Happy Holidays! I love the Holiday Season. The laughter and expectations of the children, the smell of holiday baking, the bright lights and colorful decorations and most important a time for family gatherings. Here at Merryhill, we celebrate all the beauty of the season. The wonder of the babe in the manger, the flickering of lights in the Menorah, the “ho, ho, ho” of everyone’s favorite jolly old elf, and all the traditions that make the holidays fun, festive and special. December is full of wonderful activities for the children with hands on learning and special events throughout the month. I wish each of you a great holiday season and prosperous New Year. Thank you for being part of the “Family” here at Merryhill!
Sincerely, Stephanie Gill/Principal
Dates to remember in December
Dec. 5 Breakfast with Santa 9:00-11:00 purchase your tickets in advance
Dec. 14 Polar Express Celebration begins! (be sure to hand your child their ticket located in your sign in/out sheet)
Dec. 16/17 Class Holiday Parties @ 3:30
Dec. 18 Pajama Day and watching the Polar Express movie (the children take home a bell)
Dec. 24 Closed 12:30
Dec. 25 Closed
Dec. 31 Closed 12:30
Jan. 1 Closed
Breakfast with Santa! Join us on Saturday, December 5th from 9:00-11:00am. We will have breakfast (pancakes, eggs, sausage and fruit), ornament making for your tree and a photo opportunity with Santa. *Tickets are on sale now. Please purchase your tickets in advance. Adult: $8, Children: $5. Bring your Camera
CHIPS for Kids Toy Drive Make this Holiday Season special for a less fortunate child. Now until Dec. 9th you can bring in a new, unwrapped toy donation and place it in the CHIP collection box located in the front lobby.
Polar Express at Merryhill! Your child will experience the magic of the Polar Express during the week of Dec. 14-18. Be sure to check out our flyer posted on the door for more information on what to expect for the week! We will begin the week with a reading of the Polar Express by Ms. Stephanie & Ms. Maybeline.
Merryhill Christmas Tree! Help us decorate our tree. Please bring in a family made ornament to hang on our tree in the lobby.
Classroom Holiday Celebrations! Be sure to check with your child’s teacher regarding classroom parties and festivities. Details will be posted outside your child’s classroom door. Each classroom will be doing a Holiday Performance for the parents. Classroom Holiday Parties will be on either Wednesday Dec. 16 or Thursday Dec. 17 @3:30pm.
From the Education Department
Exploring Holiday Traditions from Around the World
The holiday season is here, providing a wealth of opportunities to enrich the children’s understanding of diverse cultures and traditions around the world. In addition, our students will share their own traditions with others.
Below are age appropriate activities that we use in the classroom, as well as activities for you and your child to do at home.
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: As they near the age of two, children begin to recognize the sights and sounds of holidays celebrated by their family. Parents visit our classrooms to share holiday traditions, including unique books, songs and activities.
At home: Gather family photos and point out traditions, such as unwrapping presents, eating holiday dinner at grandma’s house, and making a snowman. Encourage your child to talk about what he sees in the photos.
Recommended reading: Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas by Christine Tangvald, Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy by Don Freeman, My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: Children sing holiday songs from around the world and are introduced to holiday symbols that they may see in their communities, such as Christmas trees or Hanukkah menorahs.
At home: Take a drive with your child or bring him to various holiday festivals in your community. Encourage him to look for and identify holiday decorations.
Recommended reading: Christmas Around the World by Calliope Glass, Hanukkah Hop by Erica Silverman, Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna Washington
PRE-K/PRE-K2 (ages 4-5)
In the classroom: After learning about holiday traditions around the world, our older preschoolers identify countries on a globe. For example, they might learn about Diwali, the festival of lights, and then find India on the globe. They might make tamales, a dish often served on Christmas, and then find Mexico on the globe.
At home: Ask your child to help you prepare your family’s favorite holiday foods. Talk about the long-standing traditions in which these foods are rooted. For instance, you might explain, “I used to bake cookies for the holidays with my mom. Now we can start baking cookies together!”
Recommended reading: Children Just Like Me: Celebrations by Anabel Kindersley, Light the Lights: A Story about Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman, The Story of Kwanzaa by Mary Washington
Exposing children to various holiday traditions helps them build strong social skills, establish a sense of self, and respect the differences of others as they transition into elementary school and beyond.
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education