How did you spend the day after Christmas? I had to catch up on some paper-work, but at least I could do so in my PJs, while drinking hot cocoa and eating sugar-cookies. The tastes and smells of holiday treats helped me finish the tasks. All of our senses feel heightened during the holidays, which may be why so many are over-stimulated (and over emotional) during the festivities. You’d think the day after would be a loud and exciting event of playing with all our new toys, yet my boys are quietly playing an old video game and my husband is reading a book, while I type. I’ll enjoy this calm before the next storm!
Calm is needed after such a busy week – after such a busy month. I don’t know about your house, but we have been on the go since Thanksgiving and all our adventures have been over-stimulating. Even evening drives to see Christmas lights can be overwhelming with sensory-sensitive kids. We use all our senses day and night during the holidays. In light and dark we enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas and winter rolling in. This week we investigated light and dark at Adventure Academy, using Mother Goose Time’s Winter curriculum. We explored the need for times of light and dark, and safety during those times, starting with “candle” day, followed by “star” day.
Each theme is separated into sub-themes by Mother Goose Time and each theme is filled with ways to explore the topic using your senses through music, stories, crafts, experiments, recipes and learning games. Even though it was Christmas week the children still learned many basic skills and concepts through language, social studies, science, math… One child challenged the others to go home at night and count the stars after our star day activities. After learning about candles and stars and playing with lanterns and lights we played with shadow concepts. There were many concepts and subjects learned through shadows. Moving lights to change sizes and shapes, and discovering why we don’t need to be afraid of the shadows we see in the dark.
Winter days get shorter and nights get longer = lessons on time frames and solstice seriation. Lessons don’t stop during holidays, but they did get more fun as we added in Christmas party activities and treats. Decorating sugar cookies and making graham cracker – ginger bread homes = science and math; eating the treats while reading the gingerbread boy = language. Who says holidays aren’t filled with opportunities to learn. While many teachers discuss their students inattention during the excitement, I’d say my students were even more attentive. If your students are distracted by the holidays use the holidays as a theme to gain interest in lessons.
If your children are interested in animals – use animals as a theme. You can teach all subjects in 1 captivating unit instead of rebuilding interest per lesson. If developing unit studies seems complicated I recommend trying Mother Goose Time. I use it with 1-10 year olds in various ways by simplifying and expanding the activities. Next month we are “Going on Safari,” which all the children will enjoy, and which will help me think of warm regions instead of the winter month we’ll be surviving. If you’d like to start the new year on a Safari CLICK HERE. If you’d like to learn about other curriculums we use at Adventure Academy email Christi@MiFamilies.com. If you’d like your child to join in our learning adventures we have some part time spaces available. If you’d like to network with us, other providers or parents, find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube… If you’d like to read what Adventure Academy is up to each week please subscribe up towards the right of this page. Adventure Academy is just one of the programs Mi Families facilitates for children. Mi Families also provides programming for parents and providers. CLICK HERE for more information on Mi Families. Thank you.