Is planning your child's birthday celebration at the child care center or school stressing you out? Food allergies and school policies are increasingly making it more difficult for parents to choose the right in-school birthday celebration. With a little creativity and research, parents can start planning birthday parties without the stress at your child's school or classroom.
Birthday Treats for School and Child Care
Here are a few outside the goodies (and goodie bags) ideas:
- Give the Gift of Your Time in the Classroom. Young children feel so special when their parent comes to school. On your child's birthday, read a story to the class, help the teacher with her planned activity, go along for outside time, or just hang out with your child and her classmates. Build a pretend cake in the block corner, sing "Happy Birthday" and blow out the candles. That's a day your child will remember.
- Plan a Special Birthday Activity for Your Child's Class. Plan an activity for parents to lead in the classroom and bring in the supplies. Make birthday hats and decorate them. Make a craft, organize a science project, or play a game. Check out your local library for age-appropriate ideas. No matter what activity you and your child select, your child will be very proud!
- Donate to the School or Child Care Center. Donate something to the school or child care center in recognition of your child's birthday. There are lots of things to choose from such as books, puzzles, toys, music, or computer software. Your child's teacher will have plenty of ideas. Then take your child shopping and let him choose the gift to donate with your guidance. Add a label to the item, "This book was given to ABC Learning Center in celebration of Ashley's 3rd birthday." Don't forget the date. Your child and the school will appreciate the birthday donation for years to come.
- Bring in Birthday Food & Treats. Be sure to check the school policies prior to bringing in birthday food and treats. Birthday celebrations can happen at breakfast, lunch, or snack. Children love simple items like fruit, frozen yogurt, soft pretzels, and muffins. Stack your treats on a platter to resemble a cake, stick in a candle, and sing "Happy Birthday." You don't even have to light it to have fun. Try a candle in a sandwich or a "tower" made entirely of fruit for a fun and healthy birthday treat. Your child and his friends will enjoy the silliness.
- Create a Birthday Tribute. Create a tribute that says something about your child and his interests or heritage, and then share it with the class. You and your child could make a collage of photographs showing your family. Write a story together and read it to the class. Your child can dictate the words and provide the illustrations. For a special touch, laminate and bind the book at your local office supply store. Make two copies and give one to the school.
Birthdays mark the passage of time and can highlight special relationships among people. Let that be your guide when coming up with your child's birthday celebration ideas for the classroom or child care center!
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