It’s time to play and celebrate International Fairy Day. At summer solstic, the boundary between the fantasy world and the real world is blurred.
This fantasy world doesn’t only appeal to kids:
Whether you see them as small winged tenders of the deep natural places of the earth, or as tall stately figures with fair skin and hair, there’s one thing for certain. The world has been absolutely captured by the Fairy Craze. These creatures appear on everything from mugs to t-shirts and have been the subject of children’s fairy tales and even supernatural romances. Fairy Day celebrates these incredible mythological creatures that have captured the imagination of people everywhere and their diverse history.
(Days of the Year: Fairy Day)
We spent some time roaming the forest and gardens, nurturing our senses and renewing our spirits. Seeing certainly topped the list as we looked for fairy houses, tucked in with the flowers and trees, marveling at all the tiny details, but there was still more. We could hear the soft forest sounds of birds and insects, the excited cries of kids as they found more fairy houses, and the gurgles of water here and there. The cool shade refreshed our skin from the hot touch of the sun. The flowers, grass, and trees perfumed the air to delight the sense of smell. Later on, we tasted fairy cupcakes and cold lemonade. Not at the fairy restaurant though, a people one.Are there any fairy events happening in your area? You can also create your own. Practically any large outdoor-friendly container will do to make a fairy garden. There are gazillions of books to read and local libraries may even have a fairy tale time. We often forget we can also just tell some fairy stories. Sing fairy songs, dance around in the yard, have a paper towel roll sword fight. Dress up in a towel to make a magic power cape.
For children, the boundary between the fantasy world and the real one is much less distinct than it is for adults. All too soon, the magic seems to disappear. What might you and your kids do to play and celebrate International Fairy Day?
P.S. This is part of a whole series of fairy play. Come play on the blog at 123kindergarten.com
Today, a colleague posted it’s Africa Day. How much does your child know about Africa? And you? Here are some ideas for children’s books about Africa. (Thank you Patrick Makokoro and the Nhaka Foundation for the inspiration for this post.)
The book A Is for Africa by Ifeoma Onyefulu is a combination of show and tell. The author is also a parent and photographer. While the text is geared for older kids, the pictures can be enjoyed by anyone of any age. The images remind us Africa is a huge continent of many countries with great diversity. We can visit in books.
A fun story with a rhyming text is We All Went On Safari by Laurie Krebs and illustrated by Julie Cairns. This is a counting story with not only the numbers in English but also in Swahili. Read more about the animals, the country of Tanzania, the Maasai people, and check the map included. A YouTube video of the book gives an example of how to say the numbers.
What happens if you lose a tooth in Africa? Is there a Tooth Fairy in Mali, West Africa? The answer to the question is in the delightful book by Penda Diakité and illustrated by Baba Wagué Diakité. I Lost My Tooth in Africa tells the story in both words and colorful pictures. Losing a tooth happens to children everywhere in the world and is an exciting time. We don’t stop to think about how cultures can be different for such small details. How else are things different in countries of Africa? How are they the same?
Baba shares two African proverbs with us, “Raising a child is like planting a tree. When it is tended well, you will enjoy its shade.” Families and communities are critical in supporting children’s development. One of the resources we use for raising children is story-telling. Words must go from old mouths to new ears. Our brains are hard-wired for stories, perhaps because we hear stories with our ears, see them on the page and in our mind, and treasure them in our hearts.
Children’s books about Africa share information about countries many of us can only dream of visiting. Do you know some other stories and books for kids about Africa?
May 1967 saw the start of a neighborhood that now stretches around the world and beyond time. This month marks Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood 50th anniversary. Right when we need him most, once again, we have his reminder to “Look for the helpers,” in the midst of terrible tragedy.
News coverage has shocked us and made our hearts tremble. Even in the midst of this though, the news also includes stories of the helpers. A woman rushed into the area when she heard children screaming and led them to safety, a taxi driver drove people all night to where they needed to go. More people and businesses have responded with whatever they can do. In Mister Rogers words, there are “always people who are helping.”
Whether children know what has happened or not, they are still affected because we are. If they have questions, we can explain something very sad happened and we are sad when we think about the people even though they are far away. In our own neighborhoods, is there someone who we can help? There are many ways children can help, too.
Some simple ways to help are to make a batch of cookies for someone who cannot get out much and deliver the cookies to them. At this time of year, there could be flowers in the garden. Pick some flowers together, put them in a jar, and take them to a neighbor. Kids themselves can help us sort out clothes that are too small for them or toys they don’t use anymore. These can be taken to a thrift store or other charity. Do you have any elderly neighbors that could use a hand weeding a garden? New families in the neighborhood might appreciate an invitation to go to the playground for some fun and sun.
No matter where we live, we might be able to show our kids what it means to be a helper. We have no idea what the future will bring for our children, but we can help them by giving them words and actions to live by. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood 50th Anniversary reminds us the world is our neighborhood and in it, there are helpers.
The calendar says time for some silliness with kids’ April Fool’s fun and what’s more fun than some easy pranks for kids and parents? Of course, one parent may need to coordinate with the kids. Since April Fool’s is happening on a weekend, instead of kids crawling into bed with the parents, the parents should … Continue reading Kids’ April Fool’s Fun – Easy Pranks for Kids and Parents→
What is Pink Shirt Day? Pink Shirt Day reminds us how to be friends and we celebrate it by wearing pink shirts. It started by a simple act of kindness and compassion with an anti-bullying message. This day was born ten years ago. A high school student noticed another student being bullied after he wore … Continue reading Pink Shirt Day Reminds Us How To Be Friends→
To celebrate World Read Aloud Day, grab a book, invite a kid or two to your lap, and read. Here’s a poem in the style of Dr. Seuss for inspiration: TAKE IT AWAY, WORLD READ ALOUD DAY Today, around the world, for all Will you hear this reading call? Will you read aloud today? This … Continue reading How to Celebrate World Read Aloud Day with Kids→
This weekend is the Olympics Closing Ceremonies. As the Games end, it’s a good time to think about what is the role of sports for kids? Perhaps, more importantly, how do we encourage young children in sports without pushing them? Family therapist and parenting expert Carleton Kendrick has some excellent suggestions for preschool kids. In … Continue reading Olympic Games #17– What is the Role of Sports for Kids?→
The Olympics are bright and vibrant with colors filling the days of the Games so today let’s fill the day with some Olympic color activities for kids. There is no doubt both kids and adults play with colors. Are the ads on TV in black and white? Are signs that warn of danger and how … Continue reading Olympic Games #15 – Olympic Color Activities for Kids→
Today’s Games event is Olympic Lego activities and play. Medals aren’t given out for toys but if they were, Lego would win the gold. Lego may look like a simple, humble toy but it gets the top score for both technical merit and artistic impression. Lego scores high for artistic expression as well. It is … Continue reading Olympic Games #14 – Olympic Lego Activities and Play→