EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Archive for December 2011

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

M….mistletoe is the best part of Christmas decorating.
E….elves make mischief; they sneak around looking for gifts – not your children.
R….reindeer really do fly.
Y….your children’s homemade ornaments should be front & center on the tree.

C….children are Christmas angels bringing joy to the world.
H….happiness is contagious.  I hope you come down with a big case of it and spread it around.
R….’round about now everyone – I mean everyone! –  is ready for Christmas.  It’s almost here.
I….invite a relative or friend to your home that you haven’t seen for a while.  Serve eggnog.
T….trim the tree for our winter friends.  String fruit loops & popcorn to feed the birds after the holiday.
M….mixing sugar, flour, butter, chips and eggs together is good for the soul.  Give children spoons.
A….another Christmas with family & friends?  Another new year ahead?  Count your blessings.
S….smiles, hugs, kisses and “I love you.”  These are the gifts that really count.

With warmest wishes for a Christmas that is peaceful, joyful and filled with family and friends.
Merry Christmas! Kate

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

A beautiful musical and classic holiday movie is The Sound of Music.  I have watched It’s A Wonderful Life, White Christmas, A Christmas Story and countless holiday cartoons a million times over.  I never get tired of them – they become part of tradition in so many families. But I keep going back to The Sound of Music.  In particular the song “These Are A Few of My Favorite Things.”  The song is a collection – a list – of favorite things.

What is on your list of favorite things that keep you warm, make you smile and that you simply can’t do without?  What is on your child’s list?

This holiday week in the middle of baking, shopping, wrapping and visiting, take a few minutes with your children and see what is on their list of favorite things.  This is not a Santa list, it is a list that will, of course,  include favorite toys (you can’t get away from that), but it is also a list that expands to include friends, people, smells, places…  A list that is personal.  A list that is meaningful and timely. Holidays are the perfect time to make memories and both carry on traditions and create new ones. 

Use language that will set the mood and start children thinking of favorites;

  • “Did you know that this is my favorite cookie?” 
  • “mmm I love the way pizza smells – it’s my favorite.” 
  • “Dempsey is my favorite dog.”  

Your children pay attention to everything you do.  These are simple, quiet ways to help them consider the many things that matter to you – and to them.  This is not a big project.  It is a memory to make.

If your children can write, ask them to think about and write their list (spelling doesn’t matter!) Children love to cut and paste.  Are there magazines, even books that are tattered – and not favorite reading books – that can have pictures cut out and pasted?   If you have a little one, ask them to draw pictures and tell you what to write after their drawings.  Babies let you know about their favorite things all of the time.  Just watch them.  When they smile and coo, when they kick their legs and stretch their arms, when they relax and are calm it is because of one of their favorite things!

Children can write their names, make marks, draw pictures and make their paper personal.  Create your baby’s list.  You can date their My Favorite Things list, (add a picture of your child!)  Make sure you make a list of favorite things too with a signature and date.  Bundle the lists up and keep them safe.  Each Christmas share the My Favorite Things lists from the year before and add the current collection to them.                                                     

Childhood is quick.  How much our little ones change each year!  Believe me, there will be laughter and tears as each year goes by and these memories are shared.

Holidays are the perfect time to make memories & both carry on traditions & create new ones.

“Grammy Lil’s snicker-doodles are my favorite cookie.”  Every year – all of the Scarcello grandchildren.

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

In households already spilling over with clothing & boots, books & toys, schedules & papers, households with busy adults, children and pets – we decide to do more!  Why?  Because it’s the holidays!

As much as we know that routines are critical for young children and consistency in parenting makes or breaks children’s adjustment to change, the holiday season offers us an opportunity to be masters at organized chaos. 

Take inventory…

  • Are you set with gifts for the holidays?  If you’ve started and have special gifts in the attic, the trunk of your car or stored at grandmas’ until Christmas Eve, you’re pretty good.  If you actually have a list in your purse with coupons already cut for anything left, you’re better.  If you have completely shopped, wrapped, tagged and bagged – you are a master!  If you have no idea where to begin and don’t have one gift, let alone wrapping….yikes.
  • Do you cook & bake for holiday parties?    If you can picture what is in your kitchen and are confident you have the basic ingredients for basic goodies, you are pretty good.  If you are watching store ads for the best price on everything for holiday dinner to dessert and have money in your budget to buy them, you’re better.  If you have crossed off everything on your holiday list because you have actually bought it already and did not break the bank – you are a master!  If you have signed up for a cookie exchange and just know you will be up until 3 in the morning the night before they are due; call me, so will I!
  • Are babysitters and family helpers scheduled?  (Collecting dates in your head along with times and locations of parties and plans doesn’t count at all!)  If you have made a list somewhere and have mentioned in conversation that you will need a sitter, you are at least on the radar.  If your calendar is filled with December and January plans accompanied by the name of confirmed sitters for each- you are a master!  When the phone rings and someone at a dinner party wonders where you are, don’t expect a 2012 invitation.

I love my house at the holidays.  To the unsuspecting, it may look chaotic. There are always children, family, pets and friends in and out.  We eat sandwiches, order pizza or sit down to a turkey dinner; I know where the food is and where the menus are.  On a tree that looks different each year, there are tin foil ornaments with hand prints (most cherished,) family heirloom glass ornaments (most sentimental,) and red bows & glitter.  Music is playing, the t.v. is on, someone is always on the phone. The daily chores of a home are visible; but I know who has what and where things are.  Some people consider this chaotic.  But it really is organized and it is mine.  It is organized chaos.

What do you consider organized chaos? Just because someone doesn’t know where the crackers are, doesn’t mean that you don’t!

“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. Sounds pretty chaotic to me.”        Napoleon Hile

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


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