A Month in Moments - January Edition
Happy New Years Eve!!! I hope you and your family enjoyed moments together over the holidays and I can't wait to see what you do with the new year! I'm super excited about this month's calendar and related things. If you head over to Instagram and follow me @watchwonderbloom, I'll be doing my first giveaway. If you don't have time to check out/get a copy of The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear and Chris Turnham by Tuesday, I'll be doing a Facebook Live reading of this amazing book at 1pm EST on Jan 1! This will be a fun way to relax and giggle with your family and share your wishes for the new year! Without further ado, here's the run down on what to expect with this month's calendar (Scroll to the end of the post to download):
Activities to Welcome 2019: You'll talk about wishes for the year and create a memory book for recording different events throughout the year. We'll use this each month, so I hope you take the time to make one. It's simply a cereal or shirt box + computer/notebook paper + hole punch and ribbon OR staples.
We'll create and enjoy Winter Scenes: In this crafty week, we'll make cozy pine cones and comfy caves, move like animals to stay warm, and more! We happened across a lovely book, Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na and I couldn't wait to do and plan related activities! There's a print out dice template you can print, cut, fold, and tape to use outside to try how whales, geese, bears, and more stay warm in the cold.
Explore all Our Neighborhoods! Create a map, practice your address, build a model neighborhood, and go for a scavenger hunt this week :). There's another print out to help you track what you find during a scavenger hunt. You might want to print this early and do a few things on different walks throughout the week. This week is designed to help transition from thinking about ourselves to our community as we approach Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Stick with Love week honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. Families are invited to approach conversations about diversity and equity in age appropriate ways. First we'll celebrate how in our own families we are alike and different. Then, we'll learn about Dr. King. We'll see how many different skin colors we can make, see what different hair styles we (or a "doll") can try, create a mural, and talk about our dreams. As a white woman teaching diverse students, I was constantly humbled by the experiences of my students. One student felt racially stereotyped when shopping for a friend's quinceanera. Other students asked how they could get their licenses or jobs without certain kinds of paperwork. Then, of course, there were my own fumblings - forgetting which pronoun to use for LGBTQIA+ students, asking a Black boy to not whack his head (to which he rolled his eyes and said "Miss, this is how I scratch my head" more graciously than was necessary). We have so much work to do if we are going to truly "stick with love" and create a more just and equitable world for our children and students, and we cannot do that if we refuse to talk about histories of oppression, our own biases and moments of less-than-love, or race, gender, (dis)ability, etc. stereotypes. These conversations don't get easier because our kids get older, if anything they get harder, so the younger we start the dialogue the more practice we get to have and the more opportunities for positive change we create. You'll notice that even more so than usual, I worked to make sure there were all kinds of characters in the books I suggested for the month. Representation matters. We all deserve role models we can relate to.
Finally, we'll wrap up the month by using Stepping Stones to reach toward our wishes. There was an analogy I came across when I started my yoga training, that boulders can be obstacles or we can re-imagine them as stepping stones. As someone who struggled with a growth/dynamic mindset, this idea of using every struggle was very important to me. I am excited to start this conversation much earlier with my little one and I hope the kiddos in your life benefit from it too. Basically, we think about how we can take tiny steps toward our wishes this week, and we even do an obstacle course to see this idea of transforming struggles into successes.
Download the calendar here or take a look below.
I had a lot of fun making some demos of the activities and I'm excited to make this month more interactive an usual with the Facebook Live and giveaway, and more tangible and lasting with the print outs! I cannot wait to #watchwonderbloom with you this month!