Jill Davidson shares her thoughts on holidays, schools, and cultural identity (also available in the December 2012 East Side Monthly issue). How do we celebrate the diversity of our kids’ cultural traditions without imposing ones religious views on others? The public school, out of necessity, practically bans discussion or acknowledgement of the December holidays in the classroom, but does this breed ignorance or is it a missed opportunity to celebrate and learn about our different heritages? – Anisa
Whether itâ€™s watching football, playing a game, reading special books, or expressing our gratitude in some special way, almost every family has a beloved Thanksgiving tradition that extends beyond the festive meal that is front and center on this American holiday.
My own custom developed in early adulthood, when the political arguments and caloric intake reached epic proportions one Thanksgiving and I simply couldnâ€™t stand to be inside another minute. Letâ€™s face it: holidays are great, but they can certainly be intense. At least in my family!
You do not have to be an uber crafter to get in the Halloween mood. There are plenty of ways to get crafty with kidsâ€”some ideas require a bit more planning or set up (making shadow puppets) and other projects (drawing on pumpkins with markers) are perfect if you are short on time or would rather not make a mess.
To make crafting fun for children, itâ€™s helpful to remember that they often enjoy the process more then then the end result. You may want to choose projects for the experience. For example if you make a pumpkin mosaic the kids may prefer shredding different shades of orange paper more than where they glue them. If you are looking for a finished product, prep things in advance depending on the child’s age or skill level and make your own craft alongside them or work on your project while the kids are sleeping or off at school.
Have a spooky October with this round-up of cool, crafty Halloween projects.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner. Show mom you care, and make a big difference in your community. When you Buy With Heart from a social enterprise for mother’s day, you get unique gifts she’ll love, and give back to a cause she cares about. Check out these gift suggestions!
Give mom time.
One thing moms are short on is “time.” Time to do read, exercise, finish a cup of coffee (while it is still hot) and time to do nothing. I know I am looking forward to some quality family time this weekend without cooking or laundry but I also look forward to my family allowing a little time to myself. Give a mom in your life an hour or more to herself this weekend.
It’s time for Screen-Free Week (April 30-May 6, 2012), the national celebration where children, families, schools, and communities spend seven days turning off entertainment screen media and turning on life. Itâ€™s a time, as the organizers say, “to unplug and play, read, daydream, create, explore, and spend more time with family and friends.”
Are you up for the challenge. Here’s how it works in our family…
Tomorrow, April 29, 2011 is National Arbor Day. Share the The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, or One Tree (Green Start series) by Innovative Kids with your children. These stories remind us at any age to be mindful of our trees.
We don’t always associate springtime with tradition, but every season is an opportunity. Here are 5 ways to celebrate create spring traditions with your family. Pick one of these or make your own.
1. Food. Is there something you make every spring to celebrate the season or special holiday (Passover and Easter are right here, but Mother’s Day is on the horizon, as well as May Day)? Share its origin with your children by creating a special recipe card including a photo, the recipe and where the recipe originated from (e.g. family member, friend, etc.). Ask your child to share a memory about eating the food.
It’s more fun when the Easter Bunny indulges their interests (beyond chocolate). I know many Easter (or Spring) Bunnies bring chocolate, but what else does the bunny bring? Our boys each have a basket in their favorite color, and here is a list of whatâ€™s been tucked inside over the years. This year the bunny may opt for fewer unneeded small things in place of one large item that is coveted (like a DVD or bey blade).
Here is my list of things to learn and do in honor of St. Patrickâ€™s Day. My favorite is taking the kids to the park in search of leprechauns.
Read a good book with your children first, like Leprechauns Never Lie by Lorna and Lecia Balian; then find a park near you and take a hike in search of these mischievous characters. If itâ€™s a nice day and you donâ€™t find any, you and your kids may still enjoy the walk looking for early signs of spring. Check our events calendar for local parades and other happenings.