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11 MORE Fun and Meaningful Kid Birthday Tradition Ideas

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Birthday tradition ideas for kids - cake is a no-brainer, but try new ones, too!
Photo by lilartsy, obtained from

In this series on making your child’s birthday special, I’ve given you lots of ideas based on how we celebrated our three boys’ birthdays this past spring.

In this final post, I’m including a bunch MORE kid birthday tradition ideas. There are so many fun possibilities!

Pick the Birthday Tradition Ideas Meaningful for YOUR Family

And on that note, before we go any further, let me clarify something.

The point of this birthday series is not to say, “If you want your child’s birthday to be special, here are 17 essential traditions!”

That’s crazy-making. No one has the time or energy to make that much special-ness happen.

Instead, as you make plans, pay attention to what birthday tradition ideas light you up; they’re the ones you’ll eagerly tackle because they’re right up your alley.

Other ideas will leave you overwhelmed or just plain unenthused. You know what you do with those? Channel your inner Elsa!

On this blog, I aim to provide lots of uncomplicated, inexpensive, fun, and impactful ways to strengthen family connections through traditions.

In giving an array of birthday tradition ideas, the point is to help you create family traditions that fit YOUR family.

Not much for dancing? Skip #1 below! Prefer a spontaneous approach to meals? Planning a whole day of favorite foods is not going to be much fun.

Traditions should bring joy to your kids, but they should also bring YOU joy.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a tradition won’t forge closer family connections if Mom is seething with resentment doing something she hates. .

And remember traditions aren’t set in stone.

Yes, you want to create traditions that become, well, traditions.

But as your family’s relationships and rhythms evolve, and as your kids develop new interests and outgrow others, you’ll move on.

You’ll find awesome new birthday tradition ideas that will make your loved ones feel special and celebrated.

11 Birthday Tradition Ideas for Kids (No Party Required!)

Without further ado, here’s the list!

Blast Celebratory Music to Start the Day.

Can you ever go wrong with Kool and the Gang? I can’t help smiling whenever I hear the first few chords of this song. Blast this right as the birthday kid gets out of bed or during breakfast. Dancing mandatory!

If for some insane reason you can’t get behind this song, check out this “Happy Birthday” playlist on Spotify for some other ideas.

Conduct a Birthday Interview.

Looking for birthday tradition ideas that make for a lasting keepsake?

Enter the birthday interview! Ask you child the same questions each year and see how their answers change.

Jenn at Healthy Happy Impactful has a great list of questions to choose from. I would make the interview manageable–and ensure my kid doesn’t squirm away before I’m even halfway done!–by picking 8-10 of my favorites.

Make a Photo Book.

Anyone else take hundreds of photos of their children and never print any of them? 😳 For your child’s birthday, make them a photobook that gives their year in review!

I remember how much I loved looking through photo albums as a kid and want to give my own children that same experience.

Problem is, I haven’t gotten past all the shiny temptations that make creating photobooks akin to starting a massive home renovation — fonts and art elements and layouts and photo filters and…yeah.

But if you’ve moved past that phase of photobook overwhelm, congratulations on a very cool gift for your child!

Create a Birthday Scavenger Hunt.

What kid doesn’t love a treasure hunt?!? Make a series of clues that lead to their gift. For a fun way to kick off the hunt, the first clue could be taped to the bottom of their plate or chair at breakfast.

Measure Your Child’s Height in the Same Spot Each Birthday.

This is one of those birthday tradition ideas I wish I’d come across sooner.

We have a tendency to measure the boys’ heights sporadically, but I think it would be really cool to see exactly how tall they were the moment they turned a new age.

Tie in National Day Celebrations.

I just learned that today, June 7, is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. Yep, there’s a day for everything! If you were celebrating your child’s birthday today, you could make sure to include chocolate ice cream alongside the cake.

Plug in your child’s birth date here. Then brainstorm ways to incorporate one of the national days into your celebration.

Jess Bailey Designs via Pexels

Tie in Famous People Who Share Your Child’s Birthday.

In writing this post, I discovered that today happens to be the birthday of two Minnesota legends!

One is author Louise Erdrich. If you had an older child, you could give them one of her books. A younger kid could get a gift card to spend at her bookstore.

Today’s other famous Minnesotan with a birthday is Prince!

To celebrate Prince as a birthday buddy, you could bring your child on a tour of Paisley Park. Or rock out to “Raspberry Beret” and “Little Red Corvette” while you eat dinner and open presents. Or make all the birthday burst and birthday throne streamers purple.

You get the idea. Find out who shares your child’s birthday, then get creative and take the idea whatever direction you want!

Read Birthday-Themed Picture Books.

It’s always fun to revel in a special day with books that match the theme!

Here and here are some good suggestions of birthday-themed picture books (there are a few titles recommended in both places, so maybe put those at the top of your list!).

Request a whole bunch of these books from the library and read through them in the weeks leading up to your child’s birthday. If a couple favorites emerge, you can buy them for your collection to read every year around your child’s birthday.

Give Your Child a Birthday Tattoo. (Temporary variety recommended 😉)

Kids love temporary tattoos! For their birthday, give your child a tattoo featuring a cake or balloons. The extrovert child who loves attention can put it right on their cheek; the kid who doesn’t love the spotlight can choose a more inconspicuous spot.

Pack a Birthday Surprise in Your Child’s Backpack.

Think of something your child brings to school every day — maybe it’s shoes to change into when they wear their boots in the winter, or a take-home folder that goes back and forth. Then tuck a note or small surprise for them to find there.

Some simple ideas:

  • A bouncy ball taped to a note that says “Hope you’re having a ball on your birthday!”
  • A HotWheels car with a note that says, “Let the good times roll! Happy Birthday!” (The puns just don’t stop!)
  • A trinket-y ring with a note that says, “9-year-old [or whatever age they’re turning] – that has a nice ring to it!” (They just. don’t. stop.)
  • A birthday-themed joke! Here are some ideas!
  • The first clue in their birthday scavenger hunt (see above).
  • Little wrapped box with any of the above inside! Or just a simple note that says “Happy Birthday! I love you!” Getting to unwrap a present of any sort while at school will surely bring a smile.

Make a List of the Things Your Child Learned or Accomplished that Year.

This is a twist on another tradition I’ve come across frequently, which is writing your child a birthday letter.

While I love that idea, I’m daunted by an empty page with no set format. I’d feel like each letter I write had better live up to the previous year’s! Too much pressure.

Instead, try creating a list of your child’s accomplishments and the things they learned. You could make the number of things equal to the age they’re turning.

Some can be light-hearted, like losing x number of teeth or abandoning a record number of socks in the space between the bed and the wall.

Others can be more thoughtful, like an example of when your child demonstrated good sportsmanship or exhibited kindness. The more personalized, the better.

Birthday Series Wrap-Up

And with that, this birthday series is coming to a close! It’s been fun for me to explore this topic in-depth and I hope you’ve come away with some birthday tradition ideas you’re excited about.

Are there any important birthday traditions I missed? Do you have other favorite ways you celebrate at your house? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!  

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