Preschool Years at Home

Laughing, Loving, and Learning Together


on April 26, 2012

Birthday girl

Our precious Baby Bear celebrated her first birthday today, so we’ve enjoyed some birthday themed activities the past couple of days.

Yesterday, Little Bear helped me bake Baby Bear’s cake. She counted eggs, helped measure flavoring, added ingredients in the correct order, and helped mix the batter. Her favorite part by far, however, was adding sprinkles to the top of the frosted cake. (Well, perhaps adding sprinkles and sampling both the cake and the frosting.) I was a negligent mother and failed to take pictures of the cake baking process, but here’s a shot of the finished product:

First birthday cake

Little Bear has been counting down the days to her sister’s birthday and practically bouncing off the walls with excitement for the past week. Tuesday night, she finally asked her most pressing question: “Is she going to get birthday presents?!?”

I assured her that there would indeed be presents, and she wanted to know every detail of about them — not just what they were, but how they were manufactured, how they got to us, and how exactly I planned to wrap them. … We spent a fair amount of time on Google exploring manufacturing and distribution processes, but she was most fascinated by the wrapping process. Continuing her barrage of questions as only a 3-year-old could, she asked me to explain the wrapping process in explicit detail — not just (1) cut the paper, (2) position the paper, and (3) tape the paper, but how I knew how much paper to cut, why the paper had to be bigger than the box, etc. … I quickly discovered that surface area isn’t the easiest mathematical concept to teach — especially when your pupil is a 3-year-old. She settled for a brief demonstration and the promise of an opportunity to practice her own wrapping skills at some future point. (Mental note: Pick up more tape at Dollar Tree.)

Of course, we also had to read about birthdays:

On a math note, we looked at pictures of both girls and sequenced them from earliest to most recent. We also made younger/older comparisons.

On an art note, Little Bear made a birthday card for Baby Bear and drew a picture of our family on it.

On a language arts note, she attempted to write “Happy Birthday” on her card.

The one challenge of the day came when it was time to open presents. Little Bear had helped Baby Bear open Christmas gifts and had eagerly anticipated doing the same with birthday presents. But Baby Bear has now learned how to rip paper quite well without assistance:

Pick up a package.

Loosen one end.

Rip away!

Baby Bear neither needed nor wanted help, much to Little Bear’s disappointment. She was really sweet about it in her sister’s presence, but as she walked out of the room afterward, I heard her say sadly to herself, “I didn’t get a single present. I didn’t even get to open one.”

… Some people would have seen a discipline issue. I saw a tired, disappointed little girl who’d been building this day up in her mind for days and who was having post-party let-down. I called her back into the living room, picked her up, and chatted with her about her upcoming birthday as we rocked together in the recliner. Soon, all was right in the world, and she was once again dancing around in wild celebration of the fact that her baby sister was one year old.

Mama's little present

Cake face

One Response to “Celebration!”

  1. Jolanthe says:

    That little tutu is too cute!! Happy birthday!!

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