The Birthday Child
By Rose Fyleman

Everything's been different,
All the day long.
Lovely things have happened,
Nothing has gone wrong.
Nobody has scolded me,
Everyone has smiled.
Isn't it delicious
To be a birthday child?


Happy Birthday

I've got a lot of presents
that I'd like to give to you.
I'll give you all my Brussels sprouts
and all my liver too.

I'll give you all my gym socks
when they really start to stink.
I'll give you all my pens when
they are running out of ink.

I'll give you all my broken toys
and empty jars of paste.
I'll give you all my bubble gum
that's chewed and lost its taste.

I'll give you all the dust balls that
I found beneath my bed.
I'll give you all my batteries
as soon as they are dead.

So have a happy birthday,
you're a special friend indeed,
and please accept this trashcan
full of stuff that I don't need.

Copyright © 1999, Kenn Nesbitt


This page is mainly a collection of birthday poems, songs, and stories.  Not a lot of  fancy activities to go with these, because most people already have ways of celebrating birthdays in their classroom.  Instead, this page is mainly a resource for those of you who are looking for something new to add to your birthday celebrations.


Here are a few things I've done in the past
to make Birthdays extra special days in my classroom:

I have two inexpensive plastic crowns with "jewels" from the party store.  The Birthday Child gets to wear the crown of their choice all day inside the room.


There are several crown diecuts for the Ellison machine.
Some teachers like to make a special crown for the Birthday Child to wear and take home,  complete with their name and age in sparkly glitter.


We usually celebrate summer birthday kids' "half birthdays,"
so that they don't miss out on the fun of having a birthday at school.


I have a special traveling bag that goes home with the birthday child.
Inside are several birthday stories, and our class Birthday Book.

The Birthday Book has blackline pages inside so that each child may write about their special day, and there's a box at the top of the page to draw an illustration (some parents put in a photo instead).

Be sure to have lots of extra pages, because many times siblings want to write in this book, too.  When the Birthday Book isn't traveling, it's a very popular part of our class library.


In my classroom, the Birthday Child gets to choose the birthday story they'd like me to read to the class.  I also have two poetry cubes (made of the bottom half of two milk cartons nested together, then covered with contac paper) with poems attached to all six sides.

The Birthday Child rolls the cube, and I read whatever poem comes up on top.  I have similar cubes for "I Lost A Tooth" poems.


I graph the children's birthdays by month at the beginning of the school year, as part of our Apples study (it's an extension activity for The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree).  Information about the story -- and our birthday follow up activities -- is below.


I made a chart of Birthday Words (with Rebus pictures) and keep it up all year long.  The children refer to it during Writer's Workshop, and it helps them to write about their favorite topics.  Words include friends, presents, balloons, ice cream, party, cake, candles, and Happy Birthday to You!


Birthday Scrolls
Thanks to Gail Sara for this great idea!

By the way, one of the things that I do for birthdays is .....I have a
collection of birthday poems. I put each one on a "scroll" (type up on a
pretty piece of paper, roll it up and tie a ribbon around it) and keep all
the scrolls in a fancy birthday gift bag hanging on the bulletin board.  Each
time it is a child's birthday, the child reaches in the bag and selects a
scroll and I make a big deal of "presenting" the scroll and  reading the poem
to the student who then gets to take it home. They really seem to cherish
this birthday poem. I guess it mean so much to them because of the big deal
that I make of the "presentation."


Happy Birthday!
A Beginner's Book of Signs

Every child loves a birthday party, and all the important words needed to
                     help celebrate one are here, from clown to candle, as well as the
                     important numbers to help you count how old you are!

Incorporating sign language into my reading program is great for those kids who are struggling and need kinesthetic activities.  This book is also great to put in your Sign Language Center.



The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree

A great story about Arnold enjoying his
apple tree all year long.
Under $5

After we've read about how an apple tree changes during the year,
we make a large chart showing the four seasons, with the season's months listed beneath it (leaving lots of room to write).

Then we talk about the special things that happen in each month,
beginning with the holidays that children are already familiar with,
and things like the beginning and end of school.  I add each item under the appropriate month.

Next we predict which season will have the most birthdays in it,
based on the kids in our class.
The predictions are recorded on our chart,
and then we list the birthdays for each month.

