March and Spring Stroll In

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Beth Pinyerd

“There is a time for a, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.

This year has slowed us all down in enjoying the simple pleasures all around us. March is “National Umbrella Month.” I know we usually think April is the month for rain showers, but March has been declared as “National Umbrella Month” to possibly prepare us for the April showers.

March is also recognized as “Strolling into Spring Month.” This week, we welcome in a new month, and soon we will welcome a new season. As early childhood teachers, we know March blows in with a lot of wind but also a gust of wonderful ideas that we can engage our children and families in to get outside and enjoy spring days. Auburn and Opelika schools are approaching spring holidays.

I absolutely love to fly kites with my class. The March winds offer wonderful opportunities to do this. One is reminded of “Mary Poppins” singing “let’s go fly a kite up to the highest heights” and the looks of joy and glee on the children’s faces as they dashed outside to the fun and freedom and amazement of watching their kites fly and dance in the wind. I witness that same joy in young children’s eyes today as they join family or their friends on an afternoon kite adventure. It is so much worth the time for families to prepare for a kite-flying adventure.

Where did kites come from? Kites have been around for 2,000 to 3,000 years. According to records and legends, China was the country that invented the kite. Thailand and Japan have used kites in their celebrations. We especially notice that brightly colored kites are used in The Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan, and they are used for Children’s Day in Japan as well. Too, the kite has been used for scientific purposes, as we remember from the story of Benjamin Franklin. Too, it has been used to record temperatures and for military purposes.

Our environment in Opelika and Auburn provides wonderful places and parks to go fly kites. I love the lakes and streams in our area where families can catch winds off the water to fly kites.

There are so many sites on the web to show parents how to make simple newspaper kites, box kites and other forms of kites with their children. It’s so much fun to work together on a project like this.

Too, sometimes it is just better to purchase a kite if you don’t have time to make one. This spring entertainment object is not expensive and well worth the investment for memorable family fun!

I’d like to remind my readers of just some commonsense safety rules:

(1) Remember Benjamin Franklin’s discovery; the line can carry electricity. So don’t fly kites in a thunderstorm; electricity has already been discovered!

(2) Never fly a kite near electric lines or poles.

(3) When making a kite, don’t use metal parts or lines that will attract electricity. Too, fishing line or wire can cut a young child’s hands.

(4) Fly the kite in a safe location, not near trees, ditches or steep hills.

 (5) If a kite gets caught up in a tree or pole, just leave it alone.

As I look at my March teacher calendar and my lesson plan book, there are other neat events that happen during the month of March. Here are some events that you might want to jot down for you and your child to celebrate. This month is American Red Cross Month. Take time to explain to your young child how important the American Red Cross is to our community in helping to take care of us after a crisis hits an area. Explain that they provide needed items and take care of us after bad weather or other times when we need help.

Too, this is Music in Schools Month. You can make a lot of easy homemade music instruments out of empty boxes, paper plates, rattles, etc.

March is “National Nutrition Month.” Take time to explain what are good foods to eat versus foods that are not good to eat. During this month, I love to bring to my classes vegetable and fruit trays to guide them on what good nutrition is. This can simply be done at mealtime at home.

A wonderful intergenerational activity is on Friday, March 12, which is “National Plant A Flower Day.” Choosing the kind of flower to plant can include a field trip to the store or garden nursery to choose the flowers, a bag of soil and whatever else needed. The sights, scents and textures delight young children and bring back many good memories to us seniors.

“Newspaper in Education Week” is this week, March 1-5. Our newspapers are such valuable tools in teaching young children about our community and world. The Opelika Observer does a wonderful job in covering educational and community news. Sit down with your young child and show them the newspapers and what is happening all around them. Young children love to look at the pictures. This is a good way to teach some reading and comprehension skills from the newspapers.

“National Bubble Week” is celebrated in March too. What fun it is to blow bubbles or wave that wand through the air and see your little ones chase the bubbles all around. Young children love bubbles! I love to have my students do this at recess. Hours of bubble fun can be had right in the backyard.

I hope Classroom Observer has given you some ideas to share spring fun with your children and families. Time spent with children spells LOVE!

Beth Pinyerd
Classroom Observer

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