Montessori Birthday Celebrations

A child’s birthday celebration is unique in the Montessori classroom. A candle is lit in the middle of an image of the sun on a carpet. Radiating out from the representation of the sun are labels for each month of the year.  The children and teachers sit in a wide circle around the carpet, while the birthday child stands next to the month of his or her birth holding a globe to represent the Earth. The child then walks around the sun, modeling the earth’s annual rotation, one time for each year of his or her life. As the child walks, the teacher talks about what the child was doing when he or she was that age. Parents may have written a sentence or two for each year or have sent in pictures of the child. At the end the child blows out the candle and the class may sing “Happy Birthday.”