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Do you have a fear?

A wake you up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat kind of fear?

I do.

My fear is that my kids will go out into the world without knowing what they needed to know to be successful adults.  You may have noticed this in reading my list of 100 dreams, many of my dreams have to do with things I want to teach my children.

When I think about teaching my children, I feel a kinship to the girl and the starfish.  You know the one, a little girl is on a beach and the beach is covered with millions of starfish and she thinks she can make a difference by throwing just one starfish in the water.  That’s how I feel when I take the time to plan out something to teach my children and execute.   My hope is that if I make an effort each day to pick one lesson and teach it (knowing that some days the lesson is my example or just that I love them) that the cumulative effect will have an impact for good.

Not that I will actually send them out with everything they need to know, but hopefully in doing so they will have a good start.

To that end, I am excited to be sharing a few ideas with you today on what I plan to teach my kids in January.  I’ll be writing these posts once a month, don’t worry, if this isn’t your thing, I’ll be back next week with a book review.

The first part (books, songs, craft projects and games and activities) will be mostly geared for my 2 and 4 year old, though others probably will join us for some of it.  I picked them with the resources we currently have in mind and with the idea that I could use it to teach different concepts to different age groups (big and small for my preschooler, eyes and nose recognition for my 2 year old)

The last part, are 2 things I plan to do with my older kids (6+).

Books we will read:

    1.  Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner:  a delightful story about snowmen coming alive at night to go sledding, have cold cocoa and just mingle.

    1. The Mitten by Jan Brett:  Jan Brett has several winter themed books that are fun to read with kids.  In this one, some animals find a mitten and try to see how many can fit in at once.

    1. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats:  This story follows Peter, a little boy who wakes up one day to find snow on the ground, we follow along with him as he wishes he could play with the older boys, makes tracks and a snowmen and at the end comes home to his momma.

    1. One mitten by Kristine O’Connell George:  This is a cute story about one girl losing her mitten and what she does in the meantime.  This story of losing mittens seems to be a common theme, I guess it is something that many kids and their mommas can relate to this time of year.

Songs we will sing and watch:

Will do this one with a hat, scarf and pretend carrot and we’ll point to our noses and eyes when appropriate.

To the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle” little star, gets the kids up and moving.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FEpPjhVtdc

This is just fun.  Be prepared to have your older kids either join in or think you’re ridiculous.

Art/Crafts

  1.  Sparkly Snow Playdough found this simple recipe from the marathon mom, I’ll have to do this one when I have a bit more energy, but these are the kind of activities that give you a good return for your investment.
  2. Cut out the basic parts to a snowman, including a small, medium and large white circle.  Have the kids glue and decorate.
  3. Make a winter scene by painting with white paint on blue paper.

Games/Activities

  1.  Counting snowballs .  This will be an easy set up, just have white pom poms and a card with a number on it.  I imagine, it will also be quick, but I think both of my littles will enjoy it.
  2. Indoor snowball fight:  Find some socks or wadded up pieces of paper and have at it.  We found this activity quite a number of years back, it’s all the fun of a snowball fight without the cold.
  3. While you’re at it, knock down a tower of cups with your “snowballs”.  Both ideas, as well as many other good ones, can be found here.

For the older kids:

My older kids need to learn how to budget their money better.  It is difficult to keep track of cash money for allowance and paid chores and so my husband and I have basically been doing all the math ourselves.  I think it needs to get back in their hands a bit, but cash just doesn’t work for us.  So, I think we will adapt this idea and make them keep track of their spending and saving better.  Also, we will print out these and encourage them to set a savings goal.

So, that’s it.  Those are my little starfish for January.  I hope that these can help you, or if  these aren’t your type of teaching activities, and I’m not offended if they aren’t you will be inspired to find your own starfish to toss in.