From the Principal’s Office
Tis’ the season to be jolly! As the holidays approach, our time becomes consumed with traveling, relatives and making holiday preparations. Planning ahead is the key to staying organized which will make the holidays run so much smoother. I know many of you will be on vacation this month. Please sign the sheet on your sign in folders if your child will be absent this month. This helps me in approving time off for staff.
We have so much to look forward to this month. We start the month off with “Parent’s Night Out”. This is a great opportunity for you to get a start on the holiday shopping or just have a little parent time alone. Going out with some friends? Yup, their children are welcome too! Next, our creative staff will begin creating their “Themed Wreaths” to go up for auction coming up in the middle of the month. All wreaths will be hand made and ready for bidding on Monday, December 12th. Got to be quick to snag one of these beauties. Lastly, calling all School Age children, Camp Zone Winter Break begins on Dec. 19th to January 6th. Camp spaces are limited and are filling up fast! Until next month.. Christy Lang
Back by Popular Demand!
Parent’s Night Out!
When: Friday, Dec. 9th from 6:00pm to 10:00pm
Cost: $25/ $20 siblings
Invite your friends and family. Dinner is included! Remember to bring PJs and your party attitude! Waitlist for under 2 years old.
Annual Wreath Auction
It’s time again for Discovery Isle’s annual wreath auction! Each team of teachers will be designing and creating a beautiful wreath masterpiece to put up for auction. All are welcome to bid on any of the wreaths. These wreaths can be any theme the teachers choose to use and are sure to be one of a kind. Get ready for some creative juices to start flowing and behold the magical creations produced. Auction week will begin on Dec. 12th and end Dec. 16th. Good Luck!
Is your School Age Child signed up for Camp Zone?! Don’t miss out! Camp Zone will begin Dec. 19th and end on Jan. 6th. That’s 3 weeks of tons of fun and bonding with buddies. Spaces are limited, so sign up quick! See the front desk for permission slips!
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.
At home: Ask your child to help you prepare your family’s favorite holiday foods. Talk about the long-standing traditions in which these foods are rooted. For instance, you might explain, “I used to bake cookies for the holidays with my mom. Now we can start baking cookies together!”
Recommended reading: Children Just Like Me: Celebrations by Anabel Kindersley, Light the Lights: A Story about Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman, The Story of Kwanzaa by Mary Washington
Exposing children to various holiday traditions helps them build strong social skills, establish a sense of self, and respect the differences of others as they transition into elementary school and beyond.
Lauren Starnes, PhD Director of Early Childhood Education
Christy’s Crafty Creations
This is my obsession…CRAFTS! Pinterest, Martha Stewart, Spoonful.com, I love them all. They share such wonderful ideas as well as a lot are free if you-do-it-yourself. And let me tell you, if I can do it so can you! Here is another great idea that is super cheap that will be a for sure conversational piece in your home. You will be the hit of all holiday gatherings!
Hot Cocoa Mix Ornaments!
1 single serving package instant hot chocolate mix in the flavor of your choice
1 clear plastic fillable ornament. (I suggest finding ones that are food safe)
Sprinkles chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peppermint chips
Jet Puffed Mallow Bits (Kraft Brand – usually can be found by hot chocolate mixes)
Tag or note on how to make the hot chocolate (mix with 8 oz. hot water)
Mugs are optional
Start with a clean ornament and take the top off. Fill each ingredient into the ornament using a funnel. Start with the hot cocoa mix, sprinkles, chocolates and lastly the mallow bits. Put top back on. You will need to deliver these standing upright or wrap the top with plastic wrap to keep contents inside. It’s ready to go. Just gift it alone or with the other items recommended! Easy and fun!