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:
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!
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.
Here's a page where teachers have submitted ideas for celebrating birthdays in the classroom.
How do you celebrate birthdays in your classroom?