Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy 1st Birthday TBA: A Linky Party to Share Party Ideas

It's Teaching Blog Addicts 1st year birthday celebration and I'm hosting the birthday celebration Linky Party!  I hope you all link up here with all of your fabulous classroom or home birthday ideas, celebrations, and fun!  Anything goes if it is party and/or birthday related.

Have you ever asked a kindergarten child why it's their birthday?  Most of them truly have no idea what it means when it is their birthday.  You get some of the funniest answers!  I even videotaped their answers (unplanned) because it was so funny one time.  The truth is, even though many have no idea WHY it is their birthday, they know it is their VERY OWN special day and I think it is important that, as their teacher, we recognize it and allow them to feel EXTRA special on their day.

I don't do much, but I do think it is important to recognize them and make it special (without taking too much academic time away OR spending too much of my own money) since it is the day they were born and all.  I get their birthday bags ready during the summer:
  •  I buy crayons when they go on sale for a quarter because who doesn't love a brand new box of crayons with 24 different colors? 
  • I sharpen a fancy pencil, since an unsharpened pencil does no good for the children who have no sharpeners at home!
  • I buy a pack of colorful Happy Birthday reward stickers (Target's Dollar Spot has had packs of 24 for the past few years--for a dollar, of course!).
  • I make birthday postcards during a FREE offer at Vistaprint (you just pay shipping).  You get 100 for the cost of shipping (cheap, cheap, cheap!) and so they last me 4 years worth of birthdays:
  •  I put all of it in Dollar Store Loot bags. 
On each child's birthday, we make a quick birthday book for them.  This is the cover:

Click here to get the free printable
Each child gets a half sheet of paper and writes/copies "Happy Birthday, _____" and decorates the page for the child.  I cannot take credit for this FABULOUS idea, though.  My first, incredible kindergarten teaching partner (DK) has always done this with her kinders.  I even make the birthday child make one for themself so they can see how they wrote and drew when they were in kindergarten!  I staple them all together and put it in the birthday bag for the child to take home and look at with his/her family.
We do not sing the traditonal Happy Birthday song.  We do an echo chant that I got from years ago that goes like this:
Click here to get this free poster
  I blow it up as big as I can and post it in the room.  It is so fun!  Ask your principal to come in on his/her birthday and do this chant for them! 
So, you see, although I am long winded and it took me lots of words to tell you about our birthday celebrations, it doesn't take much time or money to make a child feel special on their very OWN day.
Click on the pictures if you would like to have the printables to help you celebrate your students' birthdays.
P.S. Don't forget your summer babies (I was one, so I never forget).  We either celebrate half birthdays or I will have a birthday "party" for all of the summer birthday kiddos, depending on the year.
One more thing!  Here is my birthday organizer that I post in the classroom so I can refer to it throughout the year.  But, I also go ahead in my plan book and put in all of my students' birthdays at the beginning of the year.
Click here to get this printable chart FREE
Again, happy, happy birthday to TBA!
Link up all of your great classroom birthday/ party ideas!  Can't wait to see what you have to share!

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