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.
In the busy-ness of life, we often move, move, move forward without noticing the time or the space or the feelings that weâ€™re moving through. But what happens when we stand still? When we relax for a moment, and breathe, and notice what is happening around us while we stand still? Everything changes.
One simple ritual that helps me is pausing in my day to express gratitude. It can be as easy as pausing while Iâ€™m washing the dishes to look out the window and feel gratitude for the sky and the trees. I breathe deeply, feel gratitude and then return to my chore. But I am calmer and happier as I finish those dishes.
Whether your children make valentines for their entire the class or a handful for their grandparents and best friend, giving (and receiving) a handmade valentine is super special no matter how big, small, simple, or detailed the heart is.
Making a large number of valentines for your childâ€™s class can seem daunting, but choosing a project that is simple to oversee and appropriate for your childâ€™s skill and age level can be fun and rewarding. When my boys were toddlers, I precut hearts out of paper or used heart-shaped doilies and let them paint or put stickers on each one. Now that they’re older, it’s helpful that they have a longer attention span and can sign their own cards.
From skating to snowplay, get out there and make this winter weather a family affair. While we wait for the next great snowfall, let’s get out there and start having winter fun (and yes, some of these are great for snowy days).
Snowshoeing1. Head out on a winter hike. Bring snacks and a thermos of hot soup and/or cocoa. Explore a wildlife refuge. Try it with snowshoes.
2. Make maple snow candy…
Providence Children’s Museum will feature performances of M.L.K.: Amazing Grace by Rochel Coleman and Valerie Tutson and present a special exhibit about the American Civil Rights Movement and King’s work. Families can also browse an exhibit of photographs, text and a selection of carefully chosen books about the American Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Kingâ€™s philosophy of nonviolence. Visitors can choose to participate in a thought-provoking interactive exploration of the negative power of discrimination, during which they encounter â€œred onlyâ€ and â€œgreen onlyâ€ labels throughout the Museum. Educators will be on hand to talk to families following this provocative exercise and invite them to record their responses.
At every family meal, we go around the table and each person says what he or she is thankful for. – Mark
We love to play short round robin games of either Boggle or Bananagrams at the end of the day. It’s a family event. We are all in our pajamas, sitting atop the parents’ bed with either of those games. – Josefina
alternatives to participating in traditional holidays and commercialism:
â€¢ Set limits and establish a sense of proportion. Holidays always evolve, and are a mix of traditions (Christian holidays for example are a mix with Roman traditions). Our kids write letters to Santa and know that they will get 1 gift from Santa only and a few from us. (Luckily for the kids, their grandmothers do not always comply.)
â€¢ We get our Christmas tree on the weekend of our anniversary to share this special time with the kids. We buy the tree that we think no one else will pick. We choose the one that is crooked or homely so it has a home for the holiday.
â€¢ We do not give presents for Channuka. We celebrate the Jewish traditions in a noncommercial way.