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Ask parents to send in pictures of their children at each of their birthdays. What is a birthday? How old are you now? Have you grown? Why? What are you able to do now that you were unable to do when you were younger?
(Open thematic poster - Birthdays) Print, laminate, and decorate the walls of your daycare with all kinds of posters.
Open birthday chart) Print, laminate and display. Present the birthday chart to the children. Show them the date and month of each child's birthday. Variation: (Open birthday poster) Print and display.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game-birthdays) Print, laminate and store in a "Ziploc" bag or in your thematic bin.
Activity sheets are suggested for each theme. Print and follow instructions. (Open activity sheet birthdays)
Have fun with these great workshop ideas provided by Caroline Allard.
Construction or building blocks:
- Wrapping paper to cover wooden blocks
- Silk blocks and "Lego" blocks to create birthday cakes
- Decorative gifts which can replace blocks
Arts & Crafts
- A cake model which can be decorated with stickers, cardboard pieces, pompons, confetti...
- Create invitations for a party which will take place later in the week
- A cardboard cone or crown for party hats. Children decorate it as they wish!
- Ribbons, wrapping paper, tape, and a few boxes to practice gift wrapping
- Kraft paper (brown or white), stamps, paint, and stencils to create their own wrapping paper
- Frosting and waxed paper replace tactile paint. (Warning: this attracts ants, do not leave out)
- This is the ideal time to color with waxed crayons or draw with candles!
- Birthday-related coloring pages (cakes, candles, children at a party, etc.)
- Provide children with a thematic box for birthdays. Items to include are party hats, flutes, Hawaiian style necklaces, paper or plastic plates and glasses, utensils, plastic cake container, different sizes of gift boxes covered with "mac-tack" to play, birthday candles, plastic cake, music, streamers and lights to decorate, tablecloth, "Happy Birthday" sign, pastry set, cake decorating set, etc.
- Memory game related to birthdays (Use educatall picture game)
- Birthday-related puzzles
- A box containing different sizes and colors of candles
- Modeling clay with a sweet scent and candles to make pretend cakes
- Pastry cutters
- Various board games depending on the group's age
- Books about birthdays, friends, etc. Let children choose the books themselves.
- A song box with the words to songs typically sung at birthday parties. Associate pictures to the words and display, they will enjoy singing them over and over again!
- A photo album with pictures of the birthdays you have celebrated at the daycare
- Various activity sheets related to the theme
- Game with educatall word flashcards
- A laminated cake which can be decorated using dry-erase markers
- A cake model for tracing
- Letters, numbers, and magnetic shapes with a board to "write" words on a cake, a hat, etc.
- An obstacle course throughout which we must find hidden gifts
- Outdoor scavenger hunt to find gifts or ingredients for a special cake
- Walking on a beam holding a cake, don't let it fall!
- Organize a tombola
- Bin filled with musical instruments and original hats to have a parade
- Ribbons, wrapping paper, confetti, and birthday candles hidden in the bins
- Bin filled with granulated sugar or flour
- Balloons to rub on hair to create static electricity. They stick to walls!
- Color combinations to make various icings
- The melting candle...to be manipulated by the adult and observed by children who will be fascinated
- The inevitable birthday cake prepared from beginning to end by the children
- Make muffins and have children decorate
- A cookie bouquet (sugar cookies or other kind on skewers)
- Plenty of colors of icing to taste
The flashcards may be used during circle time to spark a conversation or in your reading and writing area. They may also be used to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards) Candles, cake, streamer, party hat, games, friends, songs, gifts, loot bag, confetti, balloons, gift bag
SUGGESTIONS FOR THEMATIC PARTY
Here are ideas of activities, costumes, decorations, and cakes for different themes.
KNIGHTS AND PRINCESSES (Open knight or princess party)
For a princess, use lace curtains or various fabrics and add jewellery. Draw stars on her cheeks and add sparkles. Don't forget the tiara! For a knight, use a black garbage bag and cut it so it is open on the sides to resemble a cape. Make a loose knot so it is easy to slip on. Add a crown.
