Now that our son is getting a bit older, he is much more aware of our family’s traditions during this holiday season. In our case, we celebrate “Christmukkah” and appreciate books like this one that show families with many traditions celebrating them together. This week I want to share just a few resources for exploring our own experience as well as other cultures.
Book of the Week
If you are looking for a way to talk to kids about both Christmas and Hanukkah traditions, I recommend Lemony Snicket’s The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story. My kids are completely enchanted with this tale, which lends itself to very dramatic read alouds. They sometimes request, “Do the latke!” when I’m playing around with them. I searched for light-hearted Hanukkah books for years, and landed on this one, which is about a latke who escapes from being cooked in a hot frying pan. The story is laugh out loud funny, and touches on both Christmas and Hanukkah traditions.
App of the Week
I recently discovered the app Homes by Tinybop. I’m in love! The app is gorgeous and gives kids (and adults, ahem…) a peek into homes around the world. There are playful elements in each home that allow you to partake in household activities...even defleecing a sheep! Kids will especially benefit from you playing with them as they explore homes in different climates and cultures. I downloaded the accompanying learning guide for Homes to help inform our co-play with the app. The guide gives greater detail into the country and culture of each home, although I also pulled out our globe to facilitate our discussions about geography. Remember to check out the recommended resources at the end of the guide, too, like this great video and site about families around the world.
Craft of the Week
To extend your conversation about different cultures and places, try making a Montessor-inspired “pin prick map.” Here are the basics for using a toothpick to “cut.” If you have a map of the world, or even cardstock shapes of continents, you can then use a toothpick and construction paper to make a world map and get a pincer grip workout. My son made one of these at his school and loved this fun alternative to scissor cutting.
Next week, Jason Boog from Born Reading will be back with his selections!