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We started this birthday morning tradition for our kids years ago… when our oldest son was a toddler.   It’s one of my favorite birthday traditions!  It’s our “Birthday Path” and we all love it! 

We have a few birthday traditions that we do every year, but this is our favorite.   
A special thanks today to Nintendo for partnering with us today! 


Birthday Traditions at Home 

  • Presents and cards when you wake up in the morning.
  • NO CHORES!  (this is their favorite part of having a birthday!)
  • Your favorite dinner or your favorite place to eat out
  • Stay up 15 minutes later than everyone else for your “special night”
  • Birthday Path that the kids follow… it leads them into our room where they will find their gift! 

Birthday Path Tradition 

I love coming up with ideas to bring our family together… and what better way than celebrating one of their births!   This is a great tradition because it gets the whole family involved!    

Plus, this tradition is a way to help our children to understand the joy that is felt in doing kind things for others, and seeing that person’s joy when they receive whatever it is we are making or doing to help is a wonderful thing.

A boy walking down the hall following birthday paper path to his gifts.

On the eve of the birthday, have the birthday boy/girl go to bed while the others go to their rooms and “read” (this is a big secret, and part of the fun!)

We tell our kids that they need to be extra quiet while they wait in their rooms for us to tuck the birthday boy/girl into bed.  Once the birthday boy/girl is in bed, we sneak into the other kids’ rooms and bring them downstairs.   

This is when we make the birthday signs.  We sit at the kitchen table and color signs (on printer paper).   They can be pretty, silly, simple, or elaborate!   We just need a lot of them.  Usually, we make around five or ten signs each, so we have about 25-50 signs when we are done.   


Once the signs are made, have the kids make a path (quietly) from the birthday child’s bed into your bedroom, or wherever you want to have a morning surprise (It could be their present, balloons, cards, a cupcake…)  

A paper path on wooden floor to follow for birthday surprise.
The kids have so much fun keeping this secret until the morning (not that they have anyone to tell except each other, but they don’t realize that!)  


For our son’s birthday, we gave him a Nintendo Switch Lite in Coral (it caught my eye immediately!   It reminded me of the beach & I knew it would remind him of the beach, too.)  We also gave him new coveralls to wear in his workshop (he LOVES to build). 

We set up his Nintendo Switch Lite and had his coveralls ready… 

Once the Nintendo Switch Lite is ready to go, we set up their present together.   The kids help me get it all ready to go and wrap it.  The reason that we do this is so that when the birthday boy/girl opens his/her present, I don’t want the other kids to continue to ask if they can use it.  

A close up of clue on a piece of paper to help find birthday gift.
Oh- and before we wrapped it, we all had to test it out… you know, just to be sure that it worked well and everything. 😉  LOL!  We added the game Mario Kart and we each took a turn playing it.   
A close up of a tablet.

Giving the kids a chance to try it out beforehand also eliminates everyone asking to have a turn on the actual birthday.  I want the birthday child to just get to enjoy it on their birthday, without having to share it right away (because I do encourage sharing if it’s a gift that we have bought for them.) 

After we tried it out, we put it back into the box to make it more fun to open in the morning. 

The next day, when he followed his birthday trail, he found his switch and the rest was history!   

A boy lounging a dog while playing with a tablet.

He probably spent about an hour on it that day. 

A boy holding a cell phone
All in all… it was a great birthday!  He had fun with his new gift – the birthday path was a success, again… 

A person using a laptop
And we had his homemade Jello Pudding Pop Birthday cake, at home, with our family!  The perfect way to end the day! 


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12 years old! Seems like such a milestone… Happy Birthday to our sweet Beau! (Yes- part of his cake is missing icing… his brother, Ethan, is not a fan 😂)

A post shared by Becky Mansfield (@yourmodernfamily) on



Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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