A review of local, national and global current events that can be shared and discussed among families with young children.
Happy Valentine's Day! In the US today, we're celebrating a day of love and confection - sending sentiments to loved ones, exchanging gifts, flowers and chocolate. But around the world, others celebrate this holiday by varying degrees - such as giving books to each other in Spain's Catalonia region in the month of April. What ever the reason - there needn't be one. Because as my daughter says it best, "Every day is Valentine's Day!"
- Table Talk: How do we show affection to our loved ones? Ask children to share their personal feelings on the many ways they feel loved by family and friends. What are the characteristics of good friendships? What does it mean to care about others? Think of examples together and write these down to be placed where everyone can see year round as a simple reminder about acts of kindness - which is also celebrated all week!
- Educational: Sending a note of "I love yous" is a great way to begin teaching kids the art of sending and receiving letters. Bake cookies or dinner together using a family recipe, or a new one. Visit Random Acts of Kindness idea page for suggestions.
- Resources: Wikipedia, History.com, Homeschool Mom, Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
In Feb, Google released Art Project, a powerful online tool where anyone can take a virtual tour of famous paintings by more than 400 artists. Combining Google's savvy technology, and personal wit, a band of Google art goers helped make this project happen, so that all of us could explore the interior walls of acclaimed museums from around the world. The idea is simple: bring history and amazing art within reach of - everyone. Source: Google Blog
- Table Talk: How cameras and videos allow us to see places around the world.
- Educational: You can create your own artwork collection while touring the galleries by selecting favorites. Research the artist's biography to learn the history, and artwork style. Select a favorite together, and help your child paint or sketch their favorite artwork by letting them create a masterpiece of their own.
- Resources: Painting like Van Gogh, Make Art Like Famous Artists, Art Styles
- Table Talk: Why are healthy eating habits important? Together, talk about your favorite foods and why.
- Educational: What's on our plate? How many different colors and textures are there? Review the nutritional content in food, and what they are good for. This exercise also helps parents decide and plan better for meal times. Ask the children how they felt after having fresh cut apples for a mid-day snack with water versus a sugar coated "fruit roll-up" and artificially flavored juice. Create a chart that lists various fruits and vegetables with high nutritional value, and keep it accessible in the kitchen. Mark or place a sticker next to those your children will eat.
- Resources: Hub Pages, FDA, Nourish Interactive