When I first started teaching, how to respond to children’s birthdays seemed to be a bit of a dilemma to me. I wanted to find the perfect balance between celebrating each child’s birthday in a special and personal way, but not going so over the top that it wasn’t sustainable or became a chore. Luckily, I picked up an idea from another teacher at my school and I’ve done it ever since. I really love it and I think the children do too, so I thought I would share it.
I have a very simple template of a birthday card: an A4 sheet of card folded in half with a clip art ‘happy birthday’ design on the front. On the back are the words ‘We love you because…’ I get enough photocopies for the whole class done at the start of the year, plus a few spares for good measure and possible newbies (Golden Rule of Teaching #57 I believe). On each child’s birthday, I ask the rest of the class to finish off that ‘We love you because…’ sentence. What do we love about Billy Bob? Why do we love having him around? They share their responses and I write them on the back of the card. All the children then sign the inside of the card and the birthday boy/girl takes the card home hopefully feeling buoyant after being told why they’re so wonderful!
It’s a really simple, free thing to do and a nice little PSHCE exercise to boot.