Classroom Birthday Celebrations
It's a topic I struggle with year after year. When my boy came home, the day before his birthday, he was excited to share news of the other kid who had celebrated a birthday in the classroom that day. Excited, he said "we made buttons, each person got to make two of their own buttons". And also: the celebrant distributed owl stickers (the owl is the school mascot) and lollipops to take home.
I was a bit dumbfounded. An activity like button-making sounded like a heavy lift. I knew I couldn't come up with an activity that would compare with the wow-factor. It was already 9pm the night before his birthday and I had let the teacher know I would come for the 30-minutes window before lunch. But: I had no idea what I'd do. I had no bandwidth to conduct an art activity. I considered playing a classroom game (like "heads up 7-up"). What else? And, what about the treats? Bring some, bring none, bring fruit, bring pencils?
The next day, it was a hectic work-day especially since I had taken off for an hour to show up in the birthday boy's classroom. I was disheveled and disorganized as I sauntered into the room with 3 large framed photos of the celebrant from prior birthdays and his baby book in hand. I read selected excerpts from the baby book: about his favorite foods, about his love for music from a young age, about his favorite sports now that he was older. The classmates laughed at the stories, and my boy loved the attention.
As for treat? I found it within myself that morning to make a batch of mini-muffin tin donuts, a household favorite that takes me 20 minutes, beginning to end. Thank goodness his classroom allowed homemade treats (some classrooms don't!). Happy Birthday, big boy!