In our home we are at the tail end of a BIRTHDAY EXTRAVAGANZA! Jackson turned five on January 16th and Asher turned four on January 20th. They are blessed to have so many loving family members and friends who have showered them with wonderful gifts (as I’m sure your children also experience). But I want my boys to know that their birthdays are about more than just presents!

I wanted to share with you an amazing tradition that is practiced in my children’s Montessori preschool. It’s called a “Sun Celebration” and it refocuses the kids on what their birthdays are really all about. This Sun Celebration can also be experienced in your home year after year. I plan on doing it in our home for as long as my boys are interested!

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The Sun Celebration: The Birthday Walk Around The Sun

Many Montessori schools use some form of a sun, the months, a candle, and a globe to help show the passage of time and the growth of the child from birth to their current birthday celebration.

In preparation of this celebration, the parents of the birthday child are asked to bring in a picture of their child around each birthday (including a newborn picture), and share a short life story to accompany the pictures.

All of the children make a large circle around the sun that has been placed on the floor. The birthday child stands beside the label that has his birth month on it. The parent or teacher lights the candle to signify the moment the child was born. Then they begin talking about the life story up until the age of one. At that point, the birthday child begins the journey walking (slowly) around the sun one time, with the globe in his hands – stopping when he reaches his birth month again. While the birthday child walks, the children in the outer circle sing (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell):

The earth goes around the sun,
The earth goes around the sun,
The earth goes around the sun,
and then __________ (insert child’s name) was 1!

The sharing of the life story continues until the age of two. The birthday child begins to walk around the sun again, and the children in the circle repeat singing the verse, changing the ending to ‘2’. This continues on until the child’s life story is complete.

To end the celebration you can sing the following song to the birthday child (to the tune of Happy Birthday):
We celebrate your birth,
And your place on the Earth,
May the sun, moon, and stars,
Bring you peace where you are!
Or you can simply sing “Happy Birthday!”

Finally, the birthday child shares a special snack with his class.

Do you have a special way of celebrating your child’s birthday? Please share!

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