When I ask my kids what they love most about their birthdays, I am always a little surprised. They anticipate cool presents and fun parties, but the things they look forward to the most are quirky family traditions that have become part of birthdays in our home. Don't get me wrong, I love going all out (when I'm not in a sleep deprived fog :) and making fancy cakes or planning Pinterest worthy parties, but over the years I've recognized how waking up to presents on your bed and a candle in your favourite breakfast can make for a pretty special day. Simple little traditions over time like this have become the backbone of what makes their birthday extra special.
As moms, we all want to make great memories with our families, especially on important days like birthdays. To help you get started on making birthdays easy for you and special for your kids, I've rounded up some great ideas that take very little time and supplies but still have a great WOW factor. While I think I'll still make the cake and plan the party, it's a relief to know that I can still make my sons feel extra special on their day with a few family traditions. Here's 7 super simple but extra memorable ideas to make those birthdays rank high in life's best moments.
1. A Balloon Avalanche:
Have you seen these floating around Pinterest? I know my boys would go crazy for this. I am definitely adding this to our family’s birthday fun. The procrastinator in me also thinks you could even cut open a garbage bag in a pinch if you don’t happen to have a large sheet of plastic lying around :).
2. Candles at breakfast:
A favourite at our house, even a bowl of Cheerios feels special when it has a few candles to blow out before eating. And if you are super mom and make pancakes to go with those candles before the school bus, it’s just a bonus!
3. Sprinkle Sandwich:
When my boys were young one of their favorite games to play with each other was to leave a trail of sprinkles for the other brother to follow all over the house à la Hansel and Gretel (don’t worry, it was maybe 10 sprinkles at a time max.). That’s how much they love sprinkles. I don’t know what it is with kids and sprinkles (they are brightly coloured and solid sugar??). I think sprinkles are pretty gross myself, but when I’m feeling especially generous on their birthdays they get a few sprinkles on their sandwich or to top their yogurt. For most children, I think something as crazy as a rainbow sprinkle sandwich for their birthday will top their awesome list.
4. Birthday King or Queen for the day:
This one is one of MY favorites because it so instantly solves the little disagreements that can spark between siblings and takes absolutely no prep. Who gets the coveted green mug at breakfast? The birthday king, naturally. Who gets to sit beside the cute baby sibling in the van? The birthday king, of course! Who gets the last cookie from the jar? You got it, the birthday king. This one can be pretty fun, but I will warn you, the power has been known to go to my sons’ heads on occasion resulting in a birthday dictator. So you may need to work out some guidelines for this one. All in all though, it makes for a top-of-the-world kind of day for the birthday child!
5. The Story of Me:
On their birthdays instead of the regular bedtime story, we have made a tradition of telling stories about when our sons were younger and the day they were born. Kids love to hear about the silly things they did as toddlers (at last we can laugh at those terrible twos!) and what happened the day they were born.
6. Warm Fuzzies:
At dinner, pass around a piece of paper and have everyone write something nice about the birthday child (you can help the little ones). If your family is having trouble coming up with thoughtful things to say, you can even use prompts like “You are good at…”, “10 things I like about you…” or “I love when you….”. At the end of it all, the birthday boy has a keepsake of nice things and complements to keep for whenever they need a boost. And if warm, fuzzy feelings make your family members cringe, I've got something for you too; a printable birthday interview sheet that will make a great keepsake for years to come. See the bottom of the post to get yours!
7. You’re never too old for a cake smash:
I’ve saved the best, and craziest idea for last. In my cousins’ family, after blowing out the candles they got to go face first into the cake and take the first bite! The idea being that however big a bite they took of the cake, was how big their slice would be since no one else would want a slice of cake with any of the birthday kids’ bite. Makes for some great, albeit sticky, photos! Super funny, and I remember being slightly envious as a child!
Now I’d love to hear what you think. What traditions do you have in your family to celebrate your kids’ birthdays?
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