By Sandy Fleming
Welcome to May! Spring
is now firmly in our grasp, and the weather is
finally beginning to become warmer. The end of the school year
is in sight,
and with it, vacations and summer fun. Brighten up your May with
activities and create your own Marvelous May Moments!
May is Better
Sleep Month! Why not take a little
time to learn about sleep and how it works? Keep
a dream diary by putting paper and pencil
by the bed
and having your kids write down dreams before they even leave
the comfort of
the covers. It's a great writing exercise, and very interesting,
because dream memories often fade even before breakfast. By writing them
quickly, dreamers may see patterns or other interesting aspects.
for fun, read The Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss. Your librarian will
other ideas as well.
May is also Physical
Fitness and Sports Month. Take advantage of the
(hopefully) great weather by committing to 30 minutes of "shape-up" activities or active sports each day.
The May calendar includes
loads of exciting events, too. Celebrate National
Wildflower Week (May 2-9) with a walk in the local park or down
road to look for these beauties. May 5 marks an interesting Japanese
holiday: Children's Day. The festival originally began as a boys'
but recently has been expanded to include girls as well. In Japan,
fly kites and banners in the shape of fish. What kind of fish
kites can your children make to celebrate?
May celebrates the
birthdays of two former presidents and the statehoods of
four states. Can your detectives find out who and which ones?
The first transcontinental
railroad was completed on May 10, 1869. Have some
railroad fun by singing train songs such as "I've Been Working
Railroad" and "Down by the Station." Draw a train,
count train cars when
you are traveling, and write a story about a day in the life
of a train and
what it sees and does.
Florence Nightingale was
born on May 12, 1820. What is this special lady
famous for? Read one of her many biographies at the library and
May 12 is also Limerick Day. Look for great limericks in children's
books, and try writing your own nonsensical poetry.
May 22, 1859 marks the
birthday of the author of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur
Conan Doyle. Why not have a detective day in his honor? It's
fun to make up
mystery trails with clues for children that lead to a small treat.
children, try using pictures of where to look for the next clue
series. Beginning readers enjoy simple directions they can read
such as "Look under the bed." Older children are ready
for riddle clues. For
example, "Home, home on the RANGE" may help them remember
that a stove can
sometimes be called a range. Another fun variation on this activity
take extreme close-up pictures of furniture or other household
that all that shows in the picture is a texture. Use these pictures
for where to search for the next clue in the series. Give the
picture of couch upholstery. When the child looks under the couch
he or she can find a picture of the pattern on the lamp shade,
and so forth.
May was opening
month for two famous bridges: the Brooklyn Bridge (May 24,
1883) and the Golden Gate Bridge (May 27, 1937). How about a
contest? Challenge your children to build a bridge from popsicle
craft sticks, and/or toothpicks to connect two cans of soup.
Who can build
the best or strongest one? Younger kids can learn lots about
building concepts by trying to build a bridge with building blocks.
Whatever you choose to
do, enjoy this precious time with your family. May 9
through June 20 is National Family Month: A time to strengthen
relations, share love with one another, and build stronger
time together enjoying different kinds of work and play is the
best way to do that!
is an educator, author and workshop facilitator. She resides
in southern Michigan with her husband and three daughters.
Sandy leads workshops for daycare providers and parents
in the region, tutors students, volunteers for Girl Scouts
and her church, and teaches online classes for adults and
children. She loves to make new friends, so please drop
her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org