Having a birthday on a school day can be very exciting for a child. The class sings happy birthday and often parents send cupcakes or cookies. Most students’ birthdays in my class have gone rather well. However, there have been a few times that the day could have gone better. For those days, I have some advice.
If sending birthday party invitations to school, please send enough invitations for the entire class or at least invite either all of the girls or all of the boys, depending on the gender of the child. Too often, invitations are sent to school only for a select few. It is too heartbreaking for those not invited. It is much easier to explain to the girls that only the boys were invited or vise versa. If you cannot send invitations for everyone, contact the teacher for addresses and mail the invitations.
When sending invitations to school with your child, make sure that he/she gives the invitations to the teacher and not to the children. Most students are too excited to wait and begin handing out cards as soon as they see their classmates. Invitations are then scattered across the room and do not make it home with the children.
If you plan on sending birthday treats for your child’s class, ask the teacher for a specific time and treat preference. I have always appreciated parents that sent paper plates or paper towels along with cupcakes. I usually have these items in my room, but I have been caught short of them! Juice boxes are also great.
With new healthier school plans, it might be a better idea to surprise your child and eat lunch together at school instead of sending treats. When teaching first grade, I had a girl whose mother performed as a clown through her church. On the girl’s birthday, the mother and a friend surprised her and put on a show for my class. The event was prearranged with me. It took twenty minutes out my class, the students loved it, and I didn’t have the mess or sugar rush left from cupcakes.
Another wonderful idea for teachers is to offer the treat of fifteen minutes extra recess on a student’s birthday. At the beginning of the year, you could tell the parents to send a class activity instead of sweets. You could suggest sending bubbles or sidewalk chalk. The children will probably enjoy it more and it is much healthier!