Friday, March 18, 2011
Ever Regret Being Anxious for Time to Pass?
I’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Spring and warmer weather and going barefoot. But then I catch myself and realize time is slipping through my fingers and I wish I could slow it down. B’s preschool experience is soon to give way to kindergarten. (Ack!) T is more and more little boy and less and less baby every day. So some days I wish I could pause, other days, I’m counting down to summer. But enough about me…
Keeping Track of Time
The cognitive concept of time is hard for little ones – just ask anyone who’s ever uttered the words, “just a minute” to a toddler. Minutes, hours, days, months, seasons, past, future: each more abstract than the next for a child living in the present. Simply discussing and acknowledging the passage of time is the first step to internalizing the concept. It’s easy to take notice of changes in the foliage, animal behaviors, and holidays. B continues to be fascinated by the calendar and countdowns, so he was pleased to bring home a library book all about the various ways to observe the changing season and celebrate Spring.
Chronology, Culture, and Crafts
Wendy Pfeffer’s A New Beginning: Celebrating the Spring Equinox is the kind of non-fiction book that combines just enough illustration and intriguing detail to keep kids engaged while they learn the salient facts of the topic. In this case, Pfeffer’s topic is Sping, and she effectively explains both scientific and historic aspects of the season. The book begins with a poetic description of the arrival of spring, and then explains the science behind it in both clear narrative and helpful illustrations. Next, traditions and celebrations from several cultures are highlighted in chronological order.
- Learn about the connection between Chinese New Year and the arrival of Spring.
- Plant wheat for the Persian celebration of No Ruz. (I’m thinking wheatgrass on the windowsill.)
- Consider the origin of April Fools’ Day in and Indian tradition.
- Marvel at Mayan calendar-keeping.
- Enjoy warm, round pancakes to symbolize the sun during Russia’s Maslenitsa. (We like the 10 grain pancake mix from Winco!)
- Honor the berry as a harbinger of Spring like the Cree. (We planted blueberries this year!)
- Study the symbols of Jewish Passover.
- Even discover how rabbits and colored eggs came to be connected with the Christian holiday of Easter. (Can’t wait to try natural egg dyes this year!)
Appropriate for: preschoolers, primary grades.
**The construction of this post was interrupted by a 4 year old who couldn't sleep. I found myself sitting on his bed singing him a favorite lullaby: Evermore written by Sandra Boynton and illustrated by Alison Krauss. It speaks to both my longing for spring and my nostalgia for time.**
Link-up note: my apologies to anyone who had trouble linking last week. First, I got my dates mixed up (sorry Maggie!) then a coding glitch initially made the entered links invisible (thanks Shonda). If you have a chance to go back and visit some of the links from last week, their authors could use a little extra love!
Did you see my post on Saturday for the March Read-Along at Helping Little Hands? I shared a fun flap-book and craft.
Are you looking forward to the change in season? Are you feeling it in your weather yet or is it just another date on the calendar?