Every year when I was a kid my parents would let me choose where I wanted to eat dinner out for my birthday, among other special traditions. Kids love to feel special, and it can be a challenge to find the time to come up with ways to make a birthday a knockout. Never fear! Pick and choose a few of these birthday traditions each year…and stick with the ones you and your birthday kid love!
1. Rise and shine.
Wake your kids up on their birthday with an extra long snuggle and retell the story of the day they were born. Special adoption stories of the child’s “adoption day” or “coming home day” are equally important to children.
2. Birthday letter.
Write a birthday letter for each of your children telling them what great things they did and said and learned during the past year. Then give the birthday child a copy, and save a copy in a binder and on your computer.
3. Birthday slideshow.
Create a special slideshow using PowerPoint or a similar computer program. Just pop in photos, size them, add music and cute captions. After your child watches it about a zillion times, save it to a CD and save it in a special place.
4. Party photos.
Try to take as many pictures as you can on birthdays and make sure you’re included in some of them, since you’re the parent and all! Later you can get out old photo albums and the birthday kid’s baby album.
5. Serve a special meal.
Some kids might love a restaurant where they sing Happy Birthday and are given a balloon, while another might like the local fast food indoor play area. Make at least one meal of the birthday child’s day something out of the ordinary!
6. Favorite cake.
Let your child pick a special theme and either decorate a cake in the style or have a professional baker do so. Be sure to take a photo of the birthday boy or girl with their cake each year.
7. Birthday sleepover.
Set up a sleepover and invite their friends to stay the night. Order pizza, turn on Netflix and have them set up their sleeping bags for a night of fun.
8. Birthday interview.
Get the video camera ready and play 20 questions or have family members ask the birthday child questions. Imagine listening to all of your child’s answers after 15 years. Such a big, long-term gift.
9. Remember the good stuff.
Write down cute and funny things your kids say or do throughout the year, and then read out loud at the birthday breakfast or dinner. It’s amazing how many things happen during the year that we forget.
10. Gift a special book each year.
Find a book that relates to one of their current interests and have everyone sign the inside of it and share a special memory from the year. As the kids get older, they will love to read through all of the special messages left for them.
10 Meaningful Birthday Traditions
By Kerrie McLoughlin