Montessori schools around the globe use a special approach to celebrate your child’s birthday.
To bring ceremony and an understanding into the celebration, children are given an impression of the concept of time through the relationship between the Sun and the Earth in that a year is the amount of time it takes for the Earth to rotate around the Sun. Children then tell the story of their lives with their families and the teacher through each year of their lives.
The children gather around in a circle with the Sun represented by a candle in the center along with the names of months of the year. Families are requested to make notes about important events in each of the years in the child’s life and to collect photos of the child to help tell the story of their life. The teacher then lights the candle and the child walks around it with a globe in his hand. Each time the child walks a complete circle marking one year of their life, he stops and the families talk about special events during that year and share the photos with the group. If the child is fours years old, then he walks four times around the sun and tells his story after each complete turn. The celebration ends with singing the birthday song and then the child blows out the candle. The child then shares with his classmates healthy snacks such as muffins and fruits if desired.
Families like to celebrate their stories in unique ways such as a time capsule of objects through the years that includes photos, letters, artwork, and any object the child decides to add to the celebration. Some also like to start a memory box so that the child can look back through the years at any time with family and friends. Celebrating in this unique manner make this a very special and exciting event for the child. Montessori schools call this special approach to birthdays a ‘Celebration of Life’!