The holiday season is officially over, and if you want to let out a huge sigh of relief…we won’t judge! We know how exhausting the bustle of the holidays are, but we also know that January and February are rough months in a different way, especially for toddlers and preschoolers. The dreary winter days of being cooped up inside, colds and flu, and boredom (even though they JUST got all that stuff for Christmas!), makes kids and parents a bit stir-crazy.
So, why should celebrating stop after New Year’s Day?
Our Raleigh preschool is sharing some off-beat holidays in January that are perfect for celebrating with kids in a fun, stress-free way!
January 15 – Strawberry Ice Cream Day
While National Ice Cream Day is celebrated on July 1st, January 15th is reserved solely for strawberry! Have a strawberry ice cream celebration at home by making homemade strawberry ice cream with your preschoolers.
Try this easy, 3-ingredient recipe from A Pinch of Healthy:
- 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup of strawberries in syrup, pureed (or fresh strawberries with a few teaspoons of sugar, pureed)
Using a mixer or blender, whip the cream until it forms peaks (don’t overwhip or you’ll get butter!). Then, in another bowl, combine the strawberries with the condensed milk, and fold that mixture gently into the whipped cream.
Freeze in a freezer-safe, lidded container for about 8 hours.
This makes a great activity to do mid-morning so it will be ready for dessert that evening.
January 21 – Squirrel Appreciation Day
Squirrel Appreciation Day originated here in North Carolina to celebrate the contribution squirrels make to the environment. Specifically, squirrels are responsible for a large percentage of oak trees! They bury acorns to eat later and forget where they buried them, allowing new growth to occur.
Here are some ways to celebrate:
- If the weather isn’t too bad, take a nature walk or even just a walk around the park to go squirrel-spotting.
- Make pinecone squirrel feeders by spreading a thick coating of chunky peanut butter around the pinecone, then rolling it in seeds and oats. Press the mixture into the cone, then tie heavy string or twine around the top and hang them outside on low branches or fence posts.
- Print out squirrel coloring pages and color pictures.
- Check out squirrel-related books from the library, such as The Busy Little Squirrel, Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep, or The Secret Life of Squirrels
January 23 – Handwriting Day
In 1977, teachers felt the art of handwriting and penmanship was losing priority, so the Writing Instrument Manufacturer’s Association invented National Handwriting Day. Why January 23rd? This is John Hancock’s birthday – the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence and has one of the most recognizable signatures in history!
How can you celebrate National Handwriting Day with your kids? Look at original handwritten documents through history, like The Declaration of Independence, practice writing and showing your kids how letters are formed, or for children who aren’t ready for writing, just focus on drawing and holding pencils.
January 24 – National Peanut Butter Day
Peanut butter has been around since the 19th century, and while most people consider George Washington Carver as the inventor, he actually was more of the peanut butter promoter with a published document, “How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption” in 1916. Instead, Marcellus Gilmore Edson got the patent for the first peanut paste, now known as peanut butter, in 1884.
National Peanut Butter Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the joy of peanut butter. Peanut butter pancakes for breakfast, PB&Js for lunch, and if you have adventurous eaters, try a peanut sauce with chicken and stir-fry veggies and brown rice. This easy peanut sauce from Well Plated may be a hit!
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic — minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (or 1 tsp of ground ginger)
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 5-6 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes — plus additional to taste
Stir the ingredients together over medium heat until smooth and beginning to thicken. If it’s too thick, add another tablespoon of water. Toss with chicken and serve over stir fry veggies and rice.
Or try making your own homemade peanut butter with the kids to see what they think by grinding peanuts in your blender or food processor!
January 29 – National Puzzle Day
While no one knows how or when National Puzzle Day came to be, it’s celebrated on January 29th of every year. Today is the day you break out puzzles, such as simple peg or jigsaw puzzles, help your readers with simple word searches, set up a scavenger hunt, or have your kids crack codes for things like figuring out what is for dinner.
Keep the puzzle fun going all day, too. With a puzzle piece-shaped cookie cutter, you can make sandwiches, cookies, and fruit shapes in fun puzzle pieces. You can even find jigsaw puzzles for preschoolers that your children can color after they put it together.
Our Raleigh Preschool Wishes You a Fun Winter!
While we know the post-holiday stretch between New-Years and the first days of warm weather can be tough, having some fun holidays can help break up the monotony. Your child may also benefit by spending a few days a week in a preschool setting where he or she can play with peers and get more interaction and stimulation.
Contact Our 5-Star Preschool in Raleigh
If you’d like to learn more about Primary Beginnings or schedule a tour, we’re here to help! Contact our Raleigh preschool located on Spring Forest Rd at 919-790-6888 or North Hills Drive location at 919-785-0303 today to get started!