At this time of year, it is common to see trees decorated in bright lights, stores piled high with items in red, green, and gold, and malls are overflowing with both happy and harangued customers. However, holidays are celebrated less and less in educational settings as time goes by due to sensitivities in the general populous. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and others, are rarely celebrated in schools or public libraries for fear of offending someone.
So, how can we capture the spirit of the season in our storytimes without bringing anyone’s wrath down upon us?
Unfortunately, we’re simply not going to be able to please everyone. It’s a reality that I am still trying to accept! Luckily, though, there are great books that can allude to the season’s festivities without explicitly saying the words “Halloween,” “Christmas,” etc. Books about winter or nighttime or snow are excellent selections for this time of year (Frozen, anyone??). Books about family or food or coziness would also be strong suggestions!
Leaf rubbings (for those of you who still have leaves on your trees...or want to find some from a craft store) are great crafts that can bring color to your library and build writing skills at the same time! All you need are some pieces of paper, some unwrapped crayons, and some leaves.
We are adept at being flexible in all aspects of our jobs as Early Literacy specialists - this is just one more facet of that skill. If you have other ideas to share, please post them on our Facebook page - we’d love to see them!