Celebrating a birthday at St. John's is an intimate, intentional, and highly collaborative experience.
Today, we would like to share with you the process that goes into planning, preparing, and partaking in a birthday celebration in the Rainey Room.
Specifically, we will highlight the meaningful work of a Birthday Committee.
What is a birthday?
Cape: It’s a party.
Finlay: Birthday is when you get presents.
Bea: Is like a celebration for kids' birthdays. It’s like they get presents. And it’s fun.
Hugh: Did you know grown-ups can have birthdays too?
Ines: Who gives us presents?
Frannie: Our friends. And our nannies
Ines: What do you celebrate on a birthday?
Finlay: You turn a different age. Like 60 or 17. You can turn 16 or 19.
That counts. - Wilder (finding a darker green piece that’s different than other shades)
Does Finlay like brown? - Lucas
I remember Finlay saying that he likes red, green, and golden. - Sam
That’s kind of golden? - Wilder
No, that’s pink. - Lucas
Oh this one! - Lucas (finds spider web)
That will scare him… - Wilder
Maybe we could save some pieces that we think Finlay might like and we can ask him about them. - Sam
Ooooo this is special! - Lucas (finding pieces to show Finlay)
We can ask him (Finlay) if he thinks its so special. - Wilder
Whoa. This is so cool. Want to ask him about this?- Wilder (seeks validation from Lily and Lucas about his findings)
We HAVE to ask him him about that. - Lucas
Yeah. We HAVE TO! - Lily
When the committee finished choosing their lego selection, there was continued discussion about background. It was agreed that Finlay's favorite things (colors and lego) should be included in the portrait, potentially as a background, but there was uncertainty about how to effectively display the lego pieces in the background of the photo. Sam suggested that some backdrops are made of fabric.
Where could we find a selection of fabric at school? The committee made a trip to our sewing table where there is a large collection of fabric pieces. They began to find items that they agreed were both "beautiful" and fit Finlay's color palette.
The "birthday hat"
It has two of his favorite colors!
We should definitely use this! - Lily
I like all the colors. - Finlay
This spiderweb? - Lucas
I like any pieces. - Finlay
Do you like this lego boat? - Wilder
Um. Yeah. Anything. Everything. - Finlay
If we included legos in your birthday photo, how would you feel about that? - Sam
Good! - Finlay
Fabric/ Attire/ Backdrop
Finlay, do you like this birthday hat? - Wilder
No thanks. - Finlay
Your friends chose this because it has green and golden colors, so they thought you might like it. - Sam
But it has to have red too… - Finlay
I had to tell Finlay something. Sam thought that we could make the purple on the back of your head so you don’t see the purple side (in the photo). - Lucas
(demonstrates how to wear it to hide the purple)
I can still see it... no thanks. - Finlay
When providing feedback and his own personal input about the selection of materials, Finlay had two requests for the committee.
1. He wanted the legos to be in front of him so that you could see them in the photo.
2. He wanted the background to look like he was inside of a tent.
(he chose the red and gold fabric to be the fabric for constructing the tent.)
We wanted a fort. - Wilder
Like a tent. - Finlay
And legos. He (Finlay) wanted them in front of him.
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