Every year on each of my daughters’ birthdays, we did a tracing of their hand onto a piece of paper. I also created a birthday survey for them to fill out. Then I had my daughter sign the paper at the top and include her age and the date. My daughters loved the hand tracings and survey. In fact, if I forgot, they’d remind me! This was a wonderful way to watch them grow both mentally and physically, and has become a cherished tradition that lives on with their kids.
As the years progressed, I made changes to the Birthday Survey — making the questions more age appropriate. Find the complete list of questions used throughout the years here. (You can add some of your own as you see fit!)
The girls enjoyed tracing their hand and filling out these Surveys every year because it was all about them as a person, and how they felt, and what they thought. When they finished filling out the survey, I took time to read over it and absorb what they had to say. Those surveys proved to be not only interesting, but very enlightening. I was amazed at some of the things they wrote…things you’d think I would know as their mother…but I didn’t. The surveys also gave me valuable insight into how each of my daughters thought – some of their answers showed they could be pretty deep thinkers. As a parent, I think it’s really important to try to understand your child, and this is a great tool to help you do so.
I also found it interesting to see how their thoughts and feelings about certain things changed from one year to another. When they were young, one of them didn’t like boys because “boys liked frogs.” A few years later, they suddenly liked boys!
I put those hand tracings and surveys in a binder to give to them when they got married. What a great way to reminisce by looking at each tracing and watching each little hand grow into that of a young lady’s hand! And to read her answers throughout the years and see how her thoughts and ideas changed as she matured was just fascinating! It was also fun watching how their penmanship changed from year-to-year.
Now that my daughters have kids of their own, they continue these traditions. I love learning what my grandkids have written on their own survey, and enjoy flipping through the hand tracings and watching their hands get bigger each year.
Latest posts by Carol Schmidt (see all)
- 12 Ways to Cut Costs & Still Have a Beautiful Wedding - April 17, 2017
- How to Survive a Lay-Off - December 8, 2016
- Lemon Ice Box Pie Recipe - December 6, 2016