Natrural Birthday Traditions, Part Two.

Ready for more birthday sweetness? (If you missed Natural Birthday Traditions, Part One you can find it here.) A few additional favorites from our home are below. Before we dive in however, I wanted to stress that adding oodles of new traditions at once is not advisable. Add one (or two, or three) this year if you are inspired, but adding too many might cause overload. Don't say I didn't warn ya'.

Birthday Story

This is perhaps my favorite birthday tradition. Truth be told, I'm a baby book flunky. Looking back at Sage's, it ends at four months – when things got really hard for me on the sleep front, and it became difficult to write something sweet and positive month after month when all I could think about was getting some rest. (And Lupine's I never started.)


The birthday story allows you to document the year in one swoop, and jot down some highlights. When my children are grown I plan to put their stories in a book with some photos as our version of a baby book.

The story is a quick skim of the previous year, sweet spots only in my tradition. The process of sifting through a year of memories and choosing the peaks has been a joy, year after year. If you are interested in reading a sample, here is Sage's story:


and also Lupine's:



They are different children so the introductions reflect those differences. Feel free to borrow and modify either one to fit your own child. I'm happy to share!

As we read this story, we light a candle in the birthday spiral for each year. At the end we light the last candle. Then we all make wishes for the birthday child and blow out the candles together.

Party Activities

Less is more. When gathering with a relatively small group of
children, they do well to entertain themselves. For each party I plan
one activity with one additional activity up my sleeve in case we need
it. We've never needed the second activity.

Examples of party activities we've enjoyed:

  • Bubble wand making
  • Slip-and-slide (easily homemade with a smooth tarp or recycled awning material and a garden hose)
  • Fairy wand making
  • Treasure hunt
  • Face painting
  • Pocket doll making

Birthday Crown


If its your birthday a crown is in order.
I'm starting to think I want one of my own, but for now the kids are
the only ones with crowns. They wear their crowns for dress up and also
for their birthday's.

is my all-time favorite birthday crown tutorial. Easy and quick to sew,
and fits for a very long time. I made mine out of wool felt from here and some scraps from my fabric stash. Crowns make great gifts by the way.

I'll have one final Birthday Traditions post next week. Let me know if you have any questions, or sweet traditions of your own to share!

Natural Birthday Traditions, Part One.


I've been asked many questions about the choices we make in our home for birthday celebrations. (You can see some past celebrations here, here, and here.) Since Sage just turned eight I thought I would share with you a few pieces of our traditions. To keep this from becoming an irrationally long post, I'll break it up over two days. Here are the first three traditions:


A Party! Guest list size.

On years we plan a party, we allow our kids to invite one child per year of their age to their birthday celebration. We've never had a birthday melt-down using this method. Sage is not a big crowds kid, so for the past two years he had chosen a single friend to celebrate with (and this year that friend was in his 30's, a friend of my sister's). Whatever fits. The intention of this tradition is to prevent over-stimulation and overload from a party that is bigger than the child can handle. At five Sage could handle five guests. By seven he knew he couldn't handle seven.

Favors. Simple, meaningful.

Party favors are kept simple and magical. For Sage's fourth birthday (before my crafty phase) I purchased these felt gnomes, straws, a few glass pebbles, and vintage juice cups. I put the name of each child on the cups with strong letter stickers and they used the cup and straw thorough the party. The other treasures were in a cotton drawstring bag for the child to collect upon leaving. These cups are still in use in our house and friends' houses, years later.

For his fifth birthday the children made bubble wands and I had a jar of prepared bubble juice and a helium balloon for each child to take home. When Sage turned six I gave each child a shell and two rocks from the river where we gathered. So simple, and they were thrilled.

The Birthday Ring.

The birthday ring (and the story, that goes with it) are my favorite birthday custom. The ring is a way to mark time by watching, year by year, as the ring fills with candles and the peg people and animals slowly disappear. Eventually the ring is filled when the child is twelve.

I bought mine from a woman I met online, and you can find them at Waldorf school stores and at natural toy stores or improvise one with a collection of simple candle holders.



As for the decorations, I created ours from unfinished wooden peg people and coat pegs purchased here. Using bits of wool felt and roving and some acorn caps I transformed them into a squirrel, pirate, Sage-man, Lupine-girl, gnome, flower fairy, dragonfly, and more. I purchased corks at the hardware store and glued one to each peg base to insert into the spiral. 

I'll share more Birthday Traditions next week. Have a magical weekend everyone!