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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Celebrating Birthdays at Preschool

It's a pretty common knowledge among preschool teachers that almost almost every day at preschool is exciting.  Whether it be a "Johnny finally used his words without hitting Suzie" day, or a "Johnny forgot all words and hit everyone he came near" day, it's always exciting.

However, some days go even beyond exciting, and fall into "Special Occasions".  Whether this be a birthday, the birth of a sibling, or some other significant event, these days are worth marking.  As a teacher, it is worth it to come up with some special routine or habit to mark these special days.

One of the easiest days to make special are birthdays.  Not only because everyone has one, but also because parents are often eager to help make these days special.

In our room, we mark birthdays special in several ways.  One way we do this is through our birthday wreath.  This is a balloon wreath that I made following directions I found on Pinterest.

To personalize the wreath, I used my Publisher software to print out cute labels with everyone's name on it (as seen above).  Then on the day of the birthday, we put the balloon wreath outside our class door to greet the children as they arrived so they could see whose birthday it is.  Later in the day we take a picture of the birthday girl or boy beside the wreath.  Later, this picture (and the actual label) became part of that child's memory book from the school year.  (More about our memory books later).

This year I have the goal for us to have our birthday wreath travel a little bit around the school, as we carry it to different parts of the school to honor the birthdays of some of our favorite school people: the cafeteria lady, the custodian, the principal, etc.

This year I am considering an additional birthday tradition.  One involves displaying a Birthday Ribbon Banner.

This is a 7-foot banner made of cupcake and other colorful ribbon strips (you can find them for sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers of my Teachers Notebook store.  It would be easily displayed in our classroom on the day of someone's birthday.

My plan is to add each child's birthday picture to the banner as their birthday comes about.  That way the kids can see whose birthday has come and gone.   An easy way to do this is with a "Birthday Photo Holder", which I also sell in my Teacher Stores.

If you want to show your children the sequence of their birthdays in a year, you can attach one Birthday Photo Holder for each child in the order that their birthdays will come in the year.  While the card holders are "waiting" for the birthdays (and pictures) to arrive, the holders could just have each child's name and birthday date placed where the picture goes. Then, once their birthday has arrived, you can slip in a picture of the birthday boy and girl.  That way the students will have a visual tracker of whose birthday has passed, and whose is coming up next.

What I especially like about this method is that once the school year is over, you can use these pictures as part of a "keychain" album to give to the kids at the at end of the year.  Kind of like a "Keychain Album Memory Book".

Tomorrow I will post more about the different "Keychain Album" pages that are available in my Teacher Stores.

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