Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Celebrating Pride month

What is Pride Month?

Although there are many days throughout the year that commemorate LGBTQIA people and events, many Pride celebrations, parades, and marches take place in June. This marks the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. According to Britannica Kids, these riots involved a series of confrontations between gay rights activists and police officers near the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City in June and July 1969. These riots evolved to an international movement. 

LGBTQIA: How to Talk to Kids

Melinda Lejman, an author, and parent, shares helpful tips and resources on how to talk to about LGBT with your kids for the website Lies About Parenting including:

  1. Don’t assume what your kids know and what they don’t know
  2. Be blunt, your kids can handle it
  3. Be on the Lookout for Reinforcing Stereotypes (and fix them!)
  4. Start Reading
  5. Get involved in your LGBTQ community

Why is it important to discuss LgbtiA with your children?

Issues surrounding gender and gender equity have received great attention in the media and in our society. Children may be curious or concerned about what they hear. It is important for kids to be able to talk with you about anything that they need to in a way that they can make sense of their world. Moreover, Russel Hobby writer for the Guardian assures us that “teaching children about LGBT issues is not brainwashing – it equips them for life.”

How to celebrate pride with your kids

Katie McCarthy, a working mother, explains how she and her husband have made a tradition of attending Pride yearly with their children in her piece titled “Tips for Celebrating Pride with Kids.” 

Bryanne Salazar describes 20 Ways to Celebrate Pride Month for Mom.com. Some of these include: 1) be an activist and an ally, 2) learn about LGBTQ history, 3) attend a virtual or in person pride event, 4) donate, 5) volunteer, 6) fly a rainbow flag, 8) support LGBTQ businesses, 9) use inclusive language, 10) learn about the issues. 

Huffpost shares 13 Craft Ideas to Help Kids Celebrate Pride.

Videos & resources

Blues Clues Pride Parade (PreK-Kindergarten Age Level)

LGBT+ Pride song for kids | Hopster (PreK-Kindergarten Age Level)

Grade Levels: 

  • PreK through High School

Age Levels: 

  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (elementary)
  • 11-14 yrs (middle school)
  • 14-18 yrs (high school)

Tags: 

  • Current events
  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills
  • Health and wellness
  • Science
  • Social-emotional learning

Developer:

Beth Powers

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 05/26/2021

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Family Resources PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Celebrating Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

What is AAPI Heritage month? 

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month – a celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans which was established in 1978. AAPI is a rather broad term that includes all of the Asian Continent and Pacific Islands (Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia). 

Why Is It Important?

Not only is this month of celebration important due to the significant contributions of AAPI’s but also due to the hate crimes against AAPI’s in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

engage your family in AAPI Heritage this yeaR & EVERY YEAR.

  1. Visit the  Asian Pacific Heritage website. There you can learn more about Asian Pacific Heritage.
  2. Watch: Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with PBS Kids (You may need to subscribe to this).
  3. Watch Read Alouds: AAPI Read Alouds
  4. Consider the 8 Ways to Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month including:
  1. Get out a Globe, or use Google Earth, and explore Asia and the Pacific Islands
  2. Explore AAPI Heritage Sites
  3. See Children’s Books that feature Asian Authors, Artists, and Characters: 9 Books to Asian American Pacific Islander Month; 20 Books for Young Readers To Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month & Year-Round; Celebrating Asian Pacific American History and Culture; and Asian Americans.
  4. Explore AAPI museums and exhibits: a) Asian Art Museum From Home; and Smithsonian Art Museum From Home
  5. Try a variety of healthy AAPI recipes with your kids
  6. Get creative by exploring AAPI art and music with your children 

Grade Levels: 

  • PreK through High School

Age Levels: 

  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (elementary)
  • 11-14 yrs (middle school)
  • 14-18 yrs (high school)

Tags: 

  • Current events
  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills
  • Health and wellness
  • Science
  • Social-emotional learning

Developer:

Beth Powers

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 05/26/2021

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Earth Day is Everyone’s Day

April 22nd is an important day for the planet. This is the day that people all over the world focus on the importance of protecting our planet. Earth Day is a reminder to all of us that we have a responsibility to take care of our precious home and ensure a safe and clean living environment for today and in the future.

Earth Day originated in the United States in 1970 as a way to promote environmental awareness. It has grown every year since then and officially went global in 1990. Today, Earth Day is a worldwide movement that involves more than 1 billion people in 192 countries. 

