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5 Low Key Birthday Traditions to Make their Day Super Special

One of my daughters just turned 10 last week!! Double digits!  I can't believe how fast it goes.  Birthdays are such a mix of celebration, reflection, reminiscing, and looking forward to the future.  I'm so amazed at the wonderful girl she has become, and can't wait to see what her bright future will bring - but I also want to slow it all down, keep her little, go back to the younger years that I feel went by way too quickly and get one more chance to rock her to sleep! I also find myself reflecting on my mothering to her over the past ten years, and vowing to cherish every minute going forward.  Oh birthdays, you send me on a roller coaster!

Never the less, we have a few family traditions surrounding birthdays that I wanted to share!  We love to find simple, inexpensive ways to make the birthday person feel extra special on their big day!  We celebrate with gifts and parties as well, and boy do I have some fun birthday party ideas to share at another time, but these are just the small things we do on their day to amp up the "specialness" of the day a little bit! As with all things in our life, we are trying to put the focus on the experience, the love, and the special family traditions - and less on the items.  These are not your perfect pinterest-worthy over the top things - these are low key but full of love!

*Please note that some of these links include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my affiliate link I will earn a commission. This is provided at no extra cost to you.

1.) Dinner Choice - The birthday person gets to request whatever they'd like for dinner on their birthday!  We eat at home, and cook something, but they get to choose anything they'd like.

2.)  Bedroom Decorations - We decorate their door/bedroom after they go to sleep so they wake up on their birthday to a special surprise!  Typically this involves hanging streamers and balloons from their door, or a happy birthday banner.  For my daughter's recent 10th birthday, we added a list of 10 Things We Love about her!  We also fill their bedroom floor with balloons to walk through when they wake up! We throw the extras in the living room too, and this almost always results in quite a few fun games of "keep the balloon off the ground" that our whole family gets into and has so much fun!

3.)  Special breakfast - We typically just buy donuts for breakfast on the morning of their birthday, and throw in a candle for the birthday person!  Occasionally we have done cinnamon rolls or "choose your favorite junk cereal" since they don't typically get to have it at home, or some other request, but it's typically just a quick easy donut run the night before!

4.) Cake - Surprise, surprise... we eat cake on their birthday!  Ha.  The thing that makes it special in our house, is that my husband and I bake them a cake (typically some amped up version of a box mix)  and then decorate it however they request.  This IS NOT a professional looking cake by any means.  But, our kids love that we make it for them - and I love that it's something fun my husband and I do together, with a mix of convenience and DIY.  It's just another example of putting the effort into the parts that matter, and taking the easy road on the parts that don't.  My hope is always that it's the thought that counts, and they have learned to cherish the cakes that we make rather than the more expensive, professional cakes, which is such an important lesson I think.

Some of our favorite cake decorating tools are thesethesethese, and cake stands like this or this.

5.) Looking at old photos/videos and talking about their birth story - We almost always end up pulling out baby photos or videos on each of our kids' birthdays, and talking about the day they were born, funny baby stories or stories of their birthdays in younger years.  They love seeing and hearing about things when they were babies and I love reminiscing on my time being pregnant and birthing them, and all the special baby moments we had.

As you can see, these aren't crazy, over the top ideas.  Just a few simple things, that take a few extra minutes and a very low budget to make the birthday person feel a little extra special!  It is so fun having family traditions with our kids and creating memories we hope they'll cherish into the future!

Do you have special birthday traditions at your home?  Anything we should add to our usual ones to amp up the excitement a little?  I absolutely love getting a glimpse into how other people do it, and am sure there are better ideas out there I should be adding!

Leave me some ideas in the comments!

10 Things my Kids are Loving Right Now

I don't know about your kids, but my kids go through definite phases where a few things are all the rage, and it lasts a while until it's kind of old news and a new thing that they love takes over.  It's not always items, it's sometimes just the shows they love, the things they race home to start playing, the items they want to give all of their friends for birthday party gifts, whatever.

So, I thought it might be fun to put together a list from time to time on the current hits and see how they all change.  I linked all the items as well, hope that helps!

