A Wonderful Birthday Ritual

In our rushed and harried lives we spend less and less time in moments of celebration. For your children, hallmarks are of great importance: The keeping of the calendar, the measurement of height and weight, the moment of birth, the celebration of each succeeding year. Let's bring more rituals into our lives to honor the hallmarks we achieve. This is how Montessori Schools around the world have been honoring birthday children for the past 100 years:

Gather the children together.

Choose a “sun”: Either invite someone to hold a sun symbol or if properly supervised you might light a candle and place it on a table. Say, “This is the sun. The earth goes around the sun. It takes one whole year for the earth to go all the way around the sun.”

The birthday child holds a small globe and slowly circles the sun with it, once for each year lived, stopping at each year for the story of her life.

Tell the child's life story: The moment of her birth. When she sat, learned to crawl, feed herself, stand, walk. Relate what activity and food she most loved at each age. Share photos of each year she has lived.

Sing the birthday song.

In many classrooms the birthday child brings a gift for the classroom; a book, a basket, a tray, a small vase with flowers. This helps the child focus outside herself and express her love and thankfulness.

May you enjoy this birthday ceremony as much as we have!