I am lucky enough to work with children with a variety of special needs at my learning house. The majority of children I see have autism, and I am specialized in working with autistic learners, but I have also had the joy of working with a variety of special needs – such as Down Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome and Angelman Syndrome.
The program that I have developed for working with children with special needs at my center is a mixture of various types of learning methods – ABA, sign language, real photo communication exchange, Montessori and Waldorf styles.
One of my favorite Waldorf traditions is the Waldorf Birthday Ring.
Each year, you choose a birthday ring object that is representative of something your child has learned or experienced during the year to add to your birthday ring. This can range from learning to walk, to taking a special trip, to going to sleepaway camp for the first time! Just before lighting the birthday candle, you review the year with your little one, talking about the highlights of the year – learning, progress and milestones.
This is a wonderful tradition for children to participate in. They can choose the object for the year, make a list of special achievements and progress and perhaps looks through pictures that will help them remember special highlights during the year.
For kids who may not have the level to understand this type of tradition at this time, why not use a Waldorf Birthday Ring with your husband or wife to highlight and celebrate all of the progress your child has made during the year thanks to all of your time, effort and love? You could specially adapt your birthday ring objects to represent things such as a first word, first sentence, first play date or first time at the grocery store tantrum-free!
Celebration is so important – to show our kids that we are proud of them, to show our partner that we appreciate them and their efforts for us every day and to remind ourselves that the work we do for our kids is valuable and worthwhile. Through celebration, we grow closer to our loved ones, we create beautiful family memories and we ties the knots of our family bonds tighter.
You can buy your Waldorf birthday ring here and add to it each year. There are so many fun objects to add to your birthday ring.
I love these adorable birthday gnomes – one for each month of the year!
Birthday gnomes from Gnome Werks
This bee birthday ring ornament is bzzzzz – eautiful !
Bee ornament from The Toadstool Forest
This pirate and mermaid are too cute!
Pirate and mermaid ornaments from Hand n Hand Woodworks
This fabulous rainbow, seahorse, snowman, sailboat, hedgehog and house are all from the Waldorf birthday collection at Bella Luna Toys.
What are you birthday traditions? How do you celebrate your child’s progress and special memories? Do you have a Waldorf birthday ring in your home? I would love to hear about your family traditions in the comments below! ♥
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