By nature I am a very sentimental person. I love creating traditions. I love making birthdays and holidays memorable with the tiniest of details. I think I inherited these traits from my mom. I am especially thankful for the simple birthday traditions she started with my sisters and I over the years.

Birthdays were always a big deal in our house. Some years my parents threw big birthday parties and other years they kept things a bit simpler; however, my mom always made sure our birthdays were special. Even down to the wrapping paper selection on our presents. My mom is seriously the most amazing gift wrapper ever (I sadly did not inherit her gift wrapping gene)! Now that I have children of my own, I can fully appreciate all of the effort she put into making these occasions extra memorable for us.

My oldest just turned 4 last week. I’m still getting used to saying that. I had just gotten used to having a 3 year old, and in the blink of an eye, my 3 year old was turning 4! I’m always SO sappy when it comes to my kids’ birthdays. I cry – every.single.year. Anyone else?! There’s just something so sentimental about birthdays now that I’ve given birth to two little beings.

The event planner in me loves throwing parties for my kids. And the mama in me loves expressing the sentimental feelings that come with each passing year. So, I combine both of these loves to ensure their big day is a memorable one. Even without the big birthday parties and fancy wrapping paper, I want my kids to know how important their birthday truly is.

Below are a few of our birthday traditions we’ve started with our children. The best part about these traditions is that they cost almost nothing, yet are still very meaningful.

Surprise your child with balloons! Every Birthday Eve, after I tuck the birthday kiddo into bed, I run to the store to pick up balloons to surprise them with in the morning. This has quite honestly become one of my favorite traditions. I head off to the store by myself and just reflect on the past year. I enjoy this quiet time while doing something that I know they will love when they wake up in the morning.

Make your child a special breakfast. In our house, this usually means Mickey Mouse pancakes (or waffles). Bonus for extra chocolate chips on top! I love starting their birthday morning off with balloons and a special breakfast!

Conduct a birthday interview. If your child is old enough, conduct a birthday interview with them. Include questions such as favorite toys, TV shows, movie characters, foods, etc… Be sure to also include basic stats such as height and weight, so you can see how much they have grown over the last year. This was our 1st year doing the birthday interview with our 4 year old, and I’m so excited to see how his answers change over the years.

Take a birthday photo. Every year we take an “official” birthday photo to put in their baby book. For both our children’s 1st birthdays, we created a chalkboard birthday poster. These make a great photo prop and can also be displayed at their birthday party as part of the decor.

Write a birthday letter. I actually started this tradition when my oldest was first born. I wrote monthly letters to him documenting his milestones, our daily schedules, and our everyday life. Once he turned 18 months, I started writing yearly letters instead. It is so good for a mama’s soul to look back on the year and reflect on how much your child has grown. It’s also a great way to remember all of the special events that occurred in your child’s life that year that might otherwise be forgotten.

Do you have any special birthday traditions? I love hearing what other mamas do to make their little ones’ birthdays memorable.

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