The Winter Holiday Season is Upon Us!

December 16, 2016
 
Painting of Santa flying in his sleigh with reindeer at night

When you think about the winter holiday season, what comes to your mind? Do you think about playing in the snow? Do you think about eating wonderful food with your family? Or do you think about celebrating some religious customs or family traditions? Fred Rogers shares his thoughts on the joys and challenges of the holidays for both children and adults.  Today’s blog is full of helpful tips and clips that may guide your discussions over the winter holiday season. 

If you have younger children, you may want to check out Sid’s Holiday Adventure. In this episode of Sid the Science Kid, Sid and his friends learn about temperature, thermometers, the weather, and learn that temperatures vary depending on where you are. 

We Love the Winter Holidays is a great Wilson & Ditch video. In this video, the two gophers sing about Chanukah, Christmas, and Kwanza. The purpose of this video is to help children understand how the winter holiday season is celebrated differently by various people.  A great activity to follow up with this video would be to have your children or students write about or share how they celebrate the winter holiday season with their families and friends. If you do not celebrate the holiday season, talk about how we celebrate the start of winter, which is on December 21st.

If your children are older, there are some other good resources that can spark their winter holiday thoughts. Did you know that the electric light bulb was created by Ohio-born inventor, Thomas Edison? Ohio had one of the first public displays of holiday lighting in 1924 at Edison’s General Electric Campus in East Cleveland.  Watch Know Ohio: Holiday Lights in Ohio to see some of the beautiful light shows in a small part of Ohio.

If you want to take a more scientific approach to the winter holiday season, Is Santa Real?  is a scientific analysis brought to you by It’s Okay to Be Smart/PBS Digital Studios. This video adds a fun spin to some of the winter holiday themes or ideas that many of us hear this time of year.  This video helps students explore how it could be possible for Santa to deliver all the presents in one night, what gives reindeer red noses or makes it possible for them to fly, and why Christmas lights get tangled in knots!

If you are looking for more local information, here are a few helpful things. EnjoyIllinois.com shares a few locations that you can take your family to celebrate the holiday season. The Children’s Museum of Illinois in Decatur-is offering a “Happy Noon Year” party for children and families to celebrate the New Year earlier in the day. Chambanamoms.com provides us with a list of Champaign-Urbana area winter break camps.

And finally, we have exciting news! Coming January 16, 2017, PBS Kids will be available 24/7 on WILL channel 12.2.  You will also be able to watch anytime online at www.will.illinois.edu. We will be launching an interactive PBS kids gaming feature in the summer of 2017!

Wishing you all a fun and safe Winter Holiday Season!