Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It ~ Birthday Bags & a {FREEBIE}

I'm joining the Monday Made It Linky with 4th Grade Frolics. I've had all of the supplies that I needed for this project (you can see what I put in the bags later in the post), but just hadn't had the time to do it....until today...a rainy Monday afternoon. Each year, since my second year of teaching, I make BIRTHDAY BAGS for my students.  So what is a birthday bag?? This was an idea from my mentor teacher when I began my career and I was hooked.  Birthday bags = brilliant! It is a pre-made bag filled with small goodies for the birthday boy/girl. All of the bags are identical so there is no need to write any student names on them.  I put a "Happy BEE-Day!!" label on the outside of the bag in place of having a card.  Easy!  
Prior to using these bags, I would often forget the birthdays of my students {shame}. No matter what I did! I had a calendar just for birthdays, they were on a wall in the classroom, they were added to the classroom monthly calendar, they were practically staring me in the face, but I would forget - or get busy doing other things even when I did remember...which led to forgetting later! Then I'd find myself scrambling to find a card, fill out the card, and gather a bookmark (or anything else in my desk drawer) all while the birthday boy/girl are watching me and probably realizing that I forgot it was their big day.  Ugh!  NOW, I have these birthday bags prepped at the beginning of the year and stored in my classroom.  I put them on top of some overhead cabinets in my room.  They are not taking up vital real estate in the classroom, yet they where everyone's eyes can see them (including mine). On a child's birthday, I simply grab a bag and put it on their desk..done!  Along with other festivities in the classroom - singing, choosing their own classroom job for the day, etc. - they keep this bag on their desk all day long. Surprisingly, it is not a distraction at all.   I ask that they open it at home.  Why, you ask?  Well, if they open it in front of their peers, the contents are no longer a surprise for all future birthday bag recipients! I'll let you in on the secret, though...here's what's inside my bags this year:
What fun stuff do you do in your clasroom for student birthdays? Do you want to use birthday bags?  Snag the labels for FREE here
Be sure to head to 4th Grade Frolics to see other fun Monday Made It ideas!

12 comments :

  1. I LOVE THIS! I will be making birthday bags this year! When do you give out summer birthday bags? At the end of the year or at the beginning? I hate how those kiddos don't get their own special day! Maybe I'll do half birthdays for those kids...

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    1. Hi Erin! So glad you like this idea. :) I am a summer birthday and I remember how yucky it was to never have a "school celebration." So, I have a soft spot in my heart for those summer munchkins. I "schedule" a day in June to celebrate their day. I send a notice home to the family, as well, in case they want to send in a summer bday treat. Be sure to count how many summer kiddos you have, though! I almost ran out of time this year because I had soooo many to squeeze in during the last few weeks of school. :)

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  2. Cute idea- I love the bags! And summer birthdays are so hard to do! That's a great idea!

    Haley
    Owls and Lessons, Etc.

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  3. I do this too Leslie! It saves me so much time during the year and I hang them up on a line in the back of my classroom. Your bags are so nice! Thanks for sharing this!

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  4. Great idea! I'm still torn on what to do for my student birthdays, last year I did a silly straw and a birthday book. With 30 students I could easily spend a fortune on birthday gifts.

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  5. Fabulous idea! I also have a summer birthday (but with school starting earlier and earlier, I will be in school for mine!) and feel the same way! Thanks for the tags!

    Blessings,
    Sarah
    smbhankinson@gmail.com
    Learning is for Superstars
    follow on Facebook

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  6. Cute I love celebrating BEE days

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  7. Great idea! I'm so forgetful, so something like this would be perfect for me!

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

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  8. I use birthday bags as well, but I don't put anything in them. On that child's birthday, I hang the empty bag on the white board. Throughout the day, the kids make notes and cards to fill the bag. At the end of the day, I tie the bag shut and the birthday child takes it home. So much better than anything store bought! (You know your own kids, sometimes you have the kind of class where you need to preview each card before it goes into the bag.)

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    1. Such a great idea, Carol! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  9. Another summer birthday idea I used this year was to figure out their "half birthday" and celebrate that. So for example, we celebrated the July birthdays in January. Just an idea to help with the "8-million-birthdays-in-June" feeling :)

    Dawn
    Apples, Owls, and Peppermint Mochas

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    1. Hi Dawn! Thanks for the suggestion! I did half-birthdays one year and (surprisingly) had some parents that weren't on-board with it! What a cool way to incorporate fractions with my Firsties, though!

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