Chad M. Weisman
It is every child’s birthday at the Children’s School this week, as Chautauqua Institution glides through the week of the 139th anniversary of Chautauqua’s founding. In the manner of Lewis Carroll, the children are observing five “un-birthdays” during Week Seven at Children’s School, themed “Happy Birthday Chautauqua.”
The 3s wore their birthday hats on Monday as they designed their very own versions of the celebratory headwear. Throughout the week, the teachers will read from the Bobby at Chautauqua series of books. They will also read from Ask Mr. Bear by Marjorie Flack and Happy Birthday, Moon by Frank Asch.
In celebration of Chautauqua’s birthday, the 4s will be decorating cupcakes, painting with watercolor, mailing postcards and making shaving cream birthday cakes. They will trace maps of Chautauqua and color their own designs on prefabricated models of the Miller Bell Tower. The kids will also be making their own books about why they love Chautauqua.
Stories for the 4s will include Happy Birthday to You, Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon, Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day by Laura Cornell and Olivia by Ian Falconer.
The 5s will enjoy a sort of bat theme throughout the week, as they will run bat races, make bat puppets and hear bat stories at Smith Memorial Library. They will also bake cupcakes and paint balloons in celebration of Old First Night.
The 4s and the 5s will engage in “troll play,” an activity designed to engage the children’s acting skills. The 5s will also go on a “troll hunt” in the South End Ravine.
There are even more fun activities planned for the week: The 5s will visit the farm of the Institution’s retired director of recreation and youth services, Jack Voelker, and the 4s and the 5s will take part in tonight’s Old First Night sing-along.