I like to call this post Much ado about Shakespeare ‘s Birthday or what you will… I’m kidding…sort of…
We think it is truly important to teach even the littlest members of our families the value of literature and history, and there is NO better way to introduce that concept then a fun birthday party celebrating one of the greatest playwrights on earth.
We asked our friends over at BabyLit if they would be a part of the celebration and they were just as excited as we were! They sent us a Romeo and Juliet counting primer board book for each child at the party but I have to say even if they didn’t, I would shout from the rooftops that they produce my very favorite children’s books. BabyLit takes classic stories and makes them accessible through kid friendly concepts – like counting, colors and the alphabet.
In preparing for the party we pulled all the colors from the book cover. Just because you are celebrating history doesn’t mean it has to look vintage or dull. I used a mix of My Colors Cardstock from My Minds Eye and book paper to make festive garlands. Amanda had a blueprint print made (you should be able to do that at most printing/copy centers) of one of Shakespeare’s portraits. We added a bright colored party hat to make him a bit more cheery. (I’d like to think he would be amused by all this and not a bit annoyed)
We had “Much Ado About Cheese” and Crackers:
Our amazing friend Kauti came up with the idea for “Midsummer Nights Dream Clouds”, i.e. bite size Raspberry meringues. They were beautiful and tasted amazing!
And clearly going for traditional party food was a hit because they sat quietly long enough for us to talk a little bit about Shakespeare!
To make it easy Amanda pre-cut vinyl letters with a Silhouette of the first initial of each of our little guests and placed them on the bag. Then she added two colors of paint and a sponge on a paper plate so that everything was ready to go as soon as the guests arrived. They sponge paint over the letter in any way they wanted and then before it dried we pulled the letter off and the negative image of the letter is left. The kids had so much fun doing this and it will be perfect for visiting the book store and library in the future.
Before everyone left, we handed out the books and let the kids find places to settle in to read. I cannot tell you how excited they were to each get their own book and look at each page.
**** A funny note about how it all got started! ****
It may sound silly but it all started with a tradition my Dad started when I was a little girl…stick with me on this long but it’s a good one.
My Dad is a professor of environmental engineering. He specialty? He designs water treatment systems – and he is really good at it! Thus was born our annual tradition of celebrating Thomas Crappers’ birthday each year. Who, might you ask, was Thomas Crapper? Only the one of the most important people in the history of modern man! He designed the modern version of a sewage system. You can even find one of the the first manhole covers with his name on it in Westminster Abbey! (Other people go there to admire the place where so much history has happened, or many even because the prince and princess were married there, but not me, I went to get a rubbing of the first manhole cover for my Dad.)
I’m getting side tracked, the point is this man’s history became very important to my own history via my Dad. Each year he celebrated with us and his students by eating Baby Ruth’s and drinking apple juice in little plastic cups. Let that sink in for a second… Ugh, so gross right? As a kid? Super embarrassing.
As a grown-up I find it hilarious and a heart warming reminder each year of my Dad. So when I married my own own Professor, this time in theater, I wanted to keep the tradition alive.
We celebrate another very important person in the history of my children’s life via their Dad’s career, by celebrating William Shakespeare’s April 26th birthday. It is fun and silly and I’m sure now embarrassing for my teenage boys. I hope someday they will also smile when they think of us and our crazy love of theater every April 26th.
Thank you BabyLit for sending us Romeo and Juliet: A Counting Primer for all of our party guests!