Holiday Thank You Cards as a Family Ritual

Gratitude is a gift you give back lovingly, not a chore to be forced.   SO, how can we, as parents, set this up for success for our children to take on this task with pride and wholeness of heart?   We make it into a full family ritual, complete with sounds, smells, tastes, and a Thank You Card (or Method) that incorporates their personality and their abilities.  Make sure to do it each year the week after Christmas, or the Hanukka events, or whatever holiday you celebrate, and it will be a cherished memory, and a lifelong tradition they can share with their children.  When done with love, it helps them embrace an important life skill: an attitude of gratitude.

Although it will take some prep time on your part (see below), when your family sits down to complete the task, make it special, and give it plenty of time.  

  • SOUND:  Put on some enjoyable Winter Music, or some of your favorite children’s Christmas songs, or music specific to your holiday.  Our family’s favorite is the Charlie Brown Christmas album (LOVE that JAZZ).  Or the Winter Wonderland album.   NOTE:  The title song is a FREE DOWNLOAD during December, a special gift from Kindermusik International.
  • TASTE:  Serve hot chocolate, or spiced cider, and a few nibbler treats to munch on (choose to serve before, during, or after, based on what works best for your family.)  Many times, we are still working on finishing off our Gingerbread houses.  
  • SMELL:  Add a delightful aroma with some of your favorite candles or essential oils of the season.  This year, a special family gave me a “Twisted Peppermint” candle – a perfect addition to our tradition.
  • TOUCH:  Set up the table with all the things you need to make this successful and free of stress.

First, consider the best method that YOUR child will enjoy to make MULTIPLE  Thank You cards.  Take into account their ability level, and their personality.   Each one of these activities allows the child to share a bit of themselves in a way that makes them feel special for “giving back”, without overwhelming them with the task.  Combine the ideas, and make them your own.  If you have any of your own, please add them in the comment section.

PICTURES:  For a baby or any child who is not yet able to write, take a photograph of the child with the objects given to them by each specific person/family.  They may be wearing the new outfit, or playing with the toy, or even sleeping with it under their arm.  This can be emailed with a quick note, or printed and sent by mail with a handwritten note below the picture, or on the back.  IF gifts are given personally, it is an awesome memory to take a picture of the giver, the child, and the gift while they are together.  For your child, when they are ready, it is a great idea to have a picture of each family and friend in a photo album that is easy for them to use.   Review these family photos, and talk about which person gave them which gift, and maybe help them remember some details of that family member.   These pictures can be looked at again and again, with stories weaved in to make the family tapestry strong.  BOTH my children repeatedly sought out and  lingered over family pictures in their baby books – mesmerized as young children are with faces.  As they got older, we had to call each one… even if just to listen to the other family member talk.

Thank You stampINK STAMPS:   There is an amazing array of stamps on the market now because of Scrapbooking.   For children able to use stamps (but not write well), get a STAMP with their NAME on it.  For the very young, you may use a self inking stamp (to avoid patches of ink everywhere), but the regular stamps offer more of a variety with children just a bit older.   Ink pads come in a variety of colors, so get a few of their favorites, and let them choose which color to use.  Or, of course, you can have them use their markers to color the stamp any way they want, and then stamp it on the paper.  You may even take them to the store, to choose a few stamps that reflect their interests, ie. trains, animals, or royal accessories.   Cut a sheet of card stock into four postcards and let them decorate both sides with their “personality stamps” and their NAME stamp on ONE side at the BOTTOM, and let dry.  Parents can write the address on one side, and on the side with the name, a quick note commenting on how their child reacted to the gift.   If they are starting to write, you may have them write just the NAME of the person it is for.  Help them “picture” the person in their head by showing pictures, or telling stories of fun times they had together.

COPY ART / SIMPLE THANK YOU:  Maybe your child can trace or write THANK YOU ! and their NAME, and add their own art work to a sheet of paper.  This page can be color copied, as many as you need, full size, or even half size on the top of a full sheet of paper, allowing the parents to add a few handwritten details at the bottom. 

