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Montessori Birthday Celebrations


Montessori Birthday Celebrations


Montessori classrooms have a unique way of celebrating the children’s birthdays, and although sweets are not necessarily forbidden, this tradition has nothing to do with cupcakes.

The Montessori birthday celebration focuses on concepts related to the passage of time while truly honoring each child on his or her special day. Montessori students understand what it really means to have a birthday.

Preparing to Celebrate Students’ Birthdays

As a child’s birthday approaches, reach out to the parents or guardians. You will need some photos from each year of the child’s life as well as information about major life events or milestones that happened each year. Things like getting a younger sibling or moving to a new house are examples, but anything important to the child works. All of this will help you when it comes to the child’s birthday celebration in the classroom.

The Montessori Birthday Tradition

When a child has a birthday, the guide will light a candle in the center of the room to represent the sun. The months of the year are written on sentence strips (or you can use the month strips that come ready-made with classroom calendars) and placed evenly in a circle around the candle.

The birthday boy or girl holds a globe while walking a circle around the “sun”, starting at his or her birthday month. The whole class sings this song, to the tune of The Farmer and the Dell:

The Earth goes round the sun

The Earth goes round the sun

The Earth goes round the sun

And [child’s name] was one.

At this point, the teacher will show the child’s photos or artifacts from age one and talk about what happened at this age. Allow the child to speak when he wants to and allow others to ask a few questions.

This process is repeated until the child’s current age is reached. At this point, you may add the Happy Birthday song if you’d like and serve treats.

A Note on Birthday Sweets

Since classroom birthdays happen fairly frequently, it may not be a wise idea to allow sugary treats. Added sugar does not prepare the mind and body adequately for learning. Some teachers allow sweets only on the way out of school, but an even better idea is to allow healthy treats like fruits. This way the class can share food together without disrupting the learning process or harmony of the classroom.

Integrating Learning Into the Montessori Birthday Tradition

Montessori birthdays promote a true understanding of what it means to “turn 3”.

Using the example of a third birthday, displaying the “3” sandpaper numeral and the “3” number rod will help draw the children’s attention to the quantity three and reinforce what they have been learning in the classroom.

The Earth Goes Round the Sun tradition lets kids act out the passage of time in a concrete way. They get to see how their existence fits into our greater world while gaining a basic understanding of astronomical concepts at a young age.

Birthdays are not just about gifts and cake, they are about honoring a person’s life and the events that have unfolded in it thus far. The Montessori birthday tradition promotes respect for the child by celebrating even the smallest members of society in this special way.