Here is a great list of birthday traditions that your kids will love! Fun ideas that are also cheap and easy and don’t involve a party.
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Whether you do a big birthday party with friends or not, these suggestions will help make your child’s birthday special.
I love finding simple ways to celebrate and make memories. The easier and more affordable a birthday celebration is, the more doable they are to keep up with year after year (and kid after kid).
Being on a tight budget and not having money to spend doesn’t mean a birthday can’t be special. You can still find ways to make your kids feel important. I think your kids (and you) will love these new birthday traditions so much they will want to continue them even year after year (if you are throwing a huge party).
We have one birthday a month for 4 months in my house and I know that’s really nothing. Growing up 3 of my sisters all had birthdays within 28 days of each other! We loved February because it meant lots of ice cream and good food. 🙂
Easy Birthday Traditions
Breakfast in Bed
This is so much fun when you are a kid! Selecting a birthday breakfast and then getting it served to you in your bed makes you feel like royalty. My mom did this for every birthday all of our growing up years. Even more fun when parents and siblings sit in the room and chat while the birthday child eats. Of course, as they get older they might enjoy eating breakfast alone better. 😉
Have streamers either hanging down from their bedroom door frame or taped across it (and they can break through) to greet them when they wake up.
Again, while they are asleep, blow up dozens of balloons and scatter them around their bedroom floor.
Let your birthday boy or girl pick what they want you to make for supper – main dish, sides, and dessert!
Side note, it’s perfectly fine if your child doesn’t want a traditional birthday cake. There’s a lot of kids that don’t love cake. Let them choose what they want. Growing up we had a lot of crazy chocolate cake, angel food cake, Mississippi mud pie along with other assorted desserts. Both of my older kids’ current favorite birthday dessert is a cookie cake.
Have a special “fancy” plate that you only use for a birthday child or other special occasions and let them use a fancy cup. It’s all about making the child feel special.
For a “birthday” plate, here is one option. (Not super cheap.)
For a “special” plate, it can really be anything. Growing up we had a big blue pottery plate. What we use now is a Pioneer Woman dinner plate (without any flower print) that we bought at Wal-Mart.
I loved this as a kid and now all three of my children have to do it this way too. Instead of simply putting the presents in a pile for the child to open, hide the presents (in age appropriate locations) and let the child go and hunt them down and open them after all the presents are found.
The nice thing about this is that it extends the present opening time that otherwise goes way too quickly.
Have dad (or mom) take the birthday child out on a date around their birthday. Dress up fancy, go to the restaurant of their choosing, and again make them feel special. Keep the phone put away and really focus on them.
Have a birthday banner that you put up in the dining room for every birthday! It’s not a decoration that will be destroyed so you should be able to use it birthday after birthday.
Check out these cute ideas:
- This is a cute colorful happy birthday bunting
- This has gold letters and also hanging pom poms
- A simple burlap banner
- A burlap banner with colored letters
- Happy birthday decoration set with pom poms and garland
- This is a 27″x60″ poster you could hang up
- A happy birthday door sign
- A 3’x5′ happy birthday flag
- A 35″x23″ poster
Write a Letter
Each year, on their birthday, write a letter to your child from ages 1-18. Keep the letters together and gift them to your child when they turn 18, or move out, or have their first child.
At the birthday dinner table have everyone take turns sharing their favorite things about the birthday child. You could also share favorite memories from the past year.
Do Their Favorite Activity
Do something that child loves. Whether it’s finishing the day with a game or movie night, going to the park, taking a walk, or heading to the tennis court do what that child enjoys!
Have a silly birthday hat that the child (or adult) has to wear at the dinner table! A goofy tradition is always a fun idea. Amazon has several options like these.
Look at Pictures
Take some time each year to pull out the photo albums (or open up Google Photos) and look back at their pictures from over the years and reminisce and laugh and share stories.
Tell Their Birth Story
You can tell the child part of the story surrounding when they were born. Kids love re-hearing these stories over and over again.
As you make plans for the next birthday that comes along try incorporating a few of these ideas. Your child will feel like a million bucks and will probably request you to do them every year. I know that’s how it works in my house, anyway. We do something once and the kids see to it that it becomes a tradition. 🙂
What are your favorite birthday traditions?