‘Tis the Season for Holiday Traditions!

My favorite part of the holiday season are the traditions we revisit year after year. Our family crowding around the dinner table to enjoy grandma’s famous mac and cheese recipe, driving around with warm blankets and a thermos of hot chocolate to see the neighborhood lights. This season is all about spending time together and doing things we love with the ones we love.

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Holiday Activities from Novel Effect

The holidays are all about spending time together – which is why we think these five festive activities are great fun for the whole family!

Novel Effect is celebrating The 5-Days of Bookmas!

Each day we are featuring a holiday title found on Novel Effect via social media and pair it with a family-friendly activity to get into the spirit of the season.

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Happy Holidays, Novel Effect Educators!

As you are Fa-La-La-ing your way to…V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, we thought you might like to ease some of that countdown-to-holiday-break craziness with titles that explore different seasonal cultures and traditions. Good news, there’s a little elfish-luck in your corner, all the titles below are available in the Novel Effect app!

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Books to Celebrate with in February

Looking for the perfect book to pair with all the February holidays? Then look no further!

Despite being the shortest month of the year, February is packed full of reasons to celebrate. From month-long tributes, to candy-worthy days of glee, to major sporting events, we’ve got a book to join you and your little one no matter what the celebration might be. Here’s our suggested pairings:

 

For Black History Month (All Month Long)

We suggest: Emmanuel’s Dream

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Share with your child this incredible, true story about a man with a disability who rides his bike 400 miles to prove that dreams can become a reality.

 

For the Super Bowl (and the aftermath of no more football season) (Feb. 4th and after)

We suggest: Goodnight Football

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Sharing hobbies is a great way to build family time and bonding. This is the perfect night time story to keep football, and those family memories, around all year long.

 

For Mardi Gras (Feb. 13th)

We suggest: What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night

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Everyone needs to let their hair down and celebrate on occasion, even toys. What sort of mischief will be unleashed this time?

 

For Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14th)

We suggest: I Love You Through and Through

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Incredibly sweet and very relatable for young kids, this rhyming story is a great one to snuggle up with on the day celebrating all kinds of love.

 

For President’s Day (Feb. 19th)

We suggest: Grace for President

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Use this very colorful, fun, and accessible book to teach kids about politics, public service, and the electoral college during presidential elections.

 

For Tell a Fairy Tale Day (Feb. 26th)

We suggest: Zen Shorts

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Stillwater the giant panda loves to tell a good story that always helps his young neighbors learn important lessons.

 

Tell us what books you celebrated with this month! Join the conversation on social media or email us at info@noveleffect.com.

 

5 Holiday Break Activities to do as a Family

When the last bell rings at your kid’s school before break, to them it means one thing only: freedom!  Many kids would be perfectly happy to spend a good chunk of that time watching Netflix or playing video games, so turn to old-fashioned, inexpensive activities to limit screen time. They might bemoan the idea at first, but before you know it, they’ll be absorbed in their own imagination and the magic of quality time together!

Holiday memories are some of the most special that kids hold onto for a lifetime. Here are a few ideas to keep in your arsenal of activities this holiday break, Moms & Dads:

1. Build a Blanket Fort

The simple things can remind us what is important, and that includes revisiting activities that never go out of style. Pull out those sheets, round up the dining chairs, and turn the den into an epic fort. Add panache by stringing white lights inside. Pretend you’re on a camping adventure or read books together with the help of our app and bond under the “stars.”

2. Have a Giving Party

The holidays are a time to give thanks and, even more importantly, to give. It is a wonderful opportunity to teach your children about being charitable to fellow family members, the community, or even complete strangers. An excellent way to give back beyond monetary donations is by creating care packages for our armed forces stationed overseas or your local homeless shelter. Be sure to check online for what is acceptable to pack – not all items are accepted. Make a festive party out of it by inviting their friends over, setting up an assembly line, playing holiday music and serving yummy treats. There’s no doubt everyone will be feeling the holiday spirit!

3. “Lights” Show

Every family seems to put their blood, sweat, and tears into their holiday decorations. For every Christmas Vacation-esque house, there is a dad just itching for people to see the lights. What better way to spend your holiday together by seeing what your neighborhood has in store? Get bundled up and go on a neighborhood stroll or drive. Bring hot chocolate, pick your favorites, and enjoy a moment in the present with your family.

4. Competition

If your family is competitive, maybe it is time to take old traditions to a new level. Plan a Christmas cookie baking and decorating contest. Alternatively, how about turning your tree de-trimming into a playful game that kids will love (and you get some much-needed assistance). Give each child a small box or bucket and see who can collect the most ornaments in a certain period. A little competitions can be fun!

5. Ornament Making

Little and big kids alike will enjoy this one! If you have never made ornaments before, it can be a fun way to sit around the table and tell stories to each other while you explore your creative side. For the little ones, you can start with easy ornaments with foam and pipe cleaner. For older kids, you can make glass ball ornaments with paint or stuff them with glitter. Make a theme for each year so as they get older your family can look back on memories made.

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Sometimes over the holidays, it can be easy to plop in front of the TV and zone out to endless Christmas movie reruns and football, but in several years those moments will not be the ones you necessarily remember. Being active with your kids, engaging, creating, talking, reading…. those are the times your kids reap the most rewards and the ones all of you will cherish for years to come!