birthday-cake2We’re celebrating my son’s 2nd birthday soon, and I’m looking for some fun and new birthday tradition ideas. We’re just getting started with birthdays in our family, so I want to start some new traditions right away.

I love the idea of having a special birthday crown for the birthday child, so I think we’ll do that. My little brother liked to designate a “birthday slave” for himself on his birthday…I think we’ll do away with that tradition…

And I think I heard my cousin say that they take a picture of the birthday child in one of Dad’s shirts so you can see their growth throughout the years. That’s a fun idea!

Other traditions I am thinking about beginning are writing the child a letter, asking him questions about himself so we can remember what he was like at that age, measuring him, taking foot/handprints, etc.

What are your birthday traditions? I hope you have some good ones you’ll share with me – thanks!

{photo from jupiterimages.com}

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 AzĂșcar March 17, 2009 at 12:59 am

My baby is turning 2 pretty soon as well. I love the idea of a birthday crown–I certainly have a bunch of leftover felt I can use! He really loves hats so I think he’ll go nuts for a crown. We had our oldest son’s 2 year old birthday be his first friend party. Not for the second kid. I’m toying with the idea of just taking my two kids to build-a-bear (get it? TOY?)

2 Christie March 17, 2009 at 1:33 am

I do not necessarily suggest this for everyone; it takes work. Much like Christmas however my kids LOVE it and therefor so do I.
The birthday fairy visits the night before the birthday here at our house. They decorate the table and the birthday child’s chair. They leave special gifts too. This happened a bit by accident. My husband was gone one year when my middle girl was 3.. He was sad and so was she so the night before her birthday after she was asleep I decorated the table and chair, hung balloons and left some gifts out along with a present especially from Daddy . I put a paper picture of him with her on the front of the package thinking she would understand it was from him. When she came down stairs she was so excited and gleefully proclaimed it was the birthday fairy who had done it all. And so it was and so its been ever since. :)

3 Catherine March 17, 2009 at 2:37 am

My traditions have not been going very long as yet, because my children are still young, but we make a video of the birthday child answering questions (how old are you? favourites? etc).
I’ve also heard of a nice tradition of having a celebration place setting for you child to use that day – extra cool and grown up plates, cutlery and goblet.

4 Susan Driggers March 17, 2009 at 4:40 am

hi kelsey, happy b-day to your little guy! i just realized that we don’t really have many. however, i ALWAYS make them their favorite meal…so we could have pancakes for dinner. and we always take them out to their restaurant of choice to have the waitstaff sing to them. (these may not all happen on their b-day, but they do happen during their birthday week! i guess, that’s another one. they get it easy that week and every opportunity we get, we remind them that it’s their b-day week and they are the b-day boy or girl.)

p.s. got my Ult. Crafter Companion last week (thurs?)…thank you so much, can’t wait to break it out!

5 Sallie March 17, 2009 at 4:49 am

I love the letter idea! We might start using that one. Thanks for a great idea. We always had a simple birthday tradition where the honoree got to pick what they wanted for supper and what kind of cake. Nothing fancy, but as a kid it made you feel important.

6 Annalee March 17, 2009 at 8:03 am

We have a special set of china that we only use for birthday dinners.

7 Annette March 17, 2009 at 8:14 am

I guess my only tradition (we’ve only had two children’s birthday so far…my little girl is two and I have a baby) we have so far is a homemade cake (by me or my MIL…hers are truly decorated) and a decorated kitchen/living room.

I really like the idea of the birthday letter. I have a notebook that I’ve been writing in throughout the year, but honestly, it is TOO much with TWO. A birthday letter is perfect though. Thank you for helping me to not give up on a great idea that needed to be tweaked.

Doing away with the birthday slave is probably a good idea, but you could have a birthday king/queen with the crown. Even moms and dads can enjoy that!

8 StampinCathy March 17, 2009 at 8:18 am

This cake is making me drool and it’s just beautiful. Love the letter idea. We usually do a theme birthday, which ever they are into at that time.

9 liz memmott March 17, 2009 at 9:20 am

We always get balloons for how old they are.. or maybe even a few more.

It is fun because both my boys LOVE balloons and we let them choose where they like to eat out.

10 wendy lust March 17, 2009 at 9:23 am

Once our children were old enough we started the tradition of letting them choose their birthday dinner. We’ve had cherry pie, apple dumplings, and cheese and crackers for dinners along the way. The only time there was a complaint was the year my daughter chose the cheese and crackers meal. Her older brother and father just could not subsist on that alone. I said, “Can I give them a pork chop or something?” Funny how no one ever complained when we had dessert for dinner! Anyway it’s been a very fun tradition. You never know what they may say!

11 Cindy B. in Montana March 17, 2009 at 9:36 am

With my grandson I take a birthday photo that has a number in it somewhere showing how old he is….like a one on his birthday hat or I cut a big number from cardstock and he holds it or his shirt has the number on it. We’ve gotten some cute photos.

