Golden Birthday Ball

Golden Birthday Ball lesson plan

Start a new tradition that children in Switzerland really enjoy. Roll a Golden Birthday Ball and share good wishes with the birthday child!

  • 1.

    Here’s a Swiss way to say "Happy Birthday!" Children lay decorated fabric on the floor and sit around it. The birthday child rolls a Golden Ball to one person at a time. Each friend rolls the ball back to the birthday child while extending a greeting. After all wishes are given, the birthday cloth is put on the back of the birthday child’s chair. Students can make a fabric and ball to use in the classroom.

  • 2.

    Decorate the fabric. On paper, use Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils and your imagination to sketch ideas to decorate the birthday fabric.

  • 3.

    On cotton or 50/50 cotton/polyester fabric, students use Crayola Fabric Markers to design the birthday greetings. If the fabric is likely to be laundered, ask an adult to heat-set the colors by putting it in a dryer for 30 minutes on the hottest setting.

  • 4.

    Make the Golden Ball. Students roll Crayola Model Magic into a ball. Air-dry it 24 hours.

  • 5.

    Cover the art area with recycled newspaper. Using gold Crayola Premier Tempera and a paintbrush, paint the ball. Air-dry it. Enjoy celebrating the birthday tradition often!


  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.


  • Possible classroom resources include: Christmas in Switzerland by World Book; A Child's Introduction to the World: Geography, Cultures, and People - From the Grand Canyon to the Great Wall of China by Heather Alexander; Welcome to Switzerland by Pamela K. Harris
  • Students research the country Switzerland, its customs, traditions, etc. Students demonstrate the use of the Birthday Cloth in celebrating classroom birthdays.
  • Students research other countries to discover how birthdays are celebrated. For instance, in Mexico a large party is give to girls on their 15th birthday. Russians eat birthday pie, birthday chairs are common in Lithuania and Holland, and a birthday flag is hung outside the house of the birthday person who lives in Denmark. As the school year progresses, practice each of the traditions researched by students.
  • Ask the world language teacher to teach the students how to sing Happy Birthday in the foreign language they are currently studying. Practice this for the next birthday celebration!