Ideas for Teachers: celebrating school children’s birthdays
As my children get older I’m observing how much of the magic can leave childhood.
As they awaken to more knowledge of how the world works and with so much responsibility to fit into our digital society, it seems there isn’t much room left for the magic.
But I really feel that it is our roles as parents and teachers to continue to foster some magic – while still allowing them to live in the real world.
For me the magic lies in little gestures of intention.
No matter how old a child (or person) – something done with pure heart & intention speaks to that child (or person) on a soul level.
It nourishes them in a deep (mostly unspoken) way that you may never consciously realise.
With so much “online” connection – I feel that these IN PERSON intentional gestures are more important than ever.
I want to share a simple way for teachers to celebrate & acknowledge the birthday of an older child. Because I still feel that just because they are big and class is busy – that a birthday is something to acknowledge.
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In most Steiner/Waldorf preschools the celebrating of a Child’s birthday is a very special event, with the parents often coming in for the celebration.
As the children move into the grade classes, birthdays are celebrated in a way specific to each teacher. One way that I think is fairly consistent along with many schools is for the birthday child’s parent to bring in a healthy treat for the class.
((One year I took bliss balls rolled in natural hundreds and thousands for something a bit special. Fruit skewers using cookie cutter shapes are also great. (Both these recipes are in Magical Birthdays for Children E-book) ))
As the children get older the main lesson and all the activities become the focus and it seems that birthday celebrations are left behind (totally understandable).
However as a lover of magic and intention, I feel a simple acknowledgment of the child’s special day is something that speaks deeply to the child. Especially as we never know what kind of morning the child has had in their own home or what maybe going on in their homelife.
So I had this simple idea I wanted to share with all the teachers who are part of our beautiful community or who may stumble across this blog when seeking some inspiration.
It is a really simple but intentional way to celebrate your students birthdays without too much preparation.
Paper Birthday Stars
At the beginning of the year cut out enough stars for each of your students, with a few to spare.
You could use some old watercolour paintings, create a new watercolour paper on some thicker watercolour paper (180gsm +) or buy some sparkly gold or silver light cardboard at the newsagent or local office supply shop.
Next make sure you have a list of the children’s birthdays (dates).
At the beginning of each week, take a moment to write a short message on the back of each of the stars for each child that has a birthday that week.
You could write a simple birthday message or you could also just write a few things you really appreciate about that child.
On the morning or sometime during the birthday day, you could simply leave the star on their desk. I feel like this would depend on the nature of the child – if they are shy, maybe tucking it into one of their main lesson books that they are sure to open may be better than simply leaving it on the desk. You’ll know what is right for each child.
And that’s that.
With all the preparations teachers need to do for lessons I understand that as children grow older birthdays can easily disappear into the background of everything. However I believe the simplest of intentions can create a powerful ripple effect in our lives.
Taking a moment to bring the birthday child into your thoughts on the morning of the birthday and offering them a simple star to acknowledge this special milestone of crossing another year will bring lots of joy.
I hope this sparks your imagination and creativity!
P.S. If you are new here, I’d love you to take a look at my ebook Magical Birthdays for Children. It is filled with creative ideas, recipes and rituals to celebrate birthdays with children.