Parents and teachers know that the holidays get kids all excited. Who hasn’t seen an energetic child right before Halloween or in anticipation of Christmas? Now, instead of trying to defuse holiday energy, you can put it to work for you. Holidays are motivating and inspiring. When you have ideas at your fingertips, every day can be a holiday!
Here at Holiday Learning for Kids, you’ll find all sorts of resources to help you entertain and teach children. There’s a holiday for every single day of the year and many days have several choices. Find out what’s coming up, plan just a little bit, and then sit back to watch the fun.
Holiday Learning for Kids offers an educational twist on crazy holidays. Check us out for links and ideas for do-it-yourself learning fun. Sign up for the Holiday List to get even more free ideas.
Or, if you’d like a steady stream of ready-to-use ideas to enjoy or to adapt, you can become a member for only $6.97 per month. Members receive a monthly run-down of theme ideas based on monthly commemorations, lists of week-long celebrations, and a few messages per week with ideas you can put right to work to liven up lessons, combat boredom over school breaks, and make the children in your life smile. The site will be opening on January 1, 2011. Meanwhile, add your name to the Holiday List so you can get updates and information (and maybe even a discount!!). >>CLICK HERE<< to sign up today!
What a great time to enjoy that fuzzy fruit. While you’re eating your peaches, try reading James and the Giant Peach out loud to the group. This Roald Dahl book is perfect for sharing during this lazy month before school really gets going again. In case you’re not familiar, this novel takes place INSIDE a giant peach and introduces readers to a host of lovable characters.
Since this story has been made into a movie, this is a wonderful opportunity to exercise those critical thinking skills. Share the book, then watch (or re-watch) the movie. What is the same between the two forms? What is different? Which one do your children prefer? Why? Have the kids make a poster advertising their favorite form of the story.
It’s a good time to try some peach cooking, too. One of my absolute favorite recipes is for Peach Lime Conserve. This old fashioned treat tastes like bottled sunshine, mixing peaches, lime, golden raisins and almonds. Here’s a recipe: Peach Lime Conserve. It surely is a change of pace from typical berry jam!
If you’re feeling scientific, do a bit of research to find out why peaches are fuzzy. What fruits are related to them? Are they also fuzzy? Discover where peaches grow the best and what you call a fruit with that big seed in the center. What happens if you plant a peach seed? Try it and find out! Have you ever tried white-fleshed peaches? How are they similar and different than their orange-y colored cousins?
The nice thing about Peach Activities is that you can enjoy them absolutely any time (even in other months)! Spend some time this month savoring peaches and enjoy the time spent learning together.
Hahahahaha, hee hee hee hee, hohohoho, giggle snort, guffaw. However you say it, laughter brightens our lives and the lives of those around us. They also tell us it’s healthy to laugh, so how about a fistful of jokes and riddles to enjoy on World Laughter Day?
Underneath the levity, there are very sound educational reasons to encourage your students and children to enjoy jokes. First of all, understanding jokes relies on understanding language and culture. That’s why young children are so into slapstick but can’t understand many plays on words. They just don’t understand language well enough to ‘get’ the joke that relies on shades of meaning or on words that are not yet in their vocabularies. Experience is the only cure, so get on with the jokes already!
Jokes and riddles also build social competence. Kids learn about timing, conversation, getting others’ attention in a positive way and a host of other skills by telling jokes repeatedly. Humor is a great tool for pulling shy kids out of their shells and teaching everyone about appropriate time and place for joking around.
Jokes and riddles are also great fodder for young or reluctant readers. They are short, bite-sized bits of motivating practice that nearly everyone can enjoy. Grab a children’s joke and riddle book, and you’ll find an outstanding tool to use in getting your child reading or reading more.
Now, where are the jokes? Check out these sites for some doozies!
Are we having fun yet? You can get a ton more holiday learning ideas on the Membership Site….Sign up today to get monthly run-downs and tons of learning ideas to go with great days like Windmill Day and National Chicken Dance Day! Click HERE for more information.
