10. Ask parents for suggestions about what they celebrate at home and what’s important for them. Don’t assume.
9. Go online to download news pictures of celebrations in other countries to post throughout the classroom.
8. Use these downloaded pictures to make games, puzzles, and classbooks to talk about.
7. Learn authentic holiday songs from the home countries of the families in your program so they’ll sound familiar to the children. (great way for teachers to learn the other languages too!).
6. Provide word models of greetings from the various home languages of the children in the writing center so they can create cards and decorations.
5. Encourage all the children to learn the words, songs and customs of their friends’ cultures. Discuss similarities and differences.
4. Some programs counteract the over-excitement of the holidays by using the time to talk about seasonal traditions in different cultures instead.
3. While they are cute, keep in mind that holiday shows and pageants use up a lot of time, place a lot of pressure on young children and yield very minimal results in terms of learning.
2. Involve the children in creating your own special classroom tradition – perhaps making artwork for a local nursing home or feeders to help animals in winter.
1. Make food! Food is a key part of holidays in most cultures. Get parents and/or volunteers involved. Learn about quantities, textures, ingredients, colors, smells, and ENJOY!