FORM LETTERS:   For those children who are able to write a bit, but get bogged down in the repetitiveness of the Thank You note, appreciate having a Form letter with many of the words already written.   This can easily be done on the computer by the parent, or even better, the parent and child working together to design it.  A normal Word document with expanded margins, with two columns, on a horizontal page can fit FOUR “postcards”.  See, or even USE my sample.

Dear _________________,                                                                                            December 2011

Single Snowflake

 

Like a single snowflake, you are unique,

and you have brightened my world with

the gift of your friendship.

I especially want to thank you for

_____________________________

_____________________________

_____________________________

The world is a more beautiful place because of you !

May your new year be filled with beautiful unique adventures!

                                                                                  __________________,      ___________

Cora (almost 8 years old) wanted a snowflake this year, so we found a good image online and we worked on the words together.  She can, and would be willing to write this ONCE, but would fight tooth and nail if she had to write it multiple times.  Once printed and cut into postcards, she can personalize each one by just writing the NAME of the person, and the gift received, as well as a short comment about her reaction to it.  Then she can decide how to end it, and add her name.   Actually, she is choosing to cut each postcard a little smaller and send each one in an envelope this year, along with a paper snowflake that she has cut out herself (a good use for all the snowflakes that seem to be multiplying at my house.)

Even my 16 year old son, James, likes using the Form Letter format.  He just types in the information instead of leaving blanks.  This is only for the family and friends who don’t use text messaging… the current means of ANY communication for a teenager.  Handwriting, as I am told, is no longer used to communicate.  Except, as I tell him, for those few family members who consider his handwriting a treasure of their own.

SHORT & SWEET VIDEO:  For all the drama kings and queens out there, especially those with parents who have access and knowledge of video taking and sharing, there is ALWAYS the personal Thank You video.  Cora got one of her wishes fulfilled when Grammy sent her matching outfits for her and her American Girl doll.  Within the hour, She had to put the outfits on both her and her doll, then pose for pictures, and showcase her gift and her appreciation via a short video taken on my smartphone and texted to Grammy.   Then we called her to make sure she got it, and they had a grand discussion.  YES, she will still be sending a Thank You card in the mail because these things mean a lot to Grammy.  But the immediate nature of communication these days offers a LOT of options ! 

Whereas, my teenage son won’t even let me take a picture of him.  What is up with that ??!!

PLEASE share your ideas for Holiday Thank You Methods with me as well !

Advertisements

Bunny Rabbits – Funny Habits

 

Hiding in the grass

 Bunnies just look soooo cuddly that it is a natural  impulse to want to pick them up and hug them.  Luckily we have a lot of stuffed animals for little children to do just that.   Wild rabbits are actually very timid creatures (some children can really relate to them), and it is fun to explore their unique habits through a variety of rhymes, songs, stories, and activities.  (It may also share with some children how timid and shy creatures still live very happy lives.)  These are some of my favorites offered by a variety of authors and sources, including Kindermusik, and a few of my own.

Personally, my favorite Easter icon is the egg  (see my eggcellent egg post).  But, this is the semester we move like, sound like, act like, and celebrate ANIMALS, and the animal of the day is the BUNNY RABBIT!Enjoy the activities that work best for your family.  AND SHARE with me some of YOUR Favorites too.   I do hope you have a wonderful Easter !

                                                DESCRIBE the BUNNY

 I’m a Little Bunny   by Jan Brennen
(Sung to “I’m a Little Teapot”)   Take time for the actions with your child.

I’m a Little Bunny, in a field I lie,               (curl up on the floor like a rabbit)
Here is my nose, and here are my eyes.   (point to body parts)
Here’s a bushy tail that likes to wiggle,     (wiggle tail area)
Tickle me and I might giggle.                         (… just do it !)

I’m a Little Bunny, soft and sweet,              ( front “paws” pet each other)
Here are my ears, and here are my feet.   (touch body parts)
When I’m in the garden, I look for treats,     (hop around and look)
And nibble on all I like to eat.                         (pretend to nibble on food)

***  This is also fun to with a little baby as “the bunny”.  Make eye contact, use an expressive voice, and adapt the actions to be “ON” the baby.