This isn’t a birthday tradition, but it would work as one. Sort of like the shirt you mentioned…when he was born I got him a teddy bear. I took a photo of him with it each week for the first year, then monthly, and now we do it on his birthday and at 6 months in between. It’s a great way to show how much he grows and he loves his “Mr. Bear”.

12 eisbeckers March 17, 2009 at 11:35 am

Growing up, we took great pleasure in “planning” out our birthdays. We didn’t have to do chores on the special day. We planned all three meals (especially fun with the sugary breakfast cereal that we never got any other day).

Then we would pick the theme for the cake and the flavor of ice cream and invite our cousins over. (With 7 siblings, it’s easy to have enough for a party.) We would also give gifts from each person to the birthday person.

It was just fun having “control” (within the boundaries, of course) over our special day and have everyone pamper us!

13 Kathleen March 17, 2009 at 12:59 pm

My son turns 1 at the end of the month, so I’m interested in starting some traditions too. For his birthday gift, we’re buying a small tree to plant in our yard as a marker for his first year. I’m not sure we’ll do this every year, since we have a small yard, but it’ll be fun to take his photo by the tree each birthday.

14 Angel S. March 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Our tradition (no matter how old you are) is to have everyone go around the room and tell the birthday person something you like or appreciate about them. It’s great because the kids love it and can’t wait for it! Plus there is a lot of love being spread when it happens.

15 Jen T March 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm

We have the tradition of mommy bakes the cake and Daddy and the birthday child decorate it together the night before their birthday. The kids love decorating and choosing what they want and doing it with dad. We also have a special “birthday” plate. We have 3 girls and several years ago I found a Mary Englebreit “Princess for the day” plate, and so whoever has a birthday gets to use that plate for each meal all day. I haven’t been able to find a “Prince for a day” plate, so the boys use a special “snowman’ plate :)

16 Sue D March 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm

We always made sure we served the birthday boy’s favorite food and favorite cake and ice cream. We decorated with whatever their current interest was. We always took lots of pictures (which I still have to scrapbook!) One thing I wished we would have done was have a special birthday plate but all the ones I found at the time were too expensive.

17 Cristina March 17, 2009 at 10:14 pm

We do a treasure hunt, boys love them! And, they can be theme based, you can do a little gift at each clue, a letter with each clue that spells out a message when they’ve found all the clues, just pics for clues, riddles for clues..etc. They can lead to the cake, a big gift, goodie bags for friends, a special card…etc. Even a small gift seems more special when you have to hunt for it! :)

18 Julie B March 18, 2009 at 5:31 am

We do a theme birthday and have a special birthday plate. I also like to make them a handmade gift each birthday as well. My daughter was really into mermaids last year so I cross stitched her a teddy bear mermaid and framed it for her room.

19 Suz Gray March 18, 2009 at 8:48 am

The birthday person gets to pick their special meal for the day. Either go out or stay in & cook.

When the boys were little we started with a special birthday plate & we still pull it out of the china cabinet each year.

The tradition for me that started many years ago was I always get a carvel cake & my dad still always remembers to this day 40 years later

20 Melinda Wilson March 18, 2009 at 9:18 am

My husband’s family has a tradition that has been passed on from his mother. They favorite cake is chocolate on chocolate and they want it homemade – out of the box and icing can! (very inexpensive!). Their “decorations” are the candy type decorations that are located in the baking aisle – LOL! So . . . all of our pictures of birthday celebrations kinda look awhole lot alike except for the aging effect!

21 Baba March 18, 2009 at 9:40 am

We have a place on the wall to mark growth for each child at birthdays and we also have a wall in the hallway for footprints and handprints that we mark with paint.

22 Katrina March 18, 2009 at 10:18 am

My son is turning two this year and we have yet to start a tradition– although this is definitely the year we will start. I really love the idea of asking him questions and writing it down. It would be great for my scrapbooks!

I also love Cristina’s treasure hunt idea!

23 Rebecca C March 18, 2009 at 10:40 am

Well, I only have one kid so far, and she has only had one birthday, so I don’t know if it counts as tradition….BUT…I am making it a tradition. Birthday sushi! Ok, its really just rice rolls with veggies in them, but they are fun and cute. And even Dad (who dislikes most ethnic foods) will eat some.

I kind of like the birthday crown, though it might be better to just have a birthday hat. Like a big straw one that’s decorated with small toys and things.

I was a twin so growing up we always had 2 cakes. Carrot for my sister, and yellow for me. That was my mom’s way of letting us be individuals.

