It is New Year’s Eve and while many parents are making plans for tonight’s festivities more and more parents are choosing to stay home and celebrate with their own family. You might start your own family New Year’s Eve tradition tonight by playing board games or watching a favorite family movie. Here is a site with some tips on how to celebrate at home with your family: http://www.helium.com/items/1264667-new-years-eve-with-family
This is also the time when we all try to make New Year’s Resolutions and stick with them. Your family might choose to make individual resolutions and this year you might try making some family resolutions. Here is a site with some ideas on how to do this:
What New Year’s resolutions are appropriate for children? Here is a site to help you get your child started:
Happy New Year to all readers of my blog and their families!
Please do not carry your Kindergartner in your arms. Parents send their 5 year olds out the door to head to Kindergarten and tell them what a big boy or girl they are. Kindergartners get on that big yellow school bus on their own, arrive into their classroom on their own, perform all the tasks of a Kindergartner on their own, make new friends and become a great student on their own, and then whenever parents are in the building and come to pick up their child, what happens? The parent reaches down to pick up ‘their baby’ to carry him/her through the school and out to the car. The message that you are sending your child is that he/she is still a baby and all attempts made by the teacher to instill a sense of responsibility and maturity in your child go right out of the window. Your 5 or 6 year old can and should walk on his/her own. When you baby your child he/she will act like a baby and when you become frustrated because of his/her immature behavior, you will have to realize that you are sending mixed messages to your child. Big boy, or big girl sometimes…your baby at other times. If your child is old enough to attend Kindergarten, he/she is definitely old enough to walk on his/her own.
This is the time of the year to teach your child about giving back and donating to others. Your child could share what’s in his/her closet or backpack with people who are truly in need. Here are four ideas:
SPORTS EQUIPMENT: Pass along last season’s athletic gear and it will be distributed to kids in need:
SCHOOL SUPPLIES: If your child has extra markers, books or other items you can find teachers who need them at this non-profit that connects donors with teachers in U.S. classrooms.
DVDS: You can send movies that haven’t been watched in awhile to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan through AMVETS Task Force DVD. Children’s titles will go to families of soldiers.
Please find it in your heart to begin teaching your young child that helping others is the right thing to do at any age.
By now the children are settling into their vacation from school. Holidays have come and gone and the children are still enjoying staying up late, sleeping in, playing with new toys, visiting with relatives and just having fun. Parents, please be sure to have your child review all 26 alphabet letters and sounds each and every day of the vacation. Add to this review the numbers from 1-31 which must also be practiced each and every day of the vacation. Some children in Kindergarten lose information when they come back to school after a regular weekend. Teachers must review rules of the classroom and have quick reviews of what was learned the week before. Can you imagine the reviewing that has to be done after a 2 week break from school and school routines? You can help your child make a smooth transition back to school in January by working with them daily on recognizing letters and letter sounds and by reviewing the numbers from 1-31 each and every day of the vacation, no matter where you are.
There are many ways for a Kindergartner to practice graphing skills over the holiday break. Many people will be coming in and out of your house and this is a good time to occupy your child with an educational activity. He/she could carry a clipboard and ask family members and visitors one of the following questions and then he/she could count and graph the responses:
- Favorite pie choice of all family members and guests
- Favorite holiday cookie choice of all family members and guests
- Favorite holiday song of all family members and guests
- Favorite holiday book of all family members and guests
- Favorite activity for the snow of all family members and guests
- Packages under the tree can be sorted by wrapping paper color, or bow color
- How many family members are dressed in holiday colors
- Once gifts are opened your child can sort his/hers by toys, clothing, games, etc.
Kindergartners like these types of graphing activities. After all of the counting is done, he/she can draw a simple bar graph to show family members the answers to the questions. Let your child have fun with math while talking and interacting with all of the members of the family as well as all of your guests.
Kindergartners are good at sorting which means that a perfect job for t hem on Christmas morning would be to sort the presents under the tree. 5 and 6 year olds can ‘read’ name labels on gifts and are help to pass out the presents to the appropriate person. This will keep your child busy and give them a chance to look for, read, and match names with a real person. Family members will be impressed by your child’s skills and your child’s confidence will soar by handling such an important job for the family. Try it this Christmas and watch your child beam with pride as he ‘delivers’ all of the gifts to his/her family members.
This is the time of the year when your child will see holiday lights all over your neighborhood. They are so very magical as they sparkle at nighttime and create a spirit of wonder for your child. No matter what your religious beliefs are this is a wonderful time to go out and enjoy those lights with your child. You could bundle up and walk around to see what your neighbors have done to their houses and yards, or you could pile in the car and drive. It doesn’t matter whether you will walk or drive to see the lights, just do it. It will be a memory for both you and your child and perhaps the beginning of a new tradition at your house. Go out tonight and have fun seeing those lights with your child.