*** Older children may like to use a stuffed rabbit, or rabbit puppet, to make the motions, with this, or any of these rhymes or songs.)

It might be good to find a book that describe the true habits of rabbits.

 —————————————————————–

Outside Fun

 This Kindermusik song (an old folk song) is perfect to explore so much of HOW a rabbit may move or act.    

What Shall We Do when we all go out, All go out, all go out.
What shall we do when we all go out, All go out to play?

Let’s all hop like a rabbit, A rabbit, a rabbit,

Let’s all hop like a rabbit, When we go look for food.

  • Twitch your nose like a rabbit . . .   – So we can smell the food.
  • Let’s all munch on a carrot . . .         – Crunch, crunch, crunch…
  • In the dirt, we’ll dig a hole . . .          – And that will be our home.
     
  • Listen carefully with my long ears . . .   – So danger we can hear
  • Hide in a hole when there’s danger . . .  – Until we know it’s safe.

*** Perhaps you can tell that this is sort of a story within a song.  Follow the pattern consistently and talk about the story, and the children will pick up on the pattern, and begin to tell the story themselves.

 

Fun HOPPING  Activity Ideas

  • Hop from the squatting position
  • Have a hopping race to a finish line
  • Play hopping tag
  • Listen for sounds, then find the source.
  • A person can hide with a specific sound, then others can listen and find them.

 

My Bunny Hops All Through the Garden

(Sung to “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”)  To sing while playing tag!

My bunny hops all through the garden,  My bunny hops all through the yard:
I like to play tag with my bunny,  But trying to catch him is hard.
Come back, come back, Oh, come back, my bunny to me, to me.
Come back, come back, Oh, come back my bunny to me. 

———————————————————————

“Danger Training”

This Kindermusik rhyme focuses on one of the most unique characteristics of rabbits, HIDING when there is danger.  

Of course, it can be fun in many ways, such as enjoying  finger play where the fingers hop about and finally into the hole made by a criss crossed lap.

Here’s a Bunny with Ears So Funny

And here’s a hole in the ground,

At the first sound he hears (make noise)

He pricks up his ears,

And hops right into the ground.

This is a great opportunity to teach your child what to do when there is danger.  Talk about dangers that may occur, and what you want your children to do in those instances.  Agree upon cue words to start the hiding process, such as “Danger, hide inside.”  Agree upon a specific safe hiding spot, and practice playing “Rabbit danger”.  The children should wait quietly until “mother bunny” comes get them. 

After one spot is learned, try other safe hiding spots in the home and yard, so they don’t panic if they can’t get to that one.  Hopefully, it will always be a game.  But if there’s ever a need, you’re child will have the skills to handle it and is less likely to panic.

Book Recommendation: “The Runaway Bunny” Margaret Wise Brown

Although the little bunny is in NO danger, When he wants to run away from home, his mother assures him that she will run after him and find him because she loves him.  This is a reassuring message that fills a child’s heart and mind with connection, hope, and love.

———————————————————————–

Eating Time Fun

 Try this as a finger play when your child is sitting in their high chair (like This Little Piggy)

 

This Little Bunny

likes food that’s GREEN.
This little bunny thinks carrots are keen.
This little bunny likes food that’s yellow
This little bunny is a hungry fellow.
This little bunny nibbles away
At apples and celery every day!

  • Touch each of five fingers while reciting.
  • Recite during food time when eating “rabbit food” (veggies) and replace the underlined words with foods on the table.

 ***  Rabbits love to eat raw plants of all colors:

Green:  lettuce, celery, broccoli, cabbage, sugar snap peas

Orange: carrots, sweet potato, cantalope

Yellow:  yellow squash, corn, pears

Red:  apples, papaya, tomatoes

Lay out a garden spread for your little bunny with various things to spread on it or dip it in, such as:  honey, peanut butter, dressing, caramel, cheese, cream cheese, etc.

For fun, here are directions on how to make a bunny pear salad.

My son’s favorite quote while eating carrots:

“Eheheheh,

What’s up, doc ?”

 

What kind of bunny fun is hopping around YOUR house?

