From the Melissa & Doug Playbook: All About January!

January is here! For many early learners, another year (or even month) might not mean that much…yet. Here are some educational conversation-starters and activities to help kids understand what January is all about!

JanpostFB2

1)      “January is…”

Take a few moments to introduce your child to the month of January:

-          There are 31 days in January (use beads, an abacus, or other counting tools and count up to 31!)

-          It’s the first month of the year (what does it mean to be first, second, third, etc.?)

-          January occurs in the Winter season (what’s the different between Winter, Summer, etc.?)

Then, depending on your child’s skill level, practice writing the word “January”: Storytelling paper is useful because it helps the child to practice letters while also adding drawings, allowing them to illustrate some things they associate January with (snowmen, snowflakes, etc.)

2)      “The Name ‘January’ Comes From…”

For older kids, why not sneak in a little history lesson? The month of January is named after “Janus” – the Roman god of the doorway.  So, January is the “door” or entrance to the new year!

3)      “The Color of January is….”

The concept of a “birthstone” may not mean that much, but exploring colors with your child is always a fun idea. For example:

-          Show a picture of the “garnet” birthstone, and ask your child to recreate it using paints, markers or crayons.

-          Cut-out “gemstones” from Multi-Color  Construction Paper to create a crown or paper jewelry

-          Look-up and share what your child’s birthstone is – if they don’t know, already!

4)      “Some Significant (and Fun!) Days to Remember Are…”

Using your calendar, point out some special days to remember in January. In addition to any family birthdays or special memorable occasions, mark down:

-          New Year’s Day (1st)

-          Bubble Bath Day (8th)

-          Martin Luther King Jr. Day (21st)

-          Handwriting Day (23rd)

-          Puzzle Day (29th)

And, January is “Thank You” month!  This “Blessings Box” craft is a charming way to teach gratitude all month-long.

AdrienneNewYearsBox2

5)      “Our Favorite Activities and Arts & Crafts for January Are…”

Ask your child to create a list (or dictate one that you will write) of the best activities for January! Some of our favorites include:

-          Playing dress-up with our favorite costumes

-          Snowflake Sequencing

-          Snowball fights!

-         Coloring a Winter Scene

Winter-Themed-Coloring-Page_Snowman

What are your favorite ways to introduce the concept of a new month to your child? Share your favorite tips and activities in the comments below, or join the conversation on the Melissa & Doug Facebook page!

For a list of Winter fun activities, check out our Winter Wonderland Pinterest board!

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