I love birthday traditions! I grew up with quite a few to look forward to…
I’ve been working in the birthday business for quite a few years now – it’s been my full-time job to think about, design for, and write about birthday parties every single day. All this time, the one word about parties that comes up over and over is “special.” A birthday party is really all about feeling special, isn’t it? That’s what every detail is about, from the invitations, decorations, and games to the food, presents, and party favors. It all comes down to telling the birthday child “you are special, and I’m glad you were born.” (And yep… that’s why I love my job!)
Besides their birthday party, though, what are some other ways to make a kid feel special on their birthday? There are a lot of fun and easy ways to honor the birthday child on their big day, from first thing in the morning and on throughout the day. I compiled 30 great ideas to choose from and the best part is, it doesn’t take a ton of effort to make a big impression. Try a few of these ideas out, see which ones are a bit hit, and who knows – you might have just started a family tradition that your kids will remember fondly for the rest of their lives!
30 Easy Ways to Make Your Child’s Birthday Special
Make a special treat for their birthday breakfast, like these Vanilla Cake Batter Muffin Tops by Lemon Tree Dwelling. Don’t forget a candle!
Start the day by reading “Happy Birthday to You!” by Dr. Seuss.
Wear party hats at the breakfast table.
Make a streamer doorway for the birthday child to walk through.
Write a special message on the bathroom mirror using a dry erase marker.
Make a birthday countdown, whether it’s a simple paper chain or a zazzled, framed display. (photo: Doodlebug Design Inc.)
Tell your child the story of their birth.
Surprise the birthday child by filling their room with balloons before they wake up. Or, set up a balloon surprise in their closet.
Make a donation to the charity of your child’s choice.
Decorate their chair at the kitchen table to make it into a special birthday chair.
Make a birthday shirt for your child to wear. A birthday shirt with their name and age on it will have people wishing them a happy birthday all day!
Serve breakfast in bed, or in front of the TV.
Write “Honk, it’s my birthday” on the car using window markers.
Put a surprise birthday love note in their backpack, lunchbox, or coat pocket.
Let the birthday child help decorate their cake.
Gift wrap each item in their lunchbox for them to discover and unwrap at school (photo via Happy Home Fairy).
Print out baby pictures and pictures from previous years’ birthdays and make a photo display.
At the dinner table, have everyone in your family take a turn telling the birthday child what they love about them.
Interview your child on their birthday, whether it’s on paper or on video.
Take a special birthday photo every year, in the same style – use a similar location, pose, and/or props. Having them hold up their age with their fingers is sweet (photo via Intentionally Katie).
Let them choose their own birthday dinner.
If you have a dining room that you usually use for special occasions, go ahead and eat at at the “fancy” table. Use the “fancy” plates and light candles.
Set up a birthday scavenger hunt, or make a trail of streamers through the house that they can follow to find their presents.
Make a tradition of using special birthday items, whether it’s a tablecloth, a plate, a birthday hat, or even a candleholder (the one my mom had for me and my brother will always be special to me!).
Cover the dinner table with confetti (photo: The Confetti Bar).
Put water balloons in the bathtub to make bath time a party!
Make your child’s birthday a “YES” day. Let them choose what to do during the day and say yes to as many ideas as you can. Who knows what kind of fun you might have!
Hide their birthday gifts all over the house and play the “hot/cold” game to find them.
Say “Happy Birthday!” all day long, and give lots of extra hugs and kisses!