Spice your Summer with Family Storytelling

Storytelling IS the ORIGINAL way to help children learn about values, people, history, concepts, almost anything.  The best teachers throughout history, and across cultures, were good storytellers.  Stories may now be presented in books, in movies, or even on CD-ROM, but the joy of telling the story person to person goes beyond the story, it sets up a bond between the tellers and listeners that just FEELS right.  Tellers can see when the eyes register understanding, and can modify the story to the people and issues at hand.  Never underestimate the power of a STORY !!!

PLUS, it’s SUMMER.  This is a great time for storytelling !  Make it a summer of collecting and telling stories.  Tell stories at the beach while building a sand castle together.  Tell stories around the campfire (even in your own back yard.)  This is actually a HUGE topic, there are multiple year courses in Storytelling, and professionals that would BLOW your socks off.  But here, we are just parents… with children who love stories.  How to start??? 

Even if your child is just an infant – Look at them in the eyes, and with an expressive voice, and full body gestures, tell them – well, ANY STORY – personal, historical, classic nursery, cultural.  Best TIP: make it something that you are enthusiastic about.  They will be enthralled to listen to you tell them something… well, something other than what they are supposed to be doing, or not doing, at the moment.  Another good tip:  ANYTIME is a good time, but Bedtime is a GREAT time.

THEN let the CHILD tell you their stories, even if it is just what happened when they found a caterpillar on the ground, or if they simply retell a familiar story, like the 3 Little Pigs.  When they can tell a good story, have them call Grandma to tell her the story too.  I’ll bet she has a good one to tell in return. 

Create family FAVORITES, and tell them regularly.  Write them down, VIDEO them, anything to keep the stories alive !  We even have a funny family story that someone drew a comic strip about.  These are treasures that will last a lifetime, and will give a child a good foundation for understanding who they are and how they fit into this world.  When children have a solid sense of belonging, they are less likely to find their identity elsewhere.    

Initiate telling a story – without using pictures or a book. 

Choose a story you are familiar with – a classic such as The Three Little Pigs, or a personal story, something funny that may have happened to you as a child.  Another good choice might be to retell one of their favorite book stories, which you might have read a hundred times already (Quick TIP: Be prepared to be corrected if you deviate from any specific words – just tell them, “I’m telling the story, and I’ll tell it my own way.  It’s OK!”) 

Set up the child(ren) in a place where they can see you clearly, but not easily distracted by items close by, (or able to get away easily).  I used to tell stories to James while he was in his high chair eating a meal, or while sitting in his stroller, or lying in bed.  (The High Chair is the baby object I miss the most.  We had such fun times when he couldn’t run away).

Just start telling the story.  It doesn’t matter if you tell it absolutely right.  It matters more HOW you tell it.   

  1. Talk in an animated way – with a lot of emotion and motion.  Have the “characters” speak using different voices (higher, lower, nasal, breathy, etc.)
  2. Keep good eye contact.  Look around to illustrate a point, but always return to their eyes. 
  3. Move around using your arms, body, and facial expressions.  This may be uncomfortable at first if you are not used to it, but your child makes a great audience, and will LOVE IT !!!
  4. Feel free to embellish, to connect with something they like, or to make a point, or simply to make it even more fun for you.  Goldilocks may have been air dropped by helicopter into the forest by her red-headed Aunt Gertrude, after she was TOOO picky to eat the food served to her and wouldn’t go to sleep.

Kindermusik offers a special summer adventure camp, called TELL ME A TALE for big kids (4 ½ – 8 years old) that tunes in to some fabulous stories from around the world – expanding on them with sound effects, MUSIC, crafts, costumes, and dramatic play.   I am excited to be offering that camp this summer – in the afternoons during the week of July 19.  See more details on my website:  http://musiconnx.yourvirtuoso.com .   Enroll right away, there are only a few spots left. 

Stay TUNED to get the lowdown for the benefits of storytelling, AND for fun, creative story telling activities for families ! 

How does YOUR child respond to the stories you tell ???

Connecting with a child, a hand, and a story

“Connection… is the key to cooperation.”  These are powerful words by Becky Bailey.  As most of you know, I fully believe she is heaven sent to help all of us adults (parents, teachers, etc) learn the best ways to help ourselves and our children develop successful life and relationship skills.  

