I was reminded just how much I miss playing my little Miss 5 now that she is at school full time when she was home for a few days with a head cold recently. We had lots of fun revisiting lots of her favourite ways to play – playdough, drawing, painting and, of course, lots of pretend play! As well as cooking for the dolls in her play kitchen, we made a fun birthday themed story box in a shoe box! Why story box? Because this imaginative play small world is a fabulous resource for encouraging storytelling.
To make our birthday story box we took a regular shoe box and turned it on its side. We lined the floor and walls with scrapbooking paper (wrapping paper would work too). We made party hats for our mini figurine party guests from the paper as well. A birthday garland cut from paper and a playdough birthday cake with toothpick candles add the perfect festive feel. A few bits and pieces from the dollhouse completed the scene.
You could also make mini birthday cards and wrap tiny presents, or make more party food items from playdough!
The animals have been taking turns to host a series of parties ever since!
Of course, we then had to re-read a favourite birthday book too – I Love Birthdays by Anna Walker. Which inspired me to make this list of some of my favourite birthday themed picture books. Each book on our list is linked to more information, reviews and age recommendations (these are affiliate links).
I Love Birthdays by Anna Walker: A sweet book for preschoolers and kindergarteners (and a favourite in our house) – join Ollie in celebrating everything that is fabulous about birthdays.
I Am Invited To A Party by Mo Willems: While maybe not exactly a birthday book, we love this wonderful Elephant & Piggie book about parties. A long time hit in our house.
It’s My Birthday by Helen Oxenbury: Unlike the poor Little Red Hen, this youngster’s animal friends are delighted to help her make a cake to celebrate her birthday. A lovely birthday story about helping and sharing with friends.
Birthday Monsters by Sandra Boynton: “You hear your door come crashing down—those birthday monsters are in town!” Boynton’s fabulously popular rhyming text and wonderfully simple illustrations turn to the topic of birthdays.
Hattie Helps Out by Jane Godwin and Davina Bell: When Hattie helps her mother prepare for Dad’s birthday party, things don’t exactly go to plan!
The Princess and the Presents by Caryl Hart: Will the world’s most spoiled princess ever learn that birthdays are about so much more than presents!
Box of Tricks by Katie Cleminson: Eva is given a very special birthday present – a box of tricks! She soon discovers that she is a master magician and she conjures up a rather magical party. What happens when it is time for the party to end?!
This Is Actually My Party (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child: It’s Charlie’s birthday but Lola is so excited that she opens all of Charlie’s birthday cards and even blows out his birthday candles! What will happen when Lola is banned from the party?!
Fortunately by Remy Charlip: “Fortunately, Ned was invited to a surprise party…Unfortunately, the party was a thousand miles away…Fortunately, a friend loaned Ned an airplane.” Join Ned on his rather wacky adventure to a surprise party. But will he actually make it???
Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins: Who knew cakes could be so rude! These cakes certainly do NOT have the sweet disposition of their flavouring! A rather ridiculously wonderful story that proves even the rudest cake can learn to change its behaviour.
Do you have a favourite birthday themed book to share?