Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lessons Kids can Gain from a Farm-themed Birthday Party

The birthday boy in farmer costume.
When I began preparing for my second child’s first birthday party, we chose farm life as the theme which then became the inspiration for the games and activities during the party. Come party time, we could tell that our guests loved the theme a lot. But I guess our kids loved the theme a whole lot because months after my second child’s first birthday party, my kids were still playing them. Our farm party theme turned out to be a seedbed of many wonderful pretend play scenarios and home school lessons.
The kids actually started learning about farm life even before the party. We had been reading them books about the farm which they really enjoyed. Their curiosity about the farm was intensified when we started preparing the materials and props for our farm-themed kiddie party -- we bought plaid tops and farmer hats, plastic fruit and vegetable toys and baskets; we made farm-related crafts and art projects; we sang and danced to songs about farm animals, and I also taught my kids the barn dance. My youngest son (the birthday boy) loved it very much especially the tap-tap-tap and clap-clap-clap portion of the dance. My kids and I still use our costumes and props when we play at home. It makes us enjoy our pretend play even more.
Here are activities/scenarios that they like to imitate and the lessons they learn while engaging in these activities.
Planting and Harvest time – Reading books paved the way for our discussions about life in the farm. One of the things that I was able to discuss with them is the concept of planting and harvesting, and that it takes some time before you can harvest so it would be good to be busy with something else while waiting for harvest time. One time, we drew a farm scene on manila paper which the kids later colored. Then, I scattered plastic fruit and vegetable toys in the house and gave each one of them a basket, and they gladly went around the house “harvesting”.
Farmer’s Market – Through our farm pretend play, I was able to share with my kids that farmers sell their farm products in the Farmer’s Market. They love this pretend play where my youngest acts as the customer, while my eldest is the farmer selling his produce, including eggs and live farm animals. They use play money in their transactions. My eldest gets to practice his Math and writing skills. He learns about the farm business as we play. My youngest learns to identify objects through their pretend play and to differentiate between fruits and vegetables. Sometimes, he helps his brother set up his stall by separating the fruits from the vegetables in the display. We like playing “bring me” games, too.
Read the full article here at Smart Parenting Online.
Click here to read some of the venues we considered for my son's farm-themed party.

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