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A Month in Moments - April '20

Whew, y'all, what a month. Between facing a pandemic, turning 30, completely changing our weekly and daily routines, and getting ridiculous and then kind of maybe awesome news about where we'll be moving in the fall (military family life), this past month has been a lot. And, we're all healthy and so is our extended family. We are so fortunate and grateful to have income stability and access to a grocery store that restocks FAST (minus eggs for HG...). HG is not a school age kiddo and is never in childcare full time - so we're facing a lot less changes and crazy than a lot of families... and yet, this month was the perfect reminder that sometimes, what we need are just simple, meaningful moments together. And, sometimes, when we need those simple moments, that's the last time we can come up with something meaningful to do or say or share - and that's where this month's calendar comes in! First of all, a HUGE thank you is owed to my friends and family who listened to me spiral into big, unhappy feelings this month and to the friends who reminded me that simple is the name of the game this month (well, especially this month). This made me think back to one of the most important things my instructional coach told me back in the day, "Keep it Simple, Silly" (KISS) which became a mantra in my head. Searching for a graphic of that, I found, "Keep it Simple, Superhero" and I JUST LOVE that! I want it on a badge. For every parent, guardian, educator, educarer, human... This month, you won't find a book list or a supply list - you'll only need things you have on hand and I know every library in my area is closed. Here's what you will find:

Simple ideas with day of the week themes. Share silly stories in different ways on Story Time Sundays. HG just got interested in tearing pictures from magazines and collaging when we made Pete the Cat sandwiches the other week, so I can't wait to make some funky story scenes with her! Move It Monday encourages the whole family to get some wiggles out through yoga, dance, balance challenges, and silly walks. Tuesday Tea Time is an invitation to create a snuggle-y and calm tradition in the midst of some global funkiness. Don't have tea? Think your kiddos will hate it? Try throwing berries into some water and letting it sit in the fridge for a bit. Worlds Away Wednesday takes an amazing simple, beautiful idea from the amazing Meri Cherry at @mericherryla and expands it. Cut circles, add color, create a galaxy, add aliens and rockets and more! I cannot wait to see these! Please share and tag @watchwonderbloom (I bet @mericherryla would love to see them too!). Think about it Thursday are sciencey prompts that give kiddos an experience in which to frame science learning. Roll a ball down and up a hill. Which is harder? Gravity is at work, so up is harder - and now kids can think back to this later! Find it Friday encourages the use of spatial reasoning and directional words (and prepositional phrases) as you hide and search for things in different ways. This is probably the day I'm most excited about doing with HG. I'm especially excited about the random stuff sensory bin because the beautiful ones I see online tend to intimidate me... Science Walk Saturday gets your family up and about looking at light, seasons, etc because it is still safe and healthy (and beneficial) to spend time outdoors!

Ways to involve the whole family. If you have older kiddos at home, enlist their help! Have them do the things highlighted in blue a day/night early. The Story Time Sunday activities are teen tested and approved by my former students :). We used to tell some epic, "And then" stories and their character mash up stories were always hilarious. Little ones will likely enjoy the movement ideas, ball play, and sensory bin exploration. For tea time, blueberry and peach teas are two of our favorites and have been for a long time! Frozen blueberries thrown in warm water is how some leaders make tea at Tinkergarten and works well if anyone in a family has concerns about ingredients.

Download and print your FREE April Month in Moments Calendar HERE!

Additional resources. These aren't actually in the calendar... but here they are :):

  • A week of kindergarten activities: A family friend has been schooling at home for three weeks with limited curriculum materials, so I helped put together a week of learning activities on topics of interest (hence bacteria and viruses - not super relevant to the curriculum, but addresses diversity of life and needs and wants). You'll also find a preschool packet for younger siblings and a parent guide. A blog post about all this is coming soon. Please note that the morning questions and math are date specific so you may want to go to "File" > "Make a Copy" and edit those to your liking if that bothers you :).

  • Last year's Month in Moments - April Edition that focuses on poetry and April showers if you're looking for more activities. It's Poetry Month and I don't want to totally sell that short :).

  • A book list: Originally, I wrote this list in response to tragedies in general and gun violence, however these stories are my go to stories for all big feelings. The Rabbit Listened (and Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!) by Cori Doerrfeld; Maybe Something Beautiful by Campoy, Howell, and Lopez; and The Breaking News by Reul are my all time favorites.

  • And finally...a kind of random Explorers of the Wetlands Challenge created for a family friend with a 7th grader. If you are a teacher and need help planning for distance learning or are a parent/guardian and need some more hands-on tasks, please reach out! I'm happy to help!

Ideas for using this month's calendar: If you have found yourself schooling at home, these activities may just be the perfect hands-on and active additions to your day if kiddos are parked by a screen or doing work in a packet. The activities address various physical education, math, English, and science standards - if you have specific questions about curriculum links or are looking for additional resources, please reach out via the "Get In Touch" tab.

Use the ideas found here? Please share! Use #watchwonderbloom if you post on social media (and tag me @watchwonderbloom!)! Maybe I'll use some of my weirdly-not-actually-any-additional-free-time to find a way to make Keep it Simple, Superhero badges :).

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