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  • Tamil Montessori

Celebrating Birthday - A Montessori Way

Updated: Feb 21, 2021

LO turning one means she has completed her first trip around the sun! 😊

As simple and obvious as it sounds, but it’s so profound and meaningful to a young child of what celebrating their birthday means. This is one of the things I love about Montessori philosophy – simplicity at its core to provide a concrete understanding of concepts.

A Montessori birthday walk is a tradition in Montessori 3-6 classrooms to celebrate a child’s life and every school has their own touch to it. In this blog post I’m going to share about how we introduced this lovely tradition on LO’s first birthday in our own unique way.

How is it done in classroom?

A candle is lit in the room which represents the sun. Around the candle are labels of the months of the year and sometimes seasons too, arranged in a circle. The children sit around this arrangement in a larger circle and the child celebrating the birthday stands in front of their birth month holding the globe to represent the Earth. The child then walks around the sun slowly as the teacher sings

The Earth goes around the sun,

The Earth goes around the sun,

The Earth goes around sun,

And then (name) was (one)…

to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”.

There are many variations of the birthday walk song, but the idea remains the same. As the child completes one round, a whole year has passed, and the child has turned one. The child / teacher then brings out a photo from the child’s first year and shares stories of what they did at that age. Usually parents write a couple of lines along with the child’s pictures that they send to the class. The child goes as many rounds as their current age around the sun, with the teacher singing the birthday walk song followed by sharing stories from each year. At the end, the child may blow the candle or bring out the cake for celebration and the class sings “Happy Birthday”. What a thoughtful way of celebrating birthdays which also helps the child understand the months of the year, the revolution of earth around the sun in a concrete way!

How did we do?

Our setup was quite similar for the most part. We lit a tealight candle kept inside a votive candle holder for safety reasons. I DIYed the labels of months and seasons and repurposed the activity mat from LO’s activity gym. The felt letter board is purely for visual aesthetics. Instead of a globe, we used a globe soccer ball. Also, instead of 1 or 2 photos per year as in a typical birthday walk, we laid down 1 photo per month on the mat and talked about what LO did each month.

We then sang

The Earth goes around the sun, oh sun

The Earth goes around the sun

It takes 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days…

as our birthday walk song. Check out the tune of the song here.

A birthday celebration for a child is not just about the festivities and gifts. It is a celebration of the child’s life; it is a way for the child to feel connected to the place where they live and the larger cosmos. ❤

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