Celebrate the Birthday of A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh Author

Celebrate the Birthday of A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh Author

“Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would I’d never leave.”
“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?'”
“If ever there is a tomorrow when we are not together, there is something you must always remember: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think, but the most important thing is, even if we are apart, I’ll always be with you.”

Getting a sense that there is a person who creates the books and characters we love is a great way to make reading special and personal.  Children enjoy knowing that A.A. Milne wrote the books about his real-life son, Christopher Robin, and his stuffed animals.  (And although my son, Eli, hasn’t really attached himself to the Winnie-the-Pooh series, he did latch on to Thomas the Tank Engine and was fascinated that the stories began as bedtime stories that Rev. W. Awdry told his son who also happened to be named Christopher.)

Spread a picnic blanket or a bedsheet on the floor of the family room or playroom.  If there are any stuffed animals in the household from the Hundred Acre Wood (Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, etc.), place them on the blanket, alongn with paper plates or plastic ones from a child’s tea set.  If there are no stuff animals, you could have your children pick their favorite character and make paper plate masks to wear.

Since Pooh loves honey, serve honey graham crackers or honey cookies.  If blowing out candles is important, use cupcakes with a honey frosting.  (Hansen Honey is highly recommended.)  Drinks could be juice or herbal tea with honey or good ol’ fashioned milk.

As a family, read some of Milne’s work, either the classic books Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner or his poems “When We Were Very Young” and “Now We Are Six” or have a family movie night (with each family member picking their favorite character and cheering when he/she first comes on the screen).  At dinner time or just before bed, ask the children if someone wrote a book about the stuffed animals in their house, what adventures would they have?  What would be a good title for the book?  Be sure to share about some of your childhood adventures with your favorite stuffed animal.

I got this idea about celebrating A.A. Milne’s birthday from The Book of New Family Traditions by Meg Fox.  Meg Fox got the idea from Kids Celebrate!: Activities for Special Days Throughout the Yearby Maria Bonfanti Esche and Clare Bonfanti Braham.

P.S. I know that this year, the 18th of January also happens to be when we are celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. day.  The holiday to honor him falls on the 3rd Monday of January each year (so not always the same date).  Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great man who felt compelled to speak out where there was inequality.  I found that this article had some excellent ideas on practical ways to celebrate MLK day with your children and teach them about the inspiring work he did.

Jessica

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