5 simple birthday traditions to make your kids feel special

Birthday traditions make for some great memories!

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I am not a crafty type mom. I’m not an over-the-top kind of mom. I don’t throw birthday bashes for hundreds of people that cost thousands of dollars. (I’m not sure that actually happens outside of television shows!) But, I do like to make my kids feel special on their birthday. 

I remember back to my own childhood and how much I loved celebrating my birthday. There is something special about the people around you all stopping to celebrate you — and I say that as an introverted shy person! I also think of my current birthdays. Somewhere along the way, though, birthdays lose some of their magic. 

As an adult, I’ve found birthdays to be bittersweet less because I’m aging but more because there are folks missing from my celebration and because life can be challenging, even on your birthday!

I know that birthdays will change for my children as they age, so before that happens, I want to celebrate and embrace their birthdays — and them. 

In the 10 years since my husband and I became parents, we’ve developed some birthday traditions make our kids feel special. My goal with traditions is to keep them simple so they are doable from one year to the next, even if life gets super crazy.

1. Hang birthday balloons from their bedroom doorway.

On the night before the kiddo’s birthday, we hang balloons from their doorway with crepe paper after they go to bed. This is a super easy tradition that my kids love and look forward to each year. They run back and forth through the balloons and crepe paper and usually leave them up for a week or so.

Hanging balloons from the kiddos’ doorways is one of their favorite birthday traditions.

2. Wake them with a song.

On the morning of their birthday, we wake them up by going into their room singing, “Happy Birthday.” I always video record this, and it’s fun to go back and see them from the time they were in their cribs on their first birthdays until now.

My daughter was born in the morning, so we usually go in there a little earlier than necessary for a school morning and then count down to 6:36 a.m. when she officially becomes another year older.

3. Let the birthday kid pick dinner.

I love food, so this one comes natural to me. On their birthday, our kiddos decide what we have for dinner. They can pick somewhere to go or something for me to make. So far, they’ve always chosen eating out, and I’m fine with that. This year, my daughter picked Chinese food and wanted to get it takeout to eat at home. She is so my kid!

4. Read a special book together.

We continue to read together at bedtime every night, but on birthday nights, I have a favorite book. We read “On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman. It’s a great book that celebrates life. I always get choked up throughout it, but I love reading it with them each birthday.

5. Pray over them out loud.

Usually at bedtime, our children pray out loud. Their dad and I don’t usually pray out loud with them at that time. On their birthdays, though, I always jump in after they finish their prayer and add one of my own thanking God for the blessing of the kiddo and asking Him to be with them as they grow and so on.

Of course we do other typical birthday traditions, too. The kids have presents to open. We have a sweet treat, which isn’t always cake. I love cake and ice cream, but my oldest doesn’t so much. So this year, for example, we had Oreo ice cream cake with her friends and brownie sundaes with her grandparents.

Birthday traditions really do make some great memories. Sure the kids know some of what to expect, but I think that anticipation makes it even more exciting.

What birthday traditions does your family have?

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