Holidays Around the World
This time of year typically puts people into a good mood (at least I like to think so!). Although times might be tough for some of our children and families that we work with (or even for you), there are many ways to make this season happy for all! As an early childhood educator and a CDA Candidate, you are responsible for preparing and implanting lesson plans that are fun and engaging. Planning hands-on holiday activities will surely help bring joy to both you and the children you work with. Here are some ideas.
Diwali: This holiday is typically celebrated with candles, fresh painted walls, new clothes, and lots of shopping, as it represents the “New” year or the new you. Diwali is also a time when people welcome the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity (Lakshmi) into their homes. Since little ones have such cute feet, consider making Lakshmi’s footprints. Cover the art area with recycled newspaper. Students work in pairs. Each student takes a turn rapidly covering each other’s feet (one at a time) with Crayola® Color Wonder™ Markers. (Yes, it tickles!) Quickly, while the foot is wet, press it on Crayola Color Wonder Paper. The marker only shows on this special paper, not on your feet. Wash feet with soap and water and dry with paper towels when finished. Read the book “Diwali” by Allan Morey for more fun and learning!
Hanukkah: You can start by reading “Elmo’s Little Dreidel” (Sesame Street) or “Happy Hanukkah Curious George” by H.A. Rey. The most fun and inexpensive way to learn about Hanukkah, is to play the Dreidel game! There are dozens of free prints online to copy from. Children will need assistance folding their Dreidel into the proper way, but accommodations can be made to allow all children to play and win. Make it unique by adding your own prizes (special helper, teacher’s assistant, door holders, line leaders, or of course, candy!).
Kwanzaa: “K is for Kwanzaa” by Juwanda G. Ford is one of my favorites for little guys! An easy fun craft is to have children draw a Kinara and match the candles to each of the 7 principles of Kwanzaa. You can provide a visual of a Kinara, or just make copies for students to color in.
Las Posadas: Tomie DePaola reads “The Night of Las Posadas” which will entice children to want to make their own piñata. This can easily be done by using Styrofoam cups, poking two holes in the bottom, tying string through the holes, filling the cups with treats, and covering the top of the cup with construction paper. Children should decorate the outside of the cups in the colors of Las Posadas.
Christmas: Of course there seems to be an endless amount of things to do with Christmas, but what I like best is to compare and contrast the different holidays. Discuss how each are alike and how each are different. Have a discussion so children acknowledge there are many different ways to celebrate and each way is okay!
Happy Holidays to All!