Bake a cake shaped like a crown. Use a square baking pan and cut the cake into two parts. Cut one of these parts twice diagonally to make triangular pieces. Garnish with icing and shiny candies to imitate precious stones.
Organize a masked ball with the works: music, decorations, dancing, balloons, tablecloth decorated by the children, streamers...
Cover the child's chair with a large sheet. Place a crown on his/her head. He/she is king or queen of the day. He/she has the right to certain privileges such as choosing where to sit for lunch or the naptime spot, choosing a plate and glass from a special birthday selection, choosing the snack or meal...
Concert for the princess/knight
Children stand in a circle. Have one child leave the room and designate a conductor among the others. Each musical instrument will be mimed by the performers, with or without a violin, flute, piano, drum, guitar, or trumpet. The player who left the room must guess who the conductor is.
Knight's obstacle course
Build a maze. Add obstacles such as a rope tied between two chairs. Children must crawl beneath the rope or walk over it without touching it. Place a bucket of water on another chair. Children must crawl under the chair without spilling the bucket. Incorporate whatever you have on hand. Children can help you build the maze. Maximize the various methods children can move about (crawling, jumping ten times, hopping in hoops, walking on a rope, skipping, spinning, etc).
Choose one child to be "it". He must attempt to "tag" the other children. When he touches another child, the child is transformed into a statue. Others may free him by passing under his arms.
Invitations and greeting card
(Open invitation special day) Print and give a copy to each child. Along with the invitations, send the model of a crown for children to decorate prior to the party. They are to arrive wearing their crowns the day of the party. (Open king's and queen's crown) Print the model. Trace it onto a piece of cardboard covered with aluminum paper. Cut out and decorate with anything shiny. Measure children's heads, adjust the size of the crown and staple.
DINOSAURS (Open dinosaur party)
Paint your face like a dinosaur
Bake an oval-shaped cake and decorate it to look like a dinosaur egg.
Cut out different dinosaur tracks (Open dinosaur tracks and dinosaurs) and glue them to the floor to form a path. Paths may lead to the bathroom, to the sink, etc.
Hide plastic dinosaurs in a sandbox. Using paintbrushes, children dust the sand in search of the hidden dinosaurs, just like archeologists.
Prepare a prehistoric route. Here are a few suggestions of obstacles: children go through a cave (a tunnel or simply a table draped with a sheet), cross over dinosaur eggs (fill a small pool with brown paper balls), jump over a lake (hoola hoops), and walk among the vines (hang garbage bag strips from the ceiling)...
Place a basket full of large plastic eggs in the center of a circle. You may paint colorful spots with acrylic paint prior to the activity. In each egg, inscribe a simple activity (jump, dance, raise one leg, etc). Play music and have children pass the basket around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding the basket opens the egg and acts out the instruction.
Invitations and greeting card
(Open dinosaur tracks and dinosaurs) Write the party invitation directly onto the dinosaur tracks or use them to create a greeting card.
INSECTS (Open insect party)
Ask children to make themselves insect antennae. A great starting point can be a plastic headband with two pipe cleaners. Children complete the project using their imagination (decorated styrofoam balls, pompons, cutout pictures, etc.)
Butterfly cake. Bake the cake in a round mould. Remove from the mould and cut in two. Turn the two parts of the cake to create a butterfly shape. Decorate with "Jell-O" and jelly insects on top.
Blow up balloons and have children decorate them (dragonfly, bee, butterfly, caterpillar, ant, etc.) Hang from the ceiling.
Make a garland with leaves (Open leaf garland). Print and hang around the daycare. Add insects crafted by the children.
The caterpillar(Open circle models) Print and cut out circles using the model of your choice on colored construction paper. Cut out the colored circles and glue them onto another piece of paper. Be sure to overlap them. Add googly eyes and pipe cleaners for antennae.
