Birthdays are meant to be special, yet often the true meaning gets lost in all the presents and festivities. You’ll find a meaningful and educational tradition for children ages 3-6 in many Montessori schools – the Montessori birthday celebration, a celebration of life ceremony. This is a lovely addition to a child’s birthday at home or in the classroom.
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Montessori Birthday Celebration – A Celebration of Life Ceremony
I love that the Montessori birthday celebration gives a concrete way for young children to understand the months of the year and the earth’s revolution around the sun each year. It also is a way for children to feel special and to connect with their place in the world.
Not every Montessori school celebrates birthdays with a celebration of life ceremony, sometimes called a Montessori birthday walk. The first two Montessori schools I taught at had mainly American Montessori Society (AMS) teachers, and neither school used the celebration of life ceremony.
My 3½-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, felt special with her 3rd birthday celebration at school. Her Montessori school has a parent bring photos and tell the story of the child’s life during the child’s celebration of life ceremony. And I can always tell when there’s a birthday at Zoey’s school. She’ll be singing to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”:
There are different variations of this song and of the Montessori birthday ceremony. See a number of variations in my “Free Celebration of Life Songs and Printables for a Montessori Birthday.” Choose whichever variation would have the most meaning or work best for your own child or school.
Montessori Celebration of Life in the Classroom
Celebration of Life – A Montessori Birthday (photo 1) (a lovely description of the birthday celebration for her twin daughters at their Montessori school) by Angie Lile at Vivid Life
Montessori Birthdays (photo 2) and Montessori Birthday Traditions (including “Timeline of a Child’s Life” and “The Birthday Game AKA ‘How old am I, and how old is my family?'”) from Vibrant Wanderings
Birthday Time (photo 3) from To the Lesson!
Birthday Celebration (photo 4) from Montessori Album
Celebration of Life (Birthday Celebration) from Montessori Print Shop
Birthday Celebrations by Marcy Hogan at MariaMontessori.com
Celebrating Birthdays, the Montessori Way (includes number rod and sandpaper numeral) by Heike Larson at LePort Schools
The Earth Goes Around the Sun (includes number rod and sandpaper numeral) from Hapa LAB
Birthdays: The Montessori Way from Montessori Preschool @ Copperfield
Celebration of Life from Foothills Montessori School
A Montessori Birthday Is Love and Genius from DIY Corporate Mom
Montessori Celebration of Life from Olive Branch School
Montessori Celebration of Life from NAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog
Birthday celebrations at different ages: “How Do We Celebrate Birthdays in the Toddler Classroom?,” “A Celebration of Life – the Primary Birthday,” and “Team Birthday – Celebrating in the Elementary and Adolescent Classrooms” from Chesterfield Montessori School
Birthday Celebration – Good Neighbor Montessori, Palo Alto. CA
You’ll find many more examples of Montessori birthday celebrations on YouTube.
Montessori Celebration of Life at Home
Montessori Birthday Celebration (photo 1) from Mama’s Happy Hive
Pup’s Celebration of Life (photo 2) from Discovery Moments
The Earth Goes Around the Sun (photo 3) by Jessie Beerman of The Education of Ours at Mommy Moments
Adrian’s 3rd Birthday (Montessori Celebration of Life) and Julia’s 7th Birthday (Montessori Celebration of Life – a Classroom Celebration) from Montessori From The Heart
Earth Goes Round the Sun from Momma of 4 Cutiez
A Homemade Montessori Birthday Celebration from Our Montessori Story
New Years from Montessori Mom gives the idea of using the Montessori birthday celebration for a New Year’s activity as well
The book How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way by Tim Seldin has information on a Montessori birthday celebration.
Here’s a wonderful book to add to a child’s birthday celebration: On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier
See my “Free Celebration of Life Songs and Printables for a Montessori Birthday” for more resources.
I have a post with more ideas for a simple DIY Montessori birthday at home.
Hands-on months and seasons activities are a perfect follow-up to a Montessori celebration of life!
Has your child experienced a Montessori birthday celebration?
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy! I’m also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!
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