Birthdays are super exciting for preschoolers, and we like to make the day we celebrate at preschool as special as possible. Your child will not only get to do the usual special helper things, which include being first in line, signaling for clean-up time, (the mulit-age classes use a small gong), bring something for show and tell, play the special helper game, and help pass things out, but will also get to wear a birthday crown, (if they want to), pick something out of the birthday box, (they love this), blow candles out on a pretend cake, (we do use this time to talk about fire safety), and have his, or her classmates sing a rousing “Happy Birthday to You”, with only a few Cha, Cha, Chas.
We start by assigning your child a day, as close as possible, to their actual birthday to be the special helper. If your child has a late August birthday, or a summer birthday, we usually celebrate their 1/2 birthday. This year, we were able to already assign everyone their birthday special helper day. (Thanks to those of you who were flexible with the day, since it seems like we have a lot right around Valentine’s day this year!) On your child’s special helper birthday snack day, we ask for you to go ahead and bring the regular healthy snack options. Then, you have choices. You can bring in a special treat to share with class that we present to the students after the healthy options. This could be Rice Krispie Treats, Oreos, donuts, donut holes, mini-cupcakes, regular cupcakes, (just watch the icing), cupcakes in ice cream cones, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, skittles, etc. Most people usually pick this option. Some families prefer to allow the parent to have control of when to give their child the special treat, and will make something to have their child pass out to their friends at the end of class. I have seen cookies on sticks, Peep S’mores, chocolate covered pretzels, trail mix, giant bakery cookies, etc. If you would like to steer clear from the treat/dessert item entirely, you may want to opt to have your child pass out treat bags, or coloring books.
The following are some things you can do, called “birthday bonus points”. If you choose, you can purchase a book to donate to the class. We usually read the book you donate to the class on that day. You also may make a special picture collage that we could post in the classroom for that week; similar to the summer fun projects. If you choose to do the collage, we have your child explain the pictures and events displayed during show and tell time.
At home, on your child’s birthday, you may want to check out “Happy Birthday to You” by Dr. Seuss. My husband Tom’s family used to read this on everyone’s birthday in his family growing up, and we have enjoyed reading it to Abe and Cal on their birthdays.
Please understand that we would like parents to refrain from passing birthday invitations out at preschool, unless the whole class is invited to the birthday party. This goes a long way to prevent any hurt feelings. Also, we tell our students that we do not talk about birthday parties at school unless the whole class was invited, or if it was a family only party.