Birthdays are my all-time favorite holiday. And let’s be honest… MY birthday is by far my favorite holiday. When we celebrate birthdays around here, it is a season.
Almost like Christmas. The whole week leading up to the birthday will have events planned surrounding that person. And the day of has to be the most special day.
Then the week after is still celebrated to close out the show! I know. I might be a little over the top. But this is the day you were BORN for crying out loud!
The day your child entered this world and changed your life and everyone else’s for the better. So it better be a special occasion for everyone involved!
To celebrate your child’s birthday, you want to make sure they feel special, right? And with so many crazy things going on in life, when your kids start to get older, their birthdays tend to sneak up on ya.
So planning out some family traditions for your child’s first birthday might be a helpful way to make their birthday special every year from here on out until their 18th birthday!
If this is your baby’s first birthday, now is the perfect opportunity to start some of these traditions. If you’re a little late to the game (like me), don’t worry. Kids generally don’t remember anything until they are about 4 years old!
So adopt some of these easy birthday traditions for some long-lasting memories and bonding!
Birthday Traditions To Start With A Baby
1. Have Party Guests Sign A Picture Mat
The first birthday tradition we are going to talk about is this fun picture mat. It is a great way to have a keepsake of the guest list and pictures of the child’s life over the year.
You could also create photo albums with all of the pictures from each birthday and give it to them on their 18th birthday for some extra fun.
2. Take A Picture Of Your Baby At Her Birth Minute
Make sure to set an alarm for this one! This is one of those fun ideas that has to happen at the exact time otherwise it doesn’t quite work.
With our oldest, this would have to be the first thing we do in the morning as she was born at 8:14am.
And for some kids this might not work out if they were born in the middle of the night. So if you aren’t feeling super jazzed about waking your 1 year old up at 3am to take a picture, don’t worry about it. (Maybe you can start this fun birthday tradition when your child is a teenager and is still awake at 3am anyways).
3. Have Party Guests Write Well Wishes In A Book
Choose a book to give to your child as a birthday present. You could keep this one a surprise and have the guests secretly write a note to your child. Then wrap it up and add it to the gift pile.
This is a fun way to remember who came to the party every year. Some of our favorite books for this one include:
-Dr Seuss’ Happy Birthday To You
–The Wonderful Things You will Be, by Emily Winfield Martin
–You are Special, by Max Lucado
–How do Dinosaurs Say Happy Birthday?, by Jane Yolen
-Happy Birthday, Mouse, by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond
4. Have A Special Birthday Breakfast
A special birthday breakfast is something we always do at our house! We go all out for this… crepes, german pancakes, french toast, eggs, bacon. Sometimes we will even go out to breakfast as a family.
Another fun idea is to do a “pancake breakfast” every year. As your baby grows, serve a pancake for each year of their life (the pancakes will probably need to get smaller as they get older in order for them to eat them all!)
You could also cook your child’s favorite breakfast, which will probably change from year to year.
5. Write Your Child A Letter
I love this one! Kids grow up way to fast and this is a great idea to capture all the little things you love about them from the previous year.
They might not appreciate it now (ok, let’s face it. They definitely will not appreciate it one bit right now). But, when they are older, they will love it.
Think of it kind of like a time capsule. You could write the letter and then save each of them until their 18th birthday. Then compile them into a small book and give it to them as one of their presents.
They will most likely sob their eyes out as they read each of those letters missing you in their college dorm room. No doubt this is one of those meaningful birthday traditions.
6. Snap A Photo With A Big Number Balloon
Number balloons are so fun and relatively easy to find. Head over to any local grocery store and they should have them packaged up. Best part– you don’t need helium to get it to stay upright!
This can be a fun one to post on social media because everyone will know how old your child is turning without you having to tell anyone (super helpful for grandparents who may have forgotten which birthday it is. They tend to lose track).
7. Fill Out A Birthday Interview
This is a special way to capture some of the cute things your child says in response to questions. You can choose to have a set of specific interview questions that you ask every year… or mix it up and ask new ones to get new responses.
If your baby is young, check out This one that is pretty baby-friendly!
8. Start A Growth Chart
Hang a wall measuring tape on the back of your child’s bedroom door. Every year on the morning of their birthday, have them stand up against it and mark how tall they are.
Trust me, they will LOVE seeing how much they have grown over the past year. My own kids love this so much that they tend to mark in how much they have grown every week. We had to set a few rules on that one!
9. Look At Photos From The Last Year
This is a new tradition I hope to start with my kids. Kids love looking at pictures and videos of themselves. So have a night all about the birthday person.
You could do this on their birthday eve where the whole family gathers around on the couch and you watch videos and look at pictures of the birthday girl/boy from the previous year. Have everyone say one memory they loved about that person from that year.
10. Set Aside Some Money For Your Child
Another one your child won’t understand now, but will appreciate it in the long run.
This one could be fun to do with a handwritten note alongside it. You could put everything into an envelope and then give your child all of them when they turn 18.
11. Decorate Their Bedroom
Make this one of those new special birthday traditions and surprise them in the morning with decorations galore all over their bedroom! They might be shocked when they first wake up (especially if they are little).
But hey, that’s what makes the best birthday memories!
12. Have A Scavenger Hunt
This birthday scavenger hunt is so much fun, even for a one year old! Kids love hunting for things. It’s almost like a treasure hunt for them and they feel like they are living in a real story book!
13. Create A Collage In The Shape Of Child’s Age Using Photos
You can do this one on a big poster board and hang it on their bathroom mirror in the morning. It will be fun for them to look through all the fun, cute and silly photos of themself from the past year. Your birthday child is bound to feel loved from this!
14. Fill Your Child’s Crib With Balloons In The Morning
Balloons make everything more magical! If your baby is little, make sure you stay safe and only do this one when you are in the room with them.
As your child gets older, you can bombard them with balloons in bed. Or if they can drive, fill their car with balloons! They’ll most likely be late for school, but it will make for a great memory!
That’s really what we are after with these fun birthday traditions… the memories! These ideas will help you connect with your child on their special day and make them feel loved by the person who loves them the very most!
Have fun creating new and lasting traditions that we hope you and your family love for years to come!