Taryn's Unique Learning Email Facebook Instagram Pinterest Bloglovin TPT Store Home About Me TPT Shop Freebies Contact

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

7 Ideas for Making Student Birthdays Special

As a teacher in the primary classroom, you probably already know how important student birthdays are. Celebrating student birthdays helps cultivate a sense of community in the classroom and makes each kiddo feel special! If you're looking for ways to make celebrating a doable part of the routine, come along to see some of my favorite ways to make student birthdays special! 

Use these 7 ideas for making student birthdays special in your classroom this year.

Why Celebrating Student Birthdays Matters

Before we dive into my ideas for making student birthdays special, let's chat about the why behind this! Chances are, if you're a classroom teacher you probably love being part of a community. 

Build community and help each and every student feel special by making student birthdays a special celebration throughout the school year.
Teachers play a vital role in cultivating a sense of community in the classroom, and celebrating with students is a great way to do so. 

Aside from helping to strengthen your classroom community, celebrating also offers an opportunity for students to feel special. Young children love having a day that's all their own. While many students will be celebrating at home with their families, not every child will get to do so. Taking time to recognize them in your classroom will help them to feel valued and cared for. 

And finally, celebrating birthdays is just plain fun! Once you've got a routine in place for birthdays, they will become a joyful experience rather than a disruption to routine. Your students will love it and I'm willing to bet it will put a smile on your face too! 

Now, onto my favorite ways to celebrate student birthdays in the primary classroom! 

1. Start the Day with a Crown 

In my opinion, every student needs a birthday crown! 

Create a simple birthday crown like this to help make student birthdays extra special for each student.
When I was still in the classroom, I always took a few minutes to make students a simple crown to kick off the day. 

For this, I took a piece of long construction paper folded in half lengthwise. Then, cut a jagged crown shape. It doesn't need to be perfect so don't stress about this!

Finally, take your 2 pieces and staple them together to make a large band. 

Write "Happy Birthday" with the student's name across the front and staple it to size when they arrive. You can also decorate it with a few stickers if you'd like to jazz it up a bit. Students love wearing these on their special day! 

2. Read a Birthday Book 

Books like these are a great way to make student birthdays special with a themed read aloud for birthdays.
In my classroom, I had a collection of birthday-themed read-aloud books. I kept them in a birthday gift bag and on a student's birthday, I'd have that child pick a book. There are tons of great books out there but here are some of my personal faves:

Whenever I saw an inexpensive birthday book in the Scholastic flyer, at a yard sale, or thrift store, I would grab it and add it to my collection. This is a really fun way to start the day during your morning meeting! 

3. Sing The Happy Birthday Song

In my classroom, I had this really fun, interactive birthday chart that we used every time someone had a birthday. 

Create a fun chart like this to help your students sing Happy Birthday to make students birthdays special.
Mine was shaped like a cake that had sentence strips with the lyrics for the "Happy Birthday Song" on it. 

On the morning of a birthday, I would add the special student's name and we'd sing along as I pointed to each word. 

If you don't have a chart like this, try setting up something similar in a pocket chart or making your own poster. You can make a large birthday cake shape or just grab a piece of poster board.  Write out the birthday song leaving a blank space where the name would go. Then laminate the poster for durability so you can use it for many years. 

Then, on the morning of a birthday simply write the student's name in the blank using a dry-erase marker.  You can also create a name card for each student and connect them to the poster using sticky velcro dots.

It's a really easy way to make kids feel special.  

4. Celebrate with More Birthday Songs   

In my room, we sang a lot of songs throughout the year. We used them in regular lessons, and especially to celebrate fun holidays and birthdays! Our favorite birthday song was by Greg and Steve. I'm pretty sure you can't buy their CDs anymore, but I found it on YouTube if you'd like to try this one in your classroom! 

When we sing, the birthday boy or girl gets to stand at the front of the room and hold a cake.  They also get to answer the questions from the song during the musical pause.  The lyrics ask for the name and age. Then for the big finale, the student gets to pretend to blow out the candles when we get to that part of the song. 

In my classroom, I had a small inflatable cake that was perfect for this. I haven't been able to find a similar mini cake, but a wooden one like this Melissa and Doug set would also be fun to place on display for the day. This is a great way to celebrate as a class if you're not allowed to have food in your classrooms. 

5. Make a Plan for Treats

Speaking of food in the classrooms, it's a good idea to map out your plan for birthday goodies. 

While candy and snacks may not be an option when celebrating student birthdays non-edible treats like these are pretty amazing too.
In my school, we had a no-food policy due to allergies. This meant that if parents wanted to send in a treat, they needed to be individually wrapped or bagged items that could be sent home. 

I had my birthday kiddo distribute these in student mailboxes at the end of the day. I also encouraged parents to bring decorative pencils, stickers, mini toys, and small party favors instead of food so that everyone can enjoy them, regardless of allergies! 

If you are allowed to have food in your classroom I would suggest creating a policy and informing parents at the beginning of the year.  The last thing you want is to be surprised with an unexpected birthday party in the middle of your math lesson.

Your policy should clearly state what type of food items are allowed under your school or district policy, what time the parents should bring the treats, and ask for the parents to notify you in advance when they plan to send a treat so that you can make sure the schedule is adjusted for that time.

6. Use a Birthday Box 

I loved using a fun birthday "treasure box" for student birthdays. 

A prize box like this is an extra way to help your kiddos celebrate student birthdays.
I used a sturdy, lidded box that was decorated with wrapping paper. This type of box works well because it looks festive, but the lid comes on and off easily. This box was special and only came out on birthdays.  

If you have a treasure box in your classroom, I would suggest keeping them separate and have different items in your birthday box.  That will keep it feeling extra special all year long.

I filled the box with all kinds of small treasures from the dollar store like stencils, bubbles, crayons, bracelets, matchbox cars, and other trinkets. 

You can often find piƱata-type prizes like these in the party section of stores like Walmart and Target too!

After singing Happy Birthday, I always let the student choose a gift from the birthday box. Everyone was always SO excited to see what they picked!

7. Make a Birthday Book 

Have you ever made birthday books in your classroom? 

Help your students remember their special day with a sweet student birthday book like this.
This idea is a little out of the ordinary birthday celebration and so much fun to complete as a class! 

I have each birthday student complete a "birthday application" form and the rest of the class completes a page for the book all about the birthday child. The idea here is that everyone will write something special about the birthday boy or girl. 

Once all of the pages are complete, you will bind the application and pages in order then present the book as a keepsake to the birthday child. 

This is such a fun way to recognize them and make them feel special! They will love flipping through the book for years to come. 

Have Fun Celebrating 

I hope you enjoyed these ideas to help make celebrating student birthdays a snap! With a routine like this one in place, you'll be able to make every child feel special on their birthday. If you're looking for more fun activities to add to your daily routines, be sure to check out my TPT shop for ideas! 

Save This Post 

Pin this post on Pinterest to keep these ideas for student birthdays at your fingertips. 

Looking for fun ways to make your student birthdays extra special this year? Here are 7 fantastic ideas to help you celebrate each and every one of your students this year on their special day. #tarynsuniquelearning #celebratingstudentbirthdaysintheclassroom

No comments:

Post a Comment