Creating memorable birthday traditions and memories for my kids is so important to me.
I love to make them feel special and loved, and a birthday should feel like the most special day of the whole year!
Traditions are so fun because they will become the special moments that your child looks forward to all year long.
Ready for some creative ways to celebrate children’s birthdays?
These ideas work for both young children and older children, too.
Psst! If you have a baby turning one, check out my birthday traditions to start with a one year old!
Here we go!
Fun Birthday Traditions For Kids
1. Snap A Photo Of The Birthday Boy Or Girl At Their Birth Minute
Set a timer to go off a few minutes before the time of your child’s birth.
Then, get your camera ready, wake your child up if necessary, and snap a photo at the exact minute!
You can also sing Happy Birthday then, too.
2. Use A Book As A Guest Book
You could also have birthday guests sign and write notes in a book.
I like using Dr. Suess’ Happy Birthday book.
Each year could take up two pages of the book, and by age 18, your child will have an entire book full of years of messages and well wishes.
3. Create A Picture Frame Guest Book
Take some family photos before the birthday party, or some photos solely of the birthday child.
Then, frame it will a white border and have all of the birthday guests sign the border of the picture frame.
4. Make Birthday Pancakes
Depending upon how old your child is, make a “pancake cake” with the same amount of pancakes as years.
So if your child is turning seven, you should stack 7 pancakes.
Then you can decorate the pancake cake with chocolate chips, whipped cream, cherries and sprinkles!
5. Wake Up To Streamers
While your child is sleeping, decorate their room with streamers in their favorite color.
6. Let Your Child Pick Their Birthday Dinner
This was one of the traditions that I always looked forward to as a kid.
However, I always dreaded my sister’s birthday.
Her pick was LIVER AND ONIONS.
7. A Balloon Avalanche
Blow up a bunch of balloons and place them all in a big basket or box.
Then, as your birthday kid is waking up, go into their room and dump the balloons onto your kid.
This would definitely work the best if you are the one to wake your child up.
8. Take A Yearly Photo
Have a special setup and place that you take a picture each year, and try to take the same picture from year to year.
You can have your child holding up their fingers to show their age or holding a number balloon.
9. Serve Breakfast In Bed
What better way to show your child that the entire day is going to be special than starting off with breakfast in bed.
Just try not to make it a very messy breakfast!
You could even just serve part of the breakfast in bed, but then serve the messier food as normal.
This is definitely a new tradition we will be starting in my house.
10. Bless The Birthday Child
Whether it be during family dinner or the actually birthday party, have everyone give a “blessing”.
Give everyone in attendance the chance to express a special birthday wish or prayer for the birthday child.
11. Do A Smash Cake For A Baby’s First Birthday
Just because your not doing a fancy professional photoshoot doesn’t mean that you can’t have a smash cake.
I set my daughter up with one during her first birthday party and had my DSLR camera ready to do in order to take some adorable pictures.
I still got some great photos, but none of them involved her smashing the cake.
She was afraid of it.
12. Provide A Chore Free Day
The idea of having a day free of chores is a beautiful thing.
(I even declare my own birthday as a chore-free day… because it should be!)
13. Go On A Date With Just Mom And Dad
This is such a special idea if you have more than one child.
I don’t know about in your family, but in mine, it’s very rare that I get quality time to spend with only one child.
Send your other kids to grandmas and take the birthday child wherever they would like to go!
14. Deck Your Child Out With Some Birthday Bling
A quick trick to the Dollar Tree will provide you with some cheap accessories for your child.
Some things that you might consider purchasing are birthday pins, birthday sashes, birthday crowns and even a Happy Birthday goblet that your child can drink out of for the day.
You can also have your child’s siblings make them one of these printable birthday cards to color.
15. Conduct A Birthday Interview
I LOVE asking my kids the same questions each year and being able to compare their responses.
As they get older, their responses change dramatically.
You can get a printable birthday interview to use every year as a special tradition.
16. Create A Birthday Video Showcasing The Last Year
If you think about the last year of your child’s life, I’m sure there is a lot to document.
Family vacations, sporting events, competitions, holidays, sleepovers, etc.
I love creating a short video to share with family and friends on social media and at my child’s birthday party.
It’s a great way to celebrate your child turning one year older.
17. Make Some Personalized Birthday Art
If you’re artistic, this is a great idea for you.
One reader shared the idea that she makes big number signs that are drawn and decorated with her child’s interests at the time.
She makes enough posters to equal her child’s age.
She places them all around her house and her children wake up to find them and see how they are decorated.
Such a sweet idea!
18. Have A Birthday Money Scavenger Hunt
Hide one dollar bill for each year that your child has lived around the house.
19. Look At Home Videos Or Photo Albums
Birthdays are a special event, and a great time to snuggle up on the couch to watch some family videos or to look at some family photos.
Just make sure to keep the tissues handy!
20. Sign The Birthday Person Out Of School Early
If you can, sign your birthday kid our of school and take them out to lunch.
