Birthday Belle: Hamna
A few weeks back we celebrated the first birthday at ILM Montessori, when Hamna turned two years old. While the kids were deliberately kept in the dark till the last minute, the staff at ILM with Hamna’s family planned everything in advance to make it a memorable and special day.
We were struggling to contain our excitement while welcoming Hamna like any other child that morning as she looked pretty in her polka dot frock. With the celebration scheduled to take place during “snack time” around 10:30 AM, it seemed like just another day at ILM, as the kids including Hamna began their routine of working with Montessori materials.
As per the plan, Hamna’s mother arrived at school a little before 10:00 AM with the three birthday C’s- Cake, Candles and a Camera! Around 10:15 AM we sneaked the birthday necessities into the kitchen through the backdoor as Hamna’s mother quietly entered the environment.
The kids were aware that it was snack time, but found it strange that they weren’t allowed to open their snack boxes.
Our staff members then distributed the birthday hats to Hamna and the kids who now got a whiff of what was happening.
When the birthday cake, with Hamna’s favourite cartoon character Dora on it was presented before them, Hamna and the kids leaped with joy.
A Montessori birthday ritual was carried out as Hamna was presented with a globe to carry it around the yellow circle twice, that was both symbolic of her age and the two revolutions the earth took around the sun. (A geography lesson masquerading as a birthday celebration!)
Hamna’s mother was then asked to share her memories of Hamna’s first birthday while describing how much her daughter grown in this past one year to all the kids who were listening in rapt attention. They were promised cake of course!
The candle was lit, the camera began flashing, the “Happy Birthday” was sung by all the kids and amidst all this, Hamna cut and ate the first slice of her cake.
The cake was then cut and distributed to all the kids to eat and take some of it home to share with their family.
A highly anticipated short, sweet and spontaneous celebration that made this day a memorable for everyone then came to an end.
It surprised both Hamna and the kids who now have birthdays that are simple yet fun at school to look forward to.