The hungry ants
Use three small containers. Fill each container with sugar, maple syrup, or salt. Place the containers in an area where there are ants. Children observe which container the ants prefer.
Search for insects using magnifying glasses, butterfly nets, or small exploration containers. Simple plastic containers with holes punched into the top for aeration are fine. Explore bushes, grass, and dirt...Help children catch insects and inspect them in the containers.
Install a series of four or five hoola hoops on the ground. One at a time, the grasshoppers (children) must jump in the hoops without stepping out of them. Variation: Have all the grasshoppers follow each other.
Hold a long piece of string. Walk and make it zigzag. Children follow and attempt to step on the string (worm).
For this activity, you will need sufficient space for the children to move about. Blow up one balloon for the group. Throw it to them. They must keep the balloon in the air.
Fly, fly, butterfly
Have children each hold a part of a blanket. Place a balloon on the blanket. Children move the blanket up and down so the balloon moves like a butterfly. Invitations and greeting card: Write the details for the party on insect stencils. (Open insect stencils) Print and trace onto cardboard. Children place stencils on a sheet of paper and cover with paint using a sponge to obtain insect shapes.
PIRATES (Open pirate party)
Costume: Pirate's eye patch
(Open pirate's eye patch) Print, cut out, and make holes. Children decorate their eye patches as they wish. Attach a small elastic thread so children can place it behind their heads.
(Open pirate's hat) Cut the model out of cardboard. Children decorate with small beads, bunches of paper, buttons, etc.
Cake: Treasure cake
Bake two rectangular chocolate cakes. Cover with chocolate icing. Place the two cakes to look like a treasure chest full of jewels and gold coins (chocolate coins and candy necklaces).
Create a pirate ship structure from an empty appliance box (refrigerator, washing machine, etc.). The structure should be glued to the wall as a decoration. Use fabric to fashion sails, empty paper towel rolls for the masts, etc. We have conceived a few crew members to add to your ship. (Open pirate ship crew)
Decorate a box. Add numerous surprises. Every day of the week, have children pick a surprise from the treasure chest.
This is played like a telephone game. Sit in a circle with the group. Begin by whispering a word related to the theme to the child to your right. This child must repeat the word to the child sitting to his right and so on until the word has traveled all the way around the circle. BE CAREFUL not to say the word too loudly, it is a secret! The last one to hear the word says it out loud for everyone to hear. The word will certainly be distorted!
Divide the group into two teams. Make a circle for each team (or use two hoola hoops). Be sure to leave sufficient distance between the two circles. Each island has a treasure (various object). The pirates (children) attempt to steal the other team's treasure. If a pirate succeeds and brings the other team's treasure back to his island without being touched, his team wins. Start all over!
Searching for gold
When the children are not present in the daycare, hide gold pieces (tiny rocks painted gold) in the sandbox or around the house. Don't forget to count the number of gold pieces you hide to make certain they have all been found.
Invitation and greeting card
Sword (Open sword) Print and inscribe the details of the party behind the pirate's sword. Cut out the sword model in very strong cardboard. Children may paint and decorate as they see fit.
FISH (Open fish party)
Use fabrics with sequins. Cut out strips and attach to children's clothing to make fish scales. Paint their faces blue.
Make a fish-shaped cake decorated with jelly worms.
Everything blue: balloons, streamers... Decorated fish can be hung everywhere.
Attach a cord to an old broomstick. Place a clothespin at the end of the cord. Hide behind a piece of furniture to hang objects on the clothespin. The object of the game is for children to each have a chance to catch fish. Fish can be replaced by toys or surprises. Variation: write points on cardboard fish (example: small fish=2 points, large fish=5 points, etc.) Set up gifts on a table (example 2 points= a miniature ball). Children exchange their "fish points" for surprises.
