The Holidays - Part I - Santa Claus! Since next Sunday is December 6th, we will celebrate the Holidays with a whole week dedicated to the big guy - Santa Claus, Saint Nicolas or Father Christmas. Make an adorable handprint Santa, learn the sign for Santa and how to Santa Claus in three languages, and much more. Enjoy!
The link above gives some history about Santa Claus and here is another site that also tells about the real Saint Nicolas. In reading this, I learned that the reason we get oranges in our stockings was because Saint Nicolas supposedly threw gold through the window and into the shoes of three sisters who had no dowry so they could be married. The oranges in our stockings represent the
gold pieces he gave to those sisters.
Letter of the Week: O - for Old Saint Nicolas - point out things that start with "O" - orange, open, over, obtuse. Show your toddler a picture of both a capital O and a lower case o. Draw an O 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 so far. You can even use flashcards a little at a time. We recently saw this link on Twitter about how to teach your toddler the alphabet, brought to you by the website www.toddlerinterpreting.com
Number of the Week: 6 - When you show your child anything say "6 oranges" (or whatever you are counting). Count to 6. Write the number 6 on paper or show your toddler a flash card. Show your child 6 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 and 3. My son knows he's one and can make the gesture when you ask him, so it can be done at this age even.
Songs of the Week: Santa Claus is Coming to Town - This link has the words and the music for the song, written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie, along with links to other holiday songs. Story of the Week: Santa Claus is Coming to Town done by Steven Kellogg - This has beautiful illustrations. If you can't find it at the library - usually the librarian will do a display of books for the season - try to find it at your favorite on-line bookseller. Snack of the Week: Bagel Wreaths - This is a cute snack from the Family Fun website. They suggest using cut up peppers for color. I don't think most toddlers would eat that so you might get creative with what they would eat - color the cream cheese red or green (as they suggest) or sprinkle cut up cucumber, shredded carrots or even cookie sprinkles for a little sweet treat.
Spanish Words of the Week: Instead of just Spanish this week we'll learn how to say Santa Claus in several languages: Sinterklaas = Dutch; Pere Noel = French for Father Christmas; Papá Noel = Spanish for Father Christmas, Christkindle = German
Do It Myself: Hanging Ornaments/Decorations - let your little one be a part of the decorating this year. Make sure you give him/her non-breakable items to hang low on the tree. Also make sure you are careful when you hang your stockings that the stocking holders won't fall on your toddler if he/she pulls on them.
Activity of the Week: Handprint Santa - This is another cute idea from Family Fun's website - you may have to adjust for what's going to work for your little one. We also saw a good idea from the Turkey Handprint idea last week - make one of these every year to track your toddler's growth! Yoga Pose: Fire Log Pose - This is basically "Indian-Style" sitting but we thought this worked with the Santa theme since he uses the chimney. 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 Week: Santa Claus, Reindeer, Chimney and Beard. 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!