If you’re looking for ways to make your child’s birthday unforgettable, incorporating birthday traditions for kids is just the thing you need!
Looking back on my childhood birthdays, I cherish the traditions that we did every year. My brother and I share the same birthday, only six years apart, and it was always nice to have the little traditions that made us feel extra special throughout the day.
Now that I have a child, I want to create these incredible, lasting memories that he can also look back on and cherish.
As you grow older, you might not remember what cool presets you got every year. What you will remember, though, are the unique birthday traditions that you looked forward to because they made you feel so loved.
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1. Balloons Everywhere
When my husband and I started dating back in 2010, I wanted to do something a little overboard for him. That’s where the balloons came in!
That first year we were dating, I filled his whole car to the brim with balloons. Ever since then, we either hide balloons somewhere in the house to come spilling out or cover the floor in our living room or bedroom with them.
We have kept this birthday tradition going with our son, and he has always loved it!
Balloons are a reasonably cheap and fun decor idea since you don’t need to buy helium! Also, this manual balloon pump is a big life-saver; it saves you time and breath!
2. Birthday Interview
Birthday interviews are fun because your child will answer the same questions each year. As the years go by, you can see how much your kiddo’s favorite things and interests change.
Interviews are also a great way to remember what little quirks our kids had when they were younger! It’s easy to forget small details, so by writing them down, we can always look back and remember.
To start the birthday interview, you will need a questionnaire sheet like the one below. Then, you can either ask your child the questions as you fill in their answers, or you can have your child fill out the answers themselves.
Also, make sure you keep the interviews in a safe place after your child’s birthday. It would be so sweet to compile the interviews for your child’s 18th birthday!
3. Countdown To Their Birthday
Countdowns are a great way to get excited about something! You can choose to start your countdown ten days before, 15 days, even a whole month before if you want.
You can also choose how you want to do the countdown; will you mark it off on a calendar or use something more fun like this countdown calendar? There are so many ways to make this a fun option to fit your family’s style.
4. Decorate The House After Bedtime
Once your child goes to bed, decorate your house! This way, when they wake up in the morning, it’s already done! I have always liked this because it starts the day off with a little more excitement.
A birthday banner like this one is a must-have. It’s so colorful and versatile that it can be used every year!
5. Hang Streamers On Their Door
When you hang streamers from your child’s bedroom door frame, they will wake up and immediately see a fun, colorful surprise to start their day.
You can use regular crepe paper, but I love these streamers! They are more sturdy and reusable, plus they are just fun!
6. Update Growth Chart
The idea for this birthday tradition is that you update the growth chart every year on your child’s birthday. If you have more than one child, you can use the same chart and see the differences in your kids’ growth each year.
When I was growing up, I always loved looking at where my parents marked mine and my siblings’ growth on the door jamb.
Since my husband and I don’t plan on staying in our current house forever, I wanted a growth chart that we could take with us. I love this growth chart because not only is it portable, but it’s adorable.
7. Make Meals Special
It’s common to have the birthday boy/girl choose what the family has for dinner on their birthday. Another option is making every meal on their birthday special!
For example, you could have cinnamon rolls with extra sprinkles for breakfast. Or maybe their favorite doughnuts. Whatever would make a great start to their day!
8. Bring Favorite Lunch To School
If your child is school-age, it can be a fantastic idea to take them out to lunch at their favorite restaurant.
I remember my parents always took me out to my favorite fast-food place, and it was just us three. Growing up in a family with five kids, I loved having that one-on-one time with them!
Another idea is to bring your child’s favorite lunch to their school. You can include little surprises in their lunchbox, or maybe some special notes for them to open.
9. Use Relighting Candles
When I was little, I LOVED having relighting (or ‘trick’) candles on my cake. There is just something fun about your candles never going out.
You can either do all the candles as relighting candles or mix a few in with regular candles. That’s fun too!
10. Represent Child’s Age With Candles
This birthday tradition for kids is likely pretty standard, but it’s still great!
For this birthday tradition idea, only put the number of candles on the birthday cake that represents the person’s age. For example, if your child is turning five, only put five candles on the cake.
11. Photo With The Birthday Cake
This tradition is also pretty standard, but be sure to take a photo of the birthday kid with their cake!
If you want, you could also do a family picture around the cake with the birthday boy/girl in the middle, whichever you prefer.
This tradition is pretty fun to look back on over the years. It makes it easy to see how much your babies have grown.
12. Make A Birthday Crown
Suppose your little one likes doing crafts; it’s a fun idea to make a unique crown for them to wear all day!
You could make it out of paper or felt, and they can decorate it however they like! I suggest getting decorating supplies at the dollar store; they have a lot of cheap options!
If you would rather buy a premade crown, there are a ton of cute options on Etsy.
You’ll also love: The Best Art Supplies For Toddlers
13. Write A Birthday Letter To Your Child
Next up is one of the most memorable birthday traditions for kids. Each year for your child’s birthday, write them a letter that they can keep and look back on.