Blue Jell-O bin
Allow children to manipulate blue Jell-O with their hands. Add small plastic fish in the bottom. Children plunge their hands in the Jell-O to retrieve them or they can use a fish net to catch them.
The fish and the minnows
(Played like the cat and mouse game) A player is designated to be the fish. He must catch all the minnows. Once a minnow has been touched by the fish, he becomes a fish too. There is only one way to be safe from the fish and that is for children to lower themselves either by crouching down, kneeling, or lying on their stomachs. If they are in these positions, the fish cannot catch them.
Big fish, little fish
Cut out several fish of different sizes from paper or cardboard. (Open variety of fish models) Print and laminate. Slide a paperclip onto each fish to represent the mouth. Tie a magnet to a cord and attach the cord to a stick. Prepare two baskets, one for big fish, and one for small fish. Children go fishing and sort their catch according to size.
Invitation and greeting card
Inscribe the party details on the fish model of your choice. Have children decorate and use it as a ticket to attend the party. (Open variety of fish models)
TOMBOLA (Open tombola party)
Paint children's faces with makeup. You may ask them to arrive at the party with a special hat.
Bake a cake and decorate with "smarties".
Cut out different shapes from tactile paper (used for finger painting). You will need fruit and vegetables cut in half. Dip the pieces in paint and create characters and silly prints on the paper. Next, assemble all the sheets of paper with a colorful ribbon. Variation: use any kind of object to make prints.
Hang a long clothesline between two chairs. Make two teams. Each team receives a bag with clothespins. Upon your signal, children place the clothespins on the clothesline while a song plays. When the song ends, count the clothespins each team placed on the clothesline. Be sure to identify each team's clothespins with a different color to avoid confusion.
Sit in a circle with the group. Pass a potato around the circle to the sound of rhythmic music. When the music stops, the child holding the potato must sit in the center of the circle. The game continues.
This is a classic birthday game. You will need one chair less than the number of children present (example: 10 children=9 chairs). Children form a circle and, to the sound of music, walk around the chairs. When the music stops, children quickly sit on a chair. One child will remain standing since a chair is missing. This child must sit out the rest of the game (he can play the music). Remove another chair and start the music again. Continue until there is only one child left.
Children perform somersaults in the grass followed by an original pose.
Determine the start and end of the course. At one end, place a pail filled with water and some sponges. At the other end, place an empty pail. This pail should have a black line on it indicating the level the water must reach. The participants must wet the sponges in the pail containing water and then run to the empty pail and squeeze the water out. The game continues until the water level reaches the black line.
Invitation and greeting card: Write the party information on the back of a large sun.
ZOO ANIMALS (Open zoo animals party)
Make a mask. (Open zoo animal masks) Print and trace the models onto cardboard. Children choose their mask.
Bake a cake shaped like a banana.
Use a green tablecloth. (Open zoo animal models) Print and trace on construction paper. Cut out and fold the pieces according to the instructions. Draw the details (eyes, mouth...) directly on the construction paper. Use pipe cleaners for the ears and tail if necessary. Use the animals to decorate the table or hang them over the table with a transparent thread.
One by one, children mime the zoo animal you whisper in their ear. You can also show them a picture.
Children dance to rhythmic music (African style if possible). When you stop the music, children pick a card. (Open picture game zoo animals) They imitate the animal on the card. When the music starts playing again, the children resume dancing.
Make teams of two players and put ten stickers on one player of each team. Upon your signal, the other child removes the "fleas" as fast as possible.
I'm a monkey
Children pretend to be monkeys and try to imitate the daycare worker's actions (example: hop on one leg, make a silly face, scratch their heads, dance, laugh, scream, and fall down). Variation: This game may be played at lunch time in an attempt to include food children sometimes don't enjoy. If you're lucky, playing this game may help them devour broccoli!
Invitation and greeting card
Write the party information on the back of a mask. Children can arrive at the party with their masks already decorated.
SCIENCE (Open science party)
Children wear a white shirt. Dads can lend them one but they must be warned that it may not look new when it returns.
