A New Tradition: The Birthday Interview

As my kids get older, I’m trying to find ways to introduce more traditions into our family life — and birthdays are a great place to start.  For my daughter’s 4th birthday this year, we tested out a new tradition of covering her floor with balloons during the night (see inspiration here) and covered her door with streamers.  Cute idea, and kids loved playing with the balloons all day.  But it required some organization & planning (or at least a trip to the store for supplies.)  And for my son’s recent birthday, which fell right after Christmas, I was just tapped out on organization & planning and couldn’t pull it off.

Hence, the need for a new (low maintenance) birthday tradition.  We started the Big Day with a special breakfast for just him and me at his favorite local breakfast spot (Dad had to work, the other two kids were with a babysitter.)  As we sat enjoying our hot chocolate and reminiscing about his year, I remembered an idea I’d seen various places online for interviewing your kids once a year — and decided now was a great time.  I pulled out my notebook (I know, kind of dorky to keep a notebook in your purse, but you never know when you’re going to need to make a list!) and just started jotting down notes from our conversation, since I knew I’d never remember it all.

You, of course, can go with whatever questions are appropriate for your kiddo, but here are some of the ones we used:

Birthday Questions for Kids

  • What is your favorite food?
  • What do you hope you never have to eat again?
  • What’s your favorite thing about school?
  • What makes you happiest? (His answer: “You”  Melted my heart.  Made up for the later comment from his sister “You’re the meanest mommy in the whole world.”  Motherhood – always a balance.)
  • What is one new thing you’d like to try this year?
  • What would you like to be when you grow up? (Answer to this one was also priceless.  “That plane guy who has the orange sticks.  He stands on the ground at the airport and tells the planes where to go.”)

It was such a fun conversation, and I know we will all LOVE looking back on these treasured memories.  So I went the extra mile and typed up our interview in Powerpoint, added a picture, and plan to add a picture of his name, handwritten by H himself (also fun to see how handwriting evolves over time.)  (Bonus: you can do this anytime after the fact.)  This will be a neat thing to put in his keepsake folder and pull out year after year.

Bottom line, this tradition struck the perfect balance between effort and reward – so I think it’s a keeper.  But I’m still on the look-out for new ones.

Please share: what are your birthday traditions??

7 Replies to “A New Tradition: The Birthday Interview”

  1. This is SUCH a beautiful idea! I plan to start this next month with my daughters’ 5th birthday! Now that space in her baby book is coming to an end, these will be perfect little updates that can easily insert in! Thank you soooo much for sharing! Oh, and our tradition is the standard, “Story of your birth” at dinner of child’s choice! It will be nice to add a new one!

  2. Great idea! And perfect timing since my guy is about to turn 5 years old! I make a photo book every year for the family, and have been meaning to get more text and scrap-book type stuff in there. Looking forward to adding this tradition!

  3. Until now since the kids were younger, we could afford to miss a day or 2 of school and go out to a place of their choice – disneyland, caves, ziplining, skiing, museum, etc. And ofcourse this includes all the traditional pampering of taking them to their favorite breakfast place, preparing their favorite lunch, etc. We would take tons of pics and then make a picture book for the bday. Its fun to look at the older picture books on their bday.

    But now that they are older (12 & 10), its hard to miss school, so we usually do all the other stuff and some other local activity.

  4. I write a birthday letter to my child reflecting on the last year, mentioning funny stories and likes and dislikes. I am saving the letters for when they are “grown up” or when they really need a pick-me-up during their teen years.

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