Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Books and Birthdays

As some of you may know from my website I do Nurturing Narratives birthdays. Part of the mission of my program is to foster a LOVE of literacy and what better way to do that than to bring books into the birthday realm?

I was talking to a client earlier today about a party for her daughter (we are planning something special with a poetry theme) and it got me thinking that I have yet to share some birthday suggestions on the blog here for you all. So, candles and cakes aside, here are some ideas for a fun (and educational) birthday party.

- An Eloise Party. What little girl doesn't love Eloise at The Plaza? Throw a Eloise-themed tea party where you read Eloise, pretend you are at The Plaza and create your own Eloise adventure. Feeling adventurous? Eloise in Paris also works.

- Move to the beat of the book! This is especially fun for younger children. Get your child's favorite storybook out and asked the children to act it out. You can do everything from symbolic movement (let's all be trees in the forest!) to assigning each child a character to play.

- A Poetry Party. Cut up a bunch of fun words---adjectives are especially great!---and put them all in a paper bag. Have each child choose 10 and create their own poem. Afterwards play "poetry puzzle" and guess whose poem belongs to who...the birthday child can be the reader and get the first guess.

- Storybook Swap. Buy some inexpensive writing journals and give one to each child. Tell them to describe one person or thing in the room is the most descriptive and unique language they can without naming what it is. Then pass the journals to the right and have each child try to draw the object or partygoer based on the description. Then, if it's not already obvious, guess who and what is on the page!

And be sure to spread the literacy love! Sticking to the theme of the party, give out party-favors of your child's favorite book and let each child go home with the poem or writing journal they have created.

Happy Birthday to anyone who is celebrating out there!



  1. Nurturing Narratives...very cool idea for sure. My wife and I(she's a teacher and I'm an ex-teacher) have had some similar ideas but the business model is tough. Only people with lots of $$$ would use our services. We'd be competing with the Childrens' Museum, the library, clowns, Science programs....

    If it could work anywhere though, it would be NYC. Portland, OR is a different gig.



  2. Ryan,

    It's true, New York City is a great place for a business model such as this one. Other places are trying to be sure. I am lucky to be here!

    Thanks for stopping by and best of luck with your endeavors,