It’s time to celebrate because it’s birthday theme time! Kids LOVE birthdays so it’s a perfect theme to do in September when students are getting to know each other. But it’s not a seasonal theme so you can do a birthday theme anytime during the year. Some teachers do a birthday theme in December to celebrate Jesus’s birthday. Grab your lesson plan binder and let me help you fill it tons of fun activities your preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten kiddos. You can grab all of the Birthday Themed Math & Literacy Centers HERE and make sure grab the Cupcake Play Dough Mats FREEBIE later in this post.
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Birthday Themed Art
Spatula Painting! Well you have to have cake (or cupcakes) for a birthday and why not paint with “icing” using spatulas! Put those paint brushes away and grab some mini spatulas (dollar store find). For “icing” I added white glue to the paint to make it super shiny and to give a sticky texture. It’s equal parts glue and paint. It’s great fine motor work too because too spread the icing (aka paint) students have to move their wrist back and forth to spread the paint on the paper.
Streamer Art! We do so many different types of collages the first part of the year to help with scissor skills and tearing skills. Streamers are perfect to tear or cut for little learners. If kiddos are struggling using scissor try using loop scissors that bounce back open as they cut. If they love cutting like my students do try a wrapping paper collage too which is perfect for a birthday theme.
Birthday Themed Literacy
Birthday Handwriting (the FUN way)! Handwriting doesn’t have to be worksheets. Let’s make it fun with birthday themed tracing mats! Laminate the tracing mats so students can trace the letters with dry erase markers over and over. Put out mini erasers or glass gems so students can build the letters too!
Birthday Writing Tray (with sprinkles)! If you are daring make a writing tray with birthday sprinkles! I put a tray under it to catch all the extra sprinkles that “hop” out. Write letters, numbers, shapes, different types of lines, or sight words in the writing tray. This tray is from this lacing set. You can also use one of those kid divided plates or any small tray.
Birthday Lette Dot It! Learning letter names can be HARD so make it FUN with a birthday letter dot it. Pick a letter, identify it, find it on the game board, and dot it with a cupcake counter or mini eraser. We played this game for small group then I put it in the library center for students to play independently.
Cupcake Letter Match! Match uppercase and lowercase letters or for the littlest of learners match uppercase and uppercase letters. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve used the cupcake letter tops for some of the literacy activities above! These cupcake letter puzzle pieces can be used so many ways.
Birthday Themed Writing Table! It’s packed with things to make birthday cards like birthday paper, envelopes, birthday vocabulary words and phrases, blank cards (aka folded paper), Happy Birthday Word Stips, and How to Make a Card poster. Oh and make sure you put student name cards and family word cards in the center so they can write who their cards are for. Students will LOVE writeing and drawings cards for their families and friends.
Birthday Books! Our bookshelf was packed with my favorite birthday themed books. Check out my (and my students) top 16 birthday books HERE.
Birthday Themed Math
Birthday Candle Count Class Book! Make a class counting book for the classroom library that students can read over and over. You can see our book at the bottom of the bookshelf in the photo above.
Birthday Candle Patterns! For a birthday everyone sings and then the birthday person blows out the candles. So I thought why not use candles as a math manipulative and make color patterns. My kiddos went CRAZY for this activity. They would make a pattern then pretend to blow out the candles. To make it even more engaging give each child a ball of play dough and they can make the pattern in their play dough cake. I found these candles at Walmart.
FREE Cupcake Counting Mats! Students count out the corresponding number”sprinkles” for the cupcake using tweezers. OR Students can make “sprinkles” with play dough by rolling small peices of the play dough in spinkle like balls.
Birthday Cake Shapes! Students match the shape candles to corresponding shape birthday cake. I am going to warn you, after playing all these yummy cake and cupcake games with your kiddos you may crave something sweet and have to stop by a bakery on the way home (I did).
Birthday Themed Blocks Play, STEM, & Science!
Birthday Blocks & STEM! Check out these colorful cups and shot glasses I found for students to build with in the blocks center! Students will have a blast engineering and building with cups. It can be tricky to build with cups so students will also be doing tons of problem solving too.
5 Senses! A child’s birthday is filled with sounds, smells, tastes, and smells so it’s the perfect theme to do a 5 senses science unit! AT the science table are sound jars and smelly jars for students to explore. You can grab my 5 Senses unit HERE.
Birthday Themed Sensory
Birthday Play Dough Tray! Grab some number candles, regular candles, silicone cupcake liners, and some small pans to make an easy (and math packed) play dough tray. If you want a funfetti type play dough just make a batch play dough and once it cools let students sprinkle in real sprinkles! Add a few drops of vanilla extract and it will make it smell like real birthday cake too.
Birthday Sensory Table! It’s colored rice with number candles, regular candles, and either plastic or silicone cupcake cups. I found the number candles at Walmart a few years ago. You can also add pom poms for “sprinkles”.
Birthday Dramatic Play!
Add birthday themed props and students can pretend to have birthday parties in the dramatic play center! Click HERE to see my birthday party up close in my classroom!
Ok so that was a long one! Can you tell I really LOVE doing a birthday theme in my classroom with my students? If you haven’t tried a birthday theme yet, try it. I promise it will be a ton of fun and tons of learning will occur through play!
If you want the printables…. grab the Birthday Math & Literacy Centers HERE, Birthday Dramatic Play HERE, or the5 Sciences Little Learners Science Unit HERE.
If you need to find a few fabulous picture books for a birthday theme check out my top 16 Birthday Books!
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