1. Fill a festive birthday chart. Share children's photos, names, and birth dates on a poster during group time. This is a great way to help children get to know each other at the beginning of the year.

  2. Stand up for your birthday month! Read books that celebrate all of the months of the year, such as Maurice Sendak's Chicken Soup With Rice (HarperTrophy, 1991; $4.95). Children can identify what's special about every month.

  3. Make it special. Ask children for any ideas they might have to make their birthday celebrations special. On her important day, let the birthday child pick the transition song for clean-up time or choose the juice for snack.

  4. Start the day with a birthday! Display a Happy Birthday banner or enlarged photo of the birthday child. Cut out a colorful crown or create a flashy button for the birthday child to wear proclaiming,"Now I'm 4!"

  5. Prepare party treats. Not all children come to school with birthday treats on their special day. Have supplies on hand and invite everybody to create jello jigglers or cheese 'n' cracker stackers for a yummy class birthday party surprise.

  6. Design a card. Encourage children to draw pictures, sign their names, or use invented spelling to write greetings on an oversized card for the birthday child.

  7. Compose a birthday song. To the tune of "Ring Around the Rosey" sing "Happy, happy birthday, Eli's 3 years old now. Happy birthday to him!"

  8. Mark it with a book! On their child's birthday, families may wish to donate a favorite book to the class library, create one together (volunteers can also help with this), or visit the class and share a story.

  9. Celebrate "un-birthdays." Enjoy some special times celebrating everybody's growth and delightful uniqueness. Add new pages to a class photo booklet showing children's exciting emerging skills and development.

  10. Mark vacation and holiday birthdays. Plan designated days to celebrate children whose birthdays fall during vacation or holiday times.