Birthday parties are special occasions in a child’s life, and it is really important to celebrate them. BUT the thought of homemade cakes entering a room where children suffer from serious allergies can make educators tremble!
Here are a few simple ideas for celebrating student birthdays in the classroom.
1/ Alternatives to cake.
If there are children in the class who have food allergies, why not consider alternative allergy friendly options such as a watermelon cake. We love this one! https://petitworldcitizen.com/2014/08/13/a-little-cake-for-two/
Another great alternative are popcorn balls (shown above) courtesy of http://livingtheallergiclife.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/popcorn-balls-dairy-free-egg-free.html.
2/ Party Bags
Kids adore party bags and handing out a special treat to the class makes a birthday person feel very special and teaches them to share. Pack party bags with pencils, erasers, stickers and other simple treats that young children enjoy receiving. (image found on Pinterest)
3/ Get Physical
Early learning children should be encouraged to be active from a young age because physical activities encourage a health lifestyle and are excellent for self esteem. Let the birthday child choose a party game for the children to play at break time, such as What’s the Time Mr. Wolf, musical chairs, an egg relay race or a fun obstacle course.
4/ Lucky Birthday Dip
Buy a selection of inexpensive gifts for your local dollar store and wrap them in different coloured tissue paper. Place the gifts into a basket and allow the student to choose a gift.
5/ Birthday Box
Cover a shoe box with wrapping paper and a bow on the top. When the students enter the classroom have each child make the birthday girl or boy a card that goes inside the box. At the end of the day when it’s time to celebrate give the student their birthday box filled with their special cards.
6/ Host a Craft Activity
Instead of bringing in cakes, ask the child’s parent to host a simple craft activity to celebrate a child’s birthday. For example, little flower pots with a bit of soil in them and plant a seed so each child can grow their own plant. (Image – http://www.sugartot.net/my-blog/2013/03/easter-flower-pots.html /
7/ Birthday Shirt
Bring in a plain white t-shirt and fabric paint or markers and get each child in the class to sign it with their name and a birthday wish as memento of their special day.
8/ Wear a crown for the day
It is a very simple idea but get the birthday child to wear a handmade crown, party hat or birthday badge during the day. Party hats add an air of celebration and makes the child feel super special!
9/ Birthday Books
Create a special birthday program where parents donate a book to the centres’ library. Educators can celebrate the child’s generosity by putting a simple note inside the book that indicates who gave the book. This fosters a love for reading and children will love it when their teacher reads their birthday book to the class.
10/ Treasure Hunt
Arrange a treasure hunt around the classroom or playground for the children. Provide the students with clues so they can find a special allergy-safe treat at the end for the whole class to enjoy. You can even use a theme that ties into what they are currently learning in class.
11/ Sing Happy Birthday
And finally don’t forget to sing Happy Birthday to the special boy or girl.