40+ classroom ideas for allergy-friendly celebrations!

No child should EVER be excluded from having fun because they have an allergy! I’ve worked as a elementary special education teacher, and wanted to share some ideas for having allergy-friendly fun in the classroom.

Non-food related gift ideas:

  • dollar store toys
  • Oriental Trading items
  • Happy Birthday pencils
  • stickers
  • fun erasers
  • coloring/game books
  • temporary tattoos
  • crazy straws
  • water bottle/cup
  • coupons or pass to zoo, museum, etc.
  • bubbles
  • book to keep
  • book dedicated to the student that stays in classroom
  • birthday ribbon or button
  • have class make the child a card and everyone signs it
  • have class make the child a poster that hangs in the class for the day
  • puzzles

Special privileges:

  • Get out of homework pass
  • Gets to decorate bulletin board
  • Eat lunch with a friend and the teacher (must be allergy-free)
  • Make deliveries to office/other classrooms
  • Let them be the “Teacher” or “assistant” for a subject of their choice
  • Class sings “Happy Birthday” to student
  • They are titled “Student of the Day”
  • Birthday announced during announcements
  • Child gets to pick out a book from the library to be read in class
  • Child gets to read a book to the class

Fun activities incorporated into the lesson plans:

  • Grammar fun with playing Mad-Libs
  • Reading directions with a Classroom Scavenger Hunt
  • Reading recipes and make “safe” play-dough
  • Watching movie and answering worksheet
  • Math fun with playing”Around the World”
  • Educational games on computer
  • Teacher reads to students
  • Increase social skills playing educational board games
  • Make crafts (with non-food items)

Just plain fun:

  • Extra recess time
  • Listen to music while working
  • Children bring in a “fun” hat to wear in classroom
  • Children make a hat/crown to wear in classroom

A child’s life should be celebrated, but not at the expense of harming another child’s life.  If parents are upset that they can’t send in treats for their child’s birthday, suggest they send in one of the non-food items as favors for the classmates.

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