On top of logistics, today many children have food allergies or are following special diets. It can’t be fun for them to watch the rest of the class indulge while they eat the gluten-free, vegan snack their parents have provided. There is also a good case to be made for less sugar in our children’s diets. So, perhaps it is time to let go of the class birthday treat and find a fun alternative. Here are a few ideas:
Class Birthday Book I
Instead of treats, the child brings a special book to add to the class library. The child or the teacher writes who gave the book and what birthday he or she is celebrating on the inside front cover. The child or teacher reads the book to the class (or a favorite part if it is a chapter book).
Class Birthday Book II
Each child in the class makes a page for the birthday child’s Birthday Book. A page consists of a picture and a positive statement about the birthday child – something that is admired or appreciated. The birthday child makes the cover. The teacher makes a page, too, and all the pages are bound in a special book for the birthday child to take home.
Birthday child gets to choose a game for the whole class to play. For older children the birthday child could lead the game if he or she chooses.
The birthday child may invite family members to eat with him or her. If possible, there is a special birthday lunch table. The special table could have a table cloth and a vase of flowers to make it a little more special. Another variation is to let the birthday child eat at the birthday table with friends of his or her choice, possibly from other classes.
Almost everyone can eat plain popcorn, and it is still a treat. Maybe not as good as cupcakes but still fun. You could have a couple helpers pop some in an air popper at recess and then have it as a birthday treat.
You can find more birthday ideas at the Birthday Linky Party at Sunny Days in Second Grade!