Happy 3rd Birthday Miya!

The rain heard our song “rain, rain go away” and we were happy to see the sun shining at last. We want to say a big happy birthday to Miya as she turned three today. Her mom, Carolin, prepared such a beautiful spread for us all for snack time. We have photos of the things that she made and want to say a big thank you to her for making our snack such a special time and for celebrating Miya’s birthday with us. We started off by standing together and holding hands in a circle. Shelley asked us how we feel when it is a birthday and we told her that we feel ‘happy’; so we sang, “When you’re happy and you know it”. We clapped our hands, blinked our eyes, shouted ‘happy birthday’, whispered ‘happy birthday’, stamped our feet, nodded our heads and blinked our eyes. Then we all sat in front of Miya and spoke about birthdays and what happens when we have a birthday. Miya told us that you get presents, a cake, candles, cards and have a party. We asked her “how old she was” and Miya held up three fingers. We all held up three fingers and counted in English, Japanese, Hebrew and German. We then sang “Miya is three years old today”. We also sang our “Hello” song with everyone just before we started the party. Then we sang our song about “Five little candles” and we used our fingers as the candles. We blew each one out separately and then in the end there were no more candles left. Emily presented Miya with the gift that we made. Kana decorated the envelope with three flowers growing in a pot which Miya loved. She opened her enveloped and discovered that there was a chain of beautiful hearts that we had all decorated for her. It was so long! Miya’s mom, Carolin brought in her cake with the candles shining brightly and all the lights were off in the room. This made the candles shine even brighter. We counted three in German and Miya blew them all out while we sang “Happy Birthday” in English and Japanese. Then we began the feast! Our teachers are always amazed when we eat the party snack as well as our own snack for snack time. They wonder where we put all the food and of course we tell them: “In our tummies!” And of course Miya’s baby brother was with us to celebrate today.

There were a number  of other activities that we had today. Upstairs the piano mat was very popular and we love making music with our feet. This may sound strange but we run up and down the keys and they made the sounds just like the keys on a piano. During circle time we sang “Love is something” and are learning how to make the shape of a heart with our fingers. We are all learning about sharing and read the book “Sharing is caring”. It tells us how to share our toys and books and that this is one way of showing that we love people. Downstairs we did drawing and Yossi told us that he had made a butterfly on his picture. He said that it was a big one and that he would make a small one too. He then wrote some of our names on his page in his own writing. He started to write in the right hand corner of the page, because Hebrew is written from the right side of the page, which is different from English. We also learnt that today is called “Tu Bishevat”; the “New Year for Trees”. This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. Grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates are special fruits eaten on this day. We also played with play dough, did a large group collage which we will continue working on next week with Darren, read stories, completed our cards with hearts on them, sorted heart shapes among many sparkles and we played outside. Oliver loved playing with the red balloon in the park, trying to keep it from touching the ground.

We hope you have a good mid-term break and look forward to seeing you all on Monday. If you are going somewhere outside of Tokyo, please travel safely. We want to wish Sabine a safe trip back to Germany where she will help her parents pack up their home and move to an apartment. We will not see her for five weeks which is a really long time. Bon voyage Sabine. We will miss you!

Love Shelley, Darren, Kana, Goh and Marie.