Shoko's birthday party

The sun always seems to come out at the end of the day during winter. Today we had a wonderful celebration for Shoko’s third birthday. We went upstairs and shared the time with all the children, teachers and her mum, Kumiko. We started off sitting together in a circle on the mat. We all sang our “Hello” song together and then Shelley asked us if Shoko looked different from the rest of us. Jamie said that if we put a crown on her head, she would become a queen. Miya found the crown on the table and she placed it on Shoko’s head. We asked Shoko, how old she was and she told us that she was three years old. Her real birthday is at the end of December but we will not have school then, so we wanted to celebrate this month and her mum chose today for the party. Shoko counted three fingers in English and then we all helped her count three in Japanese, French and German. We sang “Shoko is three years old today” and then we all stood up and sang and did actions to “When you’re happy and you know it”. The actions we did today were clap your hands, stamp your feet, blink your eyes, nod your head, shout ‘happy birthday’, whisper ‘happy birthday’, go to sleep and then wake up!

Afterwards we spoke about other things that we do when we have a birthday. Jamie always has a lot of thoughts to contribute when we have these open discussions. He told us that you get cake and presents when it is your birthday. We told Shoko that we had a special present for her. It was a pink envelope with a beautiful butterfly on it, that Kana had drawn for her. She looked inside and pulled out a long chain of colourful hearts that we and our teachers had made. We decorated one side of the heart and on the other side we wrote messages and wishes for her. We think that she liked the present a lot and maybe she will hang it in her room like Noa did when it was her birthday. In fact she hung hers in the living room for a whole week! Then Shoko invited us to come to the table for snack time. WOW! The table was filled with the most beautiful display of food that Kumiko had made for us. There was a platter with ham rolled over a baby egg on a toothpick; smoked salmon with salad on a toothpick; dried baked vegetables; baby hotdogs; broccoli; sausage rolls (that Shoko helped make this morning) and then there was an ice cream cake. We ate and ate and feasted and had a wonderful party. First we sang our snack time song and then we sang “Happy Birthday” in English and Japanese. Our teachers were amazed that we still wanted to eat our own snack that our mums had made and then when it came to lunch time, we still had room in tummies that needed filling up. Some of us didn’t eat all of our lunch and this is probably the reason why! We want to say a big thank you to Kumiko for the beautiful array of foods she gave us today. Arigatou!

Downstairs, we did green and red collage representing the Christmas colours that we see at this time of year. We used green and red markers and then we pasted green and red materials onto our page. Upstairs, we made snowmen out of white clay, with the base being an old CD covered in Styrofoam to represent snow.

Love Shelley, Darren, Goh, Marie and Kanako