Birthday Traditions to Start with Your Kids!

I loved my birthday when I was growing up. I was always a shy kid, but if there was one day when I didn’t mind the attention, it was on my birthday. My parents made our birthdays special with lots of fun traditions that I plan to carry on with my daughter. We were allowed to pick a restaurant for dinner and choose the kind of cake we wanted to have at home. Every year we also took a birthday quiz that my mom saved for us, so we can now look back at how our answers changed over the years. (We may have whined about taking it some years, for which I am sorry Mom!). Since my daughter is starting to understand birthdays now, I decided it would be fun to start some of these birthday traditions with her this year.

Birthday Read Aloud – This year for my daughter’s birthday, I bought her The Night Before My Birthday written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Amy Wummer. If you are a regular reader of the blog, you know I am a fan of the Night Before series. Natasha Wing does a great job of rewriting the classic Christmas poem for big holidays and events, introducing kids to all the symbols and traditions of the holidays. This book is a fun addition to the collection.

The story follows the main character through his (or her) birthday. The child’s face is never shown, allowing kids to see themselves in the character. The family prepares for a big birthday party, blowing up balloons and setting up the house. Kids will enjoy the bright and colorful illustrations, and will recognize the excitement leading up to a birthday party. Parents will appreciate the nod to some of the bittersweet parts of a child’s birthday (measuring how much they have grown). I wrote a message on the inside of our copy of the book telling my daughter that I look forward to reading this book to her on the night before her birthday for many years to come.

Birthday Books

Birthday Book Shopping – I love giving and getting books as gifts, so buying my daughter a new book every year for her birthday is definitely something I plan to do. We stopped at our local Barnes and Noble a few days before her birthday and I let her pick out a few new books for us to share. (I can’t stop at just one!). While we all do most of our shopping online these days, I still have such fond memories of going to the bookstore with my parents. We went before vacations, after good report cards, and sometimes just because. I hope my daughter will have fond memories of bookstore trips with me as well!

Looking Back

Birthday Interview – This is a tradition that my mother started with my sister and I when we were in elementary school. Every year around our birthday, she would print out a blank copy of the birthday quiz and have us fill in our answers for the year. While we sometimes grumbled about it, I am so thrilled to still have the quizzes showing how I changed over the years. It’s interesting to see how my taste in movies and food changed, as well as my fears and my dreams.

I created a new version of this birthday quiz for you to share with your kids. I included the questions that I asked my daughter, as well as a blank page so you can create your own. While my daughter is too young to fill out a quiz on her own, I decided to ask her some of the questions to see what her answers would be. I was quite entertained by a number of her responses, and I will definitely write them down so she can chuckle about them when she is older!

Some of her answers:

  • What is your favorite snack? Peanuts (I asked her twice, and this was her answer twice. She has never even eaten peanuts!?)
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Grandma….. or a doggie
  • Where is your favorite place to go? The post office…. and Target (I guess we go to Target too often!)
  • What is your favorite book? Mommy loves to read Llama Llama (Because it is MY love of it that keeps us re-reading it?)

Birthday Art

Birthday Chalk Charts – We have been having a lot of fun with chalk so far this summer! One of the suggestions in my recent post on chalk activities, was tracing kids’ shadows. My daughter has really been enjoying this one, and insists that I trace her almost every day. I decided to take advantage of this, and I traced her body on the driveway, then added important milestones and information about her. We listed some of her favorite things to do, as well as her age and her height. I will definitely attempt to do the same thing next year so we can see how much she has changed!

Birthday Cupcake Painting – This was a fun project which allowed us to have some sensory fun while creating birthday themed artwork. I cut some cupcake liners in half and glued them down in the center of paper plates. (You can use any kind of cardstock). Pour some shaving cream into a mixing bowl. Add white glue over the top and mix until stiff peaks form. Add a few drops of food coloring if you want it to have some color. This will give you some very fluffy paint that you can now use to create cupcake art. My daughter really enjoyed playing in the fluffy paint and it looked really cool on the plates. You could sprinkle beads, sprinkles or glitter (if you are brave!) over the top as well. It hardened up a bit after some time, but it did eventually deflate.

