Every child deserves to feel special on their birthday! It’s never too early to start some annual birthday traditions.
We’ve got a birthday on the horizon and I’ve been trying to figure out how we should celebrate. We won’t be doing a big party, that’s not really our style or in our budget. In fact, Jo and I have debated kid’s parties before – be sure to check out Do Kids Need Huge Birthday Celebrations?
We live on a pretty tight budget, so I don’t have tons to spend on birthdays. I want to make sure they feel like a big deal, but without a big price tag.
I have to admit that I haven’t done as well as I would have liked in the past, but he’s getting to the age where he’ll remember, so I want to start some traditions.
So here are some easy ways to make birthdays special:
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In This Guide:
1 | Decorate the House
Decorations don’t have to be expensive or elaborate to make a big impact!
I love the idea of starting off the day with a fun surprise! I am definitely going to be decorating the my son’s doorway!
Kids love streamers so hanging them from the doorway makes a great start to the birthday celebrations!
Or you can make a smash wall with streamers! You tape them criss-cross over the doorway making a barrier that your kid can break through… which sounds pretty awesome!
Then I saw this balloon avalanche which also looks like a total blast!
Using dry erase markers to write birthday messages on mirrors and windows is another easy and fun way to start the day with some fun!
2 | Birthday Breakfast
Make a special breakfast with their favorite foods!
Some fun ideas I’ve seen are funfetti pancakes, french toast with sprinkles, and waffles with whipped cream. Donuts and cinnamon rolls are also very popular in our house!
For some added fun, I decorate their chair! We have a Birthday Chair Decorating Kit, but you can also use balloons and streamers.
In the past I’ve used birthday paper plates to make the meals special, but this year I want a special ‘Happy Birthday’ Plate that we can use every year for each birthday!
3 | Birthday Interview
I stumbled across this idea on Pinterest and I think it is amazing! Basically, you ask your child a series of questions about themself every year to watch as their answers change as they grow. So adorable!
This is definitely a tradition that I want to continue each year.
4 | No Chores!
This is a super easy, completely free, and amazingly effective way to make a child feel extra special. Taking a day off from their normal chores is a nice break from routine. It seems so simple, but it truly makes the day feel like a holiday!
My son is still pretty young so he doesn’t have many “chores” yet, but I want to start this tradition.
Maybe it will catch on in the family, I know I’d really appreciate it. *hint hint, hubby*
5 | Gift Wrap Lunch
For kid’s at school, make their lunch special! Wrap each item in wrapping paper to open up at the lunch table! Add a birthday note or card too and your little one is sure to smile while they eat!
6 | Hide the Birthday Presents
My mom used to always hide our birthday gifts and we loved it! It built excitement and it really made the gifts into a whole experience.
For younger kids, we play a hot/cold game to find the gifts.
As we got older, mom would write out clues that would send us all over the house on a gift scavenger hunt.
I don’t remember every gift I received, but I vividly remember the joy of the search. It really extends the fun and I will absolutely be continuing this tradition.
7 | Let Them Call the Shots
My son rarely gets to make many decisions about our day. So on his birthday, I’ll let him decide (within reason).
Should we go to the library? The park? The movies?
Maybe he just wants to play in his jammies all day.
For one day, he can pick our activities.
He also gets to pick dinner. Does he want to go out to eat or have his favorite homemade meal?
8 | Measure their Growth
Kids love to see how much they’ve grown and birthdays are the perfect time to mark this over the years.
Many people pick a wall or door jamb to keep track of their kid’s heights.
We’ve moved too much so we use a growth chart like the TALLTAPE Roll-up Height Chart.
9 | Read a Birthday Book
We are big readers so including a special birthday book in our celebration just makes sense!
There are actually lots of birthday books for kids, but our favorite is Dr. Seuss’s Happy Birthday to You!
Because we love this book so much, we actually read it all year, but more often leading up to birthdays and always on the actual birthday!
10 | Take a Birthday Photo
Another great way to show kids growth over the years is through photos.
Take a special birthday picture, preferably in the same pose, so you can really see how they change from year to year.
I also like the idea of using a Birthday Chalkboard Sign in their photos!
My mom had a knack for making normal things feel special. Somehow she could make a simple stop at 7-11 for slurpees feel like a exciting adventure. I don’t know quite how she did it.
When it came to special days like birthdays and holidays, she was able to make them truly amazing!
I’m hoping I can do even half as well for my kids.
Did I miss any special birthday traditions? How do you make birthday celebrations extra fun and memorable? Share your ideas in the comments!