You know the saying, “The days are long but the years are short”? Well, it is so true! Keeping a birthday book will help capture the years in moments big and small. You’ll be glad you kept a record of your child(ten), and the answers will vary wildly over the years. You’ll both get a kick out of flipping through years later (and just imagine reading it with your grandchildren, sigh).
Print 20 questions (ideas below) in a softcover book with space to handwrite the answers and ask them every year. Start a tradition by interviewing your child on the eve of their birthday or with their birthday breakfast.
How old are you?
Show me how you write your name here___
Favorite thing to wear / t-shirt/ outfit?
Favorite hero / heroine?
Favorite food / least favorite food
Favorite game / toy?
Favorite song / srtist?
Favorite book / author?
Favorite TV show/ movie?
What do you like to do when your bored?
What is the best thing you learned to do this year?
Which (if any) sports do you like to play ?
What did you do this summer?
What do you like to do with your friends?
What makes you happy?
What makes you sad?
What makes you angry?
What are you scared of?
What is something you are thankful for?
What is your nickname?
What are you really good at?
What do you love doing?
What is the last thing you ate today?
What did you do for fun today?
Who is the coolest person you know? Why?
What’s the best advice you would give others?
How would you describe yourself?
What do you wish for in the coming year?
What is the most fun thing you did this year?
What country would you like to visit?
If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
What is the grossest thing you have ever seen?
Do you have any secrets?
If you were a dessert, what would you be?
If you were an animal, what would you be?
What do you want to do when you’re older?
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Family / home:
What do you like to do with your mom / dad?
Is there anything new in your bedroom this year?
How much do you get for allowance?
What are some of your chores?
What is something that makes your family special?
Who do you look up to?
What is your favorite thing in your bedroom?
How old are your parents?
What does your mom / dad do for a job?
What is the funniest / strangest thing about your family?
How many candles were on your birthday cake?
What was your birthday party theme?
Who came to your birthday party?
What flavor / type of cake did you have?
What is your favorite thing about your birthday?
What is the best thing about turning a year older?
What grade are you in?
Who is your favorite teacher/subject?
What do you do after school?
How do you get to / from school?
What is usually in your lunch box?
If you were the school principal for the day, what would you do?
If you had 3 three wishes, what would they be?
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
If you could change your name, what would it be?
If you could invent something, what would it be?
If you could buy anything, what would it be?
If you were president for a day, what would you do?
If you could go back in time, when/where would you go?
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Who would you like to invite for dinner?
If you could eat only 1 dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What is the best thing about being you?
Is there anything that I forgot to ask?
Leave room for self portraits (selfies when they are older), extra snaps from the birthday party, drawings, artifacts (hair from first haircut, etc.) or just some super cute pics of your child from that year.
Try to think of questions that will change from year to year. Pets often stay the same but teachers usually change.
Rotate in different types of questions once they get older. For example you could ask a 1-5 year old, “Who is their favorite stuffed animal?” and 11-18, “What is your favorite thing to cook?”
The yearly photo that you stick in the book could be similar. Maybe the child could wear the same b-day hat every year, same t-shirt with the child’s age on it, with favorite doll/stuffie for scale. You could use a picture of the child with a birthday cake, a photo taken in the same location every year (front door of home) or maybe just use their school photo – you get the idea.
Cover: Look for a solid, neutral color with the name and birthday of the child (and star sign if you’re into that) printed front and center. We recommend printing a softcover book, which functions like a journal and can be easily written in.
Inside cover: Add a note to your child or quote, like the following.
“The days are long but the years are short.”
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” -Dr. Seuss
I am so excited to watch you grow, Happy Birthday baby!
Interior spreads: Use the left page for photos and a few extras (pictures, drawings, artifacts). Use the right side to print your list of questions with lots of room to hand-write the answers.
Ideally, the first spread is their 1st birthday, and so on through 18. (This also makes a great baby shower gift.) But it’s okay to start one a few years in. It’s nice to capture what you can and your kids – and their kids – will appreciate the memories that you gathered.