SHOW AND TELL

Bring a small thing you can do to help. (Think a happy smile, a pretty picture, a winter bird treat

Topic: How We Help

What can one person do?

The value is compassion, which is to be sorrowful for the trouble of another – and to take action to help fix it.

For ecology we’ll make winter bird treats.   

Outside we’ll create movements to We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

The songs we’ll be singing are When You’re Happy and You Know It, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Frosty the Snowman, and Oh, Christmas Tree.

Our art activities are string ornaments, Christmas cut-out, poinsettia, shredded wheat ornaments, and Christmas bells.

Creative dramatics will be pantomiming activities that happen during the holiday season.

For motor development we’ll build strength with leaping, situps, and pushups. For body development, we’ll work on motor planning with obstacle course, cotton ball blow, wormy, and sh-h-h rolling.

THE BEST OF TOYS AND THE WORST OF TOYS

In a list of toys analyzed by a group of people who work with young children, each of the recommendations included the reasoning behind its selection. This is what helps us learn so that we can apply the same reasoning to our own selections. As you make your choices this season for your own children, you might want to consider these reasons why they placed the various toys in the categories. Another good resource is a book from our reading list, How to Raise a Brighter Child by Joan Beck. Toward the end of the book, she lists the sorts of toys that are good for children.

The Best of Toys – It can be played in many ways, including as props for dramatic play. It expands children’s experience with different structures to include a global perspective. It represents daily home activities and helps children make sense of their world. It encourages imaginative dramatic play. The people come in a variety of skin colors and the toys are sturdy. It helps develop thinking skills (strategy and memory) and social skills (following directions, taking turns). It can be played in a family with children of many ages. It’s an innovative art material with many possibilities for creativity. All the basic art supplies are provided. They’re easy to grip, can be bounced, kicked, or thrown. It’s easy for children to have success with it. They’re beautiful and durable.

The Worst of Toys – It is one dimensional, focusing girls on making themselves look pretty. The talking trivializes roles. Talking toys tend to foster unhealthy views of roles. It’s an instruction book on how to dress and look sexually seductive. It limits play, channeling girls into imitative, superficial, stereotypical teenage behavior. Products with logos of companies are nothing more than an ad, and replica toys of fast-food products can promote poor nutrition. It links many issues (divorce, brides, sex, violence, death) in inappropriate ways that have no connection to normal child development. It links sex and violence in an unhealthy way that children cannot understand. Physical handicaps are portrayed in a scary, negative way. By linking concepts like poison, kidnap, and brat to the classic Pat the Bunny book, it exploits emotions and confuses children By focusing play on torture and scary themes; it perverts a primary purpose to toys — to help children master their fears. It’s based on violent movies and turns play into fighting and shooting. It takes action-figure play one step further by encouraging children to strap the weapon and become the fighting figures themselves. In Montessori, it’s called the indirect lesson. It’s all those things children learn by watching us. Please consider these issues as you make choices for your child.

  Coming Up

   Winter Open House – It’s a short Christmas holiday season this year, so our open house will be upon us before we know it. It’s a quiet event when the children can show off the lessons they’ve been learning with the people they most love in the world. We’ll a sing along and end by gathering in the back yard to take your family picture.  Please  put  December 20, on your calendar. We’ll start at 3:00 and it will last about an hour.

   Children’s Gift Ideas – As you begin to consider your total holiday package for your children, here are some of our quality favorites: For Small Hands (forsmallhands.com), Hearth Song (hearthsong.com), and Magic Cabin (magiccabin.com). Their products tend to be real and natural. Check them out.

     Giving Project – We are sponsoring a toy drive in partnership with our friends at DePelchin Children’s Center. They need the toys by December 11 so you can drop off your toy donation at the school by December 10, and you can find a list on the most needed and wanted items in the foyer, on the back of this newsletter and attached to your emailed newsletter. Look for the drop off box at the front door,