The following is an excerpt from her latest e-newsletter, and relates directly to our developmentally focus in many of my classes, inhibitory control – the ability of a person to control their own actions.  Music is an excellent way to help teach children to enjoy stopping, or moving slowly, or playing the drum at the correct time… through playful interactions.  Becky helps us keep in mind that much of the child’s ability for self control comes from the adults love and shared belief that the child can be successful.

“Connection is the cornerstone to Brain Smart® learning and the key to cooperation. Adults sometimes perceive behavioral or academic problems as children “being mischievous” or “trying to get attention.” The inability to focus attention or control one’s impulses, however, indicates more than laziness, disobedience or lack of intelligence. Missing or emerging neural connections between the body and the mind are often at the heart of the matter. Connection literally wires the brain for impulse control, and so establishing strong bonds is helpful for easing problem behavior, increasing cooperation and developing healthy neural patterns. Using I Love You Rituals throughout your day is an easy, immediate way to begin increasing the bonds between you and the children in your care.

Below is a ritual that, like all I Love You Rituals, is designed to facilitate connection. As you conduct this ritual, focus on the four necessary aspects of a meaningful connection: Eye contact, touch, presence and a playful setting. You can find more of these delightful activities in the book, “I Love You Rituals” by Dr. Becky Bailey. 

Story Hand
Tell the child, “It is story time.” The child will probably think you are going to read a book. Instead, take his/her hand and tell a reassuring or encouraging story about a success, concern or event in the child’s day.

Start with the pinky finger, giving it a nice massage and saying, “This little finger wanted to learn how to ride a two-wheel bicycle.” (The story you tell will be based on your child’s life. I am using the success story of learning to ride a bike as an example.) Go to the next finger and give it a massage, saying, “This finger was a little afraid that he might fall off.” Continue to the next finger, saying, “But this finger said, ‘I can do it. I just know I can.’” At the index finger, continue with the story, “So he decided to try and try again.” Finally, massage the thumb and say excitedly, “Did he do it? Did he do it?” Then tuck the thumb into the palm of the child’s hand make a reassuring statement: “No problem. All the fingers knew she [or he] would do it all the time.”

I have so much to recommend, but here is where to start getting Brain Smart !

Just TRY this wonderful finger play with your child – focusing your storytelling on some success your child has had recently.

Check out her website:  http://www.consciousdiscipline.com/

Subscribe to her monthly newsletter (on the left of her website).

Check out the TOP 10  To Dos in the Free Stuff on her website.

Just know…  these teachings can help you become a better parent.  It helped me, and continues to help me over time.  So has Kindermusik – in many similar ways.   These help me connect with my child, and continually re- focus on the vision of a child who thrives – loving and living life to the fullest.

Tell me what you think !   PLEASE comment and tell me your thoughts about this wonderful finger play and how it worked with your child.  OR tell us what kind of “Love Rituals” you share in your home?

Anybody want to discuss Becky Bailey, her philosophy, her books, her MUSIC, etc.?  I’ve got LOTS of her materials I can show you.   And lots to share on trying to implement these ideas.  I STILL have so much to learn – let’s do it together !

Christmas Bells – The Sound of Pure Love

Bells for hundreds of years have served many purposes.  Bells call people to worship and prayer.  They sound warnings and alarms.  They beckon ships to safe harbors.  They celebrate birth and new life, and they peal in announcement of death.  They are rung during Christmas to announce the arrival of the season, to proclaim the birth of Christ.

I loved this description from the website, www.HolidayInsights.com     

Ringing of bells can be traced back to pagan winter celebrations. During those times, noisemakers were used to scare away evil spirits in the night. Among those early noisemakers were bells. People had fun ringing the bells and making noise. It was too much fun to just use bells to scare demons away. So over time, bell ringing was incorporated into other events and activities. Bells are rung at churches to call people to gather, as warnings, and to bring people together to make announcements.

From these ancient roots, the ringing of bells began to be used in the Christian Christmas season. The soft, cheerful tones blended well and enhanced the sounds of the season. Today, they play an important, traditional role during the holiday.

