Birthdays are a big deal to me. They always have been – birthday parties, birthday presents, special birthday dinners, birthday surprises.
For me, what makes the day special are the traditions that we’ve created. I’ve outlined many of them below.
10 Ways to Celebrate Your Kids’ Birthdays
- Countdown to the birthday to build anticipation. A perfect way to do so is to use The Birthday Blessing. The Birthday Blessing is a series of 7 devotionals and activities for the week leading up to the actual birthday. It’s an awesome way to remember your child’s birth story, the meaning of her name, what she was like as a baby, and more. The gorgeous, full-color pages provide a space for you and your child to answer questions and write her story. The Birthday Blessing is a gift that she will use every year until she’s all grown up – and then she’ll cherish the pages where you cared enough to document her childhood. I only wish I’d had The Birthday Blessing when my kids were born. We’re starting Grace’s when she’s 7 and Allie’s when she’s 3.
- Put a candle in her breakfast. No matter what you get for breakfast on your birthday, from a frozen waffle to scrambled eggs, you are served breakfast with a flaming candle. We sing Happy Birthday to You for the first time at breakfast. It’s a good way to start the day.
- Go for a birthday donut. I don’t know where or how this tradition started, but my kids get a birthday donut every year. We order our donuts and drinks, and we sit down to eat at the donut shop. We tell the ladies behind the counter that it’s the special girl’s birthday, and they usually come up with some kind of treat (in addition to the donut!). We get donuts so rarely that it’s really special. Don’t want to do a donut? How about a fast food lunch or a cookie from the grocery store bakery? The key is that it’s a rare treat that you can make special.
- Bake a birthday cake together or let her pick out a special cake from the bakery. I like both birthday cake options. The last two years, I haven’t had time to bake a birthday cake (which makes me sad, but that’s a story for another day), so I’ve taken the girls to the bakery and let them choose their own cake. They like that just as much as they like standing in the cake aisle and choosing flavors. I think their favorite part is that the bakery cakes are prettier than the homemade ones.
- Go out for a special birthday dinner and let the birthday girl choose the restaurant. This is something my parents always did. We went out to eat only a few times a year when I was a kid, so your birthday dinner was a really big deal. My family eats out a little more often, but we don’t always let the kids choose, and we don’t go to Chuck E. Cheese’s very often at all. (Grace always chooses Chuck E. Cheese’s, every single year.) Allie is just now big enough to choose her own restaurant, so I can’t wait to see what she chooses this year. Knowing her, it will be Walmart or McDonald’s (her two favorite outings for who knows what reason).
- Or, if you can’t or don’t want to go out to eat, make her favorite meal at home. Let her choose the meal, and let her help to prepare it if she wants to. Forget about the mess and the hassle that comes with kids cooking. Just stand back, smile, and let her create a meal that she’s proud of (or help you do so).
- Make a special plate at one of those paint your own pottery places. If you called it the Celebration Plate, you could use it for graduations and other special events in addition to birthdays. Serve all the birthday kid’s meals on said plate.
- Interview your birthday girl. There are lots of birthday interviews online that you can print and use. There’s also space in the Birthday Blessing to record answers to questions.
- Measure her on the wall. Make a big production out of it. We measure everybody on the wall next to our bathroom door. It’s a tradition to get measured on your birthday.
- Tell her your favorite things about her. At dinner (wherever that may be), go around the table and tell your favorite thing about the birthday girl, like this: “My favorite thing about Grace is that she always helps others.”
© 2014 – 2016, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.