Special Birthday Breakfast

Birthday Pancakes – I wanted to make my daughter’s birthday morning a bit special, so I decided to surprise her with some confetti pancakes. We are big Funfetti fans in our family (it was even our wedding cake). I prepared the pancake mix as usual, then added it to the frying pan. When it was almost ready to flip, I sprinkled some rainbow  sprinkles over the top. The result was some very colorful pancakes and a very happy birthday girl!

There are so many great ways to make a birthday special for kids. From making their favorite foods to looking back at years past, there are lots of birthday traditions that you can start together. What are some of your family’s birthday traditions? Share in the comments!


  • Colleen

    June 22, 2017 at 6:36 am Reply

    So cute. I don’t have kids but I can imagine that I will be doing similar traditions once I do.

    • Vicki

      June 22, 2017 at 12:44 pm Reply

      I hope you do!

  • Shela

    June 22, 2017 at 8:42 am Reply

    We did a birthday book for the first time this past year. I love this idea!! 😀

    • Vicki

      June 22, 2017 at 12:46 pm Reply

      I love getting new books to build my daughter’s library!

  • Marissa Writes

    June 22, 2017 at 9:08 am Reply

    We have a birthday book that has an interview and kid activity to record their personalities each year and it goes through age 18 … it’s so much fun!

    I love this list!

    I would love for you to stop by today and join Encouraging Hearts & Home so more people can see this great list! Its open all weekend… I hope to see you there.

  • Lindsay

    June 22, 2017 at 9:13 am Reply

    I LOVE the birthday interview idea, and my daughter saw that cupcake craft and looks like we’ll be doing that today! How fun.

    • Vicki

      June 22, 2017 at 12:47 pm Reply

      Haha, I hope you have fun with it!

  • Jordan | Read. Eat. Repeat.

    June 22, 2017 at 1:12 pm Reply

    I really want to start doing birthday interviews with my girls before they get too old for them to be so cute and funny! They will be 3 and 5 on their next birthdays so this is prime time for amusing answers 🙂

    • Vicki

      June 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm Reply

      Absolutely! My mom had us fill them out up through middle or high school, and there are still plenty of amusing answers then!

  • Jenn @Edamamu

    June 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm Reply

    I love the idea of birthday book shopping. I think the interviewing sounds really cute too.

    • Vicki

      June 22, 2017 at 4:45 pm Reply

      I love looking back at all of the answers I gave over the years!

  • Kayla

    June 22, 2017 at 2:56 pm Reply

    I absolutely love this book and the yearly interview idea! Such fun ways to help celebrate birthdays!

    • Vicki

      June 22, 2017 at 4:48 pm Reply

      Thank you! We had a lot of fun with the interviewds!

  • Lisa

    June 22, 2017 at 3:00 pm Reply

    These are great ideas! Awesome traditions to do with the kids.

    • Vicki

      June 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm Reply

      Thank you! We had a lot of fun celebrating!

  • Clair

    June 22, 2017 at 5:04 pm Reply

    Love these traditions, especially the questionnaire…so neat to have that and look back at the answers years later 😊

    • Vicki

      June 22, 2017 at 9:01 pm Reply

      It’s so much fun to see how our answers changed over the years!

  • JeeYoung

    June 22, 2017 at 8:34 pm Reply

    Love the birthday interview! Such great ideas for traditions!

    • Vicki

      June 22, 2017 at 9:02 pm Reply

      Thanks! I had a lot of fun asking my daughter the interview questions!

  • Sara M.

    June 22, 2017 at 8:42 pm Reply

    You always have the best ideas! And what a fun tradition you had with your mom!

    • Vicki

      June 22, 2017 at 9:03 pm Reply

      Thank you so much! I love that she started the tradition for us.

  • Sarah

    June 22, 2017 at 8:49 pm Reply

    What fun ideas!!! I especially love the birthday interviews!! A great way to see how you’ve changed each year!

