Birthday Bash Celebration

How do you celebrate birthdays in your classroom?

Our birthdays have evolved greatly over the years.

We tried individual celebrations. This takes up a lot of time when you have 20-something first graders.  That's 20-some interruptions to the academic day throughout the year. Not to mention 20-some cupcakes or other sugary treats. It was also hard because some students have parents who can't leave their jobs midday to bring in cupcakes. So... out went the individual celebrations.

Then we tried monthly celebrations. We'd celebrate all the kids who had birthdays that month. We decorated cookies according to the month (we made spiders in October, reindeer in December, etc.). We found that to be very time consuming, difficult to come up with ideas for each month, and ridiculously expensive as we bought the materials ourselves. (I know, I know, we could have asked parents to donate, but we didn't.) So... out went the monthly celebrations.

Many classrooms have parents bring in a book and read to the class on their child's birthday. That would be great... except we have Mystery Readers (parents) that come in every other week or so to read a book to the class. So... that seemed rather repetitive.

Then we caught wind of another first grade in our district that did ONE celebration.

And we realized that birthday celebrations can be simple... and elaborate all at the same time!

Enter... the Birthday Bash! My team LOVES the Birthday Bash. We have one HUGE celebration with all of the first graders in June.  (Because, let's face it, we are looking for ways to amp up the fun in June when we are barely holding it together anyway!)

Families are invited, and we hold our celebration in the cafeteria at the end of the day.  We decorate the cafeteria and bring our own empty goodie bags. Students then go around to each bag in their class and put in an item that they brought. This is a non-food item, like you might find in a bag at a kid's birthday party (pencils, erasers, sunglasses, punch balloons, bouncy balls, etc.).

These boys are checking out their loot! Parents have impressed me with the variety of items they provide for the goodie bags. I love to see what the kids get almost as much as they do!

We enjoy cupcakes, donated by parents. We make sure to have at least three dozen per class, to accommodate any siblings that attend the bash. We also get juice boxes, napkins, and some decorations donated.

Then, of course, we all sing Happy Birthday. That's one powerful song when you have 3-4 classes and parents chiming in!

And then we play. Boy do we play! We blast music and dance and enjoy being 6 or 7.

If you are interested in hosting a Birthday Bash of your own, check out the letters that we sent home explaining what it is and how parents can help. (Feel free to copy any verbiage from the letters!)

Of course, I don't let a kid's actual birthday slip to the wayside.

On a student's actual birthday, I give them a birthday bag and a crown. We sing in Morning Meeting and they get to share what they are doing to celebrate their birthday with their family. Simple, yet it makes the child feel special on their special day.

I prep birthday bags over the summer, so throughout the year they are ready to hand out.

I buy trinkets from Oriental Trading or the party section at Target. I always include a birthday bracelet from Really Good Stuff. 
(I keep extras of those on hand for when former students drop in on their birthday!)

How do you celebrate birthdays in your classroom?

1 comment

  1. Very useful information on birthday bash celebrations and hope this will help me in arranging my best friend’s birthday party. Already booked one of grand event venues Chicago and hope to have a lovely event with my friends.


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