Birthdays can be a really exciting time for kids, but as an early learning educator or assistant, it’s crucial to remember that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to celebrating children’s birthdays.
Whether you hope to (or already) work in a kindergarten, childcare or early learning centre there are a number of factors to consider before singing Happy Birthday.
In fact, it might not be wise to sing happy birthday at all. In some cultures or as part of religious beliefs birthdays may not be recognised, so it’s important to seek permission from parents before organising celebrations for individual children. It’s also common across the industry to exclude cake as well as external food prepared by parents for health and safety reasons.
But there’s still plenty you can do to make children feel special on their birthday.
Party hats, games and special privileges for the birthday girl or boy can provide plenty of joy and entertainment. Whatever you decide to do, these are some good guidelines to follow:
1. Seek Permission
Always make sure you get the green light from the parents of children in your class before throwing a birthday celebration.
2. Keep It Fair
Celebrations, including activities and any birthday privileges, should be consistent for every child. This helps ensure a fair environment where everyone feels equally important and valued.
3. Arrange Alternative Activities
If you’ve arranged birthday activities for the class, make sure you’ve got alternative things to do for kids from families that don’t celebrate.
4. Be Culturally Sensitive And Gender Neutral
Being culturally sensitive and gender neutral are important skills to master. When it comes to birthdays, being culturally sensitive means understanding the diverse cultures and upbringings of children in the class and arranging activities that are understood and enjoyed by everyone. Meanwhile, being gender neutral ensures that kids aren’t encouraged to take part in activities (or be excluded from them) purely based on gender.
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