Celebrating Birthdays in the Classroom

Every child in the classroom deserves to be celebrated.  Since everyone has a birthday, this is the perfect opportunity to make it special and memorable.  Here are a few ways we celebrate birthdays in my classroom.
I keep birthdays posted in my classroom so no one is forgotten.  The display has changed from year to year, but it is a necessity.  Here are two ways I've displayed everyone's birthday:
 Can you see the birthday cupcakes next to the calendar?  It's an old picture, so it's not the best quality. Each student's name and birthday are written on the candle for the appropriate month.  Those cupcakes came from a set like this one:
After a few years I realized those cupcakes were pretty small and some years I have a lot of students sharing the same birthday month.  I upgraded to these birthday cakes, but decided not to use the candles to save space.  I just write the names and dates on the cakes and they double as my months of the year display.
Those birthday cakes come from this set:
Please give credit for this next idea to Teaching Maddeness and Tonya's Treats for Teachers.  I gave up the birthday song years ago in favor of a fun and unique chant.  Let's face it, my own children may appreciate my singing voice, but it's not meant for the public.  So, a chant is PERFECT for me!
Click here to grab a printable version of this chant.  I say the bold words and the kids say the words in italics.  At the end we say the words in unison.

Usually I have about 24 or 25 students, so when I'm talking about presents, I'm talking about cost-effective presents.  The first thing my students get is a crazy straw.  Since these are on display during Meet the Teacher, the students are excited and know exactly which color they want.  I buy my crazy straws at the dollar store and usually only need a few packs.

The next thing I have for my students is a Ding Dong (or store-brand equivalent).  There are 12 in a pack, so usually 2 packs will do it.  I tend to buy one pack in August and one (sometimes 2) about mid-year, depending on when I'm running low.  I store them in the freezer at school which is obnoxiously labeled with my name so no one mistakes them for a free-for-all snack....as if!  

I've been fortunate and only had two students who have required an alternative treat due to allergies or medical reasons.  In these two cases, I talked to the families ahead of time to determine an alternative birthday treat.

The last gift I give varies from year-to-year.  I usually give a birthday pencil or a free homework pass.  I'm not afraid of special pencils anymore thanks to my favorite pencil sharpener!

Here are some other birthday displays that I love:

When I student taught in first grade, my mentor teacher always had the students make birthday books for the class where each student decorated a page for the birthday boy or girl.  I still remember how proud those kiddos were when they got to take them home!  There are a lot of options on TpT for birthday books.

I've also seen many teachers use their Scholastic book order points and buy each student a book (if I have enough points I use them to buy books for Christmas gifts).  Still looking for some new ideas?  Here's a page where teachers have submitted ideas for celebrating birthdays in the classroom.

How do you celebrate birthdays in your classroom?

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