Taking It Home for PreK

Taking It Home for PreK

See the blazing Yule before us… — Hymn 235, “Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly,” in Singing the Living Tradition

IN SUNDAY’S SESSION… we explored candlelight. Candlelight is shared in many wintertime holidays, bringing a feeling of magic and warmth. The children made a candle centerpiece to take home.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Share together the books suggested for this session:

  • Winter Lights by Anna Grossnickle Hines, 2005. Poems and quilts illustrate the moon and the aurora borealis, the holiday lights of Santa Lucia, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Chinese New Year; the light of one, lone candle, and a hidden flashlight in the deep, dark night.
  • Winter’s Eve: Love and Lights by Lisa Sferlazza Johnson and Tucker Johnson, 2007. Eve, the fairy, decides toexplore the winter festivals that humans celebrate and process discovers that each festival has a special light to offer.
  • Miki by Stephen Mackey, 2012. On Midwinter Eve, Miki and her friend Penguin find their wishes come true when they are given a little tree to brighten up their cold, dark home. However, keeping the fairy lights twinkling takes more energy than even the great Polar Bear can muster.
  • Winter Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer and Jessie Reisch, 2003. The beginning of winter is marked by the solstice, the shortest day of the year. This book explains the winter solstice and how it has been observed by various cultures throughout history.

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Visit a living museum that offers a demonstration of candle-making from olden times.

A Family Adventure. Eat a meal by candlelight only, sharing the magical glow together.

A Family Discovery. You can make hand-rolled beeswax candles at home. Find instructions on the Playful Learning website and watch the DIY Candle YouTube video. Listen to “There’s a Candle Burning” by Briant Oden.

A Family Game. Today the children’s Circle Games included songs about candles and candlelight. At home, sing “I’m a Little Candle” (to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”) using these movements:

I’m a little candle dressed in white,[stand (if all are able) and put arms up over head like a hat for the flame]
Wearing a hat of yellow light.
When the night is dark, then you will see [reach arms forward to point outward]
Just how bright this light can be. [stretch arms wide and lift overhead, for a bright light]
I’m a little candle straight and tall, [stand, as able, straight and tall]
Shining my light upon us all.
When the night is dark, then you will see [reach arms forward to point outward]
Just how bright this light can be. [stretch arms wide and lift overhead, for a bright light]

The poem “Jack, Be Nimble” has a fun finger play:

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack jump over the candlestick
Jump it lightly, jump it quick
Don’t knock over the candlestick.

Teach the children to point an index finger and make it “jump” over the other index finger, or take turns with your child as you jump over a real (unlit) candle.

A Family Ritual. Use your child’s candle centerpiece for mealtime lighting.


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