5 Ways to Celebrate Your Kid’s Birthday at School — Without Food

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Courtney Rust/Stocksy)

With all the regulations surrounding what’s allowed in school classrooms these days, it can be hard to think up ways to celebrate your child’s weekday birthday. At many schools, treats — like cupcakes and ice cream — have been banned due to allergies and a number of other reasons. Without food as a celebratory go-to, parents are left trying to figure out how to make their child feel special within the constraints of the classroom. We’ve got you — and your birthday boy. For a food-free celebration, try one of these tactics.

1. Read a special story to the class.

Does your kid have a reading hour during school? If so, ask the teacher if you can come in to be a special guest reader. Set it up as a surprise or plan it with your child so that the two of you can pick out a super-special book ahead of time. (Don’t forget to practice your voices in advance!) If you can’t be there, see if you can send your kid in with a preselected book for the teacher to read.

(Image credit: Happy Home Fairy)

2. Wrap up each item item in your kid’s lunchbox.

For a fun mid-afternoon surprise, why not treat your child’s birthday lunch like a cheeky gift? As Julie of Happy Home Fairy has found, wrapping each individual item in a lunch box can make for a playful, giggle-filled meal for your kid.

See more: Making Lunch Boxes Fun at Happy Home Fairy

3. Send in a gift for the classroom.

Turn the traditional birthday gift on its head by sending your child to school with a gift for the classroom in honor of their birthday. It can be as simple as additional craft supplies for the art room or a cool game to play during recess.

(Image credit: Meri Meri)

4. Pass out non-edible treats.

You might not be able to hand out adorably decorated cupcakes, but maybe you can still pass out something? Assemble mini goodie bags with pencils, erasers, stickers, and other dollar-store finds. We also love these little crackers from Meri Meri, which come filled with confetti, a joke, a tissue paper hat, and a temporary tattoo. Just be sure to check with the school teacher first.

5. Provide the paper goods.

If your kid still has snack time during the school day, see if you can send in some cute celebratory napkins, plates, or even party hats. This way, the kids will still eat the school-sanctioned cheese and fruit (or what have you), and they’ll get a little extra flare in honor of the birthday girl.