Winter Solstice 2018: Celebrations at The International Preschools

Families and children come together for a sing-along in honor of the Winter Solstice.

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.

Exploring the concept of light using a light table and Magna-Tiles.

Throughout the month of December, students and teachers delve into the concepts of “light” and “dark.”  Some classes may make a list of objects that give us light (i.e. light bulbs, the sun, stars, candles); items such as these are available within the classroom for children to explore.  Books about nighttime, stars, and light are read to the children.  The concept of shadows and how to create them are a popular topic at this time of year as well.  Many classrooms use this curriculum to begin sharing holiday traditions; families have visited IPS to teach children about Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali, and the Scandinavian holiday of St. Lucia, to name a few.

Decorating moons and stars in honor of the longest night of the year:  Winter Solstice!

Each location will honor the Winter Solstice with a celebration in the days before IPS is closed for the holiday vacation.  Our music teacher, Mr. Doug, will lead parents, teachers, and children in a sing-along of numbers about light, including “This Little Light of Mine,” “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Light,” and “You Are My Sunshine,” as well as holiday songs in different languages.  During the sing-along, each child uses a flashlight and, during specific songs, moves the light around while the room is darkened to further enhance the light/dark curriculum.  Hand-held jingle bells are also used during the event to go along with certain holiday songs.  Afterwards, families and children will visit the classrooms, where they will enjoy an international potluck.  The gatherings serve as a wonderful way for the IPS community to come together and celebrate the holiday season.

Happy Winter Solstice to you and your family!

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