Editor's note: This article was originally published on Brooke Romney's blog, Mom Explores Michigan. It has been republished here with permission.
Cute crafts are not my thing, but family memories are. When I start a tradition, I like it to be something I can continue without too much headache or hassle, otherwise, it will be only a one time thing. Here are four easy birthday traditions that let my kids, young and old, know they are loved.
1. Decorated room
I keep it simple, but you could make it fantastic if you have the desire. After the birthday boy is asleep, I blow up a pack of 25 balloons and hang crepe paper on his door and around his bed. It's easy, cheap and he loves waking up to a celebration.
2. 10 reasons I love you
In addition to a decorated room, I make a sign that says the number he is turning, and fill it in with "reasons we love you." (i.e., "5 things we love about you" for the 5th birthday). I then tape up small papers around his room, bathroom and stairway saying why we love him. I try to make it thoughtful and personal like, "You make life fun and exciting for your brothers," or "You are kind to everyone, especially those without friends" or "You have a great basketball shot." All my boys love reading awesome things about themselves.
3. Breakfast with dad
This was one of my favorite traditions growing up, so we incorporated it into our family. On the day of my kids' birthdays, they wake up early and go to breakfast with dad before school starts. It's a fun time for them to chat about life and remember the fun times they had that year. Once in awhile we have to push it to the weekend, but that's OK too ... it prolongs the birthday.
4. Fast-food with mom
If their birthday is on a school day, I don't make them bring their lunch that day and I drop by with an order of their favorite fast food. This is great for a few reasons: It lets me see what they do at lunch and meet some school friends (kind of nice as your kids get older and there is less and less interaction with the classroom), it makes them feel extra special, and it gives me some real "cool" points, which I desperately need since I'm usually more strict than cool. They love the attention so much that if their birthday falls on a weekend, they don't want to go out to lunch, they want me to bring it to school on Monday.
Do you have any fun birthday traditions to share?