I feel that it is important to do something at school for students’ birthdays. It is the one day out of the year that is THEIR DAY so I feel that it should be acknowledged with something special.
Over the years I have tried different options for celebrating student birthdays. I’ve included my favorites in this post. The basics have stayed the same – the birthday student is acknowledged as soon as they arrive – why make them wait when I know they are excited. They are given a certificate, something to wear (if they choose), and a special gift. Their desk or cubby is decorated with streamers, we sing Happy Birthday first thing in the morning, they can choose their class job for the day, and if they have brought a special treat from home we have it for snack. The options for the gifts, certificates and apparel have changed over the years. I have listed my favorite student birthday ideas below.
Student Birthday Gift Ideas
I found this idea several years ago on Pinterest and absolutely love it (I can’t remember the original Pinner to give credit)! These birthday “sundaes” are very simple to create, look adorable and special sitting on students’ desks, and my students love receiving them – win,win!
You can purchase the dome cups and lids on Amazon (set of 50 or set of 25) or kindly ask your local McDonalds or Starbucks for donations. Fill the bottom of the cup with candy or small prizes. Add crinkle cut paper to resemble the whipped topping. You can find it on Amazon or your local craft store or shred and “crinkle” your own white paper. Place a red lollipop (Tootsie Pop) through the top hole to resemble a cherry (please note that the gifts I give to the students have a wrapped Tootsie Pop, I did not have one on hand for these pictures which is why the lollipop is not wrapped) and a pencil through the hole to resemble a straw. Glue or tape a student gift tag or label on the cup.
Another simple birthday treat that students love receiving are bubbles! They can be purchased in multi-packs at Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Attach a birthday gift tag with ribbon and voila you’re done!
Special pencils are a simple and useful birthday gift that students love receiving. You can find birthday pencils at school or office supply stores, party stores, Walmart, Amazon, Oriental Trading, Really Good Stuff. Simply tape a special birthday gift tag to them to make look extra special. A saying that I like to add to the tag is “A gift that is just “write” for your birthday”.
Goldfish Crackers or Swedish Fish – You are “o-fish-ally” 6 years old
Since turning another year older is a big deal to young children I really like this gift idea because it emphasizes their official age. You can purchase the snack bags of Goldfish Crackers or Swedish Fish and attach a birthday gift tag or buy a large container and fill a baggie with either Goldfish Crackers or Swedish Fish and attach a birthday gift tag with a ribbon. Put the saying “Happy birthday! You are “o-fish-ally” 6 (insert age) years old!” on the tag.
I’m Bursting with Excitement Starburst Treats
If your students enjoy Starburst candy, a cute birthday saying for their gift tag is “I’m bursting with excitement that it’s your birthday!”.
Cookies or Sweets – Wishing You a Birthday as Sweet as You
If your school allows giving cookies or sweets as birthday treats, a cute saying for the gift tag is “Wishing you a birthday as sweet as you!”. I have attached them to snack size bags of cookies as well as the large wrapped cookies.
Scooby Doo Graham Cracker Sticks – Special Treat for Your Birthday
For the last several years I have had a dog theme in my classroom and therefore have given these birthday treats to match our theme. I purchased individual snack bags of Scooby Doo Graham Cracker Sticks (they are shaped liked dog bones) and attached a birthday tag with the saying “A treat for your special day”.
Treat Bag / Birthday Box
When I first started teaching, the school where I taught had a birthday box for each grade. It was a copier paper box that was gift wrapped and filled with special prizes from Oriental Trading. When you had a birthday in your class, you would bring in the birthday box and the birthday student was allowed to pick a prize. (sorry I don’t have a picture of it as it was a long time ago lol).
When I moved to a different school I changed the idea slightly. I liked the idea that the student had some choice in their gift but I also wanted to give them something special from me so I combined the two. I would place a few items from me in a baggie (pencil, candy, bookmark, etc.) and then they also got to choose something out of our class treasure chest. After they chose their gift, it would be placed in the baggie and I would tie the baggie with ribbon and attach a birthday gift tag for a special treat that they took home that day.
I used to give the same birthday certificate to every student, but now I have several birthday certificate templates that I personalize with not only their names but a special message. I feel this makes it individualized and special for each student.
Each student also gets a signed certificate/card from their classmates. I pass it around when students arrive (I try to be secretive about it) and then present it to the birthday girl or boy after we sing Happy Birthday.
For students who have birthdays during the summer months, we celebrate their “half birthday” during the school year. As someone who has a summer birthday, I never got a chance to celebrate my birthday at school and always felt left out so I make sure that doesn’t happen to any of my students. They receive the same treats and a special “Half Birthday” certificate.
Apparel and Birthday Brag Tags
When I first began teaching I gave the children birthday crowns to wear on their special day. I have since changed to allowing them to choose between a badge or necklace because the crowns seemed a little uncomfortable and didn’t always stay on their heads.
I have started using brag tags in my classroom and I give students a special birthday brag tag that they can add to their necklaces.