Who doesn’t love birthdays?
I actually did this storytime twice, once to cover for a coworker and then the next day with my regular group. The first group was really small (5 kids) and on the younger side. The second group was more substantial (40 kids) and mostly 4-year-olds. The second group definitely enjoyed the books and the craft better.
The smaller, younger group didn’t really catch on to the sharing lesson in the Hutchins’ book, and they didn’t quite get the silliness of A Birthday for Cow. I think I didn’t properly explain what a turnip is, so I was sure to spend a minute explaining it my second group. I also had to explain what “spilling the beans” means. In my second group, we discussed the cover art and then I read them the title of the book. “Do you know what it means if you spill the beans?” I asked. One little boy remarked that it means “you’re going to have some cleaning up to do.” Which could be true figuratively or literally.
At the end of each book we sang the Happy Birthday song to the appropriate character and then dramatically blew out imaginary candles. They LOVED singing Happy Birthday. I’ve never heard a group belt out a tune so loudly.
For a craft, we made cupcakes. Paper cupcakes, of course. I’m not crazy enough to try baking with 40 preschoolers. I had cut out a top (the frosting) and bottom (chocolate cake) for each kid to glue together, with crayons and “sprinkles” for decoration. The sprinkles were mostly glitter cardstock cut into long rectangles and some stars and circles that I made with a punch. I also had some candles for them to glue on top, the same number as their age. (Some of them were really into gluing and ended up with candles more appropriate for my birthday rather than their own.)