Happy Birthday Tera! (The Library Turtle)

3 Jun

On Monday evening we celebrated our library turtle’s 15th birthday!  She is a staple here in our library; the kids absolutely adore her and she is very social with the children as well!  Some children just stop to say “hi,” while others show off the books they plan on checking out and still others use our turtle as a reading buddy – reading aloud to her.  And she definitely responds, she’ll swim around her tank, watch the kids as they press their faces up to her and soak up all the attention.

We decided that a birthday party was in order for one of the most beloved “staff” members of the library.  So it all began with a great scrub-down of her tank and her (which she wasn’t a fan of) and concluded with cupcakes and a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday!”  We ended up with about 25 kids ranging from 2 – 8 years old and their adults.

The first thing we did was to sing the fingerplay “There Was a Little Turtle,” and did the hand motions too.  I sang it through once and then the entire group sang along with me the second time.

“There was a little turtle
who lived in a boxred-eared-slider1 June 2013a
he swam in the puddles
he climbed on the rocks
He snapped at a mosquito
He snapped at a flea
He snapped at a minnow
He snapped at me
He caught the mosquito
He caught that flea
He caught that minnow
But he didn’t catch me!”

After this, I decided to switch things up from our normal routine and we went straight over to Tera’s tank to sing “Happy Birthday.”  I put a smaller tank on a low table and let the kid sit around the table to sing.  I wasn’t sure what her reaction was going to be, but as the kids sang her head was fully out of her shell and she was looking around at everyone! (she’s a little bit of an attention hog!)  Right after singing, we invited everyone back to our programming room for a group picture and a cupcake.  We made mini-cupcakes in the shape of a turtle and the number 15 – it was pretty impressive!

Finally, after our snack the kids had the opportunity to visit turtle-themed stations:

  1. Paper Plate Turtle Craft
  2. Crawl Like a Turtle (we used our seat cushions from storytime and tried to balance them on our backs like a shell as we crawled down the book aisles.
  3. Pin the Tail on the Turtle
  4. Turtle Trivia (true and false questions)

The kids were really into all the activities, but the most popular was the craft.  The older kids loved the trivia.  I printed out ten statements about turtles, some true and others false.  The kids then were able to write their name in the “true” or “false” column they believed to be the right answer.  I also left a number of informational texts about turtles at the station if kids wanted to try finding out the answers.

Overall, we had a great time celebrating our library’s pet’s birthday!  Happy 15th Birthday Tera!

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One Response to “Happy Birthday Tera! (The Library Turtle)”

  1. P. Joy Webster June 4, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    The kids read to the turtle? That is adorable!

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