Yup, that’s right, I banned birthday treats. And you know what? Everyone survived!
Every year I have parents and families email me a few days before their child’s birthday to ask if they can bring in treats for the class. Most often it’s cupcakes or cookies. I had the same generic canned email that I replied with. It went something like, “Yes you can send in birthday treats. Please drop them off in the office and they will be served at lunch time. We have ____ number of students.”
There were months where we had a birthday every single week. I love that kids and parents are excited to celebrate their special day with friends at school, but I did not like picking up 30 frosting smeared faces each week from the already over stimulating and noisy cafeteria. More importantly, little ones were bringing these treats with the hope of feeling special on their very special day and that was not how things were happening. When I picked kids up they weren’t even sure whose birthday it actually was. They were just so excited to get their cupcake or cookie that they didn’t even care who it was coming from. So now we were headed back to class for reading groups as sugar coursed through our veins and we didn’t even know who to give a “Happy Birthday’ and thank you to for that! So knowing that birthday treats weren’t serving their intended purpose made them a lot easier to veto.
Instead here is what I send home during Open House or our Back to School Night.
You can download by clicking the picture and edit to fit your classroom.
I still have parents email to ask now and then, but my email looks a little more like. “Thank you for offering to bring in treats for _______’s birthday. Due to student allergies and the number of birthdays we celebrate each month we do not allow birthday treats at school. We will however, be recognizing and celebrating _________ on their special day in other special ways!”
Families have been very understanding and some even a bit relieved that they don’t have to rush out and buy 3 boxes of cupcakes. On the student’s special day they are greeted with a “Happy Birthday” on the white board and during our writing time we pass around a (paper) framed picture of our class. Each student signs the picture and the birthday boy or girl gets to take it home as their birthday gift. It’s quick, it’s simple and it serves the intended purpose.
You can grab the birthday “frame” by clicking the picture below. When downloading:
- It will download as a Powerpoint.
- Drag and drop a picture of your class into the document.
- Resize and Print!
It’s not too late. If birthday treats make you crazy get rid of them!