Birthdays are in important time for children. Acknowledging and celebrating them are great for building class community as well as your individual relationship with students. Here are some ideas for how you can make birthdays special for preschool and elementary students.

Buy birthday cards in bulk at the beginning of the year. Write students names on the envelopes and sort them in order of birthdays. Keep these in a small box on your desk so you are ready to write in them as the date approaches and then hand them out or mail them.

Keep a stack of birthday hats to use for classroom celebrations.

Received a gift in an extra-pretty box? Hold onto it to keep small gifts inside. Let birthday students choose an item from this box, which should be separate from a normal prize box. Keep it on a high shelf so students can’t reach it, but within sight as part of class decor.

Your school probably won’t supply you with a birthday tablecloth for each student, but probably does supply you with access to bulletin board paper in bright colors. Take a long sheet of this to cover a table (or desks pushed together) to make the room look more celebratory. Bonus: it’s more eco-friendly than plastic tablecloths!

Even if you want to light a candle with your students, most schools won’t allow it. But you can add some fiery colors to a regular candle with tissue paper or even buy an electronic candle that students can pretend to blow out over their own cupcake.

Birthday books

Print these pages to create a birthday book for students. Have each classmate write a note and draw a picture, then assemble all pages together with the cover page of your choice.

Birthday Wall

Display birthdays on your wall with a gift bag, yarn and these balloons printed onto color paper.

You can also open that bag, fill it with whatever small gift you will give to each child, even tying it to the string, and then remove the balloon with the gift tied onto it on the child’s birthday. As the year progresses, the balloons will disappear, showing everyone how many more birthday celebrations lie ahead.

Birthday Hats

What is more fun than a birthday crown? Not much, especially for younger children! Print these crowns onto color paper to make your birthday student stand out.

Birthday Pins and Tags

Create a birthday pin for students to wear with this template. Pins are a great alternative to hats for older children, who may feel “too cool” for a crown 😉 Just print onto color paper, laminate, and tape a safety pin to the back.

Print out these tags to add onto small gifts. If you are giving students something like a pen or pencil, you can attach a birthday tag, or balloon printout to it, with their name on it, and keep them in a decorative vase or cylinder on a high shelf. If your school allows it, you may also include a uniform or homework pass.

Birthday Banner

Welcome your birthday student through the door with this banner to help set a festive mood.