Jumping Into January

As hard as it is to believe that it is now 2008, January of the new year is officially in full swing. After the exciting hustle and bustle of the holiday season, January may sometimes feel overly quiet by comparison but I am a firm believer that you can make just about anything exciting if you really try. So, here's some observances, events and ideas to help make your January a more memorable one.

It's Book Blitz Month
Resolve to Eat Breakfast Month
World Braille Day, January 4
Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 21
National Compliment Day, January 24
National Write to Congress Day, January 30

Since I am still trying (really, I am) to stick to my resolution of being more to the point, I'll give one idea, resource or link for each observance and encourage you to build off of those ideas with activities that fit for your classroom or family.

Book Blitz Month- Pick a day to have a reading party! Take your kids to the library and check out lots and lots of books- a veritable book blitz! Spend the day in your pajamas and spend the day sharing books and reading. For breakfast, lunch and dinner pick some foods from books that your child enjoys, like Chicken Soup With Rice by Maurice Sendak, and continue the fun at meal time too.

Resolve to Eat Breakfast Month- Plan a week (or month if you are really ambitious) of fun and creative breakfasts that even the most reluctant early eater would be happy to try. Have your kids take part in the planning and cooking and hopefully you'll find it a little easier to continue the habit once January is through.

World Braille Day- Visit the Braille Bug site for fun and informative activities for children as well as a list of fabulous links.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day- Family Education.com has a fabulous site with excellent activities for children adults alike. I also highly recommend the children's movie Our Friend, Martin which is a powerful portrait of young a young Dr. King that focuses on his strong character in a context that is meaningful for children.

National Compliment Day- With your classroom or your children, brainstorm a list of compliments that they would like to hear or that they could say/write to people. For younger children this list could be quite simple but for older children you could extend this concept into a study of synonyms and also create lists for different people, such as compliments for parents, siblings, bus drivers, etc.

National Write to Congress Day- What a great way to help children understand how our government works! You can work with children to research about their congress person and then have the kids write letters about issues that matter to them. Visit Kids.gov and Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids for everything a kid could ever want to know about how the U.S. government works.

Enjoy these ideas and have fun thinking up some fun January activities of your own! I'd love to hear about what you're doing in your family or classroom!