31 Days of Moxie Wonderland: December 11-15
December 11: Winter Break Reading Recommendations
Here are some recommendations for books your child can read (or that you can read together) over winter break to help them practice their reading skills, soak up new information, and develop their imaginations.
Holiday Themed Books:
The Magic of Friendship Snow by Andi Cann
This fun, snowman themed picture book covers themes such as the Importance of friendship, how to make friends, and how to appreciate the relationships in your life.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss
This classic holiday book touches on the importance of kindness and how to respect and appreciate differences.
Non Fiction Books:
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
This picture book details the true story of how four mathematicians had a vital impact on the development of Nasa. Important themes include how to overcome obstacles to reach your goals and the invaluable contributions of women and people of color in the science field.
Locomotive by Regan McMahon
Perfect for children who love transportation and trains, this picture book takes them on a journey by rail to learn the history of the early days of train travel in the United States.
My Powerful Hair by Carrie Kingsley
This picture book is told from the indigenous perspective and includes important lessons on family history and traditions, self-expression, and forming your identity.
The Eyes and the Impossible - Dave Eggers
For older kids (8+), this book is a beautiful animal-themed story that teaches kids about friendship, bravery, and finding freedom in being yourself.
Stay tuned for more book recommendations coming next week!
December 12: Tips for Handling Routine Changes over Winter Break
Winter break can lead to some changes in your child’s daily routine, due to being home from school or traveling. Here are some tips for helping your child stay in a comfortable routine and how to handle routine changes when they come up:
- Whenever possible, stick to similar wakeup and bedtimes as during the school year. Try not to change these times by more than an hour, and make sure your child is still getting the recommended amount of sleep for their age.
- Have your child complete their usual morning and evening hygiene routines, including baths/showers, to help reduce any friction once school starts again
- Have engaging activities on hand to help keep your child occupied while not at school, such as books, puzzles, or arts and crafts. See our previous post on winter break learning activities for more ideas!
- Give your child some responsibility and independence by letting them help out with household chores, and set up a fun rewards system for motivation.
- Stick to eating whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains whenever you can to help balance out all of those holiday treats!
If your child struggles with changes in routine:
- Create a visual schedule for winter break. Include tasks from their usual routine, and talk about any changes or new activities with them.
- Allow time in the day for your child to participate in preferred activities and keep the sacred parts of their routine the same as much as possible.
- On busy days, make sure to schedule in quiet time or playtime with favorite toys or activities.
- Manage your expectations around behavior this time of year. Different bedtimes, holiday foods, and stimulating activities can cause children to have a harder time with regulating their emotions.
- If traveling, prioritize everyone getting enough sleep and sticking closely to usual mealtimes. Bring comfort items or their favorite bedding with them to help unfamiliar places feel more like home.
December 13: Snowman Cupcakes
A fun holiday recipe you can make together as a family over winter break - Snowman Cupcakes!
- White cake mix
- Vanilla frosting
- Black and orange decorating gels
- Marshmallows (medium or large)
- Mini peanut butter cups
- Fruit leather or sour ropes
- Sweetened shredded coconut (optional)
- Bake the cupcakes according to package directions and let cool completely
- Frost each cupcake with vanilla frosting and then dust with shredded coconut to look like snow (if using)
- Use decorating gels to draw eyes and a carrot nose on each marshmallow
- Place marshmallows on top of each cupcake and secure with frosting
- Use frosting to stick a mini peanut butter cup on top of each marshmallow to make a top hat
- Use pieces of fruit leather or sour ropes to drape around the marshmallow like a scarf
December 14: Tips for Dealing with Different Rules in Other Homes
Over winter break, children may be spending time with extended family or having sleepovers with friends. Here are some tips to help prepare your child to spend time in a home that may have different rules from your own:
- Before their visit, remind your child of any rules that family might have that may be similar or different from your own. Some common things could be not going into rooms that are closed off, removing shoes, and asking permission to play with toys or use electronics.
- If your child will be spending time in a home with stricter rules than your own, let your child know that it is respectful to follow those rules while they are there. Don’t openly criticize the family’s rules. Instead, use language such as “these rules are what work for them as a family, it’s okay that they are different than what works for us.”
- Speak to other parents beforehand if your child has any dietary restrictions, or if there are any strategies they can use to help your child manage their sensory or behavioral needs.
- If your child has anxiety about staying in another home, talk about how they are feeling and why. Discuss what they can expect while staying there, and come up with a plan beforehand to handle anything they may be worried about. Teach them how they can ask for help or how they can get in touch with you if they need to.
- If your child is visiting a home with less strict rules around things like screen time, bedtimes, or sugar, it’s okay to let them participate in those things while they are there. Talk to your child beforehand about it, and just let them know that once they are home they will need to follow your home rules again.
December 15: Tips for Bedtime Struggles over Winter Break
Holiday excitement can make it harder for kids to fall asleep or lead to some unwanted struggles at bedtime. Here are some tips for helping your child get enough sleep during winter break:
- Try and keep to within an hour of your child’s usual wakeup and bedtimes as during the school year.
- If late nights or early mornings happen, make sure your child has time for a nap during the day if needed. Get them back on their normal sleep schedule as soon as you can.
If your child is having a harder time falling asleep over the holidays:
- Keep them physically active during the day, with lots of playtime outside or physical activities that can be done indoors if the weather is too cold.
- Limit screen time and TV watching two hours before bed.
- Go on a walk or get exposure to sunlight in the morning after waking up, and at sunset to help keep their circadian rhythms in sync.
- After sundown, use dim or reduced lighting in your home and avoid harsh overhead lights.
- Complete their usual bedtime routine and activities, such as reading a bedtime story.
- Keep their bedroom as uncluttered as possible, without too many holiday decorations. Put away new toys or presents in a playroom or living room at night.
- Have them take a warm bath or drink a warm drink before bed.
- Play relaxing music or practice a deep breathing exercise to help them calm down.