Happy 2016 everyone! As the Cherry clan gets ready to move into a new home, I’ve been reminiscing a lot about the last few years at this house and the family traditions we’ve created here. Growing up, we had super fun parties including potato sack races, hikes around the lake behind our house, and my all time favorite party, when my mom papered the walls of our den and all the kids got to graffiti the walls. It was awesome. Over the past four years we’ve created some of our own family birthday traditions that I am excited to take with us into the next chapter of our lives. My girls are beginning to expect them each year and it’s made each year extra special.
One tradition that I love in particular is handmade birthday cake decorations. How sweet are these rainbows? My four year old made these and I still have them in her baby book. She just drew some designs on thick paper with our favorite oil pastels, cut them out and I taped them to some lollipop sticks covered in washi tape. Really easy I promise and so effective. You can find the letter candles here, which I never get tired of using.
Next, we always make family balloons. I precut circles and ovals each year and let the kids do whatever they want. The ones below were made with oil pastels (one of my top ten must have art supplies) glitter and liquid watercolors. We bring out all the balloons made year after year. Soon we’ll have enough to fill a whole room and each years they look really different. I have to remember to add the dates and birthday details on the back before I forget.
We made the ones below for my husband’s birthday a few years ago and surprised him by hanging them on the wall with washi tape string. I’m excited to see the progression in the details of the balloon as the years go by. I spelled out the words with tape and my toddlers, at the time, painted over them. Then we removed the tape.
Handmade play dough has also become a tradition. I promised myself I wouldn’t go crazy preparing over the top activities for the girl’s birthday parties. I did that when Gigi turned two and it was insane. I had to sleep for a week after. Now just a little handmade play dough goes a long way.
We’ve done a seven layer play dough birthday cake a few times and it’s so cute. The kids love it. Stick a few stars in there and you’ve got a good 30 to 40 minutes of engaged play for the kids. It’s cheap, simple and really festive.
Of course we do the party favors too, which I am usually frantically putting together an hour before the party. Does that count as a tradition because it literally happens every year. Though, now that my girls can help it’s become slightly more fun. Inside these little packages are cut up watercolor paper squares and the cutest mini watercolor palettes you ever did see.
My four year old and some friends made the sign to go with them and the girls amazing Aunt Er over at EricaReitman.com bought us that super cool vintage art easel/basket. We use it for glitter projects too. Everything stays in the basket, just like this post I wrote on everything staying in the tub.And of course what party is complete without some delicious food? My mom always makes the most gorgeous antipasto salad that’s almost too pretty to eat…almost.
Lastly, we have my favorite family birthday tradition. The night before my girl’s birthdays, I hang balloons in their doorway with string and tape, along with a birthday banner. When they wake up they come running out through the balloons and pretty much go nuts with excitement.
Do you have any family birthday traditions that you love? Please share them in the comments below or send me a pic. I’d love to see!
Wishing everyone continued happiness and family love throughout the year. Happy celebrating! xo Meri