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Ideas for Creating Birthday Traditions

Birthdays are always a special event for kids and a time for celebration.   A party with a cake and candles is the usual way most people celebrate a birthday.  Why not take the time to create something really special that will be carried on in your family forever.  Create a "family tradition" that you can do for each and every birthday in your household.  This is something that will create wonderful memories for your children that they will hold in their hearts forever.   Below you will find some great ideas to help you get started on "birthday traditions" in your home.


Create a Birthday Journal:  Purchase a large binder and decorate the cover with balloons, candles and birthday wishes. Each year take out the book, add some paper to it and elaborately write the age of the child, day of the week and type of celebration on a clean page.  At the party pass the book around for family and friends to sign their names and/or write a birthday message.  Take some pictures of the birthday boy/girl and family to add  to the book.  You should include some "special" things that happened during the year like their sports team won a title or a new pet joined the family or a special vacation.  This is something unique that you and your child will treasure later in life.  It is also a fun flashback each year for guests as well to peruse the book before they sign in for the new year.

Create a Special Person Picture:  Each year on your child's birthday take a picture standing in front of Mom or Dad.  Place the picture into a special photo album.  It will be amazing to track the growth of your child over the years!

Birthday Table Cover:  Take a white tablecloth and create a border around the edge.  To create the border draw with fabric paint boxes approximately 8x8 inches.  Each year on your child's birthday add their handprint, and age to one of the boxes.  This is then the table cover that is used each year for their birthday.


Birthday Board:  Create a foam board poster each year that contains pictures, drawings, words or sayings that represent all of the things that are important to the birthday boy or girl or special events that occurred that year.  Put the poster on display for the party and then hang it in their room until the following year when it is replaced with a new one.

Memory Pictures:  Take your child out to purchase a new outfit of their choice and then take them to have a picture taken by a professional.  At their birthday party they can then hand out the pictures to their guest with a note saying  thank you for all that you have done for me this year.

Themed Photos: Select a theme which can either be tied to the birthday party theme, favorite activities, or a place of interest for the year.  Dress them accordingly and have their picture taken by a professional.  Create an album for each child and add the picture to it each year.  Ideas for theme: sports (soccer, football or dance uniforms), vacation (Hawaii, Mexico), birthday theme (Pirates, Dress Up, Wild West) or things of interest ( Race cars, Teddy bears).

Food Traditions

Breakfast in Bed Pancakes:  Create a stack of crazy pancakes -- multi-color (add food coloring to the batter), shapes or a variety of sizes.  Add your child's age to the top one and a candle.  Take the pancakes up to their room on a decorated tray.  Tie a few helium balloons to the tray to give it a festive look.  Wake them up, sing "Happy Birthday and blow out the candle.

Breakfast with a Friend:  Make arrangements with your child's best friend to pick them up early in the morning and go to a favorite restaurant for breakfast.  Want to be really crazy -- wear your pajamas!!

Classy Breakfast:  Set the table with a cloth table cover, best china and wine glasses and have a "classy birthday breakfast".

Birthday Dinner:  The birthday boy or girl gets to select where to go for dinner and what they want to eat in whatever order they desire.  Anything goes -- dessert first, followed by appetizers and finishing up with main course!!!

Present Fun

Birthday Books:  Purchase a new book each year and present it to them on their birthday.  Purchase something with a lot of pages that will take some time to read.  Each night take 20 minutes before bed and read the book together.

Birthday Movie:  Purchase the "hit" movie for the year and present it to them on their birthday.  On their "half-birthday" (six months from the date of their birthday) have a family movie night with popcorn, candy, and drinks and watch their birthday movie.

Adventure Present:  Based on your child's interest take a family adventure the weekend of their birthday.  If they love dinosaurs go to a museum; if dance is their passion take them to the ballet; if they love sports then go to a sporting event.

Amusement Park Family Trip:  This is something for everyone in the families birthday.  As a family you decide on an amusement park to visit that year.  Some may be local and some may be part of the families vacation.  Keep track on a birthday map all of the places you visit!

Birthday Visitor:  A secret birthday buddy is sent to make sure your child has a special day. Presents for the age of the child (age 5 -- 5 presents) show up in surprise places through out the day.

Fun Traditions

Decorated Rooms:  While they are asleep decorate their room with helium balloons and streamers so that they wake up to a surprise.

Boss for the day:  The birthday person get to make the decisions for the day.  To make thing special it is a day other than their birthday.  They decide where to eat at home or at a restaurant and for which meal, what family activity to do ( game night, movie night), and what homemade snack to make (brownies, cookies, cake).

Half Birthday Celebrations:  Six months after their actual birthday you celebrate their "Half-Birthday".  Let them select where they would like to go -- keep it simple.  Go out for pizza, a movie or some ice cream.  In addition everything else you do all day should be done in half:  half pancakes for breakfast, half a sandwich for lunch, half full drinks, half bowl of snacks, and of course half a cake and sing half of "Happy Birthday". 

Birthday Balloons:  Release into the air helium balloons.  The number of balloons should correspond with the age of the child. 

Birthday Ribbon:  While your child is sleeping tie a ribbon to their bed and trail it through the house to a birthday surprise.  The surprise could be presents, a birthday breakfast or an agenda for their special day.

Birthday Scavenger Hunt:  They wake up to find a message attached to their pillow which is a clue leading to another location in the house only to find another clue.  After sending them on a wild goose chase throughout the house ultimately lead them back to their room to find their presents hidden somewhere.