The toddler community hosted a hugely successful bake sale, filled a tree with thoughts of gratitude, broke bread (gluten free vegan carrot cake muffins) with the Pigeon Plums and Spanish Limes at our Harvest Share and in the blink of an eye, November was a memory.
This month may move just as quickly as we prepare for the holidays and Winter break.
Lessons have changed as we welcome this season of light to include grating cinnamon sticks, identifying different types of spices in their original form, and becoming familiar with objects that they will see in the environment during the holidays. We also included a basket that contains a piece of wrapping paper, a bow, a ribbon, a box, a gift tag, and tape- all materials one would need when wrapping a gift.
Speaking of gift giving…
“When a child gives you gift, even if it is just a rock they picked up, exude gratitude. It might be the only thing they have to give, and they have chosen to give it to you.” -Dean Jackson
This time of year, across many cultures and religions, there is often an exchange of gifts amongst the people we care about the most. We use gift giving as a way to express gratitude, thankfulness, and love for and towards one another. Just like children watch us cook or clean and want to copy and participate, the act of gift giving is another example of an activity that children will observe and want to be a part of. Toddlers have the ability to feel the deep feelings of love, toddlers have the ability to observe cultural norms, but toddlers don’t have the means to execute (most toddlers do not have a bank account – let alone a piggy bank).
We encourage families to give their toddlers the opportunity to participate in the process with you. Sometimes the best way to let children express their feelings of love is through hand made pieces of art. Paint, sculpt, draw. Or support them as they create a collection of some sort ( shells, rocks, beads). Then give your children a chance to wrap it up in their own toddler style. It will not look ‘perfect’ but it will be PERFECT.
The ability to share in this activity gives our children the power to feel, create, and give from their hearts and be active participants in this season of love and light.
Ms. Liz and Ms. Dori