Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A Montessori Birthday is Love and Genius

Before I start including Montessori Elementary stories in this blog, here's a last fond look at Montessori Preschool and the clever tradition they have to celebrate birthdays.

In the spirit of mixing it up so home "work" doesn't mirror school activities all the time, I'd like to share this with my fellow toddler/preschool moms who actually aren't into Montessori schools or do lessons strictly at home.  Do this at birthday party programs!  At the intimate family cake blowing!  You are definitely the best "teacher" for this, too. 

The idea is a 10 minute ceremony that celebrates the story of a child's life, year by year, from birth to present birthday.  It's not only a way to make them feel special, it's got educational value too :  it teaches that a year is the amount of time it takes for Earth to circle the Sun once.

Best of all, the materials needed are so easy:

a candle
a globe, real or improvised
one interesting photo per year of the celebrant
optional: something to make a large orbit around the candle (chalk, string)
optional: labels for the months of the year and the birthdate number

The simple setup:
 The layout of the months are optional.  Not pictured here is the orbit made around the sun with chalk or string.
Unless you have an ultrasound photo (like ours above) then the photos only come out during the ceremony.

Start the ceremony!

Her teacher announced her birthday and crowned her (your choice!)

Begin hosting duties by demonstrating - walk slowly around the candle holding the globe, explaining that each stands for the sun and the earth.  Every time the Earth goes all the way around the sun, a whole year has passed.  One time around the sun takes a year.

If you have an ultrasound photo of the birthday child pre-birth, bring it out and talk about it - what was special about your pregnancy, funny stories, whatever.

Then hand the globe over to the celebrant and let them have a go around the sun.

A great touch: singing!  Her teacher sang this to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell":

"The Earth goes 'round the sun
The Earth goes 'round the sun
The Earth goes 'round and 'round the sun
And (name) turns one"

... just as the child finishes her turn around the sun.  The birthday celebrant is now a year old!
Bring out the first photo for some storytelling.  This can be child-led or led by you.

This is where choosing a photo with a story behind it is best!  A good memory to share enjoyed by everyone else too.

You get the picture!  Just keep going until you reach the present birthday.

When it's all done, the birthday child gets to blow out the sun:

This is then the perfect time to bring out the cake to blow or maybe a special gift to open:

Blowing the cake she DIY-decorated herself with candles and toys I brought
Having the family or friends join in to decorate the cake is a nice touch.  We did that for her seventh birthday cake!

Or it may be the perfect time for the birthday child to hand out some giveaways:

We've done Choose-Your-Shopkins giveaways for the last two years.  Girls and boys love them!

Isn't that a meaningful and simple way to honour a child on their birthday?

Best of all it's everything this working mom could wish for : short and easy.  
To prepare and to execute.

All corporate events should be like that.
Just saying.

post signature
*more Montessori inspiration for the working mom in the gallery here.*


  1. Love love love this :D

    1. Thank you, Vicky! Perfect for little L!

  2. We do this celebration in our lower elementary room and sing as the candle is lit, "When each child is born a morning star rises and sings to the universe who we are." It's the refrain to a song by Sweet Honey in the Rock. Then we sing, "The Earth goes around the sun, the sun. The Earth goes around the sun. It takes one year, 52 weeks, 365 days, that's one!" Then "two" and so on.

    1. That's a great addition!:) I'm so pleased that this is still done in lower elementary - her Montessori elementary school has a different tradition than this one. I would have thought it would be tedious for the students to sit through this for seven or more orbits!

  3. Lovely! I am stealing this for E's next birthday :)

    1. So meaningful isn't it? Thanks for dropping by, S! Loving your latest blogs!

  4. I recently started planning for Basille's birthday and what perfect timing that I came across your post! haha! I am totally using this!!! I already emailed her teacher about it, hopefully we can be 'allowed' to have this activity. Thanks a lot for sharing this. God bless you, mare! :) -SMC

  5. Free Montessori birthday material to print on wood by laser cutting service


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