Non-food birthday and holiday parties....revisited.. need ideas

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Our school district will consider eliminating all food at birthday and holiday parties held in classrooms. In order to get it passed the board, I need to provide them with some solid and great alternative ideas to food parties. Please post your ideas here. thank you. I appreciate your help!

On Oct 13, 2006

Games, dances, crafts, story-telling, put on a play, do mad-libs, sing songs....

Reward them with activities! Reward them with opportunities to learn and discover!


On Oct 13, 2006

In K and 1st, the teachers give the children the choice of kisses, spankings, hugs, or high fives for each year old. The kisses were hysterical because the teachers made a point of using lots of bright red lip stick before each kiss so that the student had marks on their face that would last the whole day. The children loved that.

There also was the 'birthday crown'.

The birthday child's parent (or teacher if parent unavailable) could come in to read the child's favorite story to the class. Sometimes there was time to do a quick related activity.

In second grade, DD's teacher would let the birthday child pick 'candles' for each year. The 'candle' was a friend who would 'light up' by sharing something they loved about their friend. The 'candles' sat on the floor in a circle and were 'lit' by the birthday child when s/he tapped the 'candle'. When all the 'candles' were lit, the class sang "Happy Birthday" and the the birthday child 'blew' out each 'candle' and that child would return to the floor.

On Oct 13, 2006

Birthday celebrations could include singing to the child, younger grades can sit in a special chair/birthday crown, etc. The birthday child could be the special helper of the day and get to be line leader, etc. Maybe the teacher could have a "birthday treasure chest" of inexpensive toys and the birthday child gets to pick one?

Older kids can get an extra recess in addition to the happy birthday song. If kids would like to pass out a treat it could be a non-food item like a pencil, goodie bag, etc. Older kids would love to receive a special "get out of homework free" card for their birthday! The card would be used once instead of turning in their homework.

Holiday parties could be filled with fun games and instead of food kids could enjoy a special beverage. Orange Hi-C for Halloween, Red Fruit Punch for Valentines day, etc. Crafts are always fun especially for the younger kids.

I hope this helps. It would be nice if all schools would do this!

On Oct 14, 2006

Could invite parents/grandparents etc. in to do a craft with the class, read a book, play a game that the child likes for a birthday. Holidays are easy to replace with crafts, books, DVDs to watch a special holiday movie or something. There are many ways! Good luck!

On Oct 14, 2006

I heard this one from a friend. The birthday child gets to bring in pictures of when they were babies to share with the class. Then every member of the class brings in an item (non-food) that begins with the letter of the birthday child's first name.

This is preschool, so it may only work for younger grades, but it's a big hit with the kids! Meg

On Oct 14, 2006


Originally posted by Gail W: [b]In K and 1st, the teachers give the children the choice of kisses, spankings, hugs, or high fives for each year old.[/b]

Spankings? Isn't that a little creepy and inappropriate for a school? JMHO

Our school does not allow any food of "minimal nutritional value." The parties so far have been split 50/50. Half of the parents supply foods like pretzels & goldfish. The other half give out non-food treats to the kids. My daughter (in kindergarten) handed out a goody bag with a pencil, eraser & ruler/stencil to each child.

The birthday child gets a birthday crown and also gets to pick a little gift (most ordered from Oriental Trading) from a treasure box in the main office. The PTO donates money for the treasure box.

------------------ Ellen Allergic to Shellfish/ Mom to Jesse 9/01 who has PA

Sometimes I just want to say "blah blah blah blah blah."

On Oct 14, 2006

My son's old school would announce on the PA system the birthday kids for the week (I can't remember if it was done on Monday or Friday) and they got to go to the office for a spiffy pencil given by the principal - this school also had one of those reader boards in the office that continously ran the names (think mini Times Square type reader board) each week so the kids got to see their names in lights.

------------------ Jana


By Isabella on Jul 30, 2013

Well, today's children love to have junk food and snacks instead of home cooked food. Therefore, you can try burgers and pizzas instead of traditional food.