9 Birthday Celebration Ideas and Activities for Elementary Classrooms at School

9 Classroom Birthday Celebration Ideas for Upper Elementary Teachers

When it comes to celebrating birthdays in the classroom, I love to go all out! You will love thse birthday celebration ideas and activities for your elementary classroom at school!

Making a big deal of a student's birthday goes a long way to helping you build relationships with your students. When you include the rest of the class in the celebration, it helps strengthen your classroom community.

Even our "big kids" in upper elementary love to be recognized on their special day. By doing the following, you will be helping to make your kids' birthdays one they will always remember. Prep for all of your students' birthdays this back-to-school season with these easy-to-implement ideas.

Try all these or any combination to make birthday celebrations in your classroom the best days of the school year.

birthday chart ideas and activities for classrooms at school

1. Celebrate with a Display

Who doesn't love to see their name displayed? A birthday display is a great way to show your students your interest in them and their special day. It also serves as an important reminder of the birthdays that will occur during the year. We all know how hectic the teacher life can be, so any visual reminder to help me remember important days is welcomed!

2. 10 Minutes of Fame

I love the 10 minutes of fame concept that we do for each student's birthday. It is super simple, but it always makes the birthday child smile!  Just ask the birthday student what they want to do with the class for 10 minutes of fame in honor of them and their special day. 

These are the choices I give my students:

  • Play a class game of hangman, four corners, or seven up
  • Have 10 minutes of free time
  • Watch an educational video for 10 minutes
You can add anything to this list that your students like!

3. Make a Goodie Bag

I love prepping goodie bags for students' birthdays before school even starts. Over the summer, I grab different fun items I see at the dollar store, Target, or Amazon. By the time the week before school arrives, I have a collection of fun little goodies for the kids to put into goodie bags. I make enough for the class and keep them in my closet. When each special day arrives, I simply pull out a bag and am good to go!

Here are some examples of things I use to create student birthday goodie bags:

I wrap them up with colorful string and attach a quick note from myself.

I avoid food or candy in the bags for a few reasons. I make the bags beforehand, so I do not want food in the closet all year. Also, our school has a food wellness policy, and candy is prohibited. Additionally, as a mama of a child with a severe food allergy, staying away from unneeded food in the classroom is the best way to include all children.

birthday chart and card ideas for classrooms at school

4. Send a Card

Don't overlook sending a birthday card to your students! They can take it home from school and always cherish it, especially when you include the rest of the class.

I love to write out special birthday cards, like these, for each student on their birthday. Just print, cut, and fold, and you have a "real" card for your students from you!

I also use a full-page card, like this one, for the birthday child from the whole class. Simply print it and keep it on the back table. Have the kids come up one at a time to write a quick, positive birthday message for the birthday child. The last student to sign it delivers it to the birthday child. These are always a hit with my students.

The handwritten notes go a long way in making the birthday child feel special!

5. Read a Special Book

A few years ago, my school moved away from birthday celebrations in the classroom, which included parents/family bringing in cupcakes and sweet treats. Instead, one family member is invited to read a book the class. I love this new tradition! We love having family in the classroom, especially in the upper grades, to celebrate the children. If parents are not permitted in your school or simply cannot take the time off from work to come and read, invite the child's family to send in a book to be read in the child's honor. You can read the book, or the birthday child can read the book. This makes for a nice, relaxing, and calm way to celebrate!

Need some read-aloud suggestions? Try these!

birthday word search and fun student packet from the teacher

6. Student Activities: Fun Book and Birthday Poster

On a student's birthday in my classroom, they are excused from completing morning work. Instead, they complete the birthday fun pack! They absolutely love it! To create this, I simply copy the following pages and staple them into a booklet:

  • Birthday coloring page (I use as the cover)
  • Birthday word search
  • Birthday Doodle Thinkers Activity
  • Birthday About Me Poster

The birthday child works on this booklet throughout morning work. By the end of the day, they share their completed birthday about me poster. It is a simple way to make the birthday child feel extra special!

7. Sing!

My students always call my singing time embarrassment time! I get a good laugh every time they say it! I make a big deal of singing to each child. The birthday child is called to the front of the room, they sit on the stool, state if they want cha-chas or no cha-chas, and we get to belting out a class sing-along of Happy Birthday. It is so much fun, and we all laugh. Don't skip singing; even in fifth grade, my students love it!

8. Decorate Student Desk, Cubby, or Locker

Nothing says Happy Birthday like some decorations! Grab some streamers and get decorating! I love to decorate the birthday child's chair with streamers. It is simple, fun, and easy to clean up! Other options include wrapping the child's desktop with birthday wrapping paper, or decorating their cubby or locker with notes and streamers. These little touches make a big difference.

9. Summer Birthdays? No problem!

As a summer birthday myself, I know how important it is to be recognized and celebrated by your peers on your special day. For summer birthdays, we celebrate each child on their own day during the last two weeks of school. I like to celebrate as close as possible to their actual birthday.

Another option I know many teachers do is to celebrate half-birthdays. The choice is yours, but please include summer birthday celebrations before the school year ends. 

Birthdays are an important part of the year. Not just for kids but for all of us! Just because your students are getting older does not mean they do not want to celebrate. In fact, it is the opposite. Once the year's first birthday is celebrated, the rest of the kids can not wait to have their birthday celebrated in class, too! Enjoy your students and their special days with these simple ideas that leave a lasting, positive impression.

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Looking for classroom decor to kick off your school year? See more HERE.

back to school classroom decor

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9 Classroom Birthday Celebration Ideas for Upper Elementary Teachers

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