Friday, January 25, 2013

Pretend Play Ice Skating with Mozart


As much as I love and try to take the girls outside during winter sometimes it's just not possible. When the temperature  is below zero for example.

That's when we try and get creative with activities that get us moving and grooving inside!

On this day I set up a "play" ice skating rink in our living room. I sectioned off the area with masking tape. I have a fairly small house but was still able to use quite a bit of space for this after moving around some furniture. If you don't have hard wood floors this could work in the kitchen as well.


I told the girls we were going ice skating and asked if they wanted to name our ice skating ring. My 4 year old decided it should be called Snowy Ice Skating Rink. So I suggested we make a sign to post near the rink.


This is an excellent way to tie in writing and print through play as well as to teach print has meaning. We proudly displayed the sign next to the designated rink area.


I used wax paper and tape to tie around the girls feet for the "ice skates". I also suggested that we may need hats, scarves, mittens to keep warm. My 4 year old chose a hat and my 2 year old decided she didn't want anything (This is very typical of her personality- to go against the norm) :) I also played Mozart music so the girls could skate to classical music. I encouraged them to listen to the music and skate slow to the slow parts and fast to the fast parts.



We also spent a lot of time just moving around and being silly!! You'll see my very opinionated 2 year old decided after awhile she didn't want the "skates". Perfectly fine, she chose to take them off and had fun in her socks.


Such a fun way to beat those winter blues and get moving inside!!

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Last Cartwheel- Growing old with grace...

Do you remember the last time you did a cart wheel?
Do you remember the last time you were pushed on a swing?
Do you remember the last time you fed your now grown up baby a bottle?

 I'd like to share this article I wrote about growing old and really approaching those everyday moments with your children as if they were the very last time you will do them. 

As I get older it's easier for me to do, even though it often means replacing the negative dialogue in my head. When my 5 month baby refuses to sleep and I'm walking him around the house, I'm exhausted and cranky but it helps to stop and think to embrace the moment as if it were the very last rock, the very last swaddle, the very last lullaby. 

This was written a couple of years ago but every so often I go back and read it and it serves as a great reminder to not only savor these moments with my children but to strive to grow old with grace and embrace each wrinkle in all their glory! 

The Last Cart Wheel 

I’m getting old. No, really for the first time in my life I’m truly starting to feel like I’m getting old. In the past I’ve always balked at the idea that I’m getting older. When friends would tell stories from x amount of years ago and then follow it up with statements like “Gosh we’re getting old” I simply didn’t subscribe to that way of thinking. I just never felt that way. I don’t think I was in denial- I just didn’t feel it. 

That is until recently. 

I see it on my face in the mirror and pictures of me. I see the infinite amount of wrinkles that seem to develop on a daily basis and don’t even get me started on my grey hairs! 

I feel it in my body and my bones and muscles- and it’s not just an “I need to start working out feeling”…it’s beginning I tell ya- if “old” were some sort of disease those first symptoms have reared their ugly heads and planted seeds in my 37 year old body. 

I live it in my day to day life: at times when I find myself hesitating to offer up my age, when the 22 year old hair stylist calls me mam, when I’m by far the oldest mom in the playgroup, when I think the music at a hip restaurant is way too loud. 

I am indeed getting old and it’s no longer this little realization dangling in front of me- it’s right here and we have finally met. Really, I’m learning to be okay with it. I think when you actually accept that you are getting old there lies within you a world of wisdom that by golly can only come with age. There’s a certain appreciation that unfolds as we start to really contemplate our mortality. I’d like to think that as a result we live larger, we surround ourselves with good people, and we don’t sweat the small stuff. We know how fragile humanity is and we don’t know when it will be our time. When you’re younger you simply don’t think about those things. 

I remember those innocent care-free childhood days. Laughing until your belly hurt, waiting for the ice cream man, playing Ghost in the Graveyard, sharing secrets at sleepovers, doing cartwheels in the front yard… I seriously don’t remember the last time I did a cartwheel. I used to love doing them but I can not and will not ever remember my very last one. I wonder if I would have enjoyed it more if I knew it would be my last cartwheel. Why can’t we get some sort of warning sign, a little voice that says “psst…hey you…this is it, better really savor it because May 10, 1984 is the very last time you will ever do a cartwheel!” 

