Celebrating birthdays in the classroom…yes, I can just hear your groan now! Birthdays can be hectic and busy with treats and parents. In prek, parents always ask if they can bring the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, and stray dogs to school to drop off a balloon, a cake with lit candles, a full circus parade, and treats for the class. Sadly, I have to say no.
At my school, we don’t allow birthday treats anymore. (And I have to say I kind of love it). We don’t have treats for two reasons: 1) allergies. Kids are allergic to everything nowadays. Teachers can’t even bring in homemade treats for our kids as a reward. It’s too risky. And 2) PTA Healthy School Initiative. We have some strict rules we follow when it comes to treats. Our cafeteria used to make cookies once a month for the birthday kiddos, but they were wheat and more like a hockey puck biscuit.
Soooo…with all of that said, this is how I celebrate the most important day in a child’s life (especially when they’re four, turning five):
My students get to paint and decorate a canvas with their initial on it, all on their own.
We still do the same basic birthday celebrations, like birthday crowns, a candy treat to take home (shhhh….I said to take home, not eat in class!), and sing the Birthday Song by Koo Koo Kangaroo on GoNoodle.
The students look forward to this day all year. I take a blank canvas down from where it’s hung on the wall, tape their initial on it, and let them choose their favorite color to paint with. In this picture above, we had 3 birthdays over the weekend, so we celebrated them all on Friday.
After students paint their letter, I add some glitter and let it dry. On the back I write their name and the year (mainly so they can remember this canvas forever and ever).
After the canvas dries, students get to decorate it with all sorts of goodies. I have a special box I keep our supplies in. We sit down and decorate it with foam stickers, pom-poms, buttons, feathers, google eyes, and tissue paper. The kids get to choose what they want to decorate with and where they want to glue it.
How do you celebrate birthdays in your classroom? Leave a reply below!