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Theme for the Week - Christmas!

We'll do a double week of fun for the holidays this week.  This whole month is filled with special days - Winter Solstice on December 21st, Boxing Day/Feast of St. Stephen on December 26th, St. Basil's Day on January 1st, St. Lucia's Day on December 13th and many more. We think of Christmas in North America with snow, and cold and fires in the fireplace but in places like Brazil and Australia, it's summer time. They have picnics and go surfing to celebrate this most wonderful day.  Of course the real reason we 
celebrate is because God gave us his ultimate gift- his presence (presents!) on Earth - Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!

Letter of the WeekC  - for Christmas - point out things that start with "C" -  Christmas tree, cup, cold, carrot. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital C and a lower case c. Draw a C on paper, or use your child's finger to draw it in the sandbox or dirt. Use bath tub or refrigerator letters to show him/her this letter as well. I've been showing my toddler letters in the bathtub - he has started recognizing them now - R, T, S, B, D, A, C and Y so far. You can even use flashcards a little at a time. We recently saw a link about how to teach your toddler the alphabet on Twitter, brought to you by the website www.toddlerinterpreting.com

Number of the Week12  - For the 12th month of the year. When you show your child anything say "12 carrots" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 12. Write the number 12 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 12 things at a time and count them - "one, two, three" - so your child gets used to the pattern. When I have been counting to my son, he now points to things and makes sounds like he's trying to count and he can identify 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8. 

Songs of the Week:  The Chipmunk Song - Not exactly what you would call a traditional Christmas song but the kids LOVE it because of the funny voices and when Alvin gets yelled at. This link has the words and the song. 

Story of the WeekTwas the Night Before Christmas - by Clement Clarke Moore.  It is impossible to chose exactly the right story because there are SO many.  If you go to the library, there should be a display of holiday books to choose from. The first link here is a fantastic audio reading of the poem and the second is a link to the words and a biography of Clement Clarke Moore. 

Snack of the Week:  Sugar Cookies - We try to give healthy ideas for snacks but this week we just couldn't resist giving you some decorating ideas for Santa's cookies. If you don't have time for scratch cookies, slice and bake work great. This link has SO many cute cookie ideas - we especially love the "Snow Globe" cookies - we've never seen anything like them.  Don't forget to leave some out for Santa with some milk!  In Denmark, the kids leave out milk or rice pudding for the elves who help distribute toys and in Spain, the kids leave their shoes on the window sills with hay and carrots for the Three Kings' horses. 

Words of the Week: Feliz Navidad = Merry Christmas, el árbol = tree, la chimenea = chimney, la media = stocking

Do It Myself: Distributing Presents - On Christmas (or whenever you open gifts) you can tell your toddler who gets what gift and they can help by handing the gift to the right person. Good luck :) 

Activity of the Week: Pom Pon Christmas Tree - You can cut out the shape of a Christmas tree from green construction paper.  Then, you can let your toddler decorate the tree with sequins, pom pons, ribbon, tissue paper, and glue. Also, if you are feeling adventurous, you can let your child help decorate a Gingerbread House - click the link to take you to a link for over 400 pictures of gingerbread houses for inspiration!

Yoga PoseTree Pose - for Christmas Tree. There are variations that make it more balance-friendlier; you can put your foot on the opposite ankle or on your calf muscle.  PS - Our kids always liked the Yoga Kids series if you'd like more ideas for doing yoga with your toddler. 

Sign Language Sign of the WeekMerry ChristmasTreeStockingJesus.  If your toddler is still learning how to talk, sign language can be a great way for them to communicate.  And as they get older, they'll pick up signs faster and it can be more of a fun thing versus a way to communicate.  Hope you have a wonderful week!  PS - in last week's poll, 100% of you said you tell your kids about Santa!

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Your Weekly Dose of FUN for You and Your Toddler!