Message from the Principal
The spirit of the season is in the air… can you believe it is December already? With the holiday season upon us, it is easy to get swept up in our wish lists and wants for ourselves and our families. Now, however, is the ideal time for us to step back and teach our children that while it is fun to receive, it is equally as fulfilling to give.
Frequently, the question is raised, “when is the best time to begin teaching children about giving?” Honestly- it is never to early to model generosity and empathy toward others. It is imperative that we begin introducing charity and service to our youngest humans now. One way to foster an appreciation for giving in your child at home is suggesting to share an item that your child enjoys. For example, next time you bake cookies, ask your child if he would like to share some with a neighbor. This gives your child personal relevance to the offering.
Another way is by reading books with your child that focus on the importance of giving. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and The Giving Chair by Yoshiko Kouyama are two personal favorites.
Remember that giving does not always mean a physical gift; it can also be a gift of time. Is there a task that you and your child can do together to help someone else? Maybe you can get an elder neighbor’s mail or perhaps walk your neighbor’s dog when you are walking your own.
But parents aren’t the only ones who can teach children about giving; our school is also embracing giving as a valuable trait that we can instill in our students. Our school finds ways to link our preschool curriculum to real world applications, showing our students that they have the ability to make a difference. Such as this years Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive!
As we go into the holiday season, remember that children learn what they are taught and mimic what they see. Together we can unite to create a generation of empowered, committed givers.
Dates to Remember
The preschool will be CLOSED on December 24th and 25th, as well as December 31st and January 1st for the winter holidays.
As a reminder we have special events/activities scheduled throughout the month. These events are posted on our monthly calendar, which are available at the front desk, or can be viewed or downloaded from this website.
News from the Education Department
Exploring Holiday Traditions from Around the World
The holiday season is here, providing a wealth of opportunities to enrich the children’s understanding of diverse cultures and traditions around the world. In addition, our students will share their own traditions with others.
Below are age appropriate activities that we use in the classroom, as well as activities for you and your child to do at home.
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: As they near the age of two, children begin to recognize the sights and sounds of holidays celebrated by their family. Parents visit our classrooms to share holiday traditions, including unique books, songs and activities.
At home: Gather family photos and point out traditions, such as unwrapping presents, eating holiday dinner at grandma’s house, and making a snowman. Encourage your child to talk about what he sees in the photos.
Recommended reading: Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas by Christine Tangvald, Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy by Don Freeman, My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: Children sing holiday songs from around the world and are introduced to holiday symbols that they may see in their communities, such as Christmas trees or Hanukkah menorahs.
At home: Take a drive with your child or bring him to various holiday festivals in your community. Encourage him to look for and identify holiday decorations.
Recommended reading: Christmas Around the World by Calliope Glass, Hanukkah Hop by Erica Silverman, Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna Washington
PRE-K/PRE-K2 (ages 4-5)
In the classroom: After learning about holiday traditions around the world, our older preschoolers identify countries on a globe. For example, they might learn about Diwali, the festival of lights, and then find India on the globe. They might make tamales, a dish often served on Christmas, and then find Mexico on the globe.