Our Birthday Traditions

Friday, 13 May 2016

  
preschool and kindergarten classroom birthday traditions and routines
My one and only memory of kindergarten is how we celebrated birthdays.  There was a clothesline that hung from one end of the classroom to the other and on it hung the months of the year. When it was a child's birthday, they drew a self portrait and hung it next to their birthday month.  Since my birthday was in June, I waited all year with anticipation for my turn to come.

When I became a kindergarten teacher, I wanted to create birthday traditions that were simple and meaningful.

We created our own birthday timeline by drawing birthday cakes and hanging them above our birthday months.

preschool and kindergarten classroom birthday traditions and routines

More recently, I made a birthday bunting that hangs above our calendar.

preschool and kindergarten classroom birthday traditions and routines

Each child is given a pendant with their picture and attaches beads to the ring that match their age.

kindergarten birthday celebrations traditions

When their birthday month arrives, the pendants are removed and attached to the calendar to mark their special day.  On their actual birthday, the pendant is removed from the calendar and the child is given a shoelace so they can wear their pendant around their neck and take home as a birthday keepsake.

kindergarten birthday celebrations traditions

Another tradition that makes our birthdays special is the Montessori Birthday Circle. While there are many variations, here's how it works in my classroom.

Prior to a child's birthday, each child's family is asked to complete a timeline that highlights one event for each year of their child's life. (Note: This can be found in the Kindergarten Kick-Off Get to Know You Deck)

preschool and kindergarten classroom birthday traditions and routines

On their special day, we gather around the birthday circle and the child walks around the "sun" one time for each year of their life.

preschool and kindergarten classroom birthday traditions and routines

At each rotation, the parent uses the timeline to share a photo/story of their child at that age.  If parents aren't able to attend, they send in the timeline and I share it.

Once we reach present day, I ask the child to tell me something they want to learn how to do or get better at in the next year as they move from 5 to 6 or 6 to 7.

We follow that with a fun movement activity where we "make a cake" for the birthday child.  Once the cake is made, I "light" the candles using a fancy pointer with purple streamers and we sing Tom Chapin's Happy Birthday song.

preschool and kindergarten classroom birthday traditions and routines

The child then picks out a favorite read from our classroom library in their honor.

preschool and kindergarten classroom birthday traditions and routines

Other ways we honor the birthday child include wearing a birthday sash,

preschool and kindergarten classroom birthday traditions and routines

choosing a birthday chair to sit in for the day,

preschool and kindergarten classroom birthday traditions and routines

decorating a birthday hat,

preschool and kindergarten classroom birthday traditions and routines

and taking home a birthday rock as a momento of their special day.

preschool and kindergarten classroom birthday traditions and routines

How do you celebrate birthdays in your classroom?

Thanks for stopping by!
     

2 comments:

  1. WOW. How amazingly special for each child. I am so glad I came across your post. I always struggle with ways to celebrate birthdays and I am loving your ideas. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. You are so welcome. So glad to hear this is helpful to you!

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