All kids LOVE their birthday! The first study/theme we are doing in my class this year is BIRTHDAY! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my 5 for Friday!
1. Building background knowledge! During circle we read Platypus and the Birthday Party. In the book, Platypus and his friend have a pretend birthday party for their stuffed animal. Our pretend center has changed to a birthday party for this theme so the students will be having pretend birthday parties just like the characters in the book! On day one when we read book, we focused on who is at the party (characters in the book). Each student got a card to write and draw about someone they could pretend for our pretend birthday parties. On day two we focused on what they did and props they used to get ready for the party (events in the story). Each student got another card to write and draw a prop we would need to have pretend birthday parties. This helped me see what background knowledge they have about parties and get them involved in setting up the pretend center right from the start. Here is the web we made!
2. Making props! I am BIG on having the students make as may props for the pretend center as possible! One student told me we needed a banner for our party. During arrival time, students created a banner using paint and butcher paper.
Another student put on their card that we needed paper chains to decorate the party. In the art center, students cut paper strips to create the paper chains.
For my 3 year olds, cutting a 5 inch line is too hard so they made confetti for the party. I wanted ALL students to be able to help make and create props.
I gathered SOME of the props they put on their cards and here is what our pretend center looks like now! Don’t you just love all the student made props! The more they do and create to set up the center, the more invested they become! This theme will last 4 weeks and each week I will add more props to extend their play!
Look at the students having a BLAST at their pretend party! Don’t you just love how everyone has a birthday hat including the baby. One student is giving each person ice cream and the other is giving each person a big cookie.
3. Parent Letter! I also sent home a parent note introducing our study. In the note, I asked for parents to donate any left over party supplies they had at their house. Student brought in all kinds of party supplies. Some of the supplies went into the center and some I kept for later. I always start with the amount of props in pretend. By slowly adding new props each week, students learn how to use the props in their pretend play appropriately!
4. Writing and Drawing Invitations! In my library center, I created a place for supplies to create invitations. I had pre-folded paper for the cards, example invitations, “What Cards Need” poster, “You’re Invited” strips, and birthday words. So inviting right? The invitations they created, I laminated and put in pretend for students to use when they invite their friends to their pretend parties.
5. Birthday Playdoh! My new manipulative for this week was Birthday Playdoh! It is just home made playdoh, with no color added, and real SPRINKLES! This was a HUGE hit this week! Someone brought in candles and the red firework thing so I added it to the playdoh basket for students to use.
They made cupcakes, cakes, and cookies!
I also made playdoh mats! These mats are just for fun to build fine motor strength.
Be sure to check out what other teachers are doing this week over at Doddle Bugs Teaching! I always find great ideas! I know you will too.
Have a great week!