Birthdays are such a special time for children. Celebrating birthdays is a wonderful way to share our joy and show children that they are a cherished member of our family.
With my first child, we probably went a bit overboard. Her first birthday was a big gathering of family and friends complete with a theme, elaborate decorations, beautiful cake, and more.
What I found was that the more I focused on the birthday party, the less I focused on my daughter and the meaning of her actual birth and life.
We started some simple birthday traditions that my children look forward to all year long.
The Waldorf Birthday Ring
This year, we added a birthday ring to our family’s celebration. There are many handmade options available but ours is the Waldorf birthday ring set from Bella Luna Toys. The set comes with the 4-part base of the ring, 6 brass candle holders, 6 beeswax candles, and 6 wooden decorations.
The birthday ring is a German tradition that is popular among Waldorf-inspired families as it is a simple, yet beautiful way to bring the focus of a birthday onto the child and not parties or gifts.
How to Use a Birthday Ring
Enjoy the birthday ring by decorating the table with play silks and nature items from the season your child was born. Some families add a wooden decoration each year to symbolize something special about the child’s year or a milestone reached.
There are many lovely versions of birthday stories to tell your child, and we have told a few over the years. A popular version begins with the child as a star in the heavens who comes down to Earth by crossing the rainbow bridge.
My short, simple version tells the story of the child’s birth day and the joy the child brought to the world. Read the story a few times to yourself until you know it by heart before sharing with your child. Change any details to better suit the season of your child’s birth and watch the story grow and evolve over the years as it becomes a special tradition in your home.
Tell the story and light the candles as you move around the ring to tell the story.
The Birth Day Story
On the day you were born, angels sang down from the heavens to share the joy that a sweet soul would be brought forth into the world.
All the creatures of the forest heard this joyous news. The bunnies hopped from here to there to tell the squirrels who scurried from here to there to tell the fox who swiftly ran from here to there to tell the crow who flew from here to there with a “caw caw!”
Soon all the little birdies were singing from the treetops in celebration of a very special day.
On this warm spring (change to suit your child) morning, the sun shined its lovely rays all over the Earth as if to say, “welcome to the beautiful world, baby boy.”
We brought you home and our homes and hearts almost burst with so much love for a tiny a baby.
That night, and every night since, the moon rises into the sky and looks down upon this sweet boy to smile and whisper into his heart, “I’m so glad you’re here.”
More Simple Birthday Traditions
We had a tradition from my childhood that I’ve continued with my own children. Every year on our birthday, my mom told us our birth story and showed us pictures of our birth. It was so special, and she still does this even so many years later! It’s such a cherished memory.
We also love to read “On the Night You Were Born” each year. It is such a beautiful, magical story!
I wondered what other simple family traditions others have so I asked in the Rooted Childhood community and got so many lovely responses! I’ll share many of those traditions plus some more that we’ve included or that I love here.
11 Simple Birthday Traditions for Families with Young Children:
- the birthday bug comes in the night to decorate the child’s bedroom with streamers and balloons
- have a “Yes” Day where the child gets to do what they want all day long (within reason, of course!)
- have a standard birthday dinner like spaghetti or cook up a special recipe passed down through generations
- decorate with the same birthday banner each year
- enjoy a special birthday treat for breakfast like pancakes, donuts or a homemade Dutch baby
- give a gift that is an experience for the family like horseback riding, a drive-in movie, or camping
- use a special birthday plate for the child’s meals
- share stories and photos of each year of a child’s life
- have the child choose a special cake flavor or design and help bake the cake
- do an interview and ask them the same questions each year
- take a photo with the chilling holding up their fingers with their new age
Have another simple birthday tradition? Share it below to help others with ideas!