do you have in your home? I’d love to hear how you celebrate with your kids!