Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Classroom Birthday Celebrations

Last year, there was an announcement in my district. It went something like this..."no more cupcakes, no more cookies, no more ice cream, no more goodie bags full of sugary treats for birthday celebrations". And the crowd parents went crazy! Well, only a few of them. I think the rest agreed that most of our children have more than one birthday party these days (family party/friends party) and that is enough to fill them with sugary treats on the days surrounding their special day.

Either way, we (the teachers) were on a mission to make sure each child enjoyed his/her special day. We also wanted to make sure the "crowd" knew that the children would enjoy their birthday celebrations (even without smashed cupcakes, crumbled in the backpack cookies, utensils for the teacher to wash and oh...the cupcakes).

 We (the teachers) met in the hallway, the bathroom, the lounge and the copy room to brainstorm ideas about how to celebrate birthdays the new way.

My own children had a kindergarten teacher who made them feel soooo special on their birthdays.  She is just plain amazing!  Ever since the big announcement (cupcake law), I've really tried to think of ways to make sure each child always remembers the way we celebrated his/her birthday in 1st grade.

Here are a few of the special things that I do in my room to help celebrate birthdays. My students each get a birthday balloon (thanks to the 249 versions of that idea on Pinterest). I use heavy card stock and my balloon die cut (old school) and tape it to a fancy straw. My students also enjoy whatever healthy snack they eat on their special day in a fancy cupcake paper of their choice. I keep a glass jar of those in the classroom.
I just posted my Classroom Birthday Pack on Tpt and in my Teachers Notebook shop.  You can click on the preview below if you'd like to check it out.  It's easy to use and full of ideas.  *I am having a sale in my Tpt store and at my Teachers Notebook shop (20% off all items) from August 10 - 13

Hmmm...I think I'll go bake some cupcakes!  No one is having a birthday at my house this week.  But, it's summer and the cupcake law does not apply in my own house.  Right?


  1. WOW...your students are so lucky to have you as there teacher! VERY CREATIVE and a unique way to make a student feel special on his or her special day!! Do the teachers still celebrate their birthdays with cupcakes? SMILES and feel free to stop by my Blog anytime!

  2. We have a birthday celebration for each child at our school that includes turning the lights off, lighting a regular household column candle (with the person who lights it holding the match straight up in the air until it goes out and the children give the silent signal - nothing like a bit of suspense in the celebration), singing "Happy Birthday We Love You", walking the months laid out on our circle table and then ending with "Happy Birthday Cha-Cha-Cha" and the child blowing the candle out. Each child has a shirt with the school themed design (feather last year, gear the year before) and the year drawn on in marker by the teacher. They then tell us what colors and things they like and the group gets to decorate the shirt with those things (using fabric markers) at a time when they are finished with their work. The shirts are very colorful and personal and I regularly see children wearing them around the school.

  3. We have that rule too {although I don't always hear it ;) }. Most parents don't send anything in for their kids' birthdays so it isn't often that cupcakes show up.
    I love the crazy straws! Totally stealing it!
    I do "birthday dust" (glitter sprinkled on their head) and they get to pick 6 (or however old they are) things that the whole class has to do... like 6 push ups, high-five 6 people, etc.
    ❤Dragonflies in First ❤

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  5. Hi Kimberly,
    Sometimes, I wish we had that rule. :) Almost all of the 29 kids I had last year brought treats, but some of the kids didn't have anything sent in for their birthdays. It made me sad, so I always keep some cookies on hand for "emergencies." We also play "Heads-Up 7-Up" which the kids find to be SO amazing since we usually are work, work, working. I'm going to try you straw idea this year. Thanks for the good idea!
    Kimberly, if you ever have a moment, I'd love for you to visit my Firsties blog. :) Thanks!
    Your follower,
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

  6. I love your ideas--I am sure you are happy not to deal with cupcakes--and the kids loving the day made special!

  7. Hey!! This classroom birthday celebration is wonderful. I just loved your work and planning to have something similar for my students too. Recently threw them a party at one of event space NYC and had arranged few activities that were enjoyed by everyone.