Friday, February 19, 2016

Birthdays at School

Kids LOVE to celebrate their birthday! Not only do they want a birthday party at home, they also want to have a party at school with their friends.  Back in the day, classroom parties often consisted of cupcakes and ice-cream, juice, balloons, and games.   Now, however, many school districts prefer birthdays not to be a disruption to the instruction; celebrations are minimal. 

Many teachers, including myself,  recognize the students birthday with a certificate, small prize or gift, and everyone singing "Happy Birthday".  To avoid the last minute scurry to find something special for the kids, it helps to prep a birthday display at the start of the year.  Along with having each student's name and birthday on a poster or bulletin board, keep the prizes on display nearby.  It's another visual reminder to not forget someone's birthday - that's a terrible feeling!

With growing class sizes, I found myself spending $40-$50 just on items to giveaway for birthdays.  Then, I came across ideas on pinterest to make inexpensive prizes.  After creating my own tags, and a trip to the dollar store, I was able to make a class set for under $5! 

Birthday Pencils -  Simply cut out these printable tags, and tape them to a decorative pencil!  I put these in a magnetic pen holder, and kept it on the board next to the birthday poster. The birthday kiddo gets to choose a special pencil at the beginning of the day.  (Tip - be sure to sharpen the pencils before putting them out for display.)  They LOVE writing with their special pencil all day.  If they want, they can take it home at the end of the day to show their family. 

 Cool Crazy Straws - Again, simply cut and tape these Birthday toppers to crazy straws.  Usually, I like to get a variety of colored straws, but when I went to the store, they only had packs of red and black.  The kids think these straws are the funniest thing ever.  Several kids asked to use them at lunch, but I told them they had to take them home and have their mom or dad wash it first.  ;-) I can just picture the milk bubble blowing that would've occurred at the lunch table...  Another crowd pleaser, the birthday kiddo left feeling special with this cool crazy straw!

Cool Crazy Straws

The printable birthday tags below have 4 different designs:                
  • a girl with a present, bordered in pink polka dots
  • a boy with confetti bordered in blue polka dots
  • a cupcake bordered in green polka dots
  • an owl bordered in red polka dots

While school celebrations may not be as extravagant as they once were, there are ways to make every kid feel special on their birthday! Parents -  these would also be great for cheap party favors.  You could tape the tags on candy treats, such as pixie sticks, lollipops, or nerd ropes. Put them in a cute bucket by the door, and tell each kid to grab one on their way out :)


  1. I love celebrating birthdays! These tags with small gifts are a great idea! :)

  2. I used to love birthday parties in class when I was a kid. I'm kind of glad I'm in junior high and don't have to deal with it. But I do love the straw idea! Very cute!

    1. Thank you! I like to help them celebrate while keeping it simple :)