Winter Solstice at The International Preschools

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An IPS family taught a three-year-old class about Hanukkah, a festival of light.

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.

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A Pre-K class created a candle project to honor IPS’ December theme of “light” and “dark.”

During the month of December, classroom themes at The International Preschools center around the idea of “light” and “dark.” Students will identify objects that give us light, such as the sun, flashlights, and candles. Families are invited in to each location to teach children about the holidays and traditions that they honor. In recent years, there have been school-wide celebrations to honor “festivals of light” such as the Indian holiday of Diwali (in mid-November) and the Scandinavian holiday of St. Lucia. Many classrooms will read the book Celebrations of Light by Nancy Luenn, a picture book that gives children an overview of festivals of light around the world.

Last year's Winter Solstice Sing-Along at our 86th Street location was a great success! Here, children use flashlights as props during one of the songs.
Last year’s Winter Solstice Sing-Along at our 86th Street location was a great success! Here, children use flashlights as props during one of the songs.

In mid-December, each location hosts its own Winter Solstice celebration. Children and parents gather in the gym and participate in a sing-along with Mr. Doug, the school’s music teacher. Together, families sing international holiday songs in a variety of languages, as well as songs about light, including, “You Are My Sunshine” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Light.” After the sing-along, each classroom celebrates the Winter Solstice with an international potluck, where families can indulge, mingle, and celebrate the holiday season with their child’s classroom friends.

Come back next week, as we will be sharing some of the many holiday and light-based activities planned for the classrooms at The International Preschools!

To learn more about our school’s admissions process, click here.

Post a photo for your child’s winter solstice celebration on Instagram and share it with @international_preschools_nyc

To purchase Celebrations of Light by Nancy Luenn, Click Here to use Amazon Smile

 


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