February 7 is Charles Dickens Day. Now before you get all skeptical and fussy about age groups, remember that Dickens is responsible for many of your child’s favorite stories. Even young children usually know the stories of Scrooge and Oliver Twist, thanks to the magic of animated movies.
This year, try comparing videos of the same names to see what their similarities and differences are. Older children and teens can watch even versions from long ago and more recently. Are there clues about when the films were made? Another activity for preteens and teens is to watch other movies and look for story lines that borrow liberally from these classic tales. Much like Shakespeare, Dickens is a favorite of modern day authors.
For your younger children, find paraphrased versions of some of the Dickens stories (look in your local library) and share them. The stories are a huge part of our culture, and it’s important that children become familiar with the plots and characters as early as possible.
February 4 is USO Day! What a great day to plan a talent show! Older kids can research the history of the USO and its important role with our overseas troops. Younger kids can just learn that the USO brings joy to soldiers who are working far from home.
February 1 is Serpent Day. What can you do? How about writing a story about a serpent, coloring serpent pictures, or writing math story problems about serpents?
If you’re looking for a game to play, how about “Catch the Serpent’s Tail”? To play, divide your group into two or more teams with at least 4 people per team. Have teams line up and hold the waist of the person in front of them. Tuck a handkerchief into the back pocket of the last player on each team. On the signal, the front player must try to steal the handkerchief from the back of another serpent.
Check out more serpent activities at these websites:
January 14 is Dress Up Your Pet Day! If you don’t have a real pet to dress up, try playing Fashionable Furry Friends (an online flash game). For a look at some other people’s ideas about pet costumes, click >>here<<. Here are a few pet costume ideas to check out: Pet Costumes.
When you’re all done playing with the online resources, write a story (together or on your own) about a pet costume party.
For more great crazy holidays, check out Crazy Holidays Day by Day! This ebook has over 100 pages of holiday fun and something to celebrate each and every day of the year. Order your copy!
National Pharmacists’ Day is January 12th.
Here’s a great day for career exploration. Pharmacists are living and working in nearly every town and play an important role in most people’s lives. They fill prescriptions, offer advice about medications and much more. Take time today to find out about the training a pharmacist needs and other related careers.
Here’s a neat site with a few activities and an interview with a pharmacist: Kids Work: Pharmacist.
Do you have a pharmacist that you know and trust? Take time today to say thank you to him or her for a job well done. A card or note will be very appreciated. Check out the article in the Rx Times about National Pharmacists’ Day.
Thought you might enjoy a snippet of what’s waiting for you inside the Holiday Learning for Kids Member site. You’ll find there are tons more ideas about how to use the crazy holidays, plus info about monthly and weekly celebrations. You’ll also get an advanced heads up on holidays and events that might need a bit of planning to celebrate. Take a look at an excerpt of the post that will go up on January 12:
The 16th also marks the beginning of Hunt for Happiness Week. It’s a great time for discussions about the true meaning of happiness and where it comes from, for memorizing quotes about happiness, and for listing things that make you happy. It’s sponsored by the Secret Society of Happy People, which I’m sure can always use new members, official and otherwise.
That’s a bit from a longer post about the week-long celebrations that start January 16, and it will be available to members on the 12th. That gives you time to plot and plan how to use the crazy holidays instead of just jumping right in there on that day. Get the details about a free trial membership at Holiday Learning for Kids Membership Info.
January 9 is Positively Penguins Day. Do you know the Penguin Song? It’s a great action song that young children will enjoy. Check out this video for tune and motions: Have You Ever Seen a Penguin Come to Tea?
There are a whole lot more penguin ideas inside the Holiday Learning For Kids Members’ Site….Click HERE to find out how you can get in on the action!
What a great day to celebrate (and get everyone reading)! January 2 is National Science Fiction Day. What’s your favorite science fiction author? Share him or her with the kids. Plan to read chapters out loud because even younger kids will enjoy the stories. Here are some books you might want to explore that you can download for free from Project Gutenberg: Science Fiction Bookshelf.
Get your copy of Crazy Holidays Day by Day- a great resource that lists hundreds of holidays. You’ll be able to plan ahead and get ideas to use for every day of the year! Visit Crazy Holidays Day By Day to get your copy!