Correction to This Article
An earlier version of this article incorrectly implied that large pretzels served at a birthday party at the Montessori School of McLean were baked by a student's mother. They were bought at the Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe in Arlington.
Page 3 of 3   <      

A Birthday Celebration Without the Sweets

Walk, Don't Eat

When kids at the Montessori School of McLean have a birthday, they do a Walk Around the Sun, a Montessori tradition.

The teacher places a lit candle on the floor. In a circle around the candle she lays strips of paper labeled with the months of the year and the seasons.

When Daniel Meakem celebrated his birthday in February, he held a globe and stood between the winter solstice and spring equinox markings -- where his birthday falls. Then he walked around the circle seven times, once for each year of his life, stopping each time on his birth date to tell "something that we achieved or learned during that year of our lives, or something special that we did, like learned how to walk, talk, became a big brother or first time on an airplane," he told KidsPost. "My favorite part is when you get to make a wish and blow out the candle."

Daniel's school allows kids to bring in birthday treats -- even cupcakes. But for his special day, Daniel asked his mom to make huge German pretzels. "My class loved it!" he said.

So when twins Davis and Conner Elder turned 8 last week, the class again celebrated with giant pretzels.

-- Brigid Schulte


<          3

© 2008 The Washington Post Company