Tawny Scrawny Lion & a Little Golden Books Celebration

Bo turned 3 the last week in December and in trying to come up with a theme for his birthday, I thought about all the things that Bo loves.

He loves puppies, so I first thought of  The Pokey Little Puppy (links to Amazon are affiliate links). He loves animals and had been bringing me Tawny Scrawny Lion to read to him lately.  So I was inspired to do a Little Golden Books birthday along with a fun unit study on Tawny Scrawny Lion. I did this unit with Malachi for preschool and had so much fun that I knew I wanted to do it with Bo.

On Day 1 our focus was on Math and Colors.

We read through the story, then:

We counted the lion's ribs. Then, I counted Bo's ribs and tickled him. This is so much fun and brings lots of giggles.

When we got to where the lion is full and the rabbits dance around him merrily singing songs, we sang "One little, two little, three little rabbits..."

We talked about what tawny means - a mixture of brown, yellow, and orange.

Then we painted with brown, yellow, and orange to make the color tawny.

And made a lion with the painting.

On Day 2, our focus was Pretend Play and Days of the Week.

We read through the story, then:

I asked Bo what the lion chased on Monday? Tuesday? etc. He pointed to the animals in the book. And we sang the days of the week song.
"There are seven days, there are seven days, there are se-ven days in a week...
Sunday - Monday, Tuesday -Wednesday, Thursday - Friday, Sat ur day."

We gathered up all the stuffed animals we could find from the story to act out the story.

On Day 3, our focus was Cooking & Bo's 3rd Birthday!

Bo loves playing kitchen, so I surprised him with the KidKraft Vintage KitchenHape Garden Salad Play SetHape Pasta Set and a Metal Pots and Pans Play Set. (I had Bo and Elli both in mind for this when I got it, but he plays with it more.)

I made a Little Golden Books bunting. It was easy to find inspiration for a bunting, but instead of using book pages, I scanned and printed pages from books Bo loves, and then gave them a finish with Modge Podge.

Highlights of Bo's Day

Baked Berry Birthday Pancakes with Lemon Yogurt and Strawberries

New Little Golden Books

Making Homemade Goldfish Crackers

We read Tawny Scrawny Lion while we waited for crackers to bake.

Homemade Goldfish Crackers!

And of course, we made Creamy Carrot Stew and added fresh herbs and "fish." And berry punch to drink.

He played with it at first, not sure he wanted to taste it.

He was a good sport to try it, but didn't eat up his bowl, or even ask for more. (And I used a small bowl!)

So, I read the page where the Tawny Lion eats another good big supper of carrot stew!

The rabbits heap the Tawny Scrawny Lion's bowl with berries after he eats his stew, so we had berries for desert along with Bo's cake.

Bo's angel food cake with whipped cream and berries. Yum!

I asked Bo:  Did the lion like the carrot stew? How do you know? [He wanted more!] I encourage Bo to sign and say more. Then asked: Did Bo like the soup?! I don't think he did. How do I know? [He didn't eat more than one no-thankyou bite, haha!] Did Bo like the berries and whipped cream? [Yes!]

On Day 4, we made Pretend Carrot Soup and played kitchen.

It was a fun week and a fun way to tie learning into Bo's 3rd birthday celebration!

Bo, your life at 3 is:

  • Busy as a bee

  • Tot school

  • Speech therapy

  • Learning new words

  • Playing toys

  • Pretend play

  • Taxi rides at bedtime

  • Stories at bedtime

  • Spinning circles

  • Loving to go

  • Fermented cod liver oils and healthy dairy fats

  • Dressing yourself daily

  • Daniel Tiger

  • Snuggling with Mommy or Pop

What I love about Bo...

I love...

  • Your sweet little voice

  • How well you communicate with gestures and that you are starting to talk more (he's come a long way since!)

  • How you snuggle with me and still hold "nursie"

  • That we made through a whole year of Tot School A to Z! And how eager you are to learn

  • How you love to help me around the house from cooking to chores

  • How advanced you are in self help skills - from pouring your own milk to cleaning up spills

  • That you are potty trained and even wipe yourself and wash your hands

  • That you dress yourself each morning

  • That you still don't like your teeth brushed but let me do it

  • That you love the egg nog I am making you and that you will take your fermented cod liver oil

  • Each and every new word you say or try to say

  • Watching you play - especially pretend play

  • That you play  very well by yourself and also with Elli and Mali.

  • You and your boots and wanting to go outside all the time

  • That you are three and the cute way you say thee - super happy that you are trying

  • Your sweet personality

  • That you have a favorite color: blue an can say boo for blue

  • That you thrive on routine but are flexible and easy going

  • When you hold my hand and want us to wait for you

  • That you like to be close during the day and cuddle at night

  • The cute way you say I love you - "I you." Or, "I you, too."

  • How you tell me something, and I say, "Me too" in agreement, and you agree right back saying, "Me too!" as if I was the one who originally thought of it.

  • You!

I You, Bo. ❤️


  1. This is really lovely. Where did you get the Golden Books plates and cups? Happy Birthday, Bo.

  2. Thank you, Phyllis! I ordered them at Birthday Express!

  3. What a fun birthday theme for Bo! The pictures of him are so sweet. I also like your lists of things he does and what you love about him. And that play kitchen looks awesome! Jack says "flea" for 3, but he has a few months to work on it. :)

  4. Nooooooo! He can't be 3 already!!!!!

    I kind of want to ply with that kitchen myself. It's gorgeous!

    Happy birthday to Bo.

  5. What an amazing birthday party and an awesme learning experience. I really need this book and more little golden books :) This eally sounds like an awesome book...and I want to do all the things you did :) Aarya would be thrilled with that kitchen as well, he likes real as well as pretend cooking :) And that cake really does look Yumm!

  6. Thank you, Veens! It's fun creating memories for our children, isn't it!

  7. haha! I know. I can't believe it, either. Thanks, Erin!

  8. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!!!! My kiddos brought down Tawny Scrawny Lion last week and asked if we could make carrot stew so we just changed dinner plans and did it. Next time they do that I'm going to use your inspiration and make a few days of it.

    Bo's cake looks delicious, I'm suddenly wishing I had a good angel food cake recipe.

  9. How fun that you made carrot stew! I love that you were so spontaneous. Did they like it? For angel food cake, I usually use the Heavenly Angel Food Cake recipe on All Recipes. :)

  10. Thanks, Anna! Flea - so sweet! You know, I will have to listen to how Bo says it next time - I am surprised at how often I think he is saying it one way because I *understand* it that way.