24 kimberly Holly ~CJS MOMMY March 18, 2009 at 11:11 am

We always have an over the top cake made by Aunt Lisa. She makes fancy cakes and cakes with so much detail,she should deffinately go work for Charm City Cakes on Ace of Cakes. Our sons first year we had a 3 tiered birthday cake with polka dots and stripes.My SIL copied it off of a cake challenge on HGTV. His second birthday we had an beach cake with an ocean and all kind of fish.His last birthday we had amazing cupcakes. I know not everyone has a professional cake maker in their family and cakes like this can run way up there so this is special to us.We couldn’t afford them if Aunt Lisa didn’t do them every year for his birthday gift.

We also always take our son to Nashville for a carriage ride.Then we go to Opryland hotel to ride the boat thru the hotel.Just basically doing things like that he loves.

25 Danielle E. March 18, 2009 at 12:50 pm

We always got to pick what we had for dinner on our birthday and when we were older we could pick what kind of cake design we wanted. My grandmother was a baker so we got all kinds of cakes.

26 tammy b March 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm

mommy always gives a little something in the morning; they can have school lunch if they want (for some reason they LOVE those things. yuck.) and of course they get to pick dinner and the dessert (it’s not always cake) i make. we have one singleton and a set of twins, and each twin the always get their own choice of dessert….so far they usually pick the same meal, but i would cook them each their own thing (something i NEVER do) because it is the only day that is theirs. i also take a picture of them holding a sign that has their age on it and we measure them on the door frame – we even took the original when we moved!

27 Kimberly R March 18, 2009 at 12:54 pm

My children are able to pick our their favorite meal that I prepare for them and they did not have to do any chores for the day. We also always had cake and ice cream (flavor of their choice) with the family (grandparents, aunts, etc) I always tried to make the birthday as special as I could. I remember on year we were unable to make a cake due to a family emergency – si I stopped and bought a package of King Don cakes and stuck a candle in one. It was a special memory and a surprise to my child that we still acknowledged their day even in the midst of chaos.

28 Kim K.. March 18, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I know that many families do breakfast in bed every year for the birthday person! I always like to get a photo of the birthday boy/girl with his or her cake and do a scrapbook page about his or her interests and how they’ve changed over the year. Fun topic!

29 Alyssa March 18, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Besides the obvios cake, pictures adn subsequent scrapbook pages, our special tradition is letting the birthday kid have whatever they want for dinner and havbing no chores that day. :)

30 Kelsey March 18, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Wow, thanks for all the great ideas! My son is going to have a great birthday this year! I love traditions – thanks for sharing yours with me!

31 Danielle March 19, 2009 at 8:25 am

We always take a family picture on my kids birthdays.. because as relatives get older they arent around for years and years so they will cherish them when they are older :)

32 Amy March 19, 2009 at 9:05 am

We LOVE Birthdays in our house!! Our tradition is of course a family picture and the special love actually gets a Birthday WEEK instead of just a day!! That includes but is not limited to: a special prize/treat everyday, they pick what we eat for that week (all their fav foods!), fun outings, LOTS of singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!, for us adults it means someone else does the chores you despise :D, flowers, fav candy, etc….We heart Birthdays!!

33 Becky Smith March 19, 2009 at 6:38 pm

We always let the birthday person have their favorite meal. With little kids that can be interesting sometimes!

34 Mel March 20, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Our small tradition is that the birthday boy or girl gets to select the menu or restaurant for the day…my daughter doesn’t like frosting or whipped cream (I know-how did that happen?) so she always wants an exotic thing like a brownie cake or ice cream sundae for her birthday cake instead of the actual cake!

35 Meshellyn March 20, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I don’t really have any traditions just yet. My Little Miss has only celebrated her first birthday. BUT, I have decided for each of my children on their first birthday I would request guests to bring an item to place into a “time capsule” which my child will open on their 18th birthday. I myself made a small scrapbook of the first birthday party and had each guest write a note to the birthday girl which went inside the scrapbook, and then that will also go into the time capsule. For her second birthday I’m planning to have every guest record themselves reading a book to her (that we already have, they can record at our house that day). Then we’ll compile all the recordings and have a nice gift set for our daughter. I may buy a special set of short story books for this, that she will enjoy for many more years to come.

36 Adele March 21, 2009 at 10:36 am

That is an absolutely adorable birthday cake and it doesn’t look all that hard to make, but the result is fabulous!!

My mother always made us our favorite dinner for our birthday. My mom also let us get out of doing chores on our birthday.

My brother-in-law talks about growing up having to eat grits for breakfast every morning, but on their birthdays they could eat cereal for breakfast and they got to choose whether they let their brothers also eat cereal that morning as well… They always let their brothers eat it too, so that their brothers would let them eat cereal on their birthdays. I just thought that was funny… but I don’t think eating cereal is a treat for most kids… Just kids from Upper Penninsula michigan!!

37 Janine March 27, 2009 at 8:13 am

We sing to my son and then he blows out his candles and we have a piece of cake. Then we go out for dinner whereever he chooses. Yep, we have desert BEFORE we eat! LOL

That is an adorable cake!

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