Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy Birthday Activities

It was my son's birthday this week. The years have flown by. I have such fond memories of so many of his birthdays (some are a blur, I have to admit!)

When he turned one, he got "Bear." I'm not exaggerating when I say it was probably one of the most significant gifts ever. My grandparents, who were simply amazing and wonderful people, gave him the darling, furry, dark brown bear with long arms and long legs. He opened that gift (or more accurately, his 3-year-old sister did), grabbed Bear, and never let go. And funny, when he was four and five and six, he often woke and said, "It's Bear's birthday today!" and then insisted that we make a cake. What can I say? I was a total sucker for that adorable blond and blue-eyed kid!

Cameron and Bear 091497

And did you notice Bear's shirt? Geez. Bear had a whole wardrobe... infant t-shirts that Cameron and I decorated. I must have been insane.

He got some other great gifts... his first bike when he was three, an electric bass, skateboards, another bike when he was twelve... And we had some great birthday parties over the years-- always with a theme, of course. Frog Party, American Flag party, Australian Outback Party, Spy Party. Tons O' Fun.

And I always took treats to school. It became a family tradition for all my kids to share root beer floats on their birthdays. I'd pre-scoop ice cream into cups the night before and just add root beer when I got to their classrooms. It was awesome because it was different. All the other kids brought doughnuts or cupcakes.

But this week felt a little weird. Cameron's off at school, his birthday was on a Wednesday, and we didn't celebrate as a family. Lucky for me, he's just an hour away, so I packed up some cupcakes and went to see him. (Great week for that Fall Break!) We went to Costco (Division I swimmers eat a ton!), went out to lunch, and stopped at the sports store for a treat. His friends took him to dinner, and we talked more on the phone. We'll do some family celebrating this weekend, and I have a present that he's just going to love! Maybe we'll even make root beer floats!

So while I was reminiscing about my son's birthdays, I remembered that I had a bunch of birthday things to share with my teacher friends! Click on the picture to get this unit!

Happy Birthday Unit1


I have my students make a birthday book for the birthday child. First, they think of what present they could give... and it can be ANYTHING--sky's the limit! I've had students give airplanes, the Eiffel Tower, a trip to New York, a real dolphin... as well as things like books and toys and jewelry. The students draw a picture of their gift in the rectangle. Then they tape a flap over the rectangle, using construction paper I've pre-cut. You could also use pre-cut wrapping paper rectangles. Omigod, they turn out so cute!

Happy Birthday Unit2

Then students can do some writing for the birthday child. For my kindergartners, it's a pretty big accomplishment for them to write "Happy Birthday to _________! From _______," at least at the beginning of the year. But the first graders and older students? They have a blast with the writing... because I have them write clues about what is in their present. They LOVE this! It's fun to watch them try to write tricky clues!

I put all the student pages together with a cute cover...

Happy Birthday Unit3

... and the birthday boy/girl takes it home!

I also included some alphabetizing activities, making works, and some pages for writing (personal narrative and informative) and a page of birthday cards.

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