Earth Day is everyone’s day because everyone lives on Earth.
Every single person in every corner of the world depends on this planet and the resources it provides. We need every individual to understand the challenges and to be empowered to support our Earth home through collective actions that result in positive change. 

engage your family in Earth Day this yeaR & EVERY YEAR.

  1. Visit the EarthDay.org web site. There you can learn more about global efforts to improve our planet. Be sure to check out their Take Action link for suggestions on what you can do at home to help. 
  2. Watch the This is Why We Celebrate Earth Day video (grades 3-12) or the Let’s Celebrate Earth Day video (Pre-K-3rd) for a quick overview of this important event and to get inspired to celebrate Earth Day. 
  3. Pick up trash. Turn a family outing to a local park or a neighborhood walk into a clean-up activity. Show your children how to safely gather trash and discard it properly. 
  4. Examine your home recycling efforts. Teach children what items can be recycled and how to sort and discard them appropriately. Delegate recycling jobs to children and teens who are old enough to take on these responsibilities. 
  5. Do crafts with your children using recycled materials. See Imagine it. Make It!, Recycled Robots, and Let’s Invent for starters. 
  6. Focus on water conservation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a typical family of four in the United States uses about 400 gallons of water in ONE day! Learn more about ways to save water at the EPA’s WaterSense for Kids site. 
  7. Teach your children how they can save energy at home by turning off lights and devices when not in use. Discuss the benefits of turning down the thermostat in winter and wearing an extra layer instead. 
  8. Read a book with your children that focuses on nature or environmental issues. For young children, there are lots of read-aloud books available online such as Earth Day Every Day by Lisa Bullard and We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom. 
  9. Explore programs offered by state parks or nature-focused organizations in your area. Many communities have free or low-cost programs to promote environmental awareness and appreciation. Try searching environmental education programs near me on the web. 
  10. Promote an appreciation for living things and the wonders of our planet by spending time outdoors with your children – young and old. Take a nature hike. Observe insects, trees, or flowers closely. Track how many types of birds you can find together. Start a rock collection. Plant a garden or flower pot. Go on a picnic. Simply enjoy nature!

Grade Levels: 

  • PreK through High School

Age Levels: 

  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (elementary)
  • 11-14 yrs (middle school)
  • 14-18 yrs (high school)

Tags: 

  • Current events
  • Environment
  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills
  • Health and wellness
  • Science
  • Social-emotional learning

Developer:

Sharon Brusic

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 04/20/2021

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Family Resources PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Celebrating International Women’s Month with Children

International Women’s Day (March 8) “is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.” Thus, it’s not surprising that we not only have an International Women’s Day, but March is also International Women’s Month as one day is just not enough to celebrate all the accomplishments of women.  This celebratory day and month give us the opportunity to remind our children  — regardless of their gender — that women are important and that women deserve to be recognized. Moreover, women deserve equal rights and equal pay for equal work. 

There are many ways that you can celebrate International Women’s Month with your children. Author and activist, Charise Rohm Nulsen, share The Ultimate List of International Women’s Day Activities to Do With Kids. She includes “everything from themed food to activities, books, TV shows, movies, and online resources.” 

Another way to celebrate with our children is to consider and discuss all the ways that women have contributed to our society and our world. One good resource is the PBS Website titled Iconic Women To Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Additional resources can be found on the International Women’s Day Website. As this website asserts, we are all invited to challenge ourselves to forge a gender-equal world, to celebrate the achievements of women, to raise awareness against bias, and to take action for equality.

Tags: 

Current Events

Social Studies

Ages:

3-5 years, Preschool

5-6 years, Kindergarten

6-8 years, Primary 

9-11 years, Elementary

11-14 years, Middle Schools

14-18 years, High School

Developer:

Beth Powers

Credit: 

Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA
Credit:
ConnectionSpot.org on 03/24/2021

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Family Resources PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Teaching Your Child About Black History

For too long, Black History has been ignored and erased. While studying this important topic shouldn’t be contained to just one month, it does provide us with the opportunity to teach ourselves and our children about the many accomplishments and contributions that African Americans have made. Below are some valuable resources to assist you.  There are too many to review in just one day so we recommend exploring them throughout this month and beyond. 

To learn more about how Carter G. Woodson, also known as the “Father of Black History,” and the founder of  Black History Week (which later was expanded to Black History Month), see This Is How February Became Black History Month.

