Bunny Cakes, by Rosemary Wells

Max and Ruby each want to make a special birthday cake for Grandma’s birthday.  Max gets sent to the store with a shopping list but the grocer does not understand what he has come for.  How will Max communicate that he wants marshmallow squirters?

Materials

  • Some flour, sand, cornmeal, dirt, salad oil, water, herbs.
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 2-4 Trays or box tops
  • 2-4 bowls
  • Birthday candle picture

Vocabulary

  • Squirt –to make something squeeze or shoot out

Before Reading the Story

Tell the children that today’s story is about a birthday.  Lead the children into a discussion about birthday celebrations.  How do they celebrate a family members birthday?  How old will they be on their next birthday?  What flavor of cake or ice cream do they like best?  (My Daddy makes me a chocolate cake.  We go to the restaurant for birthday dinner.  My brother got a Ninja Turtle toy.

Social & Emotional Development.Knowledge of Families & Communities; progresses in understanding similarities and respecting differences among people such as genders, race, special needs, culture, language, and family structure.

Reading the Story

Stop on the page where Ruby tells Max not to touch anything. Ask the children why not?  Now read the next page and ask the children why Ruby had to make a list that said‘eggs”?  Point out Max’s writing on the pages where he writes on the paper.  Each time Max drops or spills something, stop and ask the children what happened.  What do you think Ruby will do?  On the last page, ask the children by raise of hands which cake they would eat first?

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation;demonstrates progress in  to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.  AND Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.

After Reading the Story

Ask the children what Max’s problem was in this story?  (The grocery man did not want to give him his marshmallows, the man couldn’t read Max’s words, The grocery man did not want Max to have squirters).   Then ask if Max was able to solve his problem? (He drew a good picture for the man to see, He made a picture of the marshmallow squishers, He used his words)

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.  AND Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and poetry.

Discovery

Put out a tray or box top for each child that is allowed in your discovery center.  In the center put out the measuring cups and spoons and  the flour through herbs in the material list.  Put these into small cups.  Give the children a bowl and let them experiment mixing the various ingredients together.  This is messy but fun.  Ask your cook to help supply these and any other ingredients that you can think of.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations and draw conclusions and form generalizations.

Music and Movement

Sing Happy Birthday to Grandma.  Or Sing Happy Birdle Daydle

     Happy Birdle daydle todoodle youdle 

     Happy Birdle daydle todoodle youdle

     Happy Birdle Daydle, happy birdle daydle

     Happy Birdle daydle todoodle youdle.

Blocks

Put out your play people today.  If you have families of play people, encourage the children to sort them from youngest to oldest.

Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows growth in matching, sorting, putting in a series, and regrouping objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size.

Art

Challenge the children to draw birthday cards.  Fold a piece of paper in half, the child can draw a picture on the outside and write their name inside or write/pretend to write words.

Literacy/Early Writing; develops understanding that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes.  AND Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name.

Sand and Water

Put squirters into the water table today.  Use turkey basters, old bottles such as ketchup, and/or spray bottles.  Add a bowl or other target for the children to squirt at.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler, and hammer.

Library and Writing

Explain to the children that the grocer could not read Max’s writing so he did not know what Max wanted.  Writing takes lots of practice.  Put out paper and markers or colored pencils today and have the children practice writing their name.  For children who are just beginning, the teacher can write the child’s name in a yellow marker or pencil and the child can go over it using another color.

Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name.

Youtube does a reading of Bunny Cakes

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; demonstrates increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

Dramatic Play

If you have plastic eggs, put them out in the dramatic center for the children to manipulate and use in their play.  I can think of two kinds of plastic eggs.  One fits together with male and female halves to manipulate numbers 1-12.  The other is the old fashion Easter eggs.  These can be put out to practice matching the two halves by color or just to put them together.

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.  AND Mathematics/Geometry & Spatial Sense; shows growth in matching, sorting, putting in a series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size.

Math and Manipulatives

Put play dough out today with cookie cutters.  Tell the children that instead of baking a cake for grandma, let’s pretend to bake cookies.  As they cut out shapes, ask them if they can tell you how many cookies they have made?  What shape are your cookies?  

Mathematics/Numbers & Operations; develops increasing ability to count in sequence to 10 and beyond.

For older children putout alphabet cookie cutters and see if the children can name any of the letters.

Literacy/Alphabet Knowledge; identifies at least 10 letters of the alphabet, especially those in their own name.

Outdoor Play

Make mud cakes on the playground today.  Add a small amount of water to make the cake especially moist and messy.

Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.  AND Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Transitions

Cut out the birthday candles.  Tape 1-10 of them on the wall and ask a child to count how many candles there are.  Continue giving each child a turn to count candles as they go off to the next activity.

Mathematics/Numbers & Operations; develops increasing ability to count in sequence to 10 and beyond.

Resources

About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.