Carolers soon began bringing bells to accompany their voices, both hand bells and jingle bells were used.  It became such a tradition, a song was written about it.  In this video, Nat King Cole sings a smooth-as-butter version of  “Christmas Bells are Ringing”.

In the classic Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, a ringing bell is associated with an angel earning his wings – sharing the idea that it is a celebration of personal growth.  You might incorporate that idea by having a bell in your home that is rung whenever anyone in the family achieves personal growth.

Here in our midst, as well as around the world, there are many who struggle every day.  The bells they hear at Christmas brings them hope, in Christ, and in some much needed help from those who can give.  Mary Chapin Carpenter wrote a song “Bells Are Ringing” to help draw our attention to those in need.  It is a beautiful song, and a touching video.

When you hear the bells of the Salvation Army, keep in mind that each of those people ringing the bells are giving of their time to be there, and that the money raised is as important NOW as it has ever been. 

Let the sound of the bell ring in your heart as the sound of celebration, the sound of hope, … the sound of pure love.

Thanksgiving Games for Family Memories

Thanksgiving Rituals are for making memories, and GAMES are memorable.  NONE of these ideas cost a thing, except a little time.  And to children, love is spelled T-I-M-E.

turkey-historyThanksgiving Song Writing

Try out this song that is included in “A Year of Fun,  Just for Fives” by Theodosia Spewock.  (This is a fabulous series by the way, from birth to 5)

Sing the following words to “The Farmer In the Dell”.  Sing it LOTS of times with the children so they are comfortable with the words, and the motions I’ve added.)

·         Thanksgiving Time is Here  (both hands as an open gesture)

·         Let’s give a great big cheer (Arms up in the air and shout “Hoo – Ray!”) 

·         For food and friends and family. (with right fingers, touch mouth, hand & heart)

·         Thanksgiving time is here.  (same as above)

NOW, for some before meal fun (even during the days before).  Allow the children to re-write some of the words.  Start by making a list of the things they are thankful for – get as many ideas as possible.  Then review the list, and have them choose what they want to change to the third, and possibly fourth line (if more room is needed).  You may also ask them what they might use differently as a CHEER, like “Cool Beans!”, “Whoo-Whoo!”, “That’s PHAT!” (Pretty Hot and Tasty actually works here), or even “Go Gators!”.  Then have them practice their OWN song.

During the Thanksgiving meal is a great time for the children to share their songs.  Be aware that some may not want to “perform” their own song, they may feel more comfortable with having MOM, sing it for them (or whoever helped them write their song).  THAT’S OK!  At such young ages, they are still so connected that if they choose who sings it, it provides them the same sense of pride as if they sang it themselves.  Give options:  Would you like to sing it, or would you like (someone else) to sing it, or do you want to sing it together”.  “If (someone else) sings it, do you want to make the cheer?”  Why do we offer these options?  Because we want to form POSITIVE MEMORIES of family togetherness, not pressure or stress.

Asked to write a composition entitled, “What I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving,”
little Timothy wrote, “I am thankful that I’m not a turkey.”

maleturkeyThankful Turkey Round Up

Cut out or draw dozens of pictures of turkeys (a copier might come in handy).  Have as many family members as possible fill out ONE thing they are thankful for on the body of the turkey.  That morning, or when they arrive, have young children make their OWN turkey by tracing around their hand on white paper, coloring their fingers different colors for the feathers, and decorating their thumb as the head of the turkey.  In the body of the turkey, write their answer to “What does your heart feel thankful for?” (this sometimes elicits more thoughtful responses).  Then cut out their hand art, making sure to leave makeshift turkey feet at the bottom.

Hide them around the house and have a turkey hunt (make sure to count them first, so you know how many should be found).  When a child finds a turkey, they must make the turkey sound “gobble, gobble”.  All the children can bring the turkeys they find to a place you have designated as the Thankful Turkey Roundup.   There is no competition, just a gathering of the turkeys until they are all found.

