An interest area is set up outdoors in the form of a den.
Inside the den there is: a teddy with a Thomas party hat, a pretend birthday cake and real party food. There are also photographs of a transformer cake, Dora cake and Thomas cake, plus photos of various parties, a pirate party and a princess party.
The children look at the items.
Child 1: It’s a party!
Child 2: Whose party is it?
Child 1: It’s the teddy bears’.
Child 2: He’s got sausage rolls!
Adult supporter appears.
Adult supporter: Mmm can I have one?
Child 1: Yes.
Adult supporter: He doesn’t look a very happy teddy, does he?
Child 1: I’ll give him a sausage roll.
Partner: Maybe he needs more friends at his party.
Child 2: I’ll find him some.
Goes off and returns with some dolls.
Child 2: I will put the dolls in a circle then they can eat together.
Adult supporter: What kind of things shall we do at the party when the teddy has finished eating? Has anyone ever been to a party?
Child 1: Yes. We danced and did musical statues.
Child 2: We went to Monkey Madness and climbed. Then we had some food.
Adult supporter: And did you have a cake? Ooh, look! Here are some pictures of birthday cakes.
Child 1: I had a Thomas the Tank Engine cake, like this one in the photo.
Child 2: I didn’t. I had a Power Ranger cake.
They continue to play birthday parties, making cards for teddy, making a pass the parcel and accessing a CD for music. Later on the children are talking in circle time and the adult supporter talks about the children’s experiences. The 2 children tell the other children about it and show their work to the other children.
The children begin to discuss their own birthday parties - cakes, activities, dress.
The adult supporter concludes by saying that the children have talked about lots of different ways of celebrating birthdays – all are birthday parties but each is very different from the others.
The adult and children then plan activities around the learning environment to continue the interest in birthdays. The teddy and dolls and party equipment (table cloth, hats) are left out for the children. A birthday cake recipe is copied out and it is made by the children with adult support. Invitations to children’s toys are written and sent home, a dance is created for the party, developed by the children with support. Children bring in photographs of their own birthday parties which are laminated and made available in a birthday basket and similarities and differences are discussed, both informally and at group time.