Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year/Months in the year

Book Ideas:
(I had a hard time finding good New Year books--Most were Chinese New Year stuff which I'll probably do later in the month. The idea of a new year can be a hard concept for preschoolers to understand. I've included a few book selections talking about the concept of "months in a year" to help your child's understanding of what it means to begin a new year.)

Goodbye Old Year, Hello New Year by Frank Modell
Marvin and Milton want to celebrate the coming of the new year but fall asleep before midnight.

P. Bear’s New Year’s Party by Paul Owen Lewis
P. Bear has sent invitations to all of his friends for a New Year's Party. On the big day a variety of animals arrive, starting with one whale and ending with a dozen penguins. The book is filled with black-and-white animals, and each page shows a clock as readers count the hours up to midnight.

Twelve Hats for Lena by Karen Katz
Lena creates hats appropriate for each month of the year.

My Love for you all Year Round by Susan L. Roth
Two mice describe their love in terms of the special characteristics of each month of the year.

Jump into January by Stella Blackstone
This seek-and-find book is full of things to look at as you journey around the changing year.

Songs and Rhymes:

Tune: “Happy Birthday”

Happy New Year to you.
May all your wishes come true.
Happy New Year my friend.
Happy New Year to you.

Tune: “The Farmer In The Dell”

The clock is ticking down.
Get ready for the sound.
Boom, Bang, it’s 12 o’clock
Fireworks all around!
(Hold up large clock. Move hands to 12 o’clock. Have child blow horn or use other noise makers.)

Tune: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”

Toot, toot, toot your horn,
Toot it loud and clear.
Toot it high and toot it low
To welcome the new year!

(Add additional verses, such as, Bang, bang, bang your drum; Ring, ring, ring your bell; Clap, clap, clap your hands; Stomp, stomp, stomp your feet.)

Tune: “Frere Jacques”

Bells are ringing.
People singing.
New Year’s here.
New Year’s here
Happy, Happy New Year
Happy, Happy New Year
Let’s all cheer.
New Year’s here!

Activity Ideas:

Idea #1: New Year's Noise Maker
Read one of the new year stories and then make a paper plate noise maker. Talk to your child about how it is a tradition to make loud noises when the clock reaches 12 midnight on New Year's Eve and people shout out Happy New Year!

Have your child decorate the back of a paper plate with crayons, markers, stickers, confetti, etc...

Then fold the plate in half and staple half way around the plate edge. Then let your child put a handful of dried beans or dried pasta noodles in the open half and then continue stapling the plate closed. If you want to add some ribbon, punch a few holes with a hole puncher on the edge and knot it. Then shake your noise maker. Practice counting down from 10 and then shaking your noise maker.

Idea #2: New Year's Horn

Read one of the New Year book titles and, again, talk about some of the noisy traditions that occur when the clock hits midnight. Then make your own New Year's Horn.
You will need a toilet or paper towel roll, a rubber band, and a small square of wax paper.

Cut one or two holes about one inch away from the bottom end of the tube. Put the wax paper square over the bottom end and keep it in place with the rubber band.

Then let your child decorate the tube. (You could have them decorate or paint it, before putting the horn together--either way). Then hum into the open end like a kazoo.

Idea #3: New Year Party Hat
Read one of the New Year books and then make a crazy party hat to wear on New Year's Eve.

You will need to print off a set of clocks, cut out two small rectangles of colored paper(I used the clocks to help me judge the size of the rectangles), two pipe cleaners, and a paper plate.

Cut your paper plate like the photo above and write Happy New Year or 2009 on the middle. Fold the middle part forward so that it will be standing up on your child's head. Have this ready before you start the activity with your child.

Next, (do this part in advance too), staple the pipecleaner to the inside of your rectangle and glue closed by folding the rectangle in half. Do the same thing to the other side. You may need to put something heavy on it to keep it closed until it dries.

Give your child the paper plate and a bunch of art supplies that you have on hand and let them decorate their hats however they want. They can color it, they can glue things to it, they could paint it---whatever they want to do to spice it up. Set it aside and let it dry.

Once it is dry add the clocks to the front of the rectangles and attach the pipecleaners to the rim of the hat.

Idea #4: Mini Month Book--A year at a glance

Read one of the book titles that talk about the months of the year and then make your own mini calendar book to help your child understand the sequence of events that happens in a year. This is a great way to help young children understand what it means to begin a new year since time is sort of hard for them to understand. Holidays and celebrations are a good reference point for understanding a continuum of time for kids. You will need 4 pieces of construction paper, each piece cut in four so that you have 16 small rectangles. Staple 13 of the rectangle pages together to make a book. Write the title "A month for everything" on the cover.

Label each page with the a different month, starting with January and continuing on in order.

Copy and paste each of the clip art pictures listed below into a word document, dragging the photo so you can fit 4 clip art pictures on a page. Then let your child color the pictures and cut them out.
February- valentine
March- leprechaun
May-Rose and butterfly (can symbolize mother's day or spring)
July- Flag
August- Beach
September- Fall Leaf OR Apple
November- Turkey
December- Christmas Tree
Birthday month- Cake

Helping them with the order, let your child glue the pictures on the right month. (Glue stick works best so that the pages don't get all stuck together with wet glue). Say the months out loud as your child is gluing. When their book is complete ask them questions like: "Can you tell me what holiday comes after Halloween?" (let them reference their book to find what picture comes after the Halloween page). For my 2 year old I simply would ask her to show me in her book where her birthday month was, or which one was Christmas etc...


Sarah said...

You have such fabulous ideas, Amy.
Thanks for posting them.
You really help me be a more crafty mom.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this great posts. I will be able to use them one of these days.
The kids back at home use coloring tools since they love to color, got one cool coloring pages for all occasions on

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