How to Have the Best Classroom Birthday Celebrations EVER!

Didn't think it was possible to make classroom birthday celebrations more fun and awesome? Challenge accepted! TeacherVision partner Tonies can help you take student birthday parties to a whole new level.

Celebrate classroom birthdays with Tonies

Whether you’re a new teacher or an established veteran, we bet that there is a bit of “personalized learning” that always makes you and your students smile: the classroom birthday celebration! Birthday festivities are a great way, especially in preschool and the early grades, to make students feel special and build classroom community. Everyone enjoys a birthday party, after all! And while pandemic restrictions and shuttered classrooms certainly put a damper on many other parts of the early school experience for many students, teachers, and parents, the traditional classroom birthday party translates really well to remote learning. Turns out you can sing “Happy Birthday!” over Zoom just as well as you can while sitting in circle time. 

Even before restrictions began to curtail or shut down in-person learning, it was difficult to integrate the other important people in students’ lives into a classroom birthday party. Work schedules, childcare responsibilities, and geography often limit the classroom birthday to members of the class. Many teachers and students would love to include family and other friends into the celebration, but can’t or don’t outside of recruiting a parent or two to provide birthday treats for the class here and there (and, of course, that comes with its own set of challenges...as anyone who has navigated the vagaries of food allergies will attest to!).

Well, we have some good news to share with you - almost as good as a hearty rendition of “Happy Birthday!” 

TeacherVision has partnered with the fun folks at Tonies to help you throw the best classroom birthday celebrations EVER. Parties that can include parents/guardians, friends, and relatives - and also include individual students’ favorite songs, stories, games, and more. 

It all starts with the Toniebox - a screen-free digital device specifically designed for little imaginations and hands. The Toniebox plays stories and songs, along with custom content called Creative-Tonies that can be created simply and easily by just about anyone using the Tonie app.  Creative-Tonies can be used to record just about anything - including birthday greetings from parents, relatives, and friends, for example. 

Besides the obvious uses for Tonies that we’ll cover in the list of birthday party ideas below, the team at Tonies has put together a special program specifically for educators, called Tonies for Teachers. With Tonies for Teachers, you can customize your classroom using Creative-Tonies to record and share lessons, songs, a reading library, and more.  

We’ll give you more information on how to sign up for Tonies for Teacher later in the post - but now, let’s get to the party ideas for the best classroom birthdays EVER!

Note: All of these activities can be done either in person or via remote learning!

Tonies Classroom Birthday Celebration

Birthday Story Circle

This is a fun and unique twist on the story circle that puts the birthday boy or girl at the center of the narrative. Using the Toniebox and the Tonie-App, have the birthday celebrant record a Creative-Tonie version of their personal birthday story - when they were born, where, etc. They can talk about early life growing up, siblings, parents - all the experiences that make them who they are! You can also add a little variety by having parents, relatives, or friends record vignettes to add to the story, as well. Or have the student’s parent(s) record some memories about past birthday celebrations, milestones, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Birthday Song Circle

What’s a birthday celebration without a sing-along!? As part of a growing library of song and story content, Tonies has a collection of birthday songs that are ready-made for enthusiastic participation! To personalize it even further, make a Creative-Tonie of other class members singing Happy Birthday - you could even record different children or parents and friends singing different lines of the song!

Birthday Reading Circle

This idea will help you integrate some learning into the celebration! Using either a Creative-Tonie or a selection from the Tonies content library available through tonies.com, hold a reading circle as part of the birthday party. With your help, the birthday boy or girl can make a Tonie read-aloud of their favorite story, or you can record a parent or relative reading the story, too. Share it with the entire class in a birthday reading circle and then add it to your Creative-Tonies classroom library!

Make Your Own Tonie Birthday Card

Saving the best for last - give the birthday celebrant an audio “birthday card” using a Creative-Tonie that features classmates, parents, friends, staff, relatives, etc. offering personalized birthday wishes! Classmates will have fun using the Toniebox to play their birthday messages, and the voices of people who normally wouldn’t be included in the celebration will be a welcome and magical addition to the class. And at the end of the school year, you’ll have a great collection of birthday party memories to share with everyone.

The best classroom birthday celebrations EVER are just one of the amazing things you can do with Tonies, the Toniebox, and Creative-Tonies in the classroom. Learn more about how to start using Tonies in your classes today, and sign up for the Tonies for Teachers program to begin using Tonies content to create your own audio curriculum!

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