While Carter Woodson is one important figure, there are many more to explore.  PBS for Kids assures us that it’s never too early to begin Celebrating Black Leaders especially with young children.  Videos about Black leaders can be a great way to introduce these historical figures.  Nefertiti Autsin of PBS also gives suggestions for Teaching Children About Black History by providing a list of books celebrating Black culture and offering suggestions for exploring Black history through art

Black Artist: Jacob Lawrence 

Sangine Corrielus, for Parade Magazine, describes How To Talk To Your Kids About Black History Month—And 25 Ways To Honor It. Specifically, she shares several resources such as a list of activities that you can do with your kids including: 1) visiting a museum (For Virtual Options See: Can’t Travel? These Places Are Bringing Black History to You), 2) writing letters to a favorite historical person (See: Famous African Americans and Important Black Women in American History), or 3) creating an “I have a dream” mobile that depicts what the world would be like without racism, to name a few.  She also shares a great website for the Conscious Kid, an organization that aims to promote healthy racial identity development for children and youth.

Amanda Williams suggests that you Celebrate Black History Month by Educating Your Kids & Yourself. Williams provides several steps to accomplish this by: 1) explaining why Black History is important, 2) reading up on diversity, 3) watching history together, 4) inviting kids to listen to inspiring Black musical artists, 5) teaching kids about Black icons, and 6) exploring additional sites such as: 

The National Museum of African American History & Culture

National Archives

The 1619 Project

African American Museum in Philadelphia

Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum

11 surprising Black History Facts to Teach your Kids

Elizabeth Cecil @ Pixabay

Whether you are celebrating your own heritage or not, it is important for you and your family to have a better understanding of our shared history. In summary, African American history is American history. To learn more, you don’t have to do it all, just start small, and pick an activity or idea that you and your child will enjoy most. 

Tags: 

  • Current events
  • Difficult conversations
  • Race
  • Racism
  • Social studies

Grade Levels: Pre-K through High School

Age Levels: Choose from this list. Delete those that do NOT apply. 

  • Pre-K 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (elementary)
  • 11-14 yrs (middle school)
  • 14-18 yrs (high school)

Developer:

Beth Powers

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 02/17/2021

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Family Resources

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Recognizing a Leader 

MLK’s day of recognition was this week. It was made a holiday in 1983 under President Reagan to recognize his leadership during the civil rights movement and honor his life since his assassination in 1968. It is important for children to learn about MLK and his life. This video, titled: The Man Who Changed America  by Scholastic News, described him, his life, and his work (Note: This film is particularly aimed at Grades 3-5).

Martin Luther King , Jr. was a Baptist Minister and social justice advocate. Yet, according to Millner writing for Scholastic News, Kids are Missing a Crucial Piece of History related to MLK. It is important as PBS author, Lindsey Pruett-Hornbaker, shares that we focus on Honoring the True Meaning of Martin Luther King Day.

How to Discuss Hopes and Dreams

His famous words “I have a dream” are reiterated in many schools at this time of year. However, do we talk about them at home? How can we address this pertinent subject with our children? What can we do to recognize the surmountable importance of these words and help the words resonate with them? 

This recognition matters more today than ever before, as we see the ongoing struggle for racial equality.  Murphy  outlines several things you can do with children to celebrate this great man in her blog titled: How to Explain Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to Kids Including:

  1. Read a Book (See: PBS for Parents: Books for Martin Luther King Day )
  2. Watch a Film (e.g.,  MLK’s I Have a Dream Speech)
  3. Discuss Hopes and Dreams (See below)
  4. Volunteer (See: Americorps MLK Day )
  5. Do an Art Project (See: Creative Child: Ten Martin Luther King Day Crafts and Fifteen MLK Art Projects Kids Can Do)
  6. Attend an Event in Person or Virtually (See:  The King Center: King Holiday)

As you consider all the ideas discussed here, we hope you can take some time this week to reflect on your own hopes and dreams for a brighter future. 

Grade Levels: K-12 

Age Levels: 

  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (elementary)
  • 11-14 yrs (middle school)
  • 14-18 yrs (high school)

Tags: 

  • Art, Current Events, Difficult Conversations, Problem-Solving, Race, Racism, Writing

Developer:

Lauren McNeely and Beth Powers

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 01/18/2021

Categories
11-14 yrs (middle school) 14-18 yrs (high school) 5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Birth-36 months (infant/toddler) Family Resources PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Talking with kids about violence in the Capitol

The attack on Washington, DC has challenged families once again to consider how to discuss a difficult topic with their children. There are many resources and articles out there that can help. 

