Montessori Birthday Celebration

//Montessori Birthday Celebration

Montessori Birthday Celebration

Introducing History and Passage of Time in a Montessori Preschool: The Birthday Walk and the Clock

Birthday Ritual – Relating the Earth’s Rotation to The Passage of Time

In the Montessori classroom children have the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays by doing the “Birthday Walk”. It is a meaningful way to further their understanding of the passage of time and a great way to introduce the concepts of months, days of the month, the earth, the sun, and how the earth revolves around the sun. The aim of this birthday ritual is to help students recognize how they have grown and changed since they were born, to help them understand why they have turned a year older, and to foster a sense of community and celebration in the Montessori classroom environment. This birthday ritual is typically introduced during circle time and an item such as a candle or yellow ball is placed in the center of the circle to represent the sun in our universe.

The birthday child is invited to carefully hold the globe while the Montessori teacher explains to the children that the earth orbits around the sun and one rotation around the sun takes one year of time. Essentially, the child’s walk represents the earth revolving around the sun and another year that has passed. At the beginning of this activity, the students are told that the birthday child is waiting to be born and on his birthday, he begins to walk slowly around the “sun” carrying the globe.

The child walks around the sun one time while the students sing the birthday song, The Earth Goes Round The Sun to the tune of Farmer in the Dell

The Earth goes round the sun,
The Earth goes round the sun,
It takes a whole year for the Earth to go round the sun.

After the child has walked one time around the sun, the Montessori teacher explains that now the child is one year old, everyone claps one time and the shares a picture of that child at one year old. The birthday child talks about his/her picture and discusses what he/she may have done when they were one year old, i.e., say “ma-ma”, learn to walk, drink from a bottle, etc… Each time the child walks around “the sun” you sing the song, then discuss the age of the child and show a corresponding photo. When you get to the child’s current age, everyone sings happy birthday and the child gets to blow out the candle (if a candle is used) and make a birthday wish. It is a lovely ritual and it makes the birthday child feel valued and special!

Bree — NAMC Tutor & Graduate