ParentClick Santa Barbara

Create birthday traditions for your child


Parents share their ideas on how they celebrate year to year… Many parents have shared their traditions. Ideas for when you have twins or when your kids birthdays are only days apart or when they fall in the summer.

Read on to get some great ideas on how you can make your child’s day special…

  • Kids get to wake up to a breakfast of their choice (or go out), get to school late. A family dinner of their requested meal and birthday cake, a few spankings after the song along with a few tickles. Then presents! And game night! -A. Ryan
  • Every other year we have a party and on the off years we go somewhere special as a family (ie: Disneyland).
    We had a tradition growing up that the birthday child does not have any chores or responsibilities that day and we have continued that with our kids.
  • Each year I write a letter to my daughters on their birthday recapping their year and how they have changed. These are saved so that one day they can look back at them. This is my way of journaling.
  • My daughter gets to pick one favorite place she wants to go to and we go. Zoo, Museums,park any where. -J. Lofton
  • Every year we have a small party to celebrate my sons birthday with family and friends; pizza, cake, games and swimming. -M. King
  • My son has a summer birthday, as do I. I always missed celebrating with classmates at school. So we celebrate 1/2 birthdays with classroom treats and 1/2 a pizza or 1/2 a birthday cake. And the kids in the class have fun singing “Happy 1/2 birthday to you!” -J. Wagner
  • My birthday is very special, every year for my present, my parents take me to toys store and I get to chose anything I want, I have dinner with my Mom and Dad at my favorite restaurant, I dress up very fancy. -Delour
  • On our actual birthdays, we always go out to breakfast. This seems simple, but we do this even when a birthday falls on a school day. It is so fun to get up extra early and go either down to East Beach or to a local fun spot for pancakes. It’s always funny when the kids tell their teachers and friends they’ve been to the beach and back all before 8:15 am drop off! -E. Gaynes
  • We always decorate our kids rooms the night before (while they are sleeping). We use balloons, streamers and posters. It’s fun for them to wake up and feel the celebration as soon as they open their eyes. -V. Kushnerov
  • We wake our birthday child with cake & candles first thing in the morning with her bedroom decorated.We sit on the bed and dig in and the kids love it. -S. Smythe
  • We try to let the birthday child have their pick all day long – breakfast, lunch, treats, restaurants. We sing all day and take lots of photos! -M. Gilbert
  • We have a special plate for each child. We made them at Color me Mine or 2000 degrees when the boys were babies. They get to eat a meal on their special plate. We also usually will look at their baby album that day. -T. Williams
  • Each year we make a special cake from scratch. We’ve done race tracks complete with crashing cars, doll cakes and a kitty cat cake. The kids have had fun designing and helping me make their own special cake. It’s a lot of work though!! -Katherine
  • My father, who passed away last year, started this tradition when I was a kid and all my sisters still do this with their kids… At a special moment during the family birthday dinner the birthday kid is asked “Now that you are “x” years old, what are your WORDS of WISDOM”. Kids answer with anything from silly things to profound things – and they know to expect this each year and for every birthday in the family. It is really great and as kids we even started imitating my Dad’s way of asking this question (how he sat, his hand motions, etc). -L. Leffler
  • Every year since my daughters were 5 or so, I have woken them up with the Beatles song “Birthday” blasting on the stereo. Even at their ages today, I carry on this tradition. I call them on the phone and hold the receiver to the stereo. It just wouldn’t be their birthday without this tradition! -A. Love
  • We play hooky on our birthday! The birthday child and a parent spend the day doing whatever that child wishes to do! We have a special birthday hat too that the birthday child gets to wear. This began pretty simply – an IHOP funny face pancake and a day at the zoo, or the Sea Center and Lil’ Toot, etc.. My youngest just turned 6 and requested the Aquarium of the Pacific for his day! My other son turns 8 in a few weeks and we will be going to the Science Museum in LA to experience the Star Wars exhibit. They are putting more thought into their special birthday days and we have great parent/child bonding times. It’s worth missing a day of school. M. Dusette
  • On their actual birthdays (which falls during Memorial Day Weekend), we let them choose where to go out to eat. After, we go back to our house for cake and presents. Since both the girls have birthdays on a holiday (May Day, Memorial Day), we also celebrate by taking one day off in the middle of the month to go to Disneyland. -J. Rode
  • We have a couple; my daughter was born at 5:28 pm so on her birthday we have a toast at exactly 5:28 pm (champagne for us, Martinelli’s for her). I also write her a special letter on her birthday and seal it and put it away for her to read when she’s older. – Shari
  • We started this year, spending each birthday dinner telling the birthday person what we like about him or her. I went to too many funerals last year, where wonderful things were said about people that may not have been often enough (or ever) told to that person’s face. Hearing what such little kids think of to say about their siblings, in particular, is heart-warming. -M. Pearlman
  • My daughter just turned one and we are still thinking of ideas… one thing we did decide to do is share her birth story with her each year. It helps us to remember how special she made our lives on that day. I think she will enjoy hearing the story too as she gets older. -A. Herbert
  • We decorate the living room with banners and confetti for the day. The birthday honoree is king/queen for the day and gets to choose the events and forgoes all duties while others “wait” on them. -T. Kelly
  • My husband and I have come up with a three day weekend birthday celebration, we usually ask the birthday boy, or parent were they would like to visit that year, and we go, it creates more memories that way that last a long time, and its also a perfect time to spend family time, my husband and I both work, so family time is important to us. Since there are four of us we plan four birthday weekends. Just so grandma and aunts and uncles don’t feel left out, we have a birthday cake on the actual day. -M. Lopez
  • Since we are all girls, my two sisters and their daughters and grand daughters, in addition to my daughter and her daughters come to Santa Barbara for my birthday and we have a family spa week-end. Massages, facial spa, and a work out trainers come the generations in shape. We love it. -Vikki
  • Our birthday tradition are to get all the family together, bring gifts, prepare his or her favorites food, and the flavor cake too! Then sing in Spanish and English. Then do an activity somewhere. -M. Arriaga
  • Every year we hang a Happy Birthday sign with the honoree’s name and age. This is displayed in our living room and usually stays up for about a week. Anyone who comes over sees and wishes the recipient a Happy Birthday! -N. Tedeschi


February 8, 2015

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