Make a cake shaped like a test tube, a bubble, or a magnifying glass.
Use white, light blue, or grey balloons and streamers.
Nice and dry
Fill a glass half full of water. Pour baby powder on the water (we must see a thick film on the water). Gently plunge your finger in the water and remove it just as gently. Your finger will be dry!
Fill a glass half full of water. Shake pepper into the water. In a small container, pour dishwashing liquid. Dip your finger into the soap and then, dip it in the glass of water. The pepper will run away from your finger!
Pour sparkling water (example: Perrier) into a glass. Add a few grapes and after a few minutes, they will move on their own.
Fill a bin with rice and add figurines, measuring cups, containers, utensils, etc. Children will have fun manipulating everything.
Invitation and greeting card
(Open coloring pages theme-science) Print and write the party information on the magnifying glass.
CIRCUS AND CLOWNS (Open circus and clowns party)
Use clown noses, wigs, and makeup.
Bake cupcakes and decorate them like clowns using a small cone for a hat and candies for the rest. Thin licorice may be used for the hair.
Balloons, streamers, think high in color!
Stretch a long rope out on the floor. Have children imagine it is high in the air. They must walk barefoot keeping two feet on the rope otherwise it is considered a fall! There are different ways of walking on the rope: backwards, hopping, crawling, etc...
Make simple stilts using empty cans. Punch two holes on either side near the bottom. Measure the cord and cut it the correct length for the children's size. Thread one end into each hole and tie. To walk on the stilts, children stand on the cans and hold the cords in their hands. It's not an easy activity. Some children will need plenty of practice! (Make sure the edges of the cans are not sharp, you may want to add electrical tape or masking tape to be sure.)
Birthday game(Open birthday game) Print and laminate. Display on the wall at children's eye level. The game is played like Pin the tail on the donkey. Blindfold the children and spin them around once or twice. Children attempt to place the party hat on the child's head. Invitation and greeting card: Select one of the circus hat models and inscribe the party information. Children can decorate it and arrive at the party with their hats on their heads. (Open circus hat models)
BIRTHDAY (Open birthday)
Children find partners and use makeup pencils to paint each other's faces.
Hand out sheets of construction paper and have children decorate their sheets as they wish using craft materials. When they are done, roll the sheet into a cone shape. Staple and add elastic to hold the hat under children's chins. They are then ready to try them on!
Using a store bought cake mix or your own recipe, prepare as indicated. Instead of baking in a regular pan, use the cake mix to fill flat bottomed ice cream cones ¾ full. Bake as you would normally do but check frequently since cooking time may be less than usual. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Make icing and various decorations available to the children and allow them to decorate their own.
Cut 7-10 cm wide strips out of construction paper. Roll each strip to form a circle and staple the junction. Pass another strip of paper through the first circle and staple. Continue until you obtain the desired length for your garland.
Purchase white or colored paper glasses. It is important that there be no designs on them. Give children birthday theme stickers. Let them stick them on their glasses to decorate them.
This game is for two players. Children stand side by side. Tie their legs together (example: ight leg of first player to left leg of second player). Make a line at each end of the daycare and have children go from one line to the other and back.
One child leaves the room. While he is out of the room, the rest of the group must entangle their arms and legs. The other player returns and tries to untangle his friends.
Children are two by two. One of the players is blindfolded and the other directs his friend throughout the daycare. Place obstacles on the ground such as cushions, a step, branches, etc. The guide must help his partner around the obstacles or help him over them.
Invitation and greeting card
(Open greeting card models) Print.
Each child draws a picture. Assemble all the drawings together and present the child with the end result.
(Open coloring pages theme-birthdays)
SONGS & RHYMES
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear _________
Happy Birthday to you
Hip Hip Hooray
by Patricia Morrison
Hip Hip Hooray
This is your day
We're going to celebrate
In a special way
The Educatall team
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