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Calendar of the Season

March 2016

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  • Read Across America Day The National Education Association sponsors Read Across America Day – a nationwide reading celebration that takes place annually to coincide with Dr. Seuss's birthday. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books.
  • Dr. Seuss's Birthday Born in Massachusetts on March 2nd in 1904, Dr. Seuss wrote "The Cat in the Hat" and more than fifty other books. These books are fun, though sometimes tricky to read aloud. Others are written for beginning readers. Visit the library to find books that you can read on his birthday. If you are caring for children ages 3-7, they might enjoy a visit to Seussville.
  • Make a Bird Feeder Birds are starting to migrate. Make a bird feeder by covering a large pinecone with peanut butter and rolling it in birdseed. Hang from a branch where you can see it from a window.

    If your child has nut allergies, click here for a substitute for the peanut butter.
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  • The Iditarod race begins today! This 1149 mile (1849 kilometer) race across the state of Alaska includes dozens of mushers (dog sled drivers) and more than a thousand dogs. Follow all of the action at here.
  • Michelangelo's Birthday Michelangelo, born March 6, 1475, was an Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art.

    Talk with the children about how art makes them feel. If there is a lot of snow out side, ask the children to make a snow statue in honor of Michelangelo.
  • Chalk! Chalk on the sidewalk is great fun. Kids love to have their whole body outlined and then fill in the drawing with clothes and a face. If you still have ice or snow outside, try white or colored chalk inside on construction paper or brown wrapping paper. The drawings can be "fixed," so they won't rub off, by spraying with aerosol hair spray (best to spray outside, and certainly away from the children).
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  • Color Walk Choose a color and walk around the neighborhood seeing how many things you can find in that color.
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  • Indoor Garden Spring is on the way, but it's probably too cold for gardening outside. Try this very simple and fun indoor gardening project: Take a root vegetable (potato, carrot, onion, turnip or beet) and cut off the top 1-2 centimeters. Hollow out the inside. Tie a string around the vegetable and fill it with water. Hang it in a window and watch what happens! Don't forget to add water as needed.
  • Snowballs in the Kitchen In most parts of the US, the snow has disappeared, but you can cook "snowballs" in the kitchen.
    Click here for the recipe.

  • Daylight Savings Begins Daylight Savings Time a way of making better use of the natural daylight by setting your clock forward one hour in the Spring, and back again in the fall. Be sure to set the clocks forward one hour!
  • Albert Einstein Albert Einstein was born on this day in 1879 in Germany. Because of his wild hair and his accent, he may have contributed to the idea of a "mad scientist," but he was not mad at all. In fact, he was a very thoughtful person, and he especially thought about how things work. He was so curious that whenever he wanted to know something, he went to find the answer and learned many things from reading books. Children may be interested to know that as a child, he was very shy and quiet and didn't like school because he liked to think creatively instead of repeating things. Children can find interesting activities that give them a chance to "think like Einstein" by clicking here.
  • Deaf History Month The dates of Deaf History Month mark the days that education for the deaf made important gains. Although not used universally by the deaf, American Sign Language is an important communication tool. It consists of both finger spelling and gestures for complete words. Children old enough to spell will enjoy learning finger spelling. Visit this link for the alphabet and gestures that make up American Sign Language.
  • Make a Necklace String a necklace using a licorice "shoelace" and cereal for young children, and then they can eat the whole thing. For something less sticky, use string and uncooked pasta, which can be painted bright colors.

  • St. Patrick's Day The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385. He died on March 17 in AD 461. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. Click to learn more.
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  • Windy Days March is known for its windy days. It would be a great day to fly a kite or take a pinwheel outside. Check here for directions to make your own pinwheel.
  • First Day of Spring Today is the first day of spring! Take a walk outside and look for signs of spring – swelling buds on the trees, flowers poking up from the ground, and more birds back in the trees.

  • Stamping Rubber stamps and stamp pads are fun, but for a change try letting the child dip his or her hand into some water-based paint to make great pictures. You could even try using a sponge or some kitchen utensils or cut shapes into a potato, apple, or orange to make prints.
  • Pet Rocks Make an imaginative pet using a smooth stone. Make a face with marker or paint. Decorate with feathers, sequins, yarn, buttons, or whatever else you can find.
  • Purim The Festival of Purim commemorates a major victory over oppression and is recounted in the Megillah, the story of Esther. It is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. There are four commandments for Purim: the reading of the story of Esther, festivity and rejoicing, sending gifts (usually food), and giving gifts to the poor. It is customary to dress in costume for the celebration. Click here for more information including traditional recipes and activities for children. Note: all Jewish holidays begin at sundown and end the following day at sundown.
  • National Women's History Month March is National Women's History Month. Look for books at the local library, find out about famous local women or accomplished women in your host family. Read more about Women's History Month
  • Make a Picture Frame Glue 4 popsicle sticks (available in craft departments) in the shape of a square to make a frame. Decorate the frame with glitter, lace, yarn, feathers, stickers, confetti or whatever you have on hand. Mount a picture from the back and be sure to date it! You can also glue a magnet on the back so that the picture can hang on the refrigerator. (This activity is suitable for children 3 and older.)
  • Happy Easter! Easter is an annual Christian festival commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is always celebrated on a Sunday. Connected with the observance of Easter is the 40-day penitential season of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday and concluding at midnight on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. Today, many children celebrate Easter by coloring Easter eggs and going on egg hunts.
  • Have a Pretend Day at the Beach Put on swimsuits, lay out those beach towels and pretend!
  • National Nutrition Month March is National Nutrition Month. Take some time to discuss healthy food options and visit this link to learn more about how to make your diet healthier and enjoy interactive games.
  • Van Gogh's Birthday Vincent Van Gogh was a famous Dutch painter from the 1800s. Show the children some of his paintings Using tempera paints, they might want to try to paint a picture of their own. Show them how mixing primary colors (red, yellow and blue) can make new colors. Look at all the colors Van Gogh used in his skies!

"The flexibility the program affords us is outstanding. With other child care options, I always felt I was accommodating their schedule instead of my own."

Jill, host parent
New Jersey

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