The second theme in our Fireflies® February Curriculum Guide is all about the Tropics. On page 43 of the guide, we create handmade red-eyed tree frogs for some math fun. While frog counters would work just as well, we offer this alternative for those who may not have counters on hand. Remember that children have fantastic imaginations; it doesn’t take much to turn an everyday item into a theme-related prop!
And the Benefits of Classic Fairy Tales
by Katie Brazerol
Our second theme in January is all about classic stories. Classic stories and fairy tales have long been passed down from generation to generation. Stories such as “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” and “The Three Little Pigs” are well-known all around the world. Recently, however, classic stories have come under scrutiny for being violent or inappropriate for children. While original versions of traditional classics often have disturbing endings, many authors have done a fantastic job retelling the original stories so the events and outcomes are less harsh—without compromising the moral or the flow of the story.
In addition to exposing children to classic tales, we also encourage you to offer stories in a variety of ways. Offer audiobooks, look for online video versions, and invite local community members or the children’s families to come to your setting to read aloud to the group. Here we have provided two read-aloud versions of the story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, as part of an activity in the Fireflies guide on Tuesday, January 24 (p. 45). The first story is traditional while the second option provides a little spin on the classic tale. Invite the children to view one of the stories. Continue reading
by Cora Miller
New Year’s Eve will be celebrated soon. How do you explain what the holiday is all about to young children? Keep your explanation simple. Explain that New Year’s Eve is a holiday that celebrates the end of one year and the beginning of another. Parties and celebrations are held all across the country to welcome the new year! Show the children a calendar from 2016 and one from 2017, if possible.
by Katie Brazerol
This fun little experiment will help children begin to understand the concept of density. The activity is featured in our December Fireflies® Curriculum on page 17.
- unbreakable clear glass or jar
- vegetable/canola oil
- pancake syrup or dark corn syrup
- small items (marble, bell, plastic lid, button, paper clip)
Step 1: Talk with the children about density. Density is the amount of parts squished together to make up a liquid. The more tightly packed the parts are, the more dense the liquid. (This is difficult concept to explain, so experiments like this will provide a visual aid.)
Repurpose extra cardboard to create a set of dominoes for your little learners! Dominoes are great for practicing one-to-one correspondence, spatial relations, and turn-taking. This activity is featured in our Fireflies® November Curriculum Guide (p. 35).
by Judy Mullican
Depending on where you live, the leaves may be changing colors or may be about to change soon. Even if you live in an area that does not experience fall color, leaves offer many opportunities for fun and learning! Some plants naturally produce leaves that are red, yellow, or orange all the time. Leaves also come in different shapes and sizes. Take your children outside to explore! (Caution: As always, be sure to explore safely. Check Know Your Plants or other sites to find out if any plants in your surroundings are poisonous or cause skin irritation.)