family: 4 Articles

Strategies for a Mindful Holiday During the Pandemic

The holidays can be hectic and stressful, even under the best of circumstances. But this year, due to the pandemic, many of our favorite holiday experiences may be different or put on hold. Concerts, performances, and big celebrations will likely be cancelled. Large family gatherings may be impossible. Shopping for gifts may have to happen online. You can still make the holidays special by slowing down and savoring the beauty and meaning of the season. This revised post from 2018 about creating a mindful holiday with your family provides pandemic-appropriate strategies to encourage your child to use their senses to notice what makes the season special, plus some Magination Press titles that may be helpful. You can give your family the gift of calm this holiday season by practicing mindfulness together. A silver lining of the pandemic’s change of plans is that it allows you more time to notice the beauty of the season. You don’t need to sit silently and meditate; you just need to slow down and be in the moment. You can model holiday mindfulness for your child by putting down your phone and other electronics and being present for each experience. Encourage your children to focus on their five senses and their hearts throughout the season. Here are some ideas to bring mindfulness to many common holiday activities and tasks: Concerts, plays, and other performances: These events will happen differently this year. Seek out favorite or new musical, theatrical, or dance performances online or happening outdoors in a socially distanced way. However they happen, these events are a feast for the eyes and ears. Encourage your child to watch and listen carefully. Ask them to think about how watching and listening to the performers makes them feel. At intermissions and afterward, talk about what each of you found the most beautiful, surprising, funny, or sad during the performance. Even if you don’t see a holiday performance, your family can create one of your own, singing favorite holiday songs or acting out favorite stories. Magination Press books Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart and My Singing Nana by Pat Mora explore how families enjoying music together can bring a family together. Decorations: Even if you don’t decorate your home for the holidays, you’ll be surrounded by decorations in your community. The sights, sounds, and smells can be captivating. Lights are a big part of many winter holidays, whether they are candles, twinkling lights on trees, or big displays. Talk with your child about lights as you see them or as you light candles. Why do they think lights are such an important part of many winter holiday celebrations? How do the lights make them feel? What are their favorite kinds of lights?   Share your tradition’s stories about the role of lights. Many of our holiday decorations have a distinctive scent: pine, melted wax, spices (think Gingerbread houses or clove and orange pomanders). Even fire in the fireplace–not necessarily a holiday thing, but

Read More
Strategies for a Mindful Holiday During the Pandemic 2020-12-03T11:08:17-05:00

Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music

What would you do if both of your grandpas were visiting, but they couldn't talk to each other? Abuelo speaks Spanish. Opa speaks German. They can't talk to each other, so there is a lot of silence when they visit. But they both play the accordion, and music is a universal language! Hear Dr. Michael Genhart read his book, Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music, aloud. He also talks about his family, how families can blend and celebrate cultures, and suggests a family tree activity. Read a post by Dr. Genhart about writing this book here.

Read More
Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music 2020-11-16T21:17:56-05:00

Celebrating Pride with Books About Gender Diversity

Some of the best things in the world aren't one thing or the other, but in between...and entirely fantastically their own. Are you a boy or a girl? Some people expect others to be either a boy or a girl and don't understand that not everyone fits in to that either/or category. Some people identify as non-binary or gender fluid (not just a boy or a girl), transgender or gender diverse (not the sex they were assigned at birth.) Some people express themselves in gender nonconforming ways, like a boy who is most comfortable wearing dresses. You can explore gender nonconformity and gender expression with your kids with two books from Magination Press, My Maddy and Jacob's Room to Choose. In My Maddy, a young girl's parent is neither a boy or a girl. They are something entirely, wonderfully their own. In Jacob's Room to Choose, Jacob and his friend, Sophie, get chased out of the school bathroom because of the way they look, but their teacher helps the kids in their class understand stereotypes and gender expression. It's important for children to understand that people identify and express themselves in diverse and wonderful ways, and that friends and family are about love and acceptance. Magination Press books about gender nonconformity can help. Read an interview with Jacob here. Learn about appropriate gender identity vocabulary here. Magination Press is proud to offer books for kids and teens that celebrate LGBTQ+ voices and promote inclusive school and family values. Check out the Rainbow Collection.

Read More
Celebrating Pride with Books About Gender Diversity 2020-06-07T19:34:48-04:00