Get Happy!

Happy New Year!!! The beginning of a new year is a great time to do a Happy Birthday and/or Celebrations storytime. Below is an oldie but goodie. Also: you may notice that some major changes are happening on this site (finally!). I am hoping to really start adding to this site this year and make it an even more useful resource for parents, teachers and fellow librarians. The look of the site may continue to change for a little while longer, but I hope to get things settled soon!

As an extra bonus, at the end of this post, I’ve included another “Silly Librarian in Action” video: a snippet of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. Shout HOORAY! and get happy, people.

Birthdays and Celebrations Funfare with Jennifer: September 1, 2005

Decorate using streamers, balloons, felt cakes, presents…


Play the “Unbirthday Song” (from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland) as children enter. Have bubbles going.
Discuss birthdays and what you can find at parties.
Opening Fingerplay: Ten Little Fingers
Opening Song: Let Everyone Clap Hands with Me


Read-aloud #1: Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein
Fingerplay: Make a Cake
Read-aloud #2: Gotcha! by Gail Jorgensen (group) OR Fairytale Cake by Mark Sperring (family)
Fingerplay: Birthday Cake
Oral storytelling: Poule and Roach (from Margaret Read MacDonald’s Celebrate the World: Twenty Tellable Folktales for Multicultural Festivals) [I definitely needed to shorten the story for this audience. If I were to do this storytime again, I think that I would substitute this story for another book such as The Birthday Box by Leslie Patricelli or A Birthday for Cow! by Jan Thomas and/or more songs or fingerplays.]


Song: Hokey Pokey
(Song: Shake My Sillies Out)
Present kids with colorfully wrapped box as a “present for everyone”. But before we can open it, we must sing…
Song: Happy Birthday
Open up the present (be dramatic and throw the paper everywhere while shaking the box). Inside there are stickers for everyone! Hand out stickers individually (a good time to do a count) and wish each boy and girl a “Happy Birthday”. Play “Unbirthday Song” again (and/or Raffi music) while doing this as audience leaves.

Make a Cake
Mix the batter, stir the batter
(make a stirring motion with one arm/hand)
Shake some flour in
(make a shaking motion with one arm/hand)
Mix the batter, stir the batter
(make a stirring motion with one arm/hand)
Place it in a tin
(pretend to pour)
Sprinkle in some raisins in
(pretend to sprinkle)
Pop it in the oven
(open both hands, palms up, and slide them forward)
Open wide the oven door
(pretend to open door)
And out comes the cake!
(open both hands, palms up, and slide them forward)

Birthday Cake
Ten candles on a birthday cake
(hold up hands with palms facing out and fingers extended)
All lit up for me
(wiggle fingers)
I’ll make a wish and blow them out
Watch and you will see.
(blow and bend fingers down)

And, now for the video! Clap your hands!

2 thoughts to “Get Happy!”

  1. I am so excited to discover your blog. I am a three times retired school teacher turned library lady and for going on 3 years now have loved this part time job. However, the preschool crowd I read to weekly takes an enormous amount of prep time. Thank you for your excellent suggestions!

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