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Showing posts from March, 2012

Our Color Discoveries - Following up on my Weekly Kids Co-Op Post!

When I started the process of trying out the great activities from Carrots Are Orange that I featured yesterday as part of the Weekly Kids Co-Op, I ended up making a lot of adjustments (of course). 

For her magnetic paint samples, my first adjustment came because of frugality. I didn't want to by magnets, so I used some business card magnets we had left over from a 2006 event. Then, I forgot to get the craft sticks. So, mine became super simple. I pasted the business card magnets onto the paint samples with Guerilla Glue. Done! Not exciting, but effective (especially for a toddler). My toddler actually started pulling the scrap pieces out of the recycle bin and bringing them to me to help him identify what color they were too!



When it came to the paint strip clothespin activity she did. My toddler thought the paint strips with the clothespins connected looked like trains (everything is a train to him). So, we went with it and created a rainbow train: 



I had just found some of…

Weekly Kids Co-Op: Toddlers and Colors

My toddler is doing great with numbers and letters, but colors are coming more slowly. So, this week, we've been focusing colors. I checked out several books from the library that focused on colors and have been pointing out colors on our walks, especially noting the red stop signs and green leaves. I plan to get paint samples this weekend and try out these great activities:


I love that the paint sample activity above does not intimidate me to make (as someone who does not consider herself crafty -- they are magnetized). She also used + and = magnets to demonstrate how primary colors create other colors -- so you put the red strip up on the fridge or cookie sheet the plus sign the yellow strip the equals sign and the orange. Simple and effective. I think that paint strip activity would connect well with the simple food coloring mixing activities suggested by little lovely

Pink and Green Mama uses paint chips with her children to create a matching game (think Memory), which she sa…

Cesar Chavez and...Thanksgiving?

Friday is Cesar Chavez Day and a lot of people use the celebration of Cesar Chavez to focus on Community Service. I'm using it as an opportunity to focus on the ways we can encourage our little ones to be aware of improving the world in which they live. 

For little, little ones (like my 2 1/2 year old, Sky), formal community service, such as volunteering at the local food pantry, is clearly not an option. However, teaching little ones to care for others and their community is possible.

Something that Sky seemed very aware of early on was messes and trash. What a blessing to have a child that likes to clean up. Even when he was first walking, if he saw trash at the park he could not play until he had picked it up and thrown it away. He's still like that and, of course, it is something that we encourage -- cleaning up after one's self, not littering, and picking up trash outside if we see it. 

Perhaps he knows somehow that picking up trash was something he exper…

Meditation Monday - Week 3 - "Understanding is the Essence of Love"

I'm now on Week 3 of my 20 week meditation series inspired by Marc and Angel's 20 Things to Stop Doing to Others.
I got a little behind, so I'm posting a day late, but I am glad I've committed myself to this practice.
I realized during last week's focus, "Stop Complaining," that Week 2 was particularly important as a parent, since children often reflect their parents' traits back to them. (If you yell, your children will yell. If you eat junk, your children will eat junk. Likewise, if you read, your children will want to read. If you demonstrate kindness, your children will also). Complaining as parents often gets reflected back to us with children who whine. So, the importance of week 2 for me, as a mom of a toddler and baby, is clear, and I definitely find myself with a lot of incentive to carry that one forward.
If Week 2 was about the kiddos, Week 3 is about the spouse, the life partner, the best friends. #3 on Marc and Angel's list is "St…

Weekly Kids Co-Op: Our Quiet Book

A couple of weeks ago, as part of the Weekly Kids Co-Op, I highlighted two quiet books (a sew and no-sew example). 

Inspired by the Eliza Loves Quiet Book, my mother made Sky a Quiet Book. I am flying to NYC with him (he'll be about 2 1/2 then and my infant). We're hoping this wonderful book will make the flight a little easier.  

My mother is an amazing crafter, quilter, seamstress, etc. She runs a bazaar at her church that is a great fundraiser for their church and engages many women (and men) in crafting and creating. She brought a lot of fabric scraps, buttons, ribbons, etc. We looked at what we had, thought about what Sky liked and created this. 
















Monday Meditation: Week 2

Last Monday, I initiated the first of a 20-week Meditation series, inspired by and centered on Marc and Angel's 20 Things to Stop Doing.

Week 1 was Stop Holding Grudges and the week's focused intention and energy led to important realizations and understandings of grudges and why letting them go, and not creating new grudges is important.

Week 2 is a big challenge. Stop Complaining. My apologies to my mother today, who is visiting and to whom I spent much of my day "venting" my frustrations. Venting is just another word for complaining isn't it?

When we hit harder times in life (and the little ones are both sick and you aren't sleeping through the night), venting seems essential, necessary and inevitable.

I am trying to learn that it is not. I am hoping to retrain myself. After Stop Complaining, on their blog, Marc and Angel say, "instead, spend your time and energy to do something about it." 

