The traditional birthday celebration for children in a Montessori classroom includes the “Walk Around the Sun,” a powerful, special, and educational Montessori tradition. During this celebration, a candle, representing the sun, is lit in the middle of the room. Labels with each month of the year are laid out in a circle radiating out from the “sun.” The children and teachers sit in a wide circle around the sun and months of the year, 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 one time for each year of his or her life. While the child walks, we sing a song that goes:
The earth goes around the sun once a year.
The earth goes around the sun
The earth goes around the sun once a year,
And then ___________ turns 1
The teacher or parent then talks about what the child was doing when he or she was that age. Parents can fill out a celebration of life form or write a sentence or two about their child at each stage of their life. Also, we ask that parents bring or send in pictures of their child at each age. (newborn, 1, 2, 3, etc.). At the end, the child may extinguish the candle and the class sings “Happy Birthday”.
In addition to the “Walk Around the Sun,” some families choose to donate a favorite book in honor of the child’s birthday. If you are planning a home party for your child, please do not hand out invitations at school or through the school’s cubbies. This can result in hurt feelings and sad children. Please deliver invitations by other means. To accomplish this, The Glen supplies a school directory through the Transparent Classroom tool to assist parents in planning parties, play dates, etc. Thank you cards, party bags or gifts also should not be handed out at school.
Here is a photo of a birthday Celebration in Room 203. In this picture, one of our previous students is turning three years old!
Ms. Jessica, Children’s House Teacher, Room 203