Birthdays are special days in the lives of our young ones. For a child, one year is a significant amount of time relative to their life. While adults may be indifferent to or even dread their own birthdays, kids anxiously await their special day each year. As part of the Montessori tradition, we strive to celebrate birthdays in a way that is both meaningful and educational.
Our children in the primary environment celebrate birthdays with singing and a tradition called “a walk around the sun.” A walk around the sun can be different from school to school, but typically goes like this: A candle is lit in the middle of the room to represent the sun, and labels for each month of the year are laid out around it. The teacher and class form a circle around the candle, while the birthday boy or girl stands next to their month of birth. The child then walks around the candle once for each year of their life. We encourage parents to send pictures of their children for this celebration, as well as write something to be read to them during their walk around the sun – in an effort to make this celebration even more unique and meaningful.
Elementary and middle school children make timelines of their lives that tell their stories. We do this because we believe that teaching our students to share their lives with their classmates is so important. It is also a tradition for students of all ages to present the school with a book for the library in celebration of their birthday.
At The Maria Montessori School, we think our birthday celebrations are a unique and fun way to celebrate the lives of our students.