After all the birthdays are there (don't forget your own!), we count
them by making tally marks, then write a number total for the month.
Finally, we add up all the tally marks and write the totals next
to our original predictions.

This information is transferred neatly to a 4 column birthday chart
divided up by the four seasons, with a cake for each month.
I write the birthday names and dates on the cakes with a dry-erase
marker, so they're easy to change during the year, if needed.

At the beginning of each new month, we check our birthday
chart and make a small Ellison (or note pad) cake for each child who has a birthday that month, and we slip it into the calendar pocket chart to remind us of their special day.  The children enjoy counting the days until a friend's birthday.  For children with summer birthdays, we celebrate their "half birthday" instead.


The Wish
By Ann Friday

Each birthday wish
I've ever made
Really does come true.
Each year I wish
I'll grow some more
And every year


by John Archambault

Glory may
I like today.
Today, today
I like today.
No other day's
quite like today,
Not tomorrow
or yesterday.
I like today
In every way.
Today, today,
My birthday!


The Birthday Cake

Today is my birthday.
I think I'll make a cake.
Mix and stir, stir and mix,
Then into the oven to bake.

Here's the cake so nice and round,
I'll put icing on so white.
I'll put on all the candles
To make my birthday bright!

Happy birthday to me!


Birthday Rhymes, Special Times

32 poems by favorite writers, including
Shel Silverstein, Ogden Nash, and Jack Prelutsky.
Great for poetry journals and pocket charts!
Under $5


Happy Birthday, Ronald Morgan!
It is the end of the school year, and Ronald's birthday
comes one day too late to be celebrated at school.
I love all the Ronald Morgan stories :o)
Under $5


Happy Birthday Moon

My students love the Little Bear stories by Frank Asch.
In this book, Little Bear discovers echoes and buys the moon a hat
for his birthday.  This kids really enjoy outguessing Little Bear!

I have a large, laminated bulletin board with Little Bear, a tree, and the moon.
I set up a Hat Store in my classroom, and each child gets to spend 10 cents to
make a Birthday Hat for the moon.  There are different shapes, colors, and sizes, and many different items they can purchase for a penny each to decorate their hats.  We attach all the hats to the tree, and then graph the styles and colors of hats, and write about our graph.


Happy Birthday!

Today's the day
We get to say
We're happy you were born.


The Birthday Cow

Happy Mooday to you,
Happy Mooday to you.
Happy Mooday
Dear Yooday,
Happy Mooday to you!


Our Favorite Birthday Books

The Secret Birthday Message
By Eric Carle
Our absolute favorite!
A unique life-the-flap story ... Under $6

Happy Birthday,
Dear Duck
by Eve Bunting
Jan Brett's illustrations bring this story to life!
Under $6

On The Day
You Were Born
A delightful story!
Also available on cassette.

Happy Birthday Sam
Getting older means growing bigger!
Under $4

It's MY Birthday!
A zany tale about a monster who doesn't want to share

Some Birthday!
By Patricia Polacco
A birthday story with a twist!  Under $6

The Birthday Bear
A bear eats David's birthday cake!
Under $5

Annie Flies the
Birthday Bike
It's not much fun at first,
but Annie grows
to love it!

Arthur's Birthday
One of our favorite characters has a birthday.  Under $5
Also available as a book-and-cassette

Arthur's Birthday Party
By Lillian Hoban
The "other Arthur" has a birthday party. 

Birthday ABC
I love ABC books, and this one has gorgeous illustrations!

Be Ready At Eight
A great book for emergent readers!
Under $4

A Birthday Present
For Mama
An emergent readers book - Under $4
Birthday Presents
By Cynthia Rylant
A lovely birthday tale!
Under $6

Mr. Rabbit and the
Lovely Present
Under $5



When I was one
I had just begun.
When I was two
I was nearly new.
When I was three
 I was hardly me.
When I was four
I was not much more.
When I was five
I was just alive.
But now I am six
I'm as clever as clever,
I think I'll stay six
Forever and ever.