    • Vicki

      June 22, 2017 at 9:04 pm Reply

      It is so much fun to look back at my different phases over the years!

  • Amanda

    June 22, 2017 at 10:14 pm Reply

    All of these ideas are so great, especially the Birthday interview! I need to start this with my kids!

    • Vicki

      June 23, 2017 at 12:25 am Reply

      Thanks! I hope you do, and I hope you have fun with it!

  • Shaquita

    June 23, 2017 at 6:41 am Reply

    I’m a Youtuber so we definitely do birthday interviews! So amazing to have them to look back on!

    • Vicki

      June 23, 2017 at 1:52 pm Reply

      I agree! I love seeing how I changed over the years, and I can’t wait to see how my daughter’s answers change!

  • Mini Bhatia

    June 23, 2017 at 7:18 am Reply

    Such nice traditions! Lovely, especially birthday interviews. Never thought of something like this. But this sounds really good.

    • Vicki

      June 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm Reply

      Thank you! I love that my mother started the tradition with us, and now I can pass it on to my daughter.

  • Davi

    June 23, 2017 at 7:27 am Reply

    I love the birthday interview idea! My friends do that with their children and its so cute to see the difference between one year to the next.

    • Vicki

      June 23, 2017 at 1:54 pm Reply

      It is so much fun to look back at the changes over the years!

  • Emily

    June 23, 2017 at 7:46 am Reply

    Love the idea of Birthday Interviews!

  • April Kitchens

    June 23, 2017 at 3:38 pm Reply

    These are awesome ideas! I think we have started the tradition of receiving books for birthdays instead of toys. I love the chalk outline idea.

    • Vicki

      June 23, 2017 at 8:22 pm Reply

      Thanks! She loves being traced lately. Hopefully she still feels that way next year!

  • Alexandra

    June 24, 2017 at 8:55 am Reply

    These are so sweet! I LOVE birthdays and am always looking for ways to make them more special as my kids get older- I love the idea of a birthday book! We love reading so that would go far in my house!

    • Vicki

      June 24, 2017 at 12:50 pm Reply

      I’m so glad! I hope you have fun with them!

  • The Gifted Gabber

    June 24, 2017 at 9:03 am Reply

    What a cute book! I love the idea of birthday interviews. I want to start doing those. The chalk art is pretty clever too! – Amy

    • Vicki

      June 24, 2017 at 12:52 pm Reply

      Thanks! I love that my mom started the interview tradition with us, and I’m excited to continue it on with my daughter!

  • Nicole

    June 25, 2017 at 7:04 am Reply

    I LOVE THESE!! We have read a few of “The Night Before” books, but not the birthday ones! I will have to check those out! And I just started the birthday interview this year with my oldest. I love all of your ideas and am totally going to incorporate! Thank you for sharing!

    • Vicki

      June 25, 2017 at 11:51 am Reply

      Thank you so much! I love the Night Before series and this is a great addition to it!

  • Devon

    June 26, 2017 at 8:44 am Reply

    These are great ideas! We don’t really have any Birthday traditions except cake and presents. I’ll have to implement some of these.

    • Vicki

      June 26, 2017 at 12:50 pm Reply

      I hope you have a lot of fun with them!

  • Nicolle

    June 28, 2017 at 10:29 pm Reply

    Oh my gosh, these are all super cute ideas! Especially the side walk chalk one! I never thought about starting any birthday traditions! Looks like I have some ideas to start now!

    • Vicki

      June 28, 2017 at 11:13 pm Reply

      I’m so glad! I hope you have fun with them like we did!

  • Meredith

    June 30, 2017 at 3:31 pm Reply

    OMG this birthday interview is such an amazing idea!!!! I need to start some birthday traditions…so far I have mostly THINGS like a birthday banner and cupcake poster, but I love these ideas!!!!

    • Vicki

      June 30, 2017 at 5:28 pm Reply

      Thank you! My mom started it when we were younger and I love that I can continue it with my daughter!

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