A Month in Moments - January '20 Edition
WOOT!!! It is soooo close to being a new year and a new decade! What are you excited about this year? Do you set intentions and/or resolutions for the New Year? This year, I'm excited to dig into my personal yoga practice a bit more and to keep getting outside with my kiddo while helping other families do the same! Tinkergarten just launched an awesome challenge called #OutdoorsAll4 and I let that take over this month's calendar! If you are looking for a meaningful family resolution or goal, getting outside, whatever the weather, is a worthy endeavor and #OutdoorsAll4 is a tool that can help. Read more about the benefits of outdoor play here, here, and here. Sign up for the challenge here. Now, on to this month's calendar!
Each day will involve an outdoors activity. Outdoor play is joyful and when we get outside whatever the weather we show the young people in our life that we can make the best of every moment, and that's much more joyful than sequestering ourselves inside for a big chunk of the year. Outdoor play also encourages movement that keeps us and the kiddos in our lives healthy! Wondering if it's safe to play outside? Check for temperature info here. If there is thunder and lightning, head inside. If you live in an area with other concerns (forest fires, flooding), please check local sources for safety info. Trying to gear up? Check here for loads of ideas from Tinkergarten! Here's how we dress:
65+: short sleeves and light pants or shorts + rain jacket on hand
55-65: long sleeves, jeans/leggings + rain jacket or fleece on hand
45-54: long sleeves, fleece, jeans/leggings, rain pants if it's not sunny, bigger jacket, one pair of socks, boots or sneakers, mittens on hand
32-44: t-shirt/base layer, long sleeves, sweatshirt/fleece, big jacket, leggings, sweats, rain pants, two layers socks, boots, mittens + extra pair of mittens or socks (they stay on better because you can pull them up to elbows :)
Below 32: heaviest version of 32-44 + possibly another layer + more inside warm up breaks during play
Each day has a theme. You'll see Story Time Sunday, Try it Tuesday, etc. This links to the Watch Wonder Bloom Facebook group AND it ensures that I plan for literacy tasks, social emotional tasks, etc. My hope is that if you were to design your own Month in Moments that this will offer you one more tool for thinking about daily activity planning - what do you want to make sure you hit in a week? Give each "must" a chunk of time each day or devote a day to that must.
Activities are loosely based on books that inspire the weekly themes. We'll read The Wish Tree and learn about animal tracks and homes. Attention to animal tracks helps kiddos explore how different animals have different features and what those features do. Looking at animal homes can start conversations about wants and needs. Then, after reading Mapping Sam we'll create maps of our neighborhood and try reading maps. Mapping incorporates geography skills, inspires questions about how other people and animals live, and improves spatial awareness. Additionally, professions using geographical information systems (GIS) are becoming increasingly important. I Took the Moon for a Walk will encourage play after sunset. This leads to some fun sensory play twists! As it gets harder to see, our hearing becomes more important. We notice different sounds and animals as we explore the night. We'll see beautiful sunsets and watch the moon phases change when we play #OutdoorsAll4 in the winter. I love encouraging after dark play in safe places because for so many families the time we have together in the winter is limited to after dark. And, No Two Alike will help us celebrate what makes us connected to everyone and still unique AND will boost classification and sorting science and math skills :). Some of these are repeat reads. More and more, I'm seeing how beneficial repeat reads are. My little one can now tell us pages of stories and use the right intonation showing she gets the feelings in the story. Eventually, we'll work on saying one word for each word I point to to further boost literacy skills. Even with my highschoolers we'd read texts a few times if they were dense (which most science texts are).
Check out the materials list and highlighting. Most materials you'll likely have on hand this month! Any step in an activity suggested that is highlighted in turquoise is something you may want to do on your own when kids are at school, at recess, asleep, or otherwise engaged :).
Don't forget to join the #OutdoorsAll4 Challenge here! You'll get free downloadable sheets to help you track time outside, you'll be invited to join a Facebook group that will cheer you on in your outdoor play adventures (and there will be some chances to win free outdoor play tools!), and you'll get weekly activity ideas for 10 weeks! This is all FREE and as a Tinkergarten leader, I am SO honored to be a part of the team that gets to cheer on all families, teachers, and caregivers as they seek to get #OutdoorsAll4!