Family Fun

Let Your Child’s Light Shine

You have probably shared smiles with your preschooler while singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” Now, carry that theme into your daily lives by helping your child shine his little light.

Try these simple tricks to reinforce positive behaviors and to remind your preschooler to twinkle:

* Make an “I Twinkled Today” clip by gluing a star shaped piece of cardstock onto a clothespin. Help your child color the star yellow and add glitter for shine. Write your child’s kindest actions on small pieces of paper, clip them to the clothespin, and place the clip on the dinner table to share shining moments each evening with the family.

* Help your child paint a baby food jar with glitter glue and cover it with star stickers. Every time your child twinkles, write the positive behavior on a small piece of paper and place it in the Twinkle Jar. When your child has a hard day, take out the messages and read them together. Remind your preschooler that a bright light shines inside each of us.

* Cut a poster board into the shape of a star. Every time your child twinkles, attach an inexpensive glow-in-the-dark plastic star to the Twinkle Chart. When the star completely twinkles, reward your child by hosting a Twinkle Party. Invite a few of your child’s friends and celebrate kindness.

For the party, be sure to add a little twinkle by decorating with white holiday lights. Drape them on a potted tree, or attach them tastefully along an outdoor porch or arbor. Take a moment to remind your child, “You light up my life.”

These concrete methods of reinforcement will emphasize the importance of considerate behaviors while also boosting the self-esteem of young children. Not to mention, your loving efforts will certainly brighten your child’s days.


Family Star

Enjoy learning the less familiar verses to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” which were originally written by Jane Taylor in 1806.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

Then the traveler in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark;
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

In the dark blue sky you keep,
While you thro’ my window peep,
And you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

As you sing, take time to look at the night sky. Find a place away from city lights and help your child chose a special wishing star. Encourage your family to choose a name for your special star, as you chant: Star Light, Star Bright/ First star I see tonight/ I wish I may, I wish I might/ Have this wish I wish tonight.

Build lifelong connections with your family by creating a Wish Journal. This will serve as a wonderful keepsake to track your family’s dreams over the years.

In the journal, also include detailed notes of the naming ceremony, a photograph of your special celestial space, or even a handmade chart to help your children find your family star long after they are grown.

Look up! Find a special star that will continue to shine and connect your family across the generations.


The Nature of Nurture

Many examples of nurturing behavior can be observed in nature. Explore your surroundings with preschoolers and strengthen your family bonds.

Point out the way both male and female birds work together to build a nest, protect fragile eggs, and feed their developing young. Talk about feeling safe in your own family nest (home) and how parents work diligently to provide for children. Discuss how baby birds follow the rules to stay safe, by remaining in the nest until they are encouraged to fly.

The paternal/maternal family structure is not limited to feathered friends. On-line, you can find pictures of the Titi monkey, whose males often carry their infants, or the Baboon, whose males have been known to adopt orphaned infants. Additionally, the Night monkey of Panama and the Marmoset are two mammal species who are well-known for working together as a male-female pair to care for their offspring.

When discussing animal relationships, do not forget to look in your own home. You may notice two familiar family pets snuggle together for a comforting nap. Discuss how nice it is to take time for cozy cuddles with the people you love, and encourage children to imagine the way animals might feel when they are with their animal friends versus their human friends. Discuss ways you can help your pets know they are a well-loved, important part of the family.

Visit a farm to observe a mother horse, cow, or pig nurse her young. Discuss how these mammals, like humans, can produce milk for their babies. Notice the relationships between siblings. Is their a runt? How is it treated by the others? Talk about the importance of sharing and helping younger siblings.

Help your children learn about the value of family structure by taking time to observe animal families all around you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s