Are you looking for a unique way to commemorate your child’s birthday? Or maybe just a fun activity to do on that special day every year? If so, I have found several fun, unique, and special ways to create birthday memories.

Finger Paint on a Canvas

This is my favorite one and it’s the only one we’ve done so far. Each year on the child’s birthday, give them a few finger paints and a canvas and let them paint a picture. You can hang them in their play room or bed room. After a few years, you will have a nice art museum and see their art skills as they change throughout the years. To add a little extra to this tradition, you can give your child a theme, and they need to paint according to that theme every year. For example, our theme is “paint what you love”. So not only will we get to see his art skills, we will get to see how what he loves changes. And yes, I realize that my 15 month old probably didn’t understand how to follow the theme this year, but I just wanted to keep it on the “up and up”. (Yes, I am being honest. I didn’t get around to doing this until he was 15 months old; so sue me. Life is busy!) Here are a few pictures:

The Finished Product

Birthday Letter

Another special memory item is a birthday letter that each parent writes to the child. You can write one every year and give him the letters when he is 18. You can write whatever you want to; maybe wishes for their future, something special that happened recently, or your own private thoughts about the past year as a parent. Write what you love about them, what makes you proud, or maybe the challenges you faced as a parent this past year.

Time Capsule

Make a time capsule or journal about what he likes to do now. Write down favorite toys, sayings, foods, etc. This can take the form as a container with “stuff” in it, although that might take up some room after a few years. Or it can take the form of a scrapbook page or something similar.

Take Pictures

There are several unique photo opportunities for fun birthday memories:

  • Each year, take a photo of the child at the exact time they were born! This is fun for most times of birth, except maybe 2:30am and the like. I like this idea and I think I will start it next year. Thankfully my son was born at 8:36pm! Although he’s in bed by then so they might be sleeping pictures for awhile. But I digress.
  • Take a photo standing by mom and one by dad – or one by both of them. Over the years, you can really see their growth!
  • Get professional portraits taken!

Yearly Personal Profile

Once he’s five years old, or old enough to write, have him write a few things about himself on paper. Help him if he needs it. Include information like the following, or anything else you want to add:

My name is ______
I am __ yrs old
When I grow up I want to be a ____
My favorite color is ____
My favorite TV show is _____
My favorite activity is ______
My friends are _________

You can start a special scrapbook with these included or just put them into a notebook in plastic sleeves. It will be neat to see the changes in his handwriting, changes in his favorites, in what he wants to be when he grows up, etc. The baby book my mom had for me had something similar to this in it and I loved it. (We laugh when we see that at age 5 I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader!)

Voice or Video Recording

If you have a digital voice recorder or a video camera, you can have him talk a little on the tape about himself; maybe some things similar to the yearly personal profile. Or ask him to talk about his birthday, what it means to be ____ years old, what he got for gifts, what he likes about his birthday, etc. It will be neat to hear his voice change over the years as well as his vocabulary.

Signed Mat for Picture Frame

Have guests at the party sign a mat for a picture frame. Take a group photo of all the party guests to put in that frame. Do this every year and you will have a wonderful set pf birthday photos!

Birthday Tablecloth

Using a tablecloth made of material suitable for painting, you can make a “birthday tablecloth”. Each year paint the child’s hand and/or footprints on it with the year and maybe a special decoration to symbolize the year.

Gift for Mom

I may be biased but I like this one, and I understand it more now that I am a mom. On the child’s birthday, help them get a small gift for mom. Since I am not into material things, I personally would prefer some sort of homemade item or card or thoughtful words, etc. Maybe a taped video message expressing their love of mom, or something equally cheesy. It is a big day for mom, too, as it is her “birth” day. The day of my son’s birth is so very important and special to me and I love remembering it!

Make a Special Birthday T-Shirt


Create a special birthday t-shirt for the child’s birthday. You can use iron on transfers or for an easier option, use Cafepress to have them printed (about $15 with shipping, and the Cafepress shirt will last a lot longer than the iron on transfer ones). You can use a photo on them or a few photos, maybe with a phrase or quote.

Save the Newspaper

Save the newspaper of the exact day of the child’s birthday. He may enjoy going back and looking at what was going on in each year of his life.

Stepping Stone

Make a stepping stone with the child’s handprints or footprints in it each year and put those out in your yard.

Video Montage

Take a few seconds of video at each birthday, maybe sitting in the same chair or something. When they turn 18 (or whenever) you can put the video together and show them growing up!

Wendy – Parenting Tips 365

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