Imagine a toddler running pell-mell outside wearing nothing but a t-shirt, sock feet, and a runny nose. Sound familiar? Getting your children to dress properly during the winter months can be a parent’s biggest struggle! Even if your children act unfazed by the cold weather, it’s important they learn how to bundle up, if only to prevent catching a cold. Here are some creative ways to get your little one to dress warmly for winter:
Dramatic Play for Winter
If there’s one way to get children to dress up, it’s involving them in dramatic play! Encourage your children to pretend to be Eskimos wandering through the arctic or polar bears trying to keep their pups warm. Whatever it is your children are pretending to be, make sure you stress how important keeping warm is to their health and being able to survive in cold environments. A great book to read while bundling up is Animals in Winter.
Pick out Winter Clothes for Toys
Children often learn best from seeing the things expected of them acted out. Learning will come even more naturally when children are involved in hands-on activity that requires them to physically dress their toys. Whether it’s dressing your child’s Favorite Friends Let It Snow Doll or dressing Freddy Frog with his felt set, putting clothes on their toys is a great way to remind children how to properly dress themselves.
Rewarding Appropriate Clothing
Sometimes, as parents, we have to make deals with our children. We’re sure you are familiar with the, “If you’ll do this THEN we can ____.” statements. When it comes to cold weather, sometimes it can be as simple as offering a fun outdoors activity for them to engage in after they agree to button up the coat and keep from pulling off the toboggan! Some fun activities you can enjoy with your children once they’re properly bundled up include sledding, making an outdoor fort, and even kicking around the Moon Ball!
Finally, it’s important for children to understand the health benefits of dressing warm for winter. Express your concern for their health and teach healthy habits to keep them from getting sick. Here is a great graphic from Kaplan Early Learning Company on how to keep children from spreading germs:
As you start the new year, it’s best to have learning resources in mind for your children. This will not only help continue learning opportunities that start in the classroom at home, but also give you options when it comes to filling weekends, indoor play days, and the special holidays you get to spend together! Without further adieu, here is a list of 2015 parent resources we hope you’ll find useful:
Early Education Blogs
Blogs go a long way in providing inspiration and a way to get connected with other parents and teachers. Here are a few of our favorites:
Educational Toy Suggestions
Keep up with our latest toys for the new year! Whether it’s incorporating new technology, discovering our latest dramatic play options, or finding classics on sale, here are our top toys for the new year:
- Stephen Joseph Wall Growth Chart
- Keep up with how much your child is growing each day! Add inches and dates for memories to revisit years down the road.
- Lil Allie Gator
- Start teaching proper brushing habits from the start with help from Lil Allie Gator! Because everyone knows if Alligators brush their teeth, then it must be important!
- Cottage Bed Pretend Play Tent
- Encourage dramatic play and fanciful reading spaces with the new Cottage Bed Pretend Play Tent. Fits directly over a twin mattress!
- Geomag Gbaby Farm – 11 Pieces
- Magnetic rods allow budding builders to construct whatever shapes and structures they can imagine. Hours of building fun for babies!
- Laser Pegs® Combat Fighter – 6 Models in 1
- Build 6 different models with the Laser Pegs® Combat Fighter! Vehicles can even light up while racing! Encourages creativity while providing hours of fun during play.
- Practice Lacing Shoes (set of 2)
- Let your little ones practice tying their shoes without it inhibiting their progress. Great for 3 years and up.
We hope you find these suggestions useful as you launch into the new year with your children!
As 2015 is underway, that means Martin Luther King Jr. Day is right around the corner! Celebrated the third Monday of every January, the holiday commemorates an American hero who fought for equality for all. MLK provides a great example for children to not only read about but also learn from. Here are a few ways you can teach your children to value diversity just as MLK did.
Fun Facts About MLK
- Martin Luther King Jr. attended Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, GA and was so smart that he skipped two grades in high school! He started his college education at 15.
- King was the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
- One of his main influences was Mahatma Gandhi who taught protesting in a non-violent manner.
- There are over 730 streets in the United States named after Martin Luther King Jr.
- In his efforts to fight segregation and inequality, King traveled more than six million miles and spoke more than 2,500 times.
Ways to Teach Diversity to Your Kids
1. Read Inclusive Books
It’s important that the children’s books you choose are inclusive and represent a variety of cultures and races. Children can use these books as examples of the diversity America is proud to represent every day. Be sure to encourage acceptance of those small differences by choosing diverse reading materials like the ones below:
2. Schedule Multicultural Play Dates
Know a family in the classroom or neighborhood of a different race or culture? Suggest scheduling a play date so your children can come to appreciate and accept differences in others and themselves. Introduce children to different cuisines during snack time, different languages spoken in the home, and even different greetings, clothing, and mannerisms from their fellow peers. Sometimes, children’s differences can even lead to closer friendships.
3. Make Diversity an Open Discussion
Whether you’re walking in the park, in the grocery store, or simply riding home from picking your child up at school, be sure you encourage them to discuss the differences they see in the people around them. Opening up children’s discussion on those differences and pointing out how positive they are will lead to a broader perspective and overall acceptance in children. You can also take it one step further by getting children to see instances where their peers may be struggling, whether because of language barriers or physical handicaps, as opportunities to reach out and help.
Activity: A Song for MLK Day
Sing the following to the tune “Have You Ever Seen a Lassie?” for MLK Day!
We are all different,
We are all different,
Each in our own way.
Whether dark skin or light,
We should get along not fight,
We are all different,
Each in our own way!
(Source: The GIANT Encyclopedia of Monthly Activities For Children 3 to 6)