Feeling lost makes it harder to stop the complaining because …

Happy Accidents-Learning with Letters

As a parent, sometimes great tips/tools/activities are stumbled upon accidentally out of a necessity.

My recent discovery of another wonderful use for a muffin tin (upside down) just such a time.

Many of the fellow bloggers that are part of the Weekly Kids Co-Op (linky below) utilize muffin tins in amazing ways, and I started using it for snacks for my toddler because of a blog.

The other day, though, while cooking dinner, I wanted my toddler in his high chair in the kitchen with me, so as to not worry about what he was doing in some other part of the house. He was not as excited about being in the chair while I was still cooking.

We had recently got some letter magnets, though, so I placed the high chair within reaching range of the magnets, which were on the side of the fridge, then would ask him to see if he could find a letter.

As he found the letters, he wanted somewhere to put them, but would sometimes drop them if they were just on his high chair tray. So, we turned his muffin …

Follow Up - on Meditation Monday

I'm following up regarding how my weekly meditation/intention focus is going, so let's call this Thoughtful Thursday -- the follow up to Meditation Monday.

In Monday's post, I focused a lot on letting go of grudges with those we are close to, with loved ones.

While I agree that those types of grudges rank at the top of the list, something I realized during a meditation focused on releasing grudges was that sometimes the most deep-seated grudges may relate to people we don't even talk to anymore, people we aren't even connected to through Facebook, such as a former boss or colleague, a former classmate, etc.

These grudges may be ones we already think we have let go or that are so old and deeply held that we don't pay them must attention. Yet, still holding onto that anger, resentment or ill-will from the time we were "wronged" by that person so many years ago, does weigh us down. It does increase the amount of tension we're holding in our shoulder. It…

Ten for Tuesday: Grandparents

Today's Ten is just ten great photos of Sky with his grandparents (or doing things related to their grandparents). It is my dad's birthday today, and my mom is flying in today to visit her grandchildren, so this seemed appropriate. (Okay - the first 3 count as one photo because they are related to Sky making a birthday card for his grandpa.)




Sky "sewing" with his grandma, who is an expert seamstress.


I love the interchange here between them.
This was when Sky was just about 6 weeks old.


From the day Sky was born.

This photo is a cheat because it of me, my brother
and family friends with my dad at the Grand Canyon.
It's just one of my favorite photos of my dad (aka grandpa) so I included it.


Sky with my grandmother, a month or two before she died.
She was his only living great grandparent at the time.

Meditation Monday

I've decided to do a 20-week series called Meditation Monday, in which I focus on a different meditation or growth goal for the week. I'm starting with 20 because a friend shared this blog.

I love this list of 20 Things to Stop Doing to Others and have decided to focus each week on one of the items on the list. It pushes me to start the week with focused meditation and to set positive intentions for the week.

This week is #1 on the list: Stop Holding Grudges. My meditation today will focus not only on holding grudges, but also on being honest with myself. Unless I recognize the grudge, I can't let it go.

Inevitably, we all feel that we have been wronged in some way by someone. We harbor feelings of resentment. Holding a grudge and clinging to that feeling of being wronged gets in the way of present happiness. Letting go liberates us. This week I will focus on letting go of negativity, so that I can embrace the happiness and joy that exists around me.

During my 20-week co…

When Your Kid is "That Kid" AKA How I Learned to Stop Judging Other Parents

It was very good timing that the morning before the Fire Station field trip, I read this article.

The article talks about the realities of parenting and how, pre-children, we may find ourselves judging other parents (and may still do this even after we have our own children). She sites examples of the friend whose toddler is watching "too much tv" or the parent that is giving their child junk food. We often think that will not be us. Then, reality hits, and everyday is not the perfect day, and we may find ourselves, as a parent, doing something we thought we would NEVER do.

Well, during the Fire Station field trip it wasn't so much that I was finding myself doing something that I would never do, but that I was feeling very self-conscious (and slightly embarrassed) around the other parents as my kid was the kid being "that kid." I used to think my kid would NEVER be "that kid." Then it happened. My toddler, who is usually a good kid (naps when I ask him…

Weekly Kids Co-Op: Fire Safety Crafts

The mom's group I'm a part of has arranged for us to go to the local fire station with our kids. So, I decided I would also do a fire truck craft with my toddler.

Making a fire truck, I realize, is a good way to reinforce shapes, which my little guy is very interested in. You have circles for wheels and the rectangle for the truck and can do a square for the cab.

This construction paper fire truck from No Time for Flashcards, a fellow Kids Co-Op blogger, is one of my favorite fire truck crafts.

Photo from No Time for Flashcards
And, I love this handprint firefighter craft from Tippytoe Crafts.
Photo from Tippytoe Crafts
Another simple idea is to do a big F is for Fire (and covering the F in scraps of orange, yellow and red paper). (This pinboard has lots of other fire safety activities - including a fire safety sensory tub).

Since, I have a firetruck crafts, I thought I would also link to some books about fire safety. Here's a pretty good list. There's also at least 1 or 2 bo…