Fairfax Early Childhood Partnership's December 5-4-3-2-1 Early Childhood Tips for Today!

Surviving the holiday season with preschoolers.  

5 Things to Know or Do 5 Things for the Educator to Know or Do:

  1. There is no need to stress about what to buy for your child if you remember that the most important thing you can give is your presence, not presents. 
  2. If you do want to purchase gifts (most children are happy to provide a long wish list) make sure they are age appropriate.  In 2018, TODAY asked developmental experts what the best gifts were for children 1-18. You can visit that guide here.  
  3. If you are going to a family gathering, manage your expectations. It is okay if your child does not want to hug or kiss family members hello or goodbye. It is okay if your child does not want to try a bunch of new foods. Let yourself enjoy the time with your family instead of worrying. Memories are being made!
  4. Routines are always important. Children thrive off of routine. Knowing what to expect helps kids feel safe. Things can’t always be predictable though. If you know your child’s regular routine will be interrupted prepare them for that by talking about how the schedule will be different. 
  5. Include your kids.Involve children in planning, decorating, cooking, wrapping, cleaning, etc. Participating in these activities in age appropriate ways helps build self-esteem and confidence. It also helps children feel connected and increases meaningfulness.

4 Children Read Alouds 4 Children Read Alouds

  1. The Thankful Book The Thankful Book by Todd Parr “The Thankful Book celebrates all the little things children can give thanks for. From everyday activities like reading and bathtime to big family meals together and special alone time between parent and child, Todd inspires readers to remember all of life's special moments. The perfect book to treasure and share, around the holidays and throughout the year.”
  2. Time to Say "Please"! Time To Say Please by Mo Willems “Mo Willems has created a book on manners in his own signature style. Groups of ebullient mice narrate this humorous text as young children try in vain to get what they want, learning along the way that it is helpful to say "Please," "Thank you," "Excuse me," and "I'm sorry." Oh, and you have to mean it, too.”
  3. What Do You Celebrate?: Holidays and Festivals Around the World What Do You Celebrate by Whitney Stewart “What Do You Celebrate? presents 14 special occasions where people dance, dress up, eat yummy foods, and enjoy other fun traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Kids can travel the globe and learn about Fastelavn, Purim, the Cherry Blossom Festival, Holi, Eid al-Fitr, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Guy Fawkes Day, the German Lantern Festival, and more.”
  4. The Giant Hug The Giant Hug by Sandra Horning Read as a hug travels around the world and brightens people’s day. This book shows that thinking of someone and sending love can be the greatest of all gifts.

3 Links to Visit 3 Links to Visit

  1. NPR.org: Presence Is Better Than Presents 
  2. Care.com: Holiday Survival Tips
  3. Understood.org: 8 Self-Soothing Techniques For Your Young Child 

2 Points to Access Research 2 Videos to View

  1. Sesame Street: Bert and Ernie Exchange Gifts
  2. Parenting Expert Karen Phillip: How to Survive Holidays with Children and Toddlers

1 Video to View 1 Point to Access Research

  1. What does it mean to feel loved: Cultural consensus and individual differences in felt love: “This study, published this summer in The Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, suggests that small acts of kindness, not grand overtures, make people feel most loved and supported.”