Non-Food Birthday Celebrations at School

Girl Wearing Birthday Hat

My daughter's school has instituted a "no food" policy for birthday and other classroom celebrations. This decision was not made because of food allergies. The new policy is part of a healthy eating and exercise program that the school district is implementing. It does, however, have the added benefit of making the school a safer place for children with food allergies.

Instead of snacks, students have their birthdays recognized by having their name read with the morning announcements and being given a card and a birthday ribbon to wear.

Parents are encouraged to send in non-food treats or donate something to the school in honor of their child.

If your school does not allow food in classroom celebrations, or if you would like to start this trend yourself, here are some ideas of non-food ways to celebrate a child's birthday at school.

Ideas for Teachers

  1. Allow child to be "queen" or "king" for the day - give them the leadership role of line leader, calendar helper, feeder of the class fish, or keeper of the chalkboard.
  2. Have a special birthday crown that the child can wear for the day. This can be a hat that stays in the classroom or a simple paper crown that goes home with the child.
  3. Host a special monthly birthday lunch club with the teacher.
  4. Give the child a coupon redeemable for something fun in the classroom, like extra art time or a "get out of homework free" pass.

Ideas for Parents

  1. Donate a book to the school library in honor of your child. (Just think how great our school libraries would be if every family did this every year!)
  1. Bring in stickers, pencils, fun erasers, or inexpensive toys such as stretchy frogs or plastic tops for the class.
  2. Donate a plant to beautify the school grounds - flowers, bulbs, trees, or bushes.
  3. Donate a board game to be used for indoor recess or a sturdy jump rope or ball for outdoor games.
  4. Have a family member come to class to read a story or share a special talent or skill, or allow the child to share their talent with the class.

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