This is different from the birthday interview I listed above. A letter to your child will be more personal from you, whereas the birthday interview is more what your kiddo liked most that year.
You can include fun memories, significant milestones, and something that your family did together in the letter. You can also include some of the qualities you love most about your kiddo and maybe some accomplishments they had in the year.
14. Scavenger Hunt For Their Big Gift
Scavenger hunts can add so much excitement when it comes time to open birthday presents, especially if your child loves riddles! You can either have your kiddo hunt for their big-ticket gift, or you can have them find a present at each clue. Either way, your child will love this fun activity!
If you’re a little stuck when it comes to making your own scavenger hunt clues, you can find many excellent options on Etsy. If you would prefer free printables, Pinterest is the place for you!
When doing scavenger hunts with your kids, one thing to keep in mind is their age. If your kids a younger, you will want to make sure the scavenger hunt is not too difficult.
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15. Pinata Time!
Whether your child invites friends to their party or not, pinatas are so much fun! Plus, pinatas can be pretty versatile.
You can find a pinata to fit any party theme, and you can fill them with all of your child’s favorite candy or little toys. It will surely be a hit!
16. Camp Out
Camping out can be such a fun birthday tradition idea for kids because there are many ways to do it. Typically, there are two ways you can camp out with your kiddo at home. You can either camp out in the backyard in a tent, or you can make a fort in the living room.
Many times, my friends and I would camp out on my birthday in a tent in our yard. It was always so much fun! Of course, this idea works best when your kids are older and the weather is nice.
If it makes more sense to camp out in your living room, that can be just as fun! Your child can have a blanket and pillow fort set up and spend time watching movies or playing games.
17. Special Mail Delivery
Ensuring a mail delivery on your child’s birthday is such a fun birthday tradition idea, and it’s relatively simple to do!
The idea behind a special mail delivery is that on your child’s birthday, you’ll have them check the mail. When they open the mailbox, they’ll find birthday cards or surprises sent from loved ones.
To ensure your child has surprises in the mailbox, you can ask family members to send cards instead of bringing them to your house. Also, you can slip your birthday card to your child in the mailbox before they check it.
18. Party Theme Of Their Favorite Things
Letting your child pick the theme of their party is another great birthday tradition for kids. Not to mention, you might be surprised by what they choose!
My niece has always picked eccentric party themes, and they are always so much fun! For instance, one year, she had a wedding-themed party (her husband was a whole watermelon), and another year she had a taco/cat-themed party. Don’t be afraid of what your child picks; you can find pretty much any decorations you need on Amazon!
If your child can’t decide what theme they want, you can suggest favorite shows or hobbies.
19. Make A Book Out Of Their Birthday Cards
You will love making a book out of your child’s birthday cards if you are into nostalgic traditions.
Then you’ll repeat the process on every card, making sure to line up the holes on each one. Then, you’ll place a binder ring through each hole, and you have a book!
This idea is a great way to keep your child’s cards together every year, and it makes it a bit more fun to look back through them all!
20. Revisit Pictures From Past Birthdays
Another reminiscent birthday tradition is to look at pictures from previous birthdays. It’s so fun to look back and remember different details from your child’s past birthday parties!
A great way to keep these memories accessible is to start a photo album and keep up with it each year. Take some time to get the photos printed and organize them so it’s easy to look through next time.
21. Plant A Tree Or Flowers
If you live in a home where you have the freedom to garden, it can be so special to plant a tree or some flowers with your child on their birthday!
Even if the home isn’t your forever home, it’s so fun to see how big a tree can grow alongside your child. When I was 9, my dad and I planted a tree in the backyard, and I loved seeing how big it would get every year.
Party or No Party?
Planning a big party is something that a lot of moms struggle with. Do I throw a huge party to invite everyone to, or do I keep it low-key and focus on my family?
I always thought that I would want to go all out and throw a fabulous first birthday party for my son. As his first birthday got closer, I realize that I would rather keep it low-key.
I decided to focus all of that party planning energy on making his day special. Although, a one-year-old probably doesn’t care too much either way. 😉
The point I am trying to make is, do what’s best for your family!
If you love planning events, go ahead and plan away! If the very thought of planning a party stresses you out like none other, skip it and don’t feel guilty!
At the end of the day, if you put your efforts into making your child feel extraordinary, they are going to love their birthday either way.
I hope this list of birthday traditions for kids has given you some fun new ideas to try! I’m sure your kiddo will love trying some of these birthday activities. Even some of the most simple traditions are exciting!
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- Family-Friendly Halloween Traditions
- Memorable Thanksgiving Traditions
- Christmas Traditions Your Kids Will Love!
- New Year’s Eve Traditions For Families
- The Best Non-Candy Easter Egg Filler Ideas
What are your favorite birthday traditions for kids? I would love to know in the comments below!