By Beth Pinyerd
Hello March! In my early childhood classroom, this teacher and her students always left a snowman banner up through the middle of March. The children and I decorated the snowman’s nose with a snowflake in January, a heart in February and a shamrock in March. I lived in south Alabama where we didn’t see a lot of snow, but we always hoped to see snow and our snowmen always encouraged the children in this dream. And yes, I do remember a rare snow event in south Alabama in March. We as a class agreed that the snowman’s dream really did come true.
First of all, I want to say how much I love “The Observer”. Our community is so blessed to have an outstanding local newspaper that covers and celebrates the people in our community. “Newspaper in Education Week” is this week. Our newspapers are such valuable tools in teaching young children about our community and world. Sit down with your young child, show them the newspapers and what is happening all around them. This is a good way to teach some reading and comprehension skills from the newspapers.
This week we celebrate Dr. Seuss, an American children’s author who is known for his work writing and illustrating more than 60 books. He has delighted children over the years with his imaginative characters and rhymes. We celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday on March 2 by celebrating “Read across America Day”. Teachers in their classrooms are celebrating Dr. Seuss’ books by creatively planning themes all week. For example, on “Green Eggs and Ham” Day, children wear green, teachers add green food coloring into scrambled eggs and yes, ham is included. Children love this special day. Other special books by Dr. Seuss that are celebrated are “The Cat in the Hat”, “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” etc.
March 3, 2022 is National Anthem Day. Francis Scott Key, a young lawyer, wrote a poem after witnessing the British attack on Baltimore harbor during the war of 1812. This poem was put to music which became “The Star Spangled Banner” which became the official national anthem of the United States.
March blows in with a lot of wind but also a gust of neat ideas for young children as they take advantage of the seasonal characteristics of this month. 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, freedom and amazement of watching their kites fly and dance in the wind. I witness that same joy and smiles in young children’s eyes today as they join family or their friends on an afternoon kite adventure.
Where did kites come from? Kites have been around for two or three thousand years in celebrating special events and occasions. 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 Children’s Day in Japan as well. Too, it has been used for scientific purposes, as we remember. Benjamin Franklin discovered there was electricity present during a storm. Too, it’s been used to record temperatures and for military purposes.
Our environment in Opelika and Auburn provide 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, some times 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 common sense safety rules:
(1) Remember Benjamin Franklin’s discovery, in the rain 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) With kite materials, don’t use metal parts or lines which 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 crisis hits. 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 where you can make a lot of easy, homemade music instruments out of empty boxes, paper plates, rattles, etc. Lastly, March celebrates “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 fruit and vegetable trays to my classes to guide students on good nutrition.
Not only do we think of flying kites during this month, but we celebrate National Bubble Week in March. What fun it is to blow bubbles or wave that wand through the air and see your little ones chase the bubbles all around. I love to have my students do this at recess.
With your new kite, whether made or bought, have a grand old afternoon with the family. Don’t forget the picnic. Let’s go fly a kite!