At first glance, February isn't the most inspirational of months. The slog of winter feels, well, sloggy, and spring is still ages away. May we suggest a little writing prompt to help you and your kids through the doldrums?
The Exquisite Prompt Writing Challenge from Reading Rockets and Adlit.org has just the right mix of ideas to get you going: Self-portraits, poetry, pourquoi tales, fabulous fables, and the 13th Labor of Hercules. This month, Shannon Hale (Princess Academy) and Calef Brown (Polkabats and Octopus Slacks) provide the inspiration and your kids do the rest.
Any other creative ideas to break the February blahs? Or does anyone out there actually like February?
Tracey Wynne of PBS Parents shares her new favorite, Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go To Sleep:
Last month, my five-year-old daughter became fearful of going to sleep. There was no monster under her bed, in her closet or creeping down the hall. The monster she feared was in her head in the form of bad dreams.
In my frantic search to ease her fears, I came across the most delightful book, Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep, by Joyce Dunbar. Written over 10 years ago, it tells the story of a little rabbit named Willa who can't fall asleep because she fears bad dreams. She asks her big brother, Willoughby, to tell her something happy before she goes to sleep. He obliges. Willoughby gets Willa to see how the many simple things in her life bring her joy, such as wearing cozy pajamas, eating certain foods or looking at the night sky. Eventually, Willa falls asleep.
This wonderful read-aloud is sweet and reassuring. I love how it addresses the power of positive thinking; a skill that will serve children well, even at night.
Reading Tell Me Something Happy... with my daughter has become part of our nightly routine. Although she still frets about bad dreams, I now know how to help - I get her to tell me something happy before she goes to sleep.
What books have helped to calm your child's nighttime fears?