Wait for it Wednesday ~ Class Birthday celebrations

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Welcome to another edition of :

So curious how you all celebrate birthdays at your sites...I love being friends with teachers all over the world and hearing how different things are done at different districts.  
So with that being said I want to share how my birthday celebrations have evolved over the years.
Back in the day - parents would bring in  cupcakes with mile high frosting and the kids would be on a sugar high for days hours that's why the smart teachers did the celebration 10 minutes before school got out. LOL
Then the healthy kids movement came through So. Cal and my district NO LONGER allowed sweets or home baked items.  So there were very limited items on the list that they could bring in ~ ~ which included skinny cows.  Let me tell you that's about all the parents bring in and it got old after a while. I wanted cookies or wine even.  KIDDING, kidding of course.
But seriously jump ahead a few more years and I started receiving longer allergy lists from the nurse and emails from parents about kids with special diets.  ( gluten free, dairy free etc. ) It became more of a 'chore' to celebrate a birthday: kids were feeling left out because they couldn't eat the skinny cow ice cream or had allergies, etc.   I found myself consoling first graders during what was suppose to be a fun celebration.  That started becoming not.so.fun!
SO ~ about 4 years ago I did away with birthdays well not really.  I told the parents at Back to School night that I loved birthdays and wanted to make their child feel extra special on those days but I no longer allowed food to be brought in.  The first time I did it I was soo nervous for Back to School Night.  I felt like a first year teacher.  My palms were sweating and I was like : they are going to eat me alive.  Do you know what...after I said it, I had about  two thirds of the parents clap.  NO JOKE!  They were smiling and clapping and I was so relieved!  However that left the other third...some had crossed arms, angry eyebrows, etc.  But the parents of kids with allergies or the super uber busy working parents ( from home or work ).  Let's be honest raising toddlers is a full time job right?!?!  They cheered, one mom told me afterwards that she was so happy because her child always felt left out due to her special diet and classroom birthday parties brought anxiety.  
I have since then stuck to it and each year I don't get any nasty emails or attitudes.  I provide their child with a fun crazy birthday straw which you can get { here }

They also receive a birthday pencil from the front office and a birthday shout out from the principal.  I also use to give them a fun seat pocket to hang on their chair but now with flexible seating I've replaced that with a special cushion they can use. 
Don't get me wrong:  I 'm a huge proponent of kids being kids and there are many times I think we push kids too hard.  I don't want them missing out on the 'fun' stuff of being a kid at all.  I just want every child to feel supported in my room and for me this works.  It eliminates sad kids and being worried if anyone is allergic to anything that might be brought.  All the while still making the  birthday child feel special!  How do you celebrate?

Also if you need a way to display student birthdays this is brand new in my store:  

You can grab it { here }

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