Non-Food Birthday Celebrations

Washington Elementary is instituting a non-food birthday celebration policy.  The teaching staff discussed alternatives to food items and brainstormed/researched the list below.  We will continue to celebrate holidays with class parties that include healthy treats.

We all know that birthdays are important to every child and students like to celebrate with their classmates. However, sending in a food treat to the classroom to celebrate can exclude those children who have food allergies, diabetes or other dietary restrictions. Another concern is the loss of instructional time, particularly PE in the afternoon.  We are also supporting one of the Washington PTA goals to promote healthy living.

If teachers have a particular preference or tradition they would like to implement in their classroom, they will communicate with families individually.  If you have questions or concerns regarding the implementation of this policy please contact the principal.

Thank you for your support of this change,
Jennifer Johnson

Ideas for Families:

  • If you child’s classroom has one of the garden beds, donate a plant or seeds.
  • Bring a game or activity for rainy day recess.
  • Bring an Accelerated Reader leveled book for the classroom or school library in the birthday child’s name. 
  • Volunteer for an hour or two in your child’s class.
  • Bring school supplies to donate to the Betty Kwan Chin Center or Marshall Family Resource Center in the child’s name.

Ideas for the Classroom:

  • For birthdays, let the birthday child choose and lead an active game for everyone.
  • Create a “Celebrate Me” book. Have classmates write stories or poems and draw pictures to describe what is special about the birthday child.
  • Create a special birthday package. The birthday child wears a sash and crown, sits in a special chair and visits the principal’s office for a special birthday surprise (pencil, sticker, birthday card, etc.)
  • The birthday child is the teacher’s assistant for the day, and gets to do special tasks like make deliveries to office, lead the line, start an activity, and choose a game or story.