I'm not exactly big,
And I'm not exactly little,
But being Five is best of all
Because it's in the middle.
A person likes to ride his bike
Around the block a lot,
And being Five is big enough
And being Four is not.
And then he likes to settle down
And suck his thumb a bit,
And being Five is small enough,
But when you're Six you quit.
I've thought about it in my mind -
Being Five, I mean -
And why I like it best of all
Is 'cause it's In Between.


These songs were sent to the KinderKorner list,
but I don't know who wrote them ...
please send me an email if it was you!

Hip, Hip, Hooray, It's Your Birthday!
(tune: Old MacDonald)

Janie Andrews has a birthday.
Hip, hip, hip, hooray!
And on her cake, she has____candles.
What a happy day!
With a puff puff here
And a puff puff there,
Here a puff
There a puff
Everywhere a puff puff,
Janie Andrews has a birthday,
Hip, hip, hip, hooray!


Another Birthday Song
(tune: Three Blind Mice)

The birthday child is you
No one else will do.
Today's the day
your're___years old.
So birthday cheers to you.


Birthday Books

These aren't books about birthdays.  Instead, I invite the parents to donate a book to our class library on their child's birthday.  I have a friend who teaches second grade, and she puts a "birthday book" in each child's desk before the first day of school ... these are books she purchased in honor of her own birthday, and gave to the class to keep in their desks for free reading.  Each year, the children write a special Birthday Note to the child who will sit in their desk next year!


Pocket Chart Fun

Jenni/k/Ca sent in this activity and book recommendation:

One of my childrens' very favorite birthday activities is scrambling the
words to the Happy Birthday song in the pocket chart.  The words are on
sentence strips, cut up, and after we sing in the correct order, the birthday
child gets to mix them up and we sing the "new version."  The kids just love
this and I love the simplicity of it!  Last summer I happened to come across
the  perfect book to accompany this activity- the title is Birthday Happy,
Contrary Mary  by Anita Jeram.  Very cute and cheap.  :-)

Birthday Happy, Contrary Mary
Under $3


Birthday Stories Featuring
Favorite Characters

Flik's Perfect Gift

Blue's Big Birthday

Happy Birthday Eeyore!
A Winnie the Pooh
first reader

Henry and Mudge
and the Best Day of All
A book for emergent readers

A Birthday For Frances

Too Much Birthday

A Birthday Present
For Piglet

Happy Birthday
To You!
The great Birthday Bird leads us on a trip.

Clifford's Birthday Party



Gail (Feliz 45) sent in this wonderful fingerplay!

Six little candles on a birthday cake,
The flames look so alive.
You may blow one candle out
And that leaves five.

Five little candles on a birthday cake,
Just five and not one more.
You may blow one candle out
And that leaves four.

Four little candles on a birthday cake,
As bright as they can be.
You may blow one candle out
And that leaves three.

Three little candles on a birthday cake,
They know just what to do.
You may blow one candle out
And that leaves two.

Two little candles on a birthday cake,
Helping us have fun.
You may blow one candle out
And that leaves one.

One little candle on a birthday cake,
It knows its job is done.
You may blow that candle out
And that leaves none.


Looking for more ideas?

My bookstore pages have lots of information on how I use various materials in my classroom, and on activities you can do with your students.  The thematic pages are complete unit resources, with lots of poems, songs, and links on each page.  Make yourself comfortable and take a look around!

Choose from the categories below.
Underlined subjects are links, the other ones are coming soon!

Top 10
Must Have
Phonemic Awareness
Integrated Curriculum
Balanced Literacy
Mini Books
for Emergent
Pat Cunningham Books &
4 Blocks Books
Writer's Workshop
Guided Reading
How to
Trade Books
and others
Pocket Chart Resources
 Songs and
About Me
Back to School
Marvelous Math Books
Read It!
Draw It!
Solve It!
What's In A
Literature for Math
I Love
Monthly Themes
Their Way
Bears Everywhere
Down on the Farm
Rain Forest
Going Buggy!
Chapter Book
Read Alouds
Spring Has Sprung!
Come Into
A Camping We Will Go!
Under the Sea
A Rainbow of Colors
I Lost
Me & My
 Special Books for Special People
reading for pleasure
Coming Soon!

These pages are updated often,
so please come back soon to see what's new at KinderKorner!


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This page went online on July 30, 1999

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