By Awnali Mills
To finish up this storytime session, we did a birthday theme. This happily coincided with my birthday last Saturday, so I got to incorporate that. I asked the kids to guess how old I was, telling them that I was REALLY old (everyone over 10 is really old to a preschooler). One of the kids guessed that I was six. The other guessed that I was sixty. I told them the real number, which is somewhere in between. The kids agreed that it was pretty old (even though it wasn’t sixty), but the parents got a good laugh.
The books I chose were Dear Tyrannosaurus Rex by Lisa McClatchy, I Want Two Birthdays by Tony Ross, and A Birthday for Cow by Jan Thomas. (One little boy was very excited when I said “Jan Thomas.” He thought we were going to get to hear about Thomas the Tank Engine. Poor kid.)
In my magic bag were some birthday candles. This triggered the whole discussion about my birthday.
The first book was Dear Tyrannosaurus Rex. This is a cute little story about a girl who invites a T. Rex to her birthday party, and tells him all the wonderful things they can do together if he will just pretty please come to her party. The kids seemed to think that it would be rather disastrous to have a T. Rex show up at their birthday parties (but they wouldn’t be scared!)
Next, we did the flannel Eight Balloons. This is one that predates me, and comes from a Shel Silverstein poem. The kids yelled POP! for me every time a balloon popped. This was fun!
Eight balloons no one was buyin’
All broke loose one afternoon.
Eight balloons with strings a flyin’,
Free to do what they wanted to.
One flew up to touch the sun – POP!
One thought highways might be fun—POP!
One took a nap in a cactus pile—POP!
One stayed to play with a careless child—POP!
One tried to taste some bacon fryin’—POP!
One fell in love with a porcupine—POP!
One looked close in a crocodile’s mouth—POP!
One sat around ‘til his air ran out—WHOOSH! (we all whooshed and sagged down like the balloon)
Eight balloons no one was buyin’
They broke loose and away they flew,
Free to float and free to fly
And free to pop or whoosh where they wanted to.
Next we rolled our song cube and did a lot of marching to The Noble Duke of York. Up next was I Want Two Birthdays. The spoiled little princess discovers that when every day is special, no days are special. Some kids got this immediately, but one still maintained that two birthdays would be better than one.
Our next activity was the flannel Ten Little Candles. This flannel predates me as well, and comes from a book, although no title or information was on the copied words. The kiddos helped me blow out all the candles as we did the rhyme. I had some serious gusts of wind coming my way! And, one little girl sternly informed me that cake is nothing but SUGAR!
Ten Little Candles
Ten little candles on a chocolate cake.
Wh! Wh! Now there are eight.
Eight little candles on candlesticks.
Wh! Wh! Now there are six.
Six little candles and not one more.
Wh! Wh! Now there are four.
Four little candles – red white and blue.
Wh! Wh! Now there are two.
Two little candles standing in the sun.
Wh! Wh! Now there are none!
Finally, we did A Birthday for Cow. This didn’t go over quite as well as I had hoped. Some of my kids with more well developed senses of humor weren’t in attendance this morning, so maybe that was it. I think the kids just thought it was weird rather than funny that Duck was so intent on putting a turnip in the cake.
To wrap up, I blew bubbles for the kids, and they jumped and spun and laughed. Bubbles are always a good thing.