Monday, July 25, 2022

How to Celebrate Classroom Birthdays

One thing that I love to do over the summer to set our team up for success for the school year is to prepare for how we will celebrate classroom birthdays. I have a terrible memory for these things and a tendency to forget student birthdays and be caught completely off-guard when they bounce into the classroom screaming ''It's my birffffffday!!!!''

So last year I got wise and put a couple of systems in place so that me and my team were well prepared for celebrating birthdays in our classroom.

First, I prepare a birthday bin with all of the items we will need in order to celebrate with our kiddos. When a birthday rolls around, I can simply pull out the birthday bin and everything is ready to go. 

In the birthday bin, we include items that will be put in a small treat bag, such as fun pencils, pencil toppers, small bookmarks, birthday cards or certificates, and small prizes (typically purchased at the dollar store), like bouncy balls, slap bracelets, and stickers.

An inexpensive way to do this is to collect trinkets (think McDonald's toys, prizes you get from crackers during the holidays, and other small items and add them to your birthday bin as you go.

*Hot tip*: Get a list of your students' birthdays at the start of the year and write out their birthday certificates and make up birthday treats bags for all of them before the year begins. This way, you are prepared to start celebrating birthdays right away, even if you have a student whose birthday is on the first day of school!

Lastly, in our birthday bin, I add birthday badges and birthday crowns that the students can wear on the day of so that everyone else knows that it is their big day and can make them feel special!

Another thing I do to ensure that I don't miss students birthdays is post a display of students birthdays on the wall. This is a visual reminder for me and the students love being able to see when their birthday is and check when their friends will be celebrating their special days. 

I also post a smaller version of all of the birthdays (and include my colleagues birthdays as well) somewhere where I can see it frequently, for fear of missing a birthday. Adding student birthdays to my planner is another thing that helps keep me organized.

At my school, the students are no longer allowed to bring in treats to share with their friends on their birthdays due to allergy concerns. Instead, we encourage our students to bring in a favourite book that we then read to the class. If they are able to read, often they will help read the story or share their favourite parts with their classmates. 

We also allow the birthday boy or girl to choose the music we listen to, songs we sing and the DPA activities we do for the day. They get to be the line leader and do any special jobs we have throughout the day, Anything to make them feel loved and special on their birthday!

However, you choose to celebrate with your students, be sure to communicate this with the parents and guardians. We do this by sending home a letter at the beginning of the year and with reminders in our weekly email updates.

The only thing left to do is enjoy the celebrations with your students! I love being able to be present and share in their joy. Birthdays are such a big deal when you are turning 4 or 5 and I love soaking up the excitement and happiness with my kiddos. 

If you want some of the resources mentioned in this post that will help you prepare a birthday bin for your classroom, click on the image below:

Just looking for free birthday certificates?  I've got you! Click on the 'Download Freebie' button below!

Happy teaching and happy celebrating!

xo Jess