Key Takeaways from the National Education Association’s article titled Talking to Kids About the Attack on the Capitol include: 

  1. Violence at the U.S. Capitol is an attack on our country and on our democratic institutions.
  2. Most children are aware of more than we realize. 
  3. Continuing that discussion is critically important in this moment.

Caroline Norr, Editor for Common Sense Media, outlines Explaining the News to Our Kids and recommends that you consider the child’s age as a key to how to discuss current events with your child. She also suggests:

  • assure kids that they are safe
  • limit news intake
  • remember your own actions and responses
  • consider taking some positive action to help (if possible)
  • talk, talk, talk with your kids about the situation
  • check-in with your kids, asking questions and listening
  • let kids express themselves

Dr. Neha Chaudhary, double board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, provides Ten Tips for Talking with Kids About the Attack on the U.S. Capitol, including: 1) give your child space to talk, 2) limit media exposure based on the age of your child,3) reassure them they are safe, 4) be transparent and honest, 5) talk about bad actions not bad people, 6) highlight the helpers, 7) name your feelings, 8) keep you own feelings in check, 9) teach healthy coping skills, and 10) use this as a springboard for other tough conversations. 

Dr. Karen Aronian, former New York City teacher, discusses several useful ideas and shares helpful resources in her video titled: How to Talk with Kids About the Assault on the Capitol. Citing reputable sources, some of her suggestions include:

  1. Partner with the schools and teachers.
  2. Help children name their feelings.
  3. Discuss what civil discourse means and model it.
  4. Model what we are going to do to bring it forward.
  5. Be careful with language and actions in the home.
  6. Drawings are a great way for children to process what they are going through.
  7. Don’t make assumptions about what kids know. Ask them broad questions to help you learn what they do know (Child Mind Institute).
  8. Make time to talk, review safety procedures, and maintain a normal routine (National Association for School Psychologists).
  9. Listen and check-in.
  10. Don’t deliver too much information. 
  11. Limit media-don’t have television and radio constantly on play.
  12. Monitor, filter sources and think about what you are sharing with them.
  13. Deliver factual information.
  14. Check-in with kids on a regular basis.

These are but a few of the useful resources out there and one thing we can recommend is to trust yourself and your child to get through this difficult time together. We will work hard to continue to support you and your family, too.

Developer

Beth Powers

Tags

Current Events, Difficult Conversations, Social-Emotional Learning

Ages

Birth – 36 months (Infant-Toddler)

3-5 years (Preschool)

5-6 years (Kindergarten)

6-8 years (Primary)

9-11 years (Elementary)

11-14 years (Middle School)

14-18 years (High School)

Credit: 

Creative Commons License

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 01/13/2021

Categories
5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) 9-11 yrs (elementary) Family Resources PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Talking with Children about Race and Racism

In the wake of racial disparities that were underscored by COVID and the deaths of George Floyd and other Black Americans, families from all racial and ethnic backgrounds are grappling with how to discuss race and racism with their children. These topics are not easy to tackle. Some parents and caregivers have no choice but to discuss race in order to protect their children from racism. Others want to talk with their children to try to engender a sense of equity and fairness. These topics are complex and of course, may vary based on your own racial identity and life experiences. Although there is not a one-size-fits-all way to address such conversations, there are some high-quality resources that can help you engage with your kids. For example, PBS Kids helps you to consider How to Talk Honestly with Children about Racism. Sesame Street Workshop and NPR have a blog series titled Parenting: Difficult Conversations. In this series, they present a blog, Talking Race with Young Children. Writer Jessica Grose, suggests talking about racism with kids early and often and The Bump Blog shares this List of Children’s Books on Race and Antiracism.

Grade Level: Pre-K – Grade 5

Age Levels:

  • Birth-36 months (infant/toddler)
  • Pre-K 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)
  • 9-11 yrs (elementary)

Tags: 

  • Current Events
  • Race, Racism
  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Pre-K, Primary

Developer:

Beth Powers

Credit: 

Creative Commons LicenseAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

Credit: ConnectionSpot.org on 07/02/2020