As we rapidly approach the holidays – Halloween is just over a week away – and National Election Day, we find ourselves in another busy season! Since there is a lot going on, we have a lot to share this month. We’re talking ways to teach your little learners about voting, tips for Halloween fun, and how to take some time for yourself along the way. All of these are great to pass along to your families as well!
Read about the importance of voting
PBS SoCal has a list of books to bring understanding of and celebration to our election process for kids 0 to 10. Learn vocabulary with Baby Loves Political Science, vote with Citizen Baby, or learn about respectful debate with A Small History of a Disagreement. See all recommendations here.
Voting resources for adults: QSSB partner Child Care Resource Center has a new video series called Get Out the Vote! #2020Counts. Check out their YouTube channel for timely information on voting by mail and learning about this year’s ballot.
Making this Halloween a special one
Sensory sun catchers made with hair gel are a festive craft for toddlers and preschoolers to try, although we think all ages can benefit from their calming effect. We are loving the ideas from Happy Hooligans. This craft can easily be made in the classroom or you can walk your virtual students through it too. All you need is:
- Plastic zip lock bag
- Hair gel
- Optional food coloring
- Fall or Halloween themed items
Simply squeeze the gel into the bag, add food coloring if you like, then drop in the add-ins. Get creative and use orange and black pieces (like lentils and black beans) to create a pumpkin, glitter and googly eyes to make a witch, or fall leaves.
A sing along is another in person or distance-learning friendly activity. Check out this compilation of classics from Super Simple Songs.
Click here for even more Halloween activities and ideas!
Victorville’s annual Trunk or Treat will be a drive-thru event this year at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds at 4pm on October 29th. Stay tuned to the official Facebook page here for the most up to date information.
The city of Redlands is sponsoring a family-friendly “Flick or Treat” event on October 31st. This event is offering two fantastic opportunities, the Trick or Treat Trail from 4 to 6 pm and drive-in movie featuring the Nightmare Before Christmas. Gates open at 6 pm. Registration is required for both portions of the evening and attendance is limited, so make sure to check it out early!
First 5 San Bernardino is hosting a Kinder Kit Drive-Thru on October 30th from 3 to 6 pm at the United Way. These Kinder Kits include 3 books, 1 pencil, 1 large eraser, 1 pack of crayons, 1 glue stick, 1 pair of scissors, 1 pencil box, coloring page and 1 kids clothing item
First 5 is also wrapping up their four-part Talk! Read! Sing! Literacy Tour in a city near you. This drive-thru event’s last two stops will be in Barstow on November 14th and Fontana on November 21st. You can expect live music, a Potter the Otter Pop-Up, free books and a snack for all children in attendance. Registration for this event is required, please click here to do so.
Just for YOU!
It can feel hard to take a moment for yourself when there is so much going on, but it is essential that you find the time. To help, we’re starting a new self-care series. You can find information and simple practices for stress management, staying present, and the effect this has adult-child relationships in the Just for YOU portion of our monthly blogs.
To start, we’re highlighting mindfulness, the concentrated effort to check in with yourself and your surroundings, as one way to practice self-care. The Mindfulness Toolkit from Zero to Three defines mindfulness as, “intentional and non-judgmental present-moment awareness. It is a foundational skill that underlies many other important capacities that we need for health, well-being, and connection with children, families, and others.”
If you would like to give it a try, start with a short internal awareness exercise to ask yourself, “How am I?”
- Find a space for yourself. Anywhere you can take 4 minutes to just check in with your physical, mental, and emotional states.
- Start in a relaxed and upright posture. You can sit or stand. Feel free to close your eyes if you’d like.
- Breath in deep and exhale slowly.
- Check in with your body. Do you feel tense or energized?
- Notice if your mind is active or settled. What thoughts are you experiencing? Can you let them pass without getting attached to them?
- Now bring your awareness to and name any emotions you may have.
- Consider if there have been any changes in your body, mind, or emotions as you’ve focused specifically on them.
That’s it. In 4 minutes or so you have taken the time to acknowledge and accept how you are feeling, an important step in moving through your day!
Wishing you and the families you serve a very happy and safe Halloween season!