Parents make and share a poster of the child's life highlighting things such as what they were like as a baby, their first birthday, special trips or events, etc. Most of J's descriptions for each year involved some sort of travel to California or to Florida to visit family. Man, that kid has traveled a lot!
(we added some glitter to his name after I took this picture)
The kids listen to the story of J's life
The months of the year are put on the floor in a circle with a candle in the center to represent the sun. J stood on February and began to walk around the circle while the kids sang a song about the earth going around the sun. He stopped each time he got to February and told something (with some help) that he liked especially in that year. It was hard to remember years one and two! After he walked around 5 times, the teacher lit four more candles and the kids sang happy birthday. J blew out the candles and all the kids gave him hugs. They then shared a fruit salad instead of cupcakes (they discourage sugary sweets-- at first I thought this was a bit of a bummer, but honestly it was nice to not have to make 24 more cupcakes and have leftovers).
walking around the sun
making his wish