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Great Children’s Birthday Traditions

By Melissa Summers

Birthdays are on my mind this month since we’ve been invited to 6 birthday parties since March 1st and since I’m hosting a little party for Max on Sunday. The kids are bowling on a day when the alley offers something called ‘Pindemonium’. I hope this involves alcohol.

I’ve been storing lots of ideas for cakes and parties in a file called, creatively, “birthdays’ and I noticed yesterday I’d built quite a collection of tiny and adorable birthday cake candleholders. I’m very fond of these, probably because I like collecting things and I live in a small space so if my collections can be small? Great. I also love the idea of having something you use each year to celebrate family birthdays. We have a set of wooden number picks we use on our family birthday cakes and a platter I made at a paint your own pottery studio in town. The kids look forward to seeing these items pulled out for birthdays.

birdcandleholder.jpgYesterday as I looked for deals I came across Delight’s deal of the day: bird birthday candleholders from Beehive Kitchenware. They were on sale yesterday, but today they’re back to regular price. They’re pewter and come in a set of six, with adorable packaging. These little birds make it easy to make your birthday cakes or cupcakes special.
mother_goose_candles.jpgThese tiny pewter Mother Goose candleholders would make a great heirloom gift for a newborn. When not being used for birthdays, they’d look cute on a nursery shelf. The set includes Little Bo Peep, Humpty Dumpty, Three Blind Mice, the Little Old Woman’s Shoe, the Cat and His Fiddle, and the Dish and the Spoon. Not a mother goose fan? How about Beatrix Potter.

Posh.jpgPosh Chicago has a set I’ve been eyeing for a while since my son is a huge fan of elephants. (As evidence, see his 4th birthday cake.) These birthday candleholders are cast in pewter from vintage molds and are a collection of circus animals. I can pictures these on birthday cakes, but mostly I picture them in a small glass cabinet in my dining room. Must. Resist. Need. To. Save. Money.


cupcakecandleholder.jpgCrate and Barrel offers this set of four tiny cupcakes to hold your candles. Everybody loves cupcakes, and these tiny cupcakes look great on actual cupcakes. Sometimes though cupcakes aren’t practical so I like the idea of these cupcakes on top of a larger cake. I wish these holders had cheeks so I could squeeze them.

numbercandleholders.jpgIt’s funny when you’ve got something in mind, how you seem to find more examples everywhere. Typically this happens to me after I hit ‘publish’. However, yesterday I stopped at The Small Object where she’d shared these wooden number birthday candleholders. The nice thing about this set is it’s price, it’s rustic look and the fact that instead of placing 40 candles on your husband’s cake and setting the house on fire, you can get the same effect with a wooden four and a zero with just two candles. Think of all the wax you’ll save!

habacandlegarland.jpgHABA has a different take on birthday candleholders. Who says they have to actually be on your cake. Maybe you don’t like cake, as a child I had friend who insisted on birthday pie at her parties. Maybe you just like making wishes on candles. These wooden candleholder garlands are strung together, adding a flower or a segment of caterpillar body for each year. These sets go up to your child’s sixth birthday, but how nice would it be if they sold the flowers individually so you could keep this tradition going. Maybe if you bought a second set you’d at least be covered until age 12.

lifesavers.jpgI have to share this idea from Real Simple because we all know how I feel about clutter and extra ‘stuff’ filling up my house. (I’m against it.) What about using Lifesavers (in the original roll….the holes are smaller) to hold your candles and also add some color to your birthday cakes. Easy, cheap and colorful.

cupcakecourier.jpgI have a few more cake ideas which aren’t candleholders but aren’t enough on their own to make an entire other post. I’ve carried more than my share of cupcakes to school in large shirt gift boxes. Inevitably, by the time I deliver them, at least two have become aesthetically unappealing. Enter The Cupcake Courier. Not, not an actual person to carefully carry your cupcakes to school. It’s an ingenious stacking plastic carrying case for your cupcakes.

When my husband was 17 he worked in an architect’s firm drawing houseplans after school and on the weekends. He did this all through college as well. Then he graduated from college, moved to the big city to pursue a career in design and ended up decorating ice cream cakes at a Baskin Robbins in suburban Chicago. Oh the irony. On the bright side I have a husband who can create the most amazing cakes, some day I’ll show you the picture of the Humpty Dumpty cake he made for Maddie’s first birthday.

cake.jpgMost of the world though doesn’t have those decorating skills and when my husband mentioned he’ll have to be out of town for work on our son’s birthday I immediately thought…..”I CAN’T MAKE A CAKE!!!!!” Enter Jen Scharpen’s great idea at Blogging Baby, she had the bakery recreate one of her son’s drawings on his 5th birthday cake. Now I can’t do all the nice lettering around the side of the cake, but I think I can use a bag of frosting to recreate a line drawing of Max’s creation. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll just have Logan do the cake early, before he leaves.

charms.jpgThe last birthday idea I wanted to share is one I learned from a family I babysat for many years. They would bake charms into their birthday cakes, and hope to get one. A shamrock for good luck, a wishbone to make a wish and so on. Now, the problem with this was they lost a lot of the charms (a family heirloom…) because kids sometimes inhale their cake. The charms were small enough not to be choking hazards but also small enough to slip right by. I wanted to start this tradition in my own family but with less consumption of silver. I bought a set from a wedding supply store. These aren’t heirloom quality but I don’t have to worry about losing any. To make the tradition safer I decided to use the traditional wedding shower method of attaching the charms to ribbons which are then pulled out of the cake.. We put our beribboned charms on our cake platter and then place the cake on top of them. The ribbons are sort of like the safer pinata’s people tend to use now, you know, rather than letting blindfolded children bash each other in the head with bats. In our family I often leave out the ring and the heart charms because it horrifies the children to hear they’ll be the next one to get married or fall in love. Ewww. Gross.

What are your best birthday traditions?

Related Kids’ Birthday Articles:

* Birthday Party Decorations
* Best Birthday Party Favors
* Five Great Backyard Birthday Party Themes
* The Best DIY Birthday Cakes
* Inspiring Ideas For Kid’s Birthdays

About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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