Every birdy needs some love especially during these freezing cold days of winter! Here are a few ideas to help you show the birds (and let's be honest - the squirrels are gonna eat some too) that you care.
1. Fruit garland!
Shared (This is the one we tried this year - giving our Christmas tree a second life near the bird feeder outdoors!)
2. Berries and Cheerio Heart Ornaments for Valentine's Day!
4. Apple Birdseed Feeders
5. Orange-ya Glad the Birds Visited?
6. Last but not Least! More for Mommy:
As ever, mama needs some special time to go birding on her own in the winter. Try keeping a nature journal of what you observe during a nature walk- either writing or sketching or both. This article by Claire Walker Leslie is good for inspiration!
Scenes from a New England Winter
The Hygge You Say?
According to The Little Book of Hygge, Hygge is the Danish term for "cozy togetherness" and there is nothing like a good picture book and a hot cup of cocoa to bring you and your little one together during the cold of winter! Here are 10 books that offer you a little bit of Hygge with your preschooler:
Your List of 10 Hygge Books to Cuddle Up With Together
1. Owl Moon
2. Owl at Home
3. Very Hairy Bear
4. Mouse and Mole: A Winter Wonderland
5. Fox's Garden
6. White Snow, Bright Snow
7. Winter is the Warmest Season
10. Wolf in the Snow
More for Mommy
As ever, this blog is not just for the little ones in your life - it's for you too! I'm gonna go ahead and assume that you wouldn't reject a hot cuppa tea and a good book by the fire so here are a few ideas for getting your hygge on this winter too!
Nothing is more cozy than a village mystery and the first selection by Louise Penny offers three Inspector Gamache tales taking place in small town Quebec. Next up "Le Grand Meaulnes" is a beautiful French classic about a boy who comes across a "lost estate" in the deep of winter and his search for the feelings of childhood warmth and magic that this space created for him. Finally, explore more about the whole idea of Hygge with the last selection which offers practical ideas for integrating coziness into your home and life. Click on the images below to explore each title:
My daughter and I recently went to see and hear Stravinsky's Firebird performed by the National Arts Centre Orchestra here in Ottawa with accompanying theatrical performance by Enchantment Theater Company. She is now 6 years old so - not a preschooler anymore - but there were many younger ones there - even one expecting mother sat behind us to soak in the sounds of classical music! (It's never too early!) Now. It's important to note that this performance was part of a series designed with children in mind and that is enormously helpful when introducing your child to classical music performances - but not necessary.
If you are thinking of taking your little one to the symphony - here are a few ways to be sure you both can enjoy the experience.
1. Know the Story
Taking time to order a few books from your local library a week or so before to get acquainted with the story is a lot of fun. Many classical compositions take their origin in a legend or tale and if not - there are usually some picture books about the composer that are out there waiting to be read! No time for all that? Check out cute little sites like Seed Learning to get everyone up to speed!
2. Listen to the Music
Duh. I guess this one is a no-brainer, hey? It's always fun to see the look of recognition come over your child's face when they have been listening to the piece before they arrive at the concert. Take out some markers and let your little one colour while listening to the music.
3. Go time! Tips for during the performance:
Arrive early! When we got there we found many little pre-performance activities had been planned for the kids. We went to the washroom, got cozy in our chairs and got all our sillies out including the delight of being so light that our chairs folded us up like little tacos. (Ok. My chair was fine .. I'm sure it was just a defect). While we waited we talked about the times that are best to clap, how to sit properly in the chair and what we would order to drink and munch on at the intermission.
4. Take Advantage of the After-Effect
The concert's over and it was wonderful and you both enjoyed yourselves! So. What now? Well.. the fun has just begun! Now you can explore other performances and videos online like this original interpretation of Firebird by Disney in Fantasia 2000!
5. More for Mommy
As an adult, who has now attended the Firebird, you may wish to learn more about Stravinsky's artistry. I sure did! Take a peek at this wonderful video called "Discovering Stravinsky's Firebird: The Story and the Music"
Would you and your little one like to explore Picasso's portraiture in a hands-on way that brings you closer and lets you reinterpret the idea of what a face "should" look like in art? Try these activities:
In the Mirror!
Grab a mirror with your little one and sit together to paint your own self-portraits! The goal is to make it as mixed up a face as possible. Next, leave the mirror aside and draw portraits of one another. Do NOT show each other until you have a finished product to make each other laugh!
Picasso Head: A Digital Game!
Visit Picasso head where you can drag and drop ears, eyes, lips eyebrows and hair in any manner you please! Next, have fun enlarging or rotating each feature to make your own unique Picasso head.
More for Mommy
I'm starting a new feature on this blog called "More for Mommy" where each time I provide a resource or idea for your preschooler to pursue their passion for the arts and nature, I will also provide something more for you as a parent or caregiver (you don't have to actually be a mommy to get something out of this). Here is the first more for mommy! Take a peek at this lovely and insightful article/gallery on Picasso's portraits called "Pablo's people: the truth about Picasso's portraits."