Creating a Half Birthday Tradition


Start a half birthday tradition in your family!


Are you looking for an easy tradition to start with your family? One that nearly guarantees cake, smiles, and an easy spin on a classic song? If so, I invite you to start celebrating your kiddo’s half birthday. I bet your shoulders might be starting to tense up as you think of adding another event to your already overly scheduled calendar. I promise that this tradition is simple and worth it! Take a deep breath and read on!




The best part of half birthdays is YOU get to create the rules! Let’s face it, traditional birthday celebrations can be intense— there’s the prep work (hello, late night scrolling on Pinterest to collect and implement ideas!), the cost of finding the right decorations/food/activities, the stress of last minute errands, and sometimes the very heavy expectations that accompany our desire as moms to make our kiddo’s day feel incredibly special.


Here’s the great news on half birthday traditions: you are in the driver’s seat of whatever and however you want to celebrate! Your goal is simply to create a small bit of magic within a framework that works for your specific family. Once you have an idea of what your rhythm of celebrating will be, communicate your expectations to your kids. Let them know from the beginning that THIS (fill in the blank with your tradition) is how our family celebrates half birthdays! Build up their excitement and simultaneously squash potential future complaints based on mismatched expectations.


For example, here are my family’s basic ground “rules”:


  • No presents are exchanged!
  • We make a cake, and the kids have to help! They are expected to be active partners in baking, frosting, and decorating.
  • We modify the classic birthday song, so it plays, “Happy HALF birthday to you!” with a big emphasis on the word “HALF!” Candles are still a must, and the kids love that they get an extra wish during the year!


That’s it! The options are endless— you can make this day as simple or elaborate as you want! Olivia, my 9-year-old daughter, and I have had a blast designing her half birthday cakes. We usually use a box cake and whip up a homemade buttercream frosting. Since her half birthday is near July 4th, we added sparklers to the top of her cake one year! My favorite cake so far has been a rainbow Bundt cake (inspired by Amy from @NeuroticMom on Instagram). I think she will always remember attaching Fruity Pebbles onto her cake AND enjoying the leftovers for breakfast for the following week! Some years, we’ve taken the “half” part quite literally by cutting cake rounds in half and stacking them up, so it appeared as though half the cake was missing!




If baking isn’t your ideal vision of celebrating, here are a few other ways to create some magic:


  • Take your birthday kiddo out for a special breakfast!
  • Have a “YES” day. Set a budget and ground rules for what is or isn’t allowed. Enjoy saying YES to what your kiddo wants to do for the day!
  • Create a scavenger hunt that leads to their favorite treat!
  • Have each member of your family write what they love and appreciate about the birthday kiddo on post-it notes. Tape to their room door for a fun morning surprise!



Celebrating half birthdays has become a tradition that my kids look forward to each year. Whether you go big or simply add a candle to their breakfast muffin, your kiddo will feel your love shining through, and that’s all that truly matters!


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Candice is a St. Louis native and loves exploring the amazing parks, museums, and restaurants that the city has to offer. She is married to her college sweetheart, and they have two children, Olivia and Ryan. Her passions include all things arts and crafts, planning special events, hiking trails sprinkled throughout the area, and documenting the beauty of everyday adventures with her family. In between shuffling her kids to school and various activities, you will likely find her drinking a cup of coffee, gathering ideas on Pinterest, researching destinations for their next family trip, listening to parenting podcasts, or dreaming up her next design project!


  1. I want to comment on, Candice Meyer article on Creating a Half Birthday Tradition. I love how Candice writes and then shows photo examples. There is so much information given. I love how the mom has set the rules and how each birthday child gets input into the cake design and actually helps with the preparation! ❤️


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