Thursday, 16 April 2015

All for a Special Person

MADE BY Y finger puppets for a birthday celebration

Recently, we have celebrated a special day of a very special person in our family, our little daughter's 4th birthday. This year, her birthday fell on a day during the term break, only a few days before Term 2 started. She attends a Montessori school and they have a particular way of celebrating birthdays, which embeds a lot of learning about the solar system into the celebration. They use a globe that represents the planet we live on, and a round yellow candle to represent the Sun. The candle is lit and is placed in the middle of a circle (they have a particular mat that marks a circle - or rather an oval, really - and the children sit around it, just behind the line); the birthday child holds the globe and walks around the circle as many times as the number of their new age. For instance, if the child turns 3 on the day, the child turns around the circle three times, which represents the fact that since the child was born, the Earth has circled the Sun 3 times, once a year. The child's family also provides a photo for each year of the child and the children in class get to see the photos in the order starting from birth to understand the evolution of the child in time.

birthday breakfast

We don't normally have birthday parties or do traditional birthday celebrations at home, but we make every effort to make sure that the birthday person feels 'extra special' on the day (or perhaps the week!) just to make sure that they understand, once again, how special they are to the rest of the family. We all try very hard to spend the day (or the closest convenient day) together, spoil the person with a special breakfast (it is pretty much the same for our children as the request comes from them and it has not changed much so far: some homemade pancakes with lots of berries and fruit and some honey, maple syrup or berry sauce), do things that the birthday person enjoys doing the most or that has put in a request for. We also aim to do some donations on behalf of the birthday person.

cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries and blueberries,

This year, I asked my daughter just before the term break whether she wanted to have a Montessori celebration at school as well or not and she said yes. Therefore, the teacher marked the first day of school in Term 2 for her birthday celebration (half an hour of the day). The school's procedure is that every child that celebrates birthday at school is to bring in photos of themselves (one per year since birth) and a fruit platter.

fruit platter for school celebration

 At the end of the day, every child gets a little gift from the birthday child, which is totally optional. Our little princess wanted some finger puppets for her friends and we worked on it throughout the holidays. Even my son made his own finger puppets for a few of his friends, all on his own!

Handmade puppets by MADE BY Y

My daughter actually asked for 3 puppets for each of her friends but luckily, I was able to negotiate with her and we settled for two. We also packaged them together at the end. I now have one happy class-full of 3-5year olds. We still keep getting compliments from the school and the families about the puppets. Just today a mum was telling me how her 3year old son's puppets are also a favourite at home for her 14month old daughter too. They even play together! I surely had quite a few late-nights to make all those puppets but it was well worth it!


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