Our Birthday Project

Our Investigation Research Project (IRP) began when the children found a box and started to excitedly explore the contents.  What’s inside the box?’.  Well the children found hats, balloons, candles, a card and invitation.  They decided that it was a ‘birthday box’ and then I remembered I had collected all these things because it was Travelling Ted’s birthday on Friday.  The children agreed we should work together to plan a party for Travelling Ted and our Birthday IRP began. 

We started by thinking about our own experiences of birthdays.  One child commented ‘ I’m 4 and my party was an elephant party’.  Together we wrote a list of all the things we needed to do.  We found some invitations in the box and decided to write an invitation to our favourite toy from home so we could bring it along to the party.  All the children were keen to write their invitations and then we folded them so they fit into the envelope.  We collected address labels from the office and then we were ready to walk to the local shop to buy stamps for our invitations.  Once we got to the shop one child said ‘ I go here sometimes’.  We bought the stamps and stuck them onto our envelopes, then we walked to the post box and posted them. 

A couple of days later our invitations arrived at home and we chose a toy to bring to the party.  In nursery we had been busy making party hats and measuring them on our friends’ heads to make sure they fit.  We wrapped presents for Travelling Ted, making sure our party paper was big enough to cover the present. Some children had chosen quite big presents to wrap up and one commented ‘ My dragon’s the biggest so I need the biggest ( paper).  We decided that Ted needed a cake for his birthday party too so we made one and decorated it.  We also had a ‘home learning activity’, to make a card to give to Travelling Ted at his party. To give us ideas we could look at cards in the local shops or on the internet.  Everyone in the group brought in a lovely card for Ted that they had made at home, one child even made a special cake for Ted too.

On the day of the party we decorated Robin Wood with party banners and balloons and enjoyed sharing party food and giving our presents and cards to Travelling Ted.  We showed Ted the cake and he blew out all the candles, we thought his wish would be for another brilliant party next birthday.  All our learning was displayed and our parents were encouraged to spend time looking at all the things we had done.  A parent of one of the children in the group explained that they were using the list we had created to plan a party at home themselves.  At the end of our Investigative Research Project we also shared our learning with our friends in nursery by looking at photographs of the things we had done and talking about them. 

During the project we learnt new words like stamp, invitation and list as well as words related to size and shape.  We were keen to make marks for a purpose when writing our invitations and gift tags.  We learnt about size and shape when wrapping the presents we had chosen and measure when making the birthday cake and checking our party hats fit on our heads.  During the walk we had opportunities to talk about our experience of the local environment and we were encouraged to think about the different jobs people did.  There were lots of opportunities for thinking of our own ideas and sharing these with our friends too.  We had a great time whilst learning a lot and can’t wait to take part in another IRP soon.