SHOW AND TELL

Bring a picture of a polar animal.

Topic: Polar Regions

Learn about the Arctic and the Antarctic

The value we’ll be studying is courage, which means that we can deal with dangerous, difficult, or painful things.

For cooking, we’ll try foods people in polar regions eat.

Outside, we’ll have an Eskimo Olympics.

The songs we’ll be singing are Frosty the Snowman, Red River Valley, Home on the Range, John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt, and Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer.

For creative dramatics, we’ll hear the story of Why Mr. Fox Has a Red Coat.

Our art activities are inukshuk, whale tooth necklaces, aurora borealis, and paper bag mukluks.

 For motor development, we’ll work on stamina by ice skating, jumping jacks, and running in place. For vestibular function, we’ll toss a die for how many time to spin, in and out the window, blindfold bowling, and ball passes.

THE BEST TOY IN THE WORLD

As the holiday season goes into high gear, I have noticed that some ads have subtly changed to include an adult figure – theoretically the parent – in the scenes of children playing with the advertised toy. It’s well accepted in preschool education that the greater the adult involvement with the child, the better it is for the child. At first I resented the advertisers’ use of this psychological warfare. Then I realized that we can use this same information ourselves.

It’s not the toy that counts. It’s our attention we pay to the child. It’s our gift of time, the respect we pay by focusing on that little person, the sharing of our own interests and obligations. We can make preparing dinner a fun game by involving our children. The simplest set of blocks becomes an enchanted city when the parent is honestly involved. Laundry becomes fun bubbles and a great sorting exercise when parent and child work together. Changing a tire is a fascinating learning experience when the child can be connected with the parent.

Sounds great in theory, right? The simple life is supposed to be wonderful. Yes, but. . . . This season demands all our strength to resist what a lot of hawkers are telling us. We really don’t need to buy presents for the 23 people on our list. A nice card or a small tin of the homemade cookies that you baked anyway works just as well, and they won’t end up in the garage sale. No one remembers your last year’s dress, or maybe your nice blouse and good skirt can be dressed up for the party. It could save several hours of shopping, and you and your child could visit a neighbor or take a walk instead. Martha Stewart is manic. Her schedule sounds like a nightmare, and we have the best years of our children’s lives right in our houses. After your children are gone, you can stay up all night gilding pinecones.

Even buying toys for your child should be scaled way back. Children ask for what they see in advertising. They play with a specialized toy several times, and then they go back to the simple, quality toys that allow the child to use her imagination. You know from experience that your infant would rather play with pots and pans than the inane plastic gym. Your daughter would rather play dress up with mom’s clothes, and your son wants to use dad’s tools. As a general rule of thumb, keep the toys open-ended, get as good a quality as you can find, remember that real is better than plastic, and don’t let sexism creep into your selections.

Toy manufacturers know what sells. Let’s take a lesson and give our children the best toy in the world – the gift of a connected parent.


Coming Up

 

Holiday Closings – The school will be closed Friday, January 1, for the New Year holiday and Monday, January 18, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. who stood against discrimination in our country.

Foul Weather Closings – If it looks like the school may have to close for bad weather, you can get up-to-the-minute announcements via the website for our school.  Sometimes we know the evening before, but sometimes it’s the next morning before school districts announce that they will close.  For your information, we follow Spring Branch ISD school closings. 

Teddy Bear Day – Friday January 8, is Teddy Bear Day. Please allow your child to bring a teddy bear or other stuffed animal.