Monthly Archives: February 2014

March Came in Like a…..

I’m over winter.  Yes, it’s still February, and yes, the forecast is hinting at yet another winter storm for this weekend.  But I have decided I’m officially moving on to spring!  So it’s time to pose the all important annual question: Will March come in like a lion or a lamb?

This is a fun question to pose to kids.  It helps them learn about both similes and weather.  I like to make this lion/lamb puppet.  It has a lion on one side and a lamb on the other so that kids can report on the weather regardless.

March Lion

March Lion

Just get a yellow circle and brown tissue paper and use these to make a lion face with a mane.

March Lamb

March Lamb

Then use a white circle and white tissue paper to make a lamb face.  Glue the circles back to back on a popsicle stick to make the lion/lamb puppet.

Another fun activity to spark some creative writing is to ask children to make up their own animal similes about the weather at the beginning of March.  For example, if it is rainy, March might come in like a fish.  If it is snowy, March might come in like a polar bear.  Kids can get really creative with this activity, especially if you have them illustrate the similes the write.

Here’s hoping for some lamb-like weather very soon!

 

Winter Olympics

Olympic Fever anyone?!?!  I have always loved the Olympics, especially the Winter Olympics.  When I was little, I even held Barbie Olympics for my dolls complete with medals made of gold, silver, and bronze sequins.  Such fun memories!  In fact, there are so many fun activities that go along with the Olympics:

  • Read Koala Lou by Mem Fox.  This is more of a summer Olympics story, but I never pass up any opportunity to read this darling story about a koala who enters the Olympics to impress her mom.
  • Make torches using toilet paper rolls for the torches and tissue paper for the flames.
  • Make flags out of construction paper.  They can be very simple.  For example, for the French flag, just get a 9″x12″ piece of white construction paper and glue a 4″x9″ piece of blue construction paper on one end and then a 4″x9″ piece of red construction paper on the other.  Voila!  A French flag!  This same format also works for several other countries with their own colors.  Have kids march along while holding their flags while playing the Olympic music by John Williams.  Instant Parade of Nations!!
  • Use paper plates as skates on carpet.  Just put them down, step on the plates, and skate around.  They slide along beautifully!
  • Make medals or find medals stickers for kids to wear.

    Olympics

    Olympics

These are just a few ideas.  I’m sure you can come up with others as well.  The Winter Olympics can make winter fun for everyone!

Valentine Mailbox Bags

Valentine’s Day is almost here!  Let me share my favorite Valentine’s Day bag with you.  Sure, it’s always fun to get a white paper lunch bag and decorate it with all the extra hearts and doilies you might have around, but this mailbox bag is extra special!

I like it for several reasons.  First, I think it’s cute and clever.  The red, white, and blue bag is also fun to make in February if you are focusing on patriotic themes like President’s Day or (this year at least) the Olympics.  It also works great with a community helpers unit – study post offices and postal workers the week of Valentine’s Day.  In addition to making these darling mailboxes, have kids mail real letters to themselves.  I LOVE these fun heart stamps I found this year for mailing my Valentine’s Day cards.

Valentine Mailbox Bags

Valentine Mailbox Bags

The bags are very simple to make.  First get a paper lunch bag.  I was lucky enough to find these cool blue ones at Target a few years back.  If you can’t find those though, white or brown paper lunch bags will work too – just cut blue squares to glue on the lower halves of the bags.  Glue red dome shapes on the upper halves of the bags.  Glue white name plates across the middles of the bags.  Have kids write their names and decorate them with hearts and stickers.  Set the mailbox bags up and let the Valentine’s Day mail delivery begin!

February Author of the Month: Tomie dePaola

My choice for the February Author of the Month is Tomie dePaola.  I like his books for February because they all have themes of families, caring, and love.  He even signs his name with a little heart – perfect for Valentine’s Day month!

I don’t usually do individual activities or projects with his books – simple is best in this case.  This is helpful in the very busy yet very short month of February.  Instead, I like to read them aloud and have children practice making text to self connections and text to text connections.  His books provide lots of great opportunities for using the strategy of making connections with such loving descriptions of his family and childhood memories as well as retellings of familiar and not so familiar folktales.  Every kid can find something relatable in his books.

I also love to end the month with his book “Snip, Snip, Little Lambs,” a cute story about early spring that is a great springboard for a discussion about whether March will come in like a lion or a lamb.

For now though, it looks like more snow is on the way, so curl up with a blanket and a good Tomie dePaola book!