Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You Don't Need Cake to Celebrate

How do you celebrate your students/children's birthdays?  Do you have a favorite birthday song, game or food?  Do you have a birthday basket to pick out a present or book?  Do you have a family/friend party?

Many schools encourage celebrating without food due to food allergies and concerns about healthy eating.  When my daughter was in preschool she wore a birthday crown that she made at school and a special birthday pin.  In elementary school she gets to pick a book out of the birthday basket and her name is announced over the loud speaker.

Movement Activity- Birthday Wishes
When I celebrate a student's birthday, the class makes a giant cake (a big  seated circle around the birthday child.) The reason I have the children sit is so the class can focus on the special birthday girl/boy.  I "light" each candle, and the children extend their arms overhead and flicker their fingers. We sing "Happy Birthday"  while the birthday child dances to his/her song.  Then with a movement that represents the wind, the birthday child "blows" each candle out.  Each  candle" is blown out and melts to the ground.

Of course, this activity does not only have to take place in school.  Try it at your next birthday celebration and add some movement to the "Happy Birthday" song.  I love to move when I sing, especially when I am trying to hit those stubborn high notes!

Have fun celebrating with movement with the kids in your life!



  1. I love this idea! SO CREATIVE! I can't wait to try it! :)

  2. Hello Stacey,

    I always found birthday food to be too messy for my dance classes. I agree with you that movement activities work well for birthday celebrations too. For example, when it is a child's birthday, I create a dance move in honor of the child. Throughout the class, I stop the kids and say, "everyone do the Chelsea move around Chelsea...", and I'll play some fun music too.

  3. I love this! Thank you for sharing your ideas!