Once all of the turkeys have been gathered, you CAN have a “gobbling” contest.  Each participant can have their individual time to gobble (make sure the video is running).  Instead of choosing a winner, I recommend highlighting what was positively unique about each person’s gobbling technique.  “Sara wins the Sweetest sounding turkey.”  Of course, there is always the LOUDEST turkey, or the Drama Queen turkey, or the most melodic turkey, the Turkey that most sounded like a Bear.  Have fun awarding each child their title, and include their new Turkey Title on their personal Turkey that they drew with their hand.  These are great memory keepsakes, and fit easily into a journal, scrapbook, or memory box.  Make sure to include the year!  What a wonderful set of memories could be gathered over the years.

You may also want to include a fun variation that gets the adults involved as well.  Have ONE person read each of the “thankful” comments on each of the turkeys one by one.  After each comment, ask “Who’s THIS TURKEY?” and everyone has to Guess WHO made that comment.   It can be a fun way to get to know each other better, and have some fun sharing the spirit of the holiday.

For more ideas for Thanksgiving Rituals, check out my following blog postings:

Over the River and Through the Woods, through Kindermusik we Go

Includes the words to the classic song, as well as a variety of ways to enjoy the song, and pictures of some students enjoying a sleigh ride last week.

 

Music Connections is wishing you a jazzy Thanksgiving

Watch a video clip of a Peanuts Thanksgiving

 

For more information on Family Routines and Rituals, look to these sources:

MY blog posting:  Routines and Rituals are critical for children

This is a simple introduction to the difference between routines and rituals.  It also introduces Becky Bailey’s book called “I Love You Rituals”, which is a wonderful book that spells out, in detail, how to connect with your children more than you ever thought possible.  Although, Kindermusik rituals allows families the opportunities to learn these types of connecting activities together, practicing them in fun ways, and extending the ideas to personal family preferences.

 

FAMILY ROUTINES AND RITUALS MAY IMPROVE FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS AND HEALTH, ACCORDING TO 50-YEAR RESEARCH REVIEW

Excellent Research article – http://www.apa.org/releases/rituals2.html

 

The Joy of Family Traditions website, http://www.joyoffamilytraditions.com, offers books and workshops to help families get to the “heart” of the holidays, and every day.  Oooh, some of those workshops sound really wonderful!

See:  Tradition of the month to find fun ideas for Thanksgiving rituals

See:  Appearances:  Radio Broadcasts – They do Radio Talk shows, and are schedule twice in Nov. and once in December.  The first option is on Wed., Nov. 26th at 7:20 am. on a digital radio that is accessed online.

 

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!!  May your memories linger pleasantly for generations!

Debbie Mondale

Mother’s Day Sing-a-long and Traditions

This sweet animated clip features a mother spider and her loving child, who is singing about how his mother loves him just because he is her child.  The words are included, and I know you and your child will enjoy watching and singing along with this one!

You may even enjoy coming up with your own words to the song, pointing out specific things that you love about each of your children, and what they love about you.  No matter what their age is, children thrive on hearing all the different things you love about them.  Adults do too.

Mother’s Day is also a wonderful time to retell the story of your child’s birth, from the moment there was a desire in your heart for a child through to the day they were born.  This tradition will become a beloved bonding experience each year. 

Since I wrote a song for each of my children before they were born, I include that song in their story.  Other parents I know CHOSE a favorite song to represent their love.  To see a list of songs parents have chosen to be a special connection with their child, see my resources blog posting:   Songs for Mothers and Fathers 

I also bring out the artwork that I did while I was pregnant,  (I crafted a little baby and several acessories out of beeswax modeling clay), as well as their artwork from each Mother’s Day.  I keep them all in a treasure box to bring out for special occasions, like this and their birthdays, and even days when I can tell they just need to be reassured of their worth.  Or sometimes, just for myself, when I need to refocus on the love that brought them into the world, instead of the daily frustrations that sometimes block that vision.

On Mother’s Day, and all the days of being a mother, even on the really tough days,  I wish you peace, contentment, and a full heart!  Life just wouldn’t be the same, it wouldn’t be so full of laughter, love, and learning, without our children.  I am so glad to be “MOM”!

Merry Melodies,
Debbie Mondale