Birthday Bags {Updated}

Recognizing student birthdays is something I like to do. I like to give a small goodie bag of items to make the birthday kid feel special. Is this necessary? Nope. It all boils down to a matter of preference and personality types. I happen to be a gift giver so I enjoy helping my students celebrate their special day.

This isn't the first birthday bag post I've written. The last time I shared my birthday bags with you, it was 2015. Time for an update! That was 7 years ago! Now you have two posts to reference for simple ideas to recognize student birthdays in your classroom. ;)

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My "old" birthday bags included slightly different items and were packaged a bit differently than they are now (hence the reason I wanted to do an updated post for you). You can read all about the OG birthday bags here.

What's Included
Below is a picture and linked list of what I include. Several of these items come in large enough quantities so they can be carried over into the following year, depending upon your class size.

Birthday Book Marks  (includes 100)
Birthday Bracelets (includes 48)
Birthday Reward Tag (part of my Holiday Reward Tag set available in color and B/W)
Mechanical Pencils (I purchased these from Target, but I've linked a similar set on Amazon)

What I've opted to include in my birthday bags are simply ideas that I'm sharing with you. You, in no way, have to include all of these items in your own bags (nor should you feel like you need to), but hopefully they'll give you some inspiration. The cost can add up (and I definitely used an Amazon gift card to pay for some of these items). If you like this idea but just don't want to spend a lot, then keep reading for some easy, cost effective (and FREE) ideas you could use.

How I Package the Items
I place all the items in a small polka dot bag which I label with a Happy Birthday label. Much easier than my old bags that included tying and curling ribbon. Hehe. The set includes 100 bags, so you can get several uses out of just one set. :)

You can grab the label here for FREE! They could also be used as a sticker for the birthday student to wear. They don't necessarily have to go on a bag. :)

Note: The labels were created as a Word Document and were formatted for that program. You might want to make sure you download the file to Word prior to printing as I do not know if they will print the same from Google Drive. 

As with any labeling I do in my room, I use the 2x4 Avery labels. I love the larger size!

Prepping the Bags
I always make my birthday bags in the summer. I usually have a few left over from the previous year and I carry those over into the new school year.  I usually make around 30 bags to accommodate the addition of new students (we lose and gain students often at my school). This usually gives me about 8 extra bags so I know I won't run out before the end of the year. 

Storing Birthday Bags Throughout the Year
I store the bags in a small tub. This one is from the Target Dollar Spot (purchased a few years ago). 

Keeping Costs Down
Again, you do not need to include what I've shown. Maybe you choose one or two of those items. But here are some other ideas that will cost you next to nothing:

  • Give each student a classroom reward coupon. You could make your own, or search for some on TPT. I have an old HW pass freebie that I used to include in my birthday bags, but in recent years, my admin has asked us to shy away from assigning homework so I no longer include that. However, you can find that FREEBIE in my OG birthday bag post. :)
  • Let the student choose the read aloud for that day. I used to have a birthday box. In that box was a collection of picture books that were birthday themed. The kids loved picking a story! Moira's Birthday by Robert Munsch was hands down the most popular choice, but you could let them choose any read aloud. It wouldn't have to be birthday themed.
  • Go to TPT and search for some birthday bookmarks. Print your own instead of buying them already made. You're likely to find some free/low cost options.
  • Buy a value pack of party hats (like the sets they have in the kids' party aisle at Target) and let the student wear a fun party hat for the day.
  • Place a small object on the birthday kiddo's desk. This could be a Happy Birthday sign or some other small object like a rubber ducky (it doesn't have to be birthday themed) to signify that it's their special day. This object can be collected at the end of the day and reused throughout the year if you'd like.  
How do you recognize students' birthdays? Tell us in the comments below!


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