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 holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year. One of the best things about this time is seeing my two young children experience the traditions that I’ve loved and carried out when I was their age (and beyond).
This year’s holiday season will look different…for example, in our area, live performances of The Nutcracker and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular have been postponed until 2021, and tree lighting ceremonies are either not occurring or not allowing visitors. It is disappointing to miss out on those fun events, but there are many other ways to celebrate the holiday season that are memorable and meaningful for your children. Here are a few ideas that worked for my family (and ones we will try in the coming weeks):
Crafts: Our family celebrates Christmas, so this year, we’ve spent a lot of time gluing, painting, and decorating wooden, paper, and plastic ornaments to hang on our Christmas tree. For a great resource outlining some fun holiday craft and homemade gift ideas, click here: https://www.pbs.org/parents/sharing-your-creativity
Lights: We spent an hour last weekend driving around our town admiring the holiday lights that residents have used to decorate their homes. (We also saw a lot of inflatable holiday icons, since we live outside of the city.). Families in both urban and rural areas can enjoy this activity by walking or driving.
Cooking/Baking: Toddlers and preschoolers can help with the cooking and baking process for your holiday celebrations, whether they are with just your immediate family or with extended family members. Chopping vegetables (with a child-safe knife), decorating cookies, and mixing batter is fun for both children and adults and provides an opportunity for practicing skills such as problem-solving, following multi-step directions, and measurement, to name a few.
Books: My children love reading books about any and every holiday. Books provide opportunities for children to ask questions and make connections between the text and home (or school) experiences.
Holiday TV/Movies: There’s nothing more cozy than snuggling with your little ones and watching a holiday favorite. As an adult, one of my favorite holiday activities is to break out all the classic cartoons and movies (I’m talking about you, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Christmas Eve on Sesame Street”) and watching them as often as possible throughout the month of December.
Wishing you and your family a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season!
Halloween, like United Nations Day and other IPS events during the 2020-2021 school year, looked a bit different than years past. We weren’t able to have our usual school-wide Halloween fashion shows or parades. Happily, there were many things we were still able to do. The children and teachers had a great time attending school in costume. Many classrooms held Halloween-themed activities, including pumpkin carving and the baking of Halloween treats. Everyone had a great time!
Here’s a look at Halloween 2020 at The International Preschools:
At The International Preschools, students, teachers, and their families celebrate holidays from around the world. As part of our ongoing international unit, families are invited to visit the IPS classrooms and teach the children about traditions, holidays, and other celebrations that are important to their culture. Recently, IPS commemorated Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, at both of our locations.
The season of giving is upon us, and it’s never too early to start teaching children about the importance of giving back to your community. Every year, The International Preschools participates in community service projects to help the less fortunate both locally and worldwide. Here are a few of the programs that our school proudly contributes to:
On occasion, IPS will publish an additional blog post during the week on special topics. MacKerrow Talcott, the librarian at The International Preschools, is our guest blogger this week.
As the librarian for The International Preschools, I am often asked questions about my favorite books. Recently, I was asked what was my favorite holiday-themed book. In honor of November being Picture Book Month, I wanted to share with you why this book is so dear to me.
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.