Simple Birthday Traditions to Start When Your Child Turns One

Baby’s First Birthday

We all know the traditional cake and party routine, but how about starting
another tradition on your child’s birthday to make the day extra special
and create memories along the way? These traditions can create a sense of
continuity and family togetherness, so starting with birthday number one,
give the gift of remembrance to your child with one or more of these fun
and memorable traditions:

Take a picture:
Have a family heirloom? What about a special party hat? Take a picture of your child with the same object every year, put the pictures together in an album, and watch how your child grows and changes over time.

Plant a tree:
If you don’t have a family heirloom, you can create a living one; plant a tree on your child’s birthday and take a picture of your child beside it. This is a great (eco-friendly!) way to measure your child’s growth both literally and symbolically.

Write a letter:
On each birthday, write a letter to your child telling him or her about your memories and feelings concerning them the past year. Keep the letters in a binder to present to your child when he or she reaches a certain age–perhaps on the 18th or 21st birthday.

Play Twenty Questions:
Make a list of questions to ask your child on each birthday, and record the answers on paper or on video. You can answer these questions for your child until they can answer them for themselves. Some sample questions might include things like, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “What is your favorite color?” “Who are your friends/favorite people to play with?”

Video family members/siblings:
Have family members write or tell a favorite memory of your child and record it on video. Show clips of these on each birthday. Tell your child’s birth story: When the time of day when your child was born approaches, tell the story of his or her birth and let your child know how special that day was.

Go on a birthday date:
Go on a special outing each year. This can be to the same favorite family restaurant or to different places your child chooses.

Donate to a charity/open a savings account:
In your child’s behalf, donate to a charity each year on their birthday. Or, if you wish, open a savings account and contribute to it each year.

Do Appreciations:
Your child may not be able to appreciate these initially, but go around in your family at the party and have each person tell something he or she appreciates about your child. Write these down and keep them in a special place to give to your child later.

Other ideas:
Decorate a plate with their baby footprints on their first birthday and
have them eat off it on subsequent birthdays.

Keep a copy of the daily newspaper, starting on the day your child was born, for each birthday to remind you what was going on in the world at the time.

What are your favorite memorable traditions? Keep them going with your child or start a brand new tradition this year for great memories in the years to come.

About the Author: Jenny Franklin loves planning children’s parties and making kids’ dreams come true. When she’s not planning parties, she likes to blog about party planning.

Tell us in a few words what you like about and what motivated you to contribute this article: I like because of the wonderful resource it provides to parents and its uplifting content. is about helping families live lives more meaningfully, and I thought that an article about birthday traditions would support that purpose.

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