*Please note that some of these links include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my affiliate link I will earn a commission. This is provided at no extra cost to you.

I always wonder if these are universal loves, and that a ton of kids are into these at the moment, or if it is just my kids.  Obviously all kids are different and have lots of different interests, but I bet some of these things span lots of different ages, locations, etc.

1.) Elephant and Piggie - My 7 year old is OBSESSED with these books, for like a year now!  She recently received more books plus a set of Elephant and Piggie bookends for Christmas, and she's been reading and rereading these nonstop!

2.) Babysitter's Club Graphic Novels - On the other hand, my (almost) 10 and (newly) 14 year olds can't get enough of these books that they received for Christmas.  My 10 year old raced through 4 books in the blink of an eye, and I can't get her to put them down to do ANYTHING.  Every time I look she's got her face deep into one of these books.  I was a big fan of the original babysitters club books, so I think it's super fun, and quite often find myself picking up her book after she sets it down and getting distracted reading through it as quickly as I can!

3.) Miraculous Ladybug on Netflix - We recently discovered this show and love it!  The kids are all super into it and end up acting out that they are the superheroes long after the show is turned off.  As a bonus, my husband and I enjoy this one too, so we are more than happy to snuggle up and watch it with them - which is always such an awesome find with kids' shows.

4.)  Alexa and Katie - This is the other Netflix show that my kids are loving, as Netflix is our primary means of watching TV in our house.  Again, this is one that my husband and I enjoy watching with them - I swear I'd be tempted to choose to watch this on my own as well!  It's also nice because it appeals to our oldest daughter, and the other girls love feeling like they are watching a more grown-up show due to the fact that it's not animated.

5.)  Squishmallows - Holy Moly!  My kids now have 3 different sizes of these guys, in a variety of animals, and they all love them.  It's awesome when you find an item that spans the ages from 2 year )ld boy to 14 year old girl!  My kids even opted to pool their money to purchase a multi-pack of the small size Squishmallows at Costco and split them up amongst themselves.  They've used the giant ones as pillows on the couch and on a recent car trip, as well as in their beds!  They are super soft and squishy, and super adorable.

6.)  Perler Beads - My girls have been crafting hard with these little guys, and I'd definitely say this is the most I've used my iron since I've owned it!  They have been making little trinkets for us parents, each other, grandparents for Christmas, you name it!  It's super fun to see how creative they get too, using the standard circle, heart, and star shaped boards to make completely different shapes on!

7.) Picasso Magnetic Tiles - Another Christmas gift well received.  I love anything that my whole family can sit down and play with at once, and these are a prime example!  We have such a broad age range, from 14 to 2, and this is the type of toy that my bigger girls love playing with our little boy, and we love playing too! I know I'm terrible at any type of make-believe, but I can sit and goof around with these as long as the kids want me to!

8.)  Playing School - Does anyone else find this kind of funny.... my kids race home from a long day at school to dash into their bedroom and start playing SCHOOL!?  What gives?  They bring home old worksheets and set up a little dry erase board or Ipad as the white board or smart board, and team teach a little group of dolls each day!  This has been their favorite thing to do for months now!  I even gave them an extra notepad of absence slips from their school, so they can fill out notes if their students are "getting picked up early for an appointment," or anything like that!

9.)  All the Songs From The Greatest Showman - Wowza.  My kids LOOOOOVE this movie, and belt out every word to every song at any chance they get, complete with leaps from the sofa and twists and turns through the kitchen.  They are always asking to listen to the soundtrack or crank it up in the car when any of them come on the radio.

10.)  BOLD - This is such a fun card game!  Again, not something that my 2 year old is into, but the bigger kids absolutely love it, and my hubby and I have fun playing with them too!  Think of the game of Memory, but more fun.  It's kind of the amped up version of that.  I highly recommend it, and it is probably appropriate enough for someone younger too, maybe 5? 4 with a little guidance?  We've owned it since last Christmas actually, so just over a year, and it's been in constant rotation ever since.

Are any of these popular at your house?  What are your kids into right now?  Are there any super cool things we should be checking into?