How We Celebrate Birthdays in Kindergarten

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 alllllll 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.

So here's what I did!

Birthday Banner and Pendant


To track and graph birthdays, I created a Birthday Bunting that hangs above our calendar.

birthday bunting banner to celebrate and track kindergarten birthdays

At the beginning of the school year, each child is given a pendant with their picture on it and shown how to attach the right number of beads to the ring to match their current age.

The pendants are then hung on the Birthday Bunting and we can easily see how many children were born within each month.

kindergarten birthday pendant (necklace)

When each child's 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 pendant necklace

Our Birthday Circle

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

Prior to a child's birthday, the family is asked to complete a Birthday Timeline that highlights one event for each year of their child's life.

kindergarten birthday timeline

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.

kindergarten birthday circle mat

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 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.

More Classroom Birthday Fun


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.

kindergarten birthday movement song

The birthday child then picks out a favorite book from our classroom library and the parent reads it in their honor.

kindergarten birthday parent read aloud

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

kindergarten birthday sash

choosing a birthday chair to sit in for the day,

kindergarten birthday chair cover

decorating a Birthday Hat,

kindergarten birthday hat crown

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

kindergarten birthday keepsake rock

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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