Happy Birthday Storytime

Happy Birthday Storytime!

What to do with a Storytime also falls on your birthday? Plan a Birthday themed Storytime, or course!

Books:
The Fairytale Cake by Mark Sperring
A very cute tale where familiar fairy-tale and nursery rhyme characters work together to bake a cake for a youngster. Of all the books I used, I think I would switch this one out in the future. It was hard to tell the story while also finding the familiar characters. I thought I would read the book through, and then we would go back and find them, but once we were done reading the story, the kids were already restless to move. I loved the illustrations though!

The Secret Birthday Message by Eric Carle
A child receives a letter giving them directions to where they will find their birthday gift. I love that the directions are partially told though shapes. The kids helped tell the story by identifying the shapes as we read, and then making the shapes with their hands or body. Everyone loved the birthday gift at the end!

Don’t Spill the Beans by Ian Schoenherr
It can be hard to keep secrets! Bear has a secret, and so many friends! Okay, maybe just tell a few friends…whoops…the secret is out! I asked the kids to play while we told the story. They leaned over to their neighbor and made whispering sounds while cupping their hands like they were telling a secret. They loved the ending and how the birthday theme came out with writing! The kids old enough to read loved shouting the last line out loud!

Where is Baby’s Birthday Cake? By Karen Katz
A great lift-the-flap book to end Storytime on! I really enjoy these baby kind of books to end Storytime with. They are great for pulling everyone’s attention back on the book at the end of our time. The books are always colorful, and everyone loves to see the flaps lifted and the big reveals! Baby is looking for his birthday cake! Where could it be? It is just a little thing, but I loved that baby is wearing a purple shirt with stars on it!

Other Birthday themed books:
If You Give a Pig a Party by Larua Numeroff
A Birthday for Cow! By Jan Thomas
The Birthday Box by Leslie Patricelli
Happy Birthday, Bunny! by Stephanie Graegin

Early Literacy Aside: Reading books on familiar topics, such as birthdays, can help develop your child’s empathy by thinking and talking about how another person, or a character in a book, can feel about a familiar event, such as a  birthday.

Read: We read through our books, and they were all great selections!

Sing: We started by asking if anyone had a birthday coming up soon. The kids who did loved to identify themselves, and tell us when their birthday was. I also told the kids that today was my birthday. We began by singing the Happy Birthday song as our welcome.

Fingerplays:

  1. Pattycake
  2. 2 Little Blackbirds
  3. Eency Wincy Spider
  4. Two little Monkeys jumping on the bed
  5. Hot Cross Buns

Shaker Songs

  1. If you are happy and you know it give a shake! (Credit: Jbrary)
  2. Can you shake along with me? (Credit: Jbrary)
  3. We wiggle and wiggle and stop!  (Credit: Jbrary)
  4. Egg Shakers Up, Egg Shakers Down!  (Credit: Jbrary)

Scarf Songs

  1. Put your scarf on your heart (Credit: Jbrary)
  2. Here is a green leaf (Credit: Jbrary)
  3. Little Bo Peep (Credit: Jbrary)
  4. Popcorn Kernels (Credit: Jbrary)

Write: I wrote the letters “B” and “b” on the whiteboard. We talked about how these letters are different, and how they are the same. I asked the kids to tell me some words that begin with the “b” sound, and they had great ideas!

Talk: This Storytime theme lent itself well for asking kids questions that required more than a “yes” or “no” answer! Who bakes your birthday cake? What do you like to do on your birthday? How old will you be on your next birthday?

Play: I think this is the hardest element to fold into Storytime! So, I try to make every book interactive and fun. I had the kids point out the characters they recognized in The Fairytale Cake. They created half-circles, stars, ovals, triangles, and rectangles with their hands and  body while we read The Secret Birthday Message. They made whispering noses to their neighbors while we enjoyed Don’t Spill the Beans!. I think that simple interaction can be the best way to keep kids engaged in the books, while also engaging their imagination and and their growing theater arts skills!

Extension Craft: I found this very simple idea on Pintrest. We cut a paper plate so that it looked like a crown! The kids were able to color their crown and wear it as a special hat for a special day!  (You can see a photo in the main image for this post.)

Happy Storytime-telling!

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