ELVES, WISHES AND SPELLING!
Rituals and celebrations are very important for children. They love the “wheel of the year,” and are fascinated by old traditions. They help children feel grounded, part of the community to understand their connections to the past.
This week and next we are celebrating this MIDWINTER time with a veritable festival of learning activities. We have even obtained a fake log fire to add to the atmosphere!
We tell the kids the old solstice legend of people hanging their wishes from trees for the elves to see and hopefully grant! They are keen to do the same so we will hang our wishes on our learning tree.
We are “stretchy” with our solstice term and apply it for 2 weeks!
We also tell them that elves HATE spelling mistakes and don’t read wishes that are misspelled! What a change- they all check their spelling carefully, check in with teachers and use dictionaries. have a feeling these spelling elves are here to stay at our centre.
Last year I was fascinated to note their wishes. Many asked for gifts for their families. One child wished for immortality. A few asked for happiness and peace. Can’t wait to see what they wish for this year!
Here are some of our activities- they can easily be adapted for any classroom and are great to use at home!
Studying and writing about ice crystals http://encyclopedia.kids.net.au/page/ic/Ice_crystals
Mindfulness sessions- staring into a candle or fire and sharing what came into your mind.
Cook and eating wintery food such as baked potatoes, apple bread or hot chips.
Expressing gratitude for all the wonderful blessings we have experienced this year and setting goals for the warmer months ahead. You could light a tiny tea-light for each blessing children tell. (Keep up high!)
Reading and writing about the Earth’s orbit around the sun and why we have seasons.
You tube cold weather clips of crackling fires and snowy scenes. https://youtu.be/25SV6zqTl1k
Solstice and Winter arts and crafts – https://au.pinterest.com/victoriacarlton/winter/
Winter themed books and learning- http://www.carolhurst.com/subjects/winter.html
So put plenty of layers on, make huge hot chocolates and celebrate this lovely deep, introspective season. It offers opportunities to go deep and introspective, re-adjust the sails and just take a much – needed deep breath!