A Month In Moments - March '19 Edition
We REALLY enjoyed the shortened activities in February's Month in Moments calendar, we had time to easily fit these in for the whole family, and what I find over and over, is that if we can fit in five minutes (whether its 5 minutes of family time, reading, exercise), those five minutes magically become a longer amount of time. If we can commit to five minutes, we might be surprised at how things unfold! So for March, I aimed to again stick with some shorter activities. I've mentioned before, but the transition from working full time to working part time & finishing grad school & being a mom of a newborn to being a toddler mom and Tinkergarten-leader-in-training in the summer of 2018 was the most amazing invitation to slow down. After attending a friend's Tinkergarten class, I got HG a little bucket like ones we'd used for collecting at the beginning of class. This simple, $1 tool changed our outdoors time. For weeks, I'd been trying to get HG to put rocks places other than her mouth. The fun "clink" rocks made when added to the bucket were perfect! I could ask her to put her rocks on the ground, in her hand, or in her bucket, and 9 times out of 10 she'd choose the bucket. I no longer had to worry about her swallowing a rock as she ran around. And, I slowed down. I'd hide painted rocks for her to find (an activity from Tinkergarten, similar to this one), we'd collect petals to stir up later, and more. You'll see an entire week of activities to do with a bucket. Normally, I'm a strong proponent for using what you have on hand and not getting new stuff, but buckets are truly awesome. Another substitute would be to take a large yogurt container, hole punch both sides, and add a string handle. This won't make quite the same sounds when collecting or drumming, but it will be perfect nonetheless! Other activities for the month celebrate books and music, and explore color and size. Be sure to click and bookmark the link to the Google Doc calendar below! Read on for the overview and intention for each week and for a few tips on using these activities with much younger or older kiddos!
Celebrate reading from March 1-2: Read Across America Day is on Saturday. Take some time tomorrow to set up a Book Nook and maybe plan a book inspired snack. See how many books you can sneak in through the day on Saturday. Remember, quality of reads > quantity of reads. Before yu read a story, predict what it might be about using the cover. As you read, chat about how the characters are feeling, look up words you don't know, play with words that rhyme. After you read, discuss the story or act it out with toys or yoga poses. Repeated reads are great! While they may drive us crazy, reading the same story 20 times in a row, it's great for kids :).
Notice small, wonderful things from March 3-9: Collect sounds, flowers, and joyful moments as you see all the things you can do with a bucket! If you go to the wrapping supplies area in Target you can find a few different buckets for $1. These are actually pretty durable and if they get smashed, you can bend them back. We've had the same one for over a year now. You'll also do a few things this week that will be revisited in other weeks. This lays the groundwork so you can dig deeper later. For example, you'll trace the base and top of the bucket and look at the different circles - then next week, you'll be looking at bigger and smaller sizes of things. You'll play with sound by collecting clinks and having a bucket drum circle. This month is Music in Our Schools Month, so this is a great way to sneak in a bit of music even if you're not in schools! And, the last week of activities are more musical.
Play with size and volume and think about being small and growing up from March 10-16: Kiddos don't really understand size until around the beginning of preschool and often think of size, volume, and quantity in opposites - you are big or small, light or heavy, tall or short - there are no in betweens and it is VERY confusing if a little one is big compared to a younger sibling but small compared to a friend at school. The book suggestion You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang is PERFECT for this week, as is Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Jan Brett. This week, you'll trace your family members, dump water of the same volume in different containers, see what happens to water as at freezes, and play hide-and-seek with an emphasis on size. You'll end the week by chatting about memories from when you were smaller and hopes for when you're bigger/older.
Create colorful memories from March 17-23: This week starts with St Patrick's Day and the first day of spring is smack in the middle. Instead of finding gold at the end of a rainbow, start the week by hunting for each color in the rainbow outside or inside (your bucket might make a comeback!). Then, play with color chromatography (how different color inks separate at different speeds), color mixing, and more! Be ready for a bit of mess this week - but hey, it's been a grey winter, so enjoy the sparks of color!
Make musical moments from March 24-30: Play with music in different ways. Listen and clap, listen and draw, listen and dance, or listen and play along on an instrument you created! Talk together about songs that mean a lot to each family member as you create and play a family soundtrack. See what's going on in your school/community for Music in Our Schools Month or find a family friendly concert to attend!
End the month by recording favorite moments on March 31.
Highlights for Wee Ones: The activities on March 1, 2, 3, 14, 19, 27, and 30 will be perfect for little ones. Snuggle and read a story. Drop soft and light items and items with bells in a bucket on the 3rd and see if your little one will turn their head. Hide toys, ideally a simple one with an obvious face, behind a pillow and lift it up like you're playing peek-a-boo. Throw colors and watch our kiddo's response. Sing and dance together. For the 8th, collect a few flowers or leaves of different textures and let your baby grasp them or rub them lightly on baby's cheek. On the 12th, roll balls around on the floor or off of a book propped up by baby. See if baby can grasp a small ball (watch for mouthing) and a bigger ball (more challenging). For caregivers, doing the activities on Feb 9, 16, 25, and 31 will lead to great conversations and lovely adult moments that can be rare when we have teeny ones.
Highlights for Older Kiddos: For this month, many of these activities are fun at all ages, but you might want to shift the focus or challenge. For example, on the day when you play with slides, maybe older kiddos can make a playground for younger siblings or they can make a ramp with toilet paper tubes and see how far they can make a ball roll across a wall. Older scientists can look at the chemistry behind color chromatography here. When you trace yourselves, talk less about size and spend more time creating symbolic self portraits - list or draw what you love learning in the head of your traced self, what you want to create on your hands, where you love to travel by your feet, etc. In the music-inspired week, break out some CDs or vinyls or find pictures online and show your family/students album artwork and CD booklets. Spend a bit less time smashing pots and pans and more time creating a booklet to go with your family's soundtrack CD/playlist :). Kiddos could actually make the playlist on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music, etc.
Download the Month in Moments Calendar for March here.
Enjoy a month of music, color, stories, and more! I can't wait to see what you and the learners in your life create and the meaningful moments you share. Posting on social media? Tag me using @watchwonderbloom or use #monthinmoments or #watchwonderbloom.