It will be a memory that your child will always keep, and it will be a great way to have some quality one-on-one time with each other.
21. Set Up A Cupcake Wake Up
Wake your child up on their birthday with a cupcake.
Don’t forget the candles and the Happy Birthday song!
22. Set Up A Birthday Present Scavenger Hunt
Save one present to be found through a scavenger hunt.
Clues will lead your child on a scavenger hunt through the house to find their final birthday present.
You can write your own clues or snag my birthday gift scavenger hunt.
23. Create A Birthday Party Compliment Jar
As birthday guests arrive, they will write a compliment of the birthday child and add it to the jar.
Your child can read the compliments after the party has ended.
You can then add the jar to your child’s keepsake box.
24. Make Balloons Into Love Notes
Write the things that you love about your child on balloons and then place them in their room the night before.
When they wake up, they will not only see the balloons, but they will also get to read about how much they are loved.
25. Make A Poster Of Photos
This poster can showcase photos from the past year or from each year of your child’s life.
Then, it can be displayed at the birthday party or used a a photo prop.
26. Play Hot And Cold
Make gifting birthday presents into a game.
Hide your child’s presents around the house and play hot and cold.
If you child is far away from the gift, say cold or colder.
As your child gets closer to the gift, you can say warm, warmer, hot or hotter.
27. Make A Birthday Crown
If your child is into crafts, they can make themselves a birthday crown to wear for the day.
At Happy Paper Time, you can get a printable version in color or black and white for coloring.
28. Have A Birthday Game Night
If your child is into playing board games, have a birthday game night.
The birthday child gets to pick the games!
29. Plant A Tree
If you start this tradition early on, by the time your child is 18 you will have a ton of trees planted in your yard.
30. Write A Letter To Your Child
Write a letter to your child each year. Then, give them all of their letters on their 18th birthday.
31. Wrap Your Child’s School Lunch
If your child takes a home lunch, wrapping the items inside their lunch box is fairly easy way to make them feel special, even while at school!
32. Add Your Child’s Height To A Family Growth Chart
I’m sure you have a specific place in your house where you mark your child’s height periodically.
Getting into the habit of doing it on birthdays will make it fun to see exactly how much your child grew at each age.
33. Leave A Present At The Foot Of Their Bed
If your child is going to be waking up on their own on their birthday morning, leaving a present in their room somewhere that they will see it as soon as they wake up is another fun way to celebrate the big day.
34. Create A Birthday Party Photo Booth
Gather some fun props that fit with your child’s birthday theme and find a cute backdrop.
Your child and their friends will love posing and being silly for pictures with the props.
35. Dress In Their Favorite Color
Have your entire family dress in the favorite color of the birthday child in order to honor them for the day.
It’s such a small gesture but to them, it will be a big deal!
36. Watch Their Favorite Movie
Snuggle up on the couch and watch the movie of the birthday child’s choice!
37. Decorate Your Car With Birthday Messages
If you will be driving your child to school or to practice or class, make their trip super memorable!
Write things on the windows of your vehicle to wish your child a happy birthday and to encourage drivers to honk to them.
38. Door Balloon Avalanche
Use some streamers to hold some balloons up against your child’s bedroom door.
When they wake up and open the door, they will be attacked by an avalanche of balloons.
39. Hide Money Inside Balloons
If they’re going to get money for their birthday, you might as well make them work for it!
40. Take The Same Photo Every Year
Keep it simple.
It could be your child holding up their fingers to show their age.
Another idea would be to have your child hold a number balloon showing how old they are.
You could also use their favorite things from that year to show their age.
41. Fill Out A Chalkboard Sign
You can find chalkboard signs in Target and Walmart.
Your child can hold it for pictures or it can be displayed for the party.
It will include a snapshot of their life at that time (likes, dislikes, etc).
42. Create Sidewalk Chalk Art
43. Have A Special Birthday Plate
44. Gift Some Birthday Coupons
My kids love this kind of gift.
Think about what your child loves.
Is it one-on-one time?
A special dessert?
Making some customized coupons that your child can cash in throughout the year is so much fun.
Some ideas are:
- you pick dinner
- ice cream sundae date
- ice cream for dinner
- tickle fight with mom or dad
- stay up late
- have a yes day
- breakfast in bed
45. Allow Your Child To Stay Up Late
If you are typically a strict bedtime kind of mom (that’s definitely me), then allowing your child to stay up late is a FREAKING BIG DEAL.
My kids will do just about anything for the ability to stay up 30 minutes later.
If this were a birthday tradition, they might just look forward to it more than the presents.
46. Eat Leftover Birthday Cake For Breakfast The Next Day
Who says that the big celebration has to last only one day?
And who says you can’t eat cake for breakfast.
It’s a special occasion!
I hope you have found a new special birthday tradition or two for your child’s next birthday.
I would love to hear in the comments what your family traditions are for birthday time!
Do you have any meaningful birthday traditions?