Birthdays especially for young children are among the most long-awaited events of the year, and for very good reasons!
In fact, Birthdays are a great way of celebrating life, and new beginnings, or embracing the progress the child has made as they grow older.
But did you ever wonder how birthdays are celebrated in the Montessori Prepared environment?
This educational philosophy takes every need and requirement of the Absorbent Mind and provides children with a specifically designed environment.
Birthdays in a Montessori Classroom Environment are more than just an occasion of joy and triumph, in fact, in accordance with the Montessori Philosophy, birthday celebrations are a way of learning that go beyond cupcakes, streamers, or balloons.
Like any other Montessori Activity, birthdays in Montessori are also a way of inculcating meaningful lessons in the child.
Children in a Montessori Classroom, learn how to cherish the beauty of life and the joys of living by celebrating their birthday in the Montessori Way!
If you are a parent, an educator, or an immediate caregiver who wants to celebrate the child’s birthday based on Montessori Principles, look no further.
Here is how you can incorporate the Montessori Birthday Celebration Tradition into your child’s learning environment.
What is a Montessori Birthday Celebration, Exactly?
The true meaning of life often gets lost in between presents, decorations, and the festivities of the party.
Unlike the Traditional Method of celebrating birthdays, which incorporates streamers, balloons, and cake, celebrating birthdays the “Montessori Way” takes a more Philosophical approach.
The Montessori Birthday celebration focuses on teaching children about the passing of time as well as recognizing the child’s special day.
As part of the meaningful educational curriculum for children between the ages of 3 to 6 years, the Montessori Birthday celebration is a great way to help your child understand the miracle of being alive.
What is the Montessori Birthday Walk?
The common or central way of celebrating the child’s birthday in a Montessori Classroom Environment is through the ceremonial Montessori Birthday walk.
Montessori Birthday walk is the recognition of the child’s special day and allows the child to share their special day with their classmates.
But, the Montessori Birthday walk is more than just a ceremony celebrating the child’s special day, like any other Montessori Activity, it is a way of learning about new concepts.
The Montessori Birthday walks incorporated different physical props that represent the journey of life.
Not only does this ceremonial walk represent the child’s growth and recognize their special day, but it is also a great way of developing the child’s gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and cognitive skills.
Lastly, The Montessori Birthday walk also helps children comprehend the complex concepts encompassing both astronomy and time.
Montessori Birthday Walk Preparations:
The planning and preparations of the Birthday Walk begin a couple of days before the child’s birthday.
In order to efficiently prepare for the walk, the educator or directress will contact the parents or guardians of the student whose birthday is approaching.
Collecting appropriate information regarding the child’s development process, major life events, and achievements is the key to planning a successful birthday walk the child will remember and cherish for years to come.
You will require some images of the child, collect information about the child’s life, and learn about the major milestones the child has achieved.
How to perform the Montessori Birthday Walk?
After all the prerequisites of the Montessori Birthday Walk have been collected, it is now time to organize and introduce the activity to the students.
Follow the steps to conduct your own Montessori Birthday Walk in your Montessori Environment:
- The adult will lay down a mat in the center of the classroom
- The adult will then situate a candle in a candle holder right in the center of the mat (the candle will act as the sun)
- At the edges of the mat, the adult will place the cards attached to a string fashioning the names of each month of the year
- It is important to place all the months in the correct chronological sequence
- The adult will instruct the pupils in the classroom to sit around the perimeter of the classroom with a lot of space between them
- The adult will instruct the student who has their birthday to sit in the middle of the room
- The birthday child will be instructed to hold a sandpaper globe and approach the card delineating their birthday month
- The birthday child will then be instructed to walk toward the center and start a rotation around the sun to the next month and so on in a chronological order
- It is important to note that the rotations will be directly proportionate to the age of the child
- Each rotation around the sun will be accompanied by a song that goes as:
“The earth goes round the sun (3 times) and then
(the name of the child) is one”
- Once all rotations of the birthday child are completed, the child will then blow out the candle
- The teacher will then begin to show different images and artifacts to the students depicting the child’s life and their major milestones
- The child will also be instructed to tell the class about themselves and their life in the class
- Lastly, the whole class will sing the “Happy Birthday” song, (although not required)
Guidelines and notes on preparing birthday snacks:
Birthdays can be a recurrent or frequent event in a mixed-age level classroom like that of the Montessori Method.
Hence it is best to avoid incorporating extremely sugary treats or unhealthy snacks into birthday events as an excess sugar intake can pose health risks.
Here are some guidelines you follow to provide pupils with snacks that are aligned with the Montessori Philosophy:
- Remember not to add any cupcakes, donuts, cakes, or even cookies
- The tasty treats should be smaller in terms of size
- The snacks and treats should be properly labeled for children who have any type of allergies
- Some fun snacks you can add are jello, fresh fruit cups, kebabs, pretzels, granola bars, popcorn, mini muffins without icing, and watermelon slices
Why Celebrate Birthday the Montessori Way?
While Birthday Celebrations by themselves are fun and exciting, the Montessori Method of education takes the festivities of birthdays as a learning opportunity.
Montessori Birthday Celebration and Montessori Birthday Walk are great ways of teaching the child about the beauty of life and the pleasures of existence.
Children not only get the opportunity to be recognized for their special but also get the pleasure of sharing a part of their life with their classmates, peers, and teachers.