Día de Reyes: Pattern Path
January 6th is the day to celebrate el Día de Reyes. There are a variety of traditions practiced during this day across Latin America and the United States. As we get ready to celebrate el Día de Reyes we find some time to make a few crafts, read some books, and exchange a few more gifts after Christmas.
Día de Reyes, Epiphany, Three King's Day are some of the ways you will hear this day be referred as. Epiphany commemorates the biblical story of the birth of Jesus Christ where three wise men, Magi - Melchoir, Caspar, and Balthazar - follow a star through the desert to Bethlehem to find baby Jesus and bring him gifts.
The Craft: Pattern Path
Recommended Age: 2-5
Before finding and creating the pattern path, we talked about the biblical story found in our children's bible and connected it to the nativity scene we have in our home as part of our yearly Christmas decorations. However, how specific into the biblical story is really up to each family.
-Construction Paper (any color)
-Other ideas: stickers, stamps, manipulatives
It took me a few minutes to prep this activity. I drew a simple rendition of the nativity scene and the three kings. I also outlined a maze-like path - I purposefully created a maze with multiple correct paths so they could choose which path to take. Once they found a path we decided to create a shape pattern.
Pattern Learning: Patterns are found in everyday life. It is essential for parents to point out patterns in our daily lives to small children. Patterns help children make predictions when thinking of what comes next. This comes in handy in literacy. Patterns help children make logical connections. This comes in handy in math thinking.
Other patterns: size, color, numbers, letters, etc.
Patterns to consider: AB, AAB, ABC, etc.
Bilingual Language Learning:
Nene Bilingüe always tires to share fun activities that are conducive to parent-child interaction and bonding while fostering an environment of learning and bilingualism. We were able to review shape names in both English and Spanish. Asking open ended questions such as, "What comes next? ¿Qué sigue?" or "What do you think of this path? ¿Qué piensas de la ruta?" Talking about what each of you observe is key.
Note: For those families who tie to the biblical story of the Magi - we connected further by finding a path and taking about how the three wise men could not return the same way they traveled. For instance my oldest thought it would be fun to send the Magi through the loop-di-loop, but that would mean they would have to return through the same route. This could not be done because the story says they couldn't return to Jerusalem where King Herod I was too eager to find the baby too.
Other ways to celebrate Día de Reyes in your home:
Write a letter to the Three Wise Men. Much like the letter children write to Santa, they can also write a letter to the Magi.
Read books about the Three Wise Men. Below are a few.
January 2019 Bilingüe Book Buddy featured the book: Un Coquí de Borinquén con los Reyes a Belén . Take a peak here for more craft ideas.
Eat Rosca de Reyes. See who is lucky to get the baby Jesus in their piece of bread.
Set out grass or hay for the calls the night before.
Set out your shoes for small gifts from the Wise Men.
How will you celebrate el Día de Reyes?