Thursday, September 3, 2015

Celebrating Birthdays

I don't know about you, but my birthday is pretty much my favorite day of the year. (Followed by Christmas). I love getting birthday texts, celebrating with my family, ordering my free Starbucks coffee, opening birthday cards/gifts, and going out to eat for my favorite meal.

I want my students to feel loved and celebrated on their birthdays too. Here are some ways I have found to make their day memorable... without spending a lot of classroom time or money.

When the birthday student arrives, they find this cupcake stand holding their birthday certificate, sticker badge, and a sparkly birthday pencil.

I think most birthday hats/crowns are...uh,....not very cute. Not to mention they cost more money than I'm willing to pay, especially the years when they come in packs of 12 and I have 14 kids. (No, I do not want to buy 2 packs.)

But I came a cross these absolutely adorable birthday cake crowns over at Kindergarten Kindergarten. Kathryn has a great tutorial. They are easy and I used left over scrapbook paper I had on hand. I made most with 6 candles since that is usually the BIG number we are celebrating. All you do when a birthday rolls around is write their name on it and use a sentence strip for the head band part.

Then there's the gift. What to do? Some years I've just stapled a fun sized bag of Skittles to their birthday certificate when I send it home. This year I came across the Birthday Book Box idea.

The birthday boy/girl can pick out a book from this special box to keep as their very own. I filled mine with bonus books from Scholastic and a few coloring books from the Dollar Store.  (I still give them the Skittles.)

The birthday person is also our line leader and brings snack for the day. Sometimes families go all out. Last year I had a student's dad bring an ice shaving machine and make snow cones for the class. (We all had purple tongues afterwards! Hehe!)

We of course sing the birthday song before devouring whatever sweet treat they brought. In an effort to discontinue the "...cut the cake and say high-ya!" that students love to tack on to the end, we sing an alternative ending: "...and God bless YOOOOOU!" (With jazz hands towards the birthday student.)

I'd love to hear how you celebrate birthdays in your classroom. Another teacher at my school creates a birthday letter on chart paper for the birthday student using kinds things their classmates share about them. (What an awesome idea for modeling how to write a letter!) Leave a comment below with your birthday celebration ideas.

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