Many happy returns (part 1)

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By Judith Harries

Explore new ideas for celebrating birthdays in your setting, making it an extra special day for the birthday boy or girl, and an occasion that the other children can look forward to when it’s their turn.

Birthday girl

Birthday display boards

Set up a birthday display board showing the dates of all the children in their group so it can be used for reference to remind children (and staff). There are lots of ways to make these boards special and here are a few to try:
  • Use the cup cake template on the Activity sheet, ‘Birthday board template’ to create a cake for each month of the year. Each child can choose a coloured lollipop stick candle with their name written on and stick the date number on the top on a piece of orange paper cut into a flame shape. Other ideas for display boards include hot air balloons, rockets, presents, train carriages, and so on.
  • Make the board 3D using open party or gift bags stuffed with tissue paper, one for each month with the children’s names listed on the front and a small gift inside for them to pick like a ‘lucky dip’ on the day.
  • Alternatively, make 12 strings of origami cranes with one for each birthday child in each month. The children can then take them home on their special day as a gift!
  • Make a birthday graph. This can be used as a learning opportunity for the children. Make a tally chart of the birthdays in each month and then display the results as a colourful block graph. Children could write their names on a different coloured block for each month.
  • Take photographs of the children whose birthdays fall in each month, holding up the number of the month on a piece of card, and display as a birthday calendar.
  • Print out the picture frame from the Activity sheet, ‘Today’s the day’ and stick it to the board. Then, when it’s a child’s birthday they can add their name card or picture to the frame for the whole day, just so that nobody forgets!
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