January marks the beginning of a new year and can be a good time for reflection on the year gone by. It is also a time to think about hopes and goals for the year just begun. However, young children live very much in the present moment and may not understand the concept of looking forward. Therefore, it is a good opportunity to teach the children about the concept of time. For instance, you could familiarize the children with ‘yesterday, today and tomorrow’ as part of your Curriculum Planning for January. This can be easily done by introducing a new daily task for the children.
Everyday you ask the children what they did at school yesterday. Similarly, at the end of each day you ask them what they did today and what they plan on doing tomorrow. In addition, you could slowly introduce the seven ‘Days of the Week’ to help them understand why Sunday might be a little different from Monday, for example. After that, you could move onto the months and seasons. There are some great rhymes and poems that will help children learn in an age appropriate way. Similarly, you can talk to the children about what they would like to do this year. You could also talk about their move to primary school (where appropriate). This will also help them to get some understanding of what looking ahead might mean for them.
January Curriculum Planning Ideas
Our Curriculum Planning Pack for January includes some great activities from four different Curriculum Planning Packs. For instance, we have included activities from Winter, Shape Detectives, One Finger One Thumb and Early Years STEM packs. All of the activities included are linked back to Aistear and Montessori Learning. In addition to these activity sheets there are plenty more themes that can be done with the children in the month of January. These include:
- Winter Animals
- Ice and Snow
- The Arctic/Antarctic
- Cold and Hot
- Evergreen trees
- Winter clothes
- Winter Hobbies (such as skiing, ice skating and snowboarding)
All of the themes can be done over a couple of days or doubled up to make a week long theme. You can aim to do a mix of activities that encourage fine and gross motor skills, language, speech and social skills. You can use a range of different learning tools from books, stories and rhymes to pictures, posters and songs. Allow the children to explore each idea and similarly let them interpret their own version of the activity so that they can make sense of it. You can do this by providing a range of different materials and activities. Why not try this super Winter Wonderland Super Yoga by Cosmic Kids to get the kids moving whilst learning about different aspects of Winter!
- January: The 1st Month of the year, 31 Days
- Flowers: Carnation, Snow Drop
- Weather: Freezing temperatures, possibility of snow
- Birthstone: Garnet
The Early Years Resource Factory Membership
If you are already a member of the Early Years Resource Factory, the January Curriculum Planning pack comes free as part of your membership. If you are not already a member you can sign up here. You can also sign up for a trial which will give you access to EYRF for 7 days. Click here for your 7 day trial.