Even without a party, a birthday can be a special, memorable day…it’s the little details that make a difference.


We make a big deal about birthdays around here. Of course, I love planning big birthday bashes, but those are very often not on the actual birthday, but rather on a convenient day near the birthday (i.e. one of my kids was born 3 days before Pesach). But on the “day of,” I love to create little moments that make the hero of the day feel special.

Great books to read to your children on their brithdays.We start the night before by reading the birthday book, aka On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. As they get older, another good choice is Happy Birthday to You by Dr Seuss.


A rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” takes the place of the usual “time to get up or you’ll miss the bus” wake up call. Cupcakes for breakfast are known to sometimes happen. And an extra treat finds its way into the backpack to be discovered at school.


My kids love going to restaurants so the birthday boy/girl gets to decide where we should go for dinner. (It’s almost always the same place.)  And there must be a dessert with sparklers and the staff singing. No birthday dinner is complete without that embarrassing attention!


Some other little things we’ve done over the years:

Cupcakes for breakfast on their special day? How do you make your kids feel special on their Jewish Birthday.

  • Decorate the kitchen with streamers and balloons before the child gets home from school
  • Have the child dismissed early from school and pick him up—with no advance notice.
  • Let the birthday boy/girl decide what activity the family should do and everyone has to join.
  • Start spontaneous birthday dance parties at random times throughout the day.
  • Slip a silly birthday card into a backpack, under a pillow, etc.
  • On a Sunday birthday, have ice cream for lunch. And then for dinner.
  • Invite some cousins or friends to join the kids at the ice cream store.
  • Go around the table and have everyone say some things that are special about the birthday child.


Please share your favorite birthday traditions in a comment below. I’d love to surprise my kids with some new ideas this year!


How cute is this cake in a can idea? Check it out.


  1. כתבה נהדרת! המסורת שלי היא לנשק את ילד/ת היום הולדת בנשיקות כמספר השנים שמלאו לו/ה. מדהים לראות שכל שנה הם מתרגשים מחדש, גם כשמלאו להם 17 ו-18 שנים (כן… הרבה נשיקות בבת אחת רק ביום ההולדת?). אחרי הכל, בכל אחד מאיתנו טמון ה׳ילד הקטן׳ ונשיקה מאמא/אבא בכל שלב בחיים חשובה מאד.

  2. We once got the amount of helium balloons for my husbands age. And then at night we released them from the roof of their grandfathers office … they’ll never forget it


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