Monday, February 7, 2011

Birthday Celebration--Montessori Style

I love the Montessori birthday celebration! This is a day to celebrate the life of the child and how they have developed over the years. We invite parents in for our birthday celebration and I am eagerly awaiting being on the parent side of this occasion this spring when Humphrey turns 4. I have been on the teacher side for several years and doing this celebration for each family.

All of the children gather on the classroom line; a low table is placed in the middle; upon the table is a yellow candle to represent the sun; a sandpaper or continent globe is chosen by the child.

First we read, On The Day You Were Born, by Debra Fraizer. This is a beautiful book, it's extra special to insert the birthday child's name with each page.

Now it's time for the child to walk around the sun, carrying the globe, one rotation for each year of their life. During each rotation, the teacher is talking about things the child was doing during this year. For example, when you were 1-- you were beginning to walk and eat new foods...when you were 3 you came to our class...
Following the birthday walk the class sings Tom Chapin's version of Happy Birthday

We also invite families to donate a book or piece of artwork to the class to celebrate their child--nonfiction books are the best and many families choose a book from their ethnic/cultural background or tie it into a topic the class is learning about that given year.