At The International Preschools, the children and teachers spent time learning about the Winter Solstice throughout the month of December, concentrating on the concepts of light and dark. The majority of the holidays occurring during the months of November, December, and January honor the idea of light via candles, the sun, the stars, fire, etc. after the longest night of the year, which is the Winter Solstice.
In the classrooms, one of the ways that the children acquired information about the Winter Solstice was by examining the holidays that are celebrated at that time of year. This is done within the classroom curriculum and through culture shares, where parents visit the school virtually via Zoom (due to COVID restrictions) and teach the children about the holidays that they celebrate. Some of the “festivals of light” presented at this time of year include Christmas, Hanukkah, the Feast of St. Lucia, Diwali, Yule, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and the Three Kings.
See below for photos from the classrooms celebrating the Winter Solstice and exploring the concepts of light and dark, as well as our annual Winter Solstice celebration.
Every December, The International Preschools celebrates the Winter Solstice with a month-long curriculum on light, dark, and how families around the world celebrate the holiday season. This year, our Winter Solstice festivities were held via Zoom, live from each individual classroom. Although we missed having our traditional international potlucks and our school-wide sing-along, the feelings of community and togetherness were still evident.
Currently, IPS is closed for the holiday break. Please enjoy some photos from our classrooms, commemorating the Winter Solstice, light/dark curriculum, and the 2020 holiday season. Happy Holidays!
The International Preschools is closed for the holidays from Monday, December 23, 2019 through Friday, January 3, 2020. We will reopen on Monday, January 6, 2020. Please enjoy the photo gallery below, consisting of our light/dark theme projects and activities in honor of the Winter Solstice, holiday culture shares in our Green, Pre-K, and Junior K classrooms, as well as photos from the annual Winter Solstice Sing-Alongs and International Potlucks at our 76th Street and 86th Street locations.
Happy holidays from the IPS family to yours! See you in 2020!
December has arrived, and with that comes holiday preparations, gift giving…and, at The International Preschools, the annual celebration of the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice marks the day with the shortest amount of daylight and the longest amount of darkness. Traditionally, the Winter Solstice celebrates the return of the sun, as the days following the solstice contain more minutes, and ultimately hours, of daylight, culminating with the Summer Solstice (the longest amount of daylight in one day of the year) in June.
Curriculum at IPS during December focuses on the concept of light and dark while integrating aspects of the holiday season. Many of the holidays that our families celebrate, from Diwali to Hanukkah to Christmas, cherish light sources such as candles and lanterns; the
se items act as icons of the season. In some cultures, people choose not to use electricity on the Winter Solstice and rather, live by candlelight on this day. Nature is also revered during this season and within the classrooms; traditionally, evergreen trees are decorated because they are seen as the “eternal symbol of life during the dark months of the winter.” They are referred to as Yule Trees or WinterSolstice Trees and are decorated with symbols of light (i.e. sun, moon, star ornaments; candles) as well as pinecones and garlands filled with food for animals during the winter months.
The Winter Solstice is observed each year at The International Preschools during the month of December. The Winter Solstice is the day with the shortest amount of daylight/longest amount of darkness. Because many of the international holidays during this time of year celebrate the concept of light, the commemoration of the Winter Solstice at our school acts as a way to collectively celebrate many family and holiday traditions.
The Winter Solstice celebrations at The International Preschools have long been a tradition to welcome and honor the longest night of the year and the diverse holidays celebrated by our families. Each location hosts an all-school Sing-Along, followed by individual classroom potlucks. December holidays celebrated around the world are feasts and festivals of light; our students explore the concepts of “light” and “dark” to delve into these themes via play-based learning.
Each year, The International Preschools’ community celebrates the holiday season through an observance of the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, with the fewest hours of light. Many of the international holidays during this time of year celebrate the concept of light; the commemoration of the Winter Solstice at our school acts as a way to collectively celebrate many family and holiday traditions.
The International Preschools Blog is an opportunity to journey into the school's classrooms. Here you will find information about play-based education, diversity, classroom themes; all the things that make learning joyful and fun at one of the best preschools in New York City.