The month of February might have the fewest days, but it packs in all of the holidays – Groundhog day, Valentine’s day, President’s day, and Mardi Gras. If you look at March and April you’re often adding St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Earth day too. It’s a lot to explore over a fairly short amount of time. We usually think of the time between Halloween and Christmas as the “holiday season,” but October, November, and December don’t have nearly as many holidays squeezed into them as the spring months do! This can make late winter and early spring pass pretty quickly, but it can also be really overwhelming, especially for young children. This is exactly why it’s so important to make sure that we’re giving children time to process each celebration before moving on to the next.
Fighting the urge to jump to the next thing can be tough – especially when it happens so quickly on Instagram (am I the only one who’s already seeing Easter stuff???) and in stores (bathing suits in February anyone???). I love it when a holiday falls right in the middle of a week, or even at the beginning, because it forces me to leave the materials out for the rest of the week. The days and weeks before the holiday are when children learn what the celebration is about, then they get the opportunity to experience it for themselves. Being able to continue using those holiday-related materials gives them the opportunity to mimic the things that were a part of their own holiday celebration and really build those connections between what they learned and what actually happened.
Something else that I’ve found is that it truly is ok to skip over a holiday all-together. If the children are still really into Valentine’s day, I’ll leave the materials out for them a little longer. We don’t have to do President’s day, or we can mention it without diving all the way in. These are the months where finding that fine line between introducing ALL of the amazing holiday activities that are available, and letting the children identify what they truly want to explore becomes the key. Personalizing the experience for each group of children each year takes a little work, but it also helps the children stay engaged – which is always a win!
How do you manage all of these little holidays? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks too!