There is no little voice, no warning sign given but there is the knowledge of knowing, accepting, and embracing the inevitable. And we can choose to move forward with love and grace and be our own little voice. So I may not remember the exact date of the last time I rock my daughters to sleep or read them a bedtime story but I will certainly remember that I cherished those moments as if they were my last, each and every time! And if getting old allows me to make those revelations than it’s a journey I’ll gladly take! 

Do you have any "getting old" revelations, words of wisdom you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them in the comments.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fine Motor/Math Pom Pom Activity

I love the dollar store almost as much as I love Target! Speaking of the dollar store be sure to check out this post from growingajeweledrose.com100 things to buy from the dollar store

Her list is fantastic and she gives examples of how she uses each item for play. We already used many of the materials she suggested but I was also inspired by many other ideas I hadn't thought to use before. She also has wonderful sensory play and bath play ideas on her site so be sure to check it out!

A recent trip to the dollar store inspired this activity. It's not ground breaking or anything, it's been done many times but it's the first time we did it and the girls loved it.  One of the best parts is it all was purchased at the dollar store for $5 and it can be used over and over again!

The materials are simple: pom poms, ice cube trays and tweezers.


The girls used the tweezers to sort the pom poms in the ice cube tray.


My 4 year old sorted them by color and counted each color after sorting.

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 My 2 year old had fun simply using the tweezers to pick up the pom poms. Great fine motor skill activity! Also an example of how this activity lends itself to different skill levels.


So simple and fun all for $5!!

Pom pom Collage
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Martin luther King Jr. Preschool Activity

We had fun with this activity celebrating the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

We read a couple of books about about peace and friendship including Can You Say Peace by Karen Katz and We All Sing With The Same Voice by Phillip J Miller.

We discussed the theme of peace and friendship and talked about what it means to be peaceful and friendly. (topics that aren't limited to MLK day, we discuss these themes quite often.)

We then read this beautiful book I recently discovered called I Have A Dream by Martin Luther King Jr. and Kadir Nelson. The book has gorgeous illustrations!

This description was from Amazon:

 from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: 

“My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing "I Have a Dream" speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone."  

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Although the book is beautiful I did skip over some of the vocabulary/parts that I knew would be too complicated or mature for my 4 year old and 2 year old. I still think it's a great book to introduce MLK day to preschoolers and it allowed for age appropriate discussions about who MLK was, what he stood for, and why we celebrate him.

After we read and discussed the story I asked the girls to draw illustrations (observational drawings) about what they liked about the story. As they recalled what they wanted to draw they revisited the story, turning to favorites pages. This is a great comprehension activity to do with any story!

The girls were given clip boards, paper and pencils to do their drawings. Clip boards are another great way to make drawing and writing fun! Kids love them and it also allows for writing to be done in many places other than a table.



When they were finished they were asked to tell me about their drawings. As they told me about them I wrote down their dictations on the drawing. This is a great way to model that print has meaning. You are teaching them that what they say, their very own words can be written down and thus words have meaning!

Here is my 2 year olds

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Here is my 4 year olds:

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When they were done I mounted them with black construction paper and displayed them in our kitchen.
Don't forget to display those drawings! Kids love to see their work displayed with honor!

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Simple, fun, age appropriate way to celebrate an American Hero!

MLK Collage

This activity was linked with

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top Blog Posts of 2012

Well it's no secret I am just a little blog slowly trying to build readership beyond my own mother. ;)

I had high hopes for this blog when I created it a little over a year ago. I started off strong trying to create good content, networking and diving head first into the mom blog world. I slowly began to lose steam due to an increasingly difficult pregnancy last year. This year I resolve to continue to strive to create a blog worthy of anyone who takes time out of their busy day to read what I share. I hope to inspire and be inspired!

On that note I wanted to share my top 5 blog posts of 2012. Perhaps you may missed some of these? Either way it's fun to look back and see what content seemed to resonate the most with my readers.

1. story-extension-activity-with-leo lionni

2. parent-like-its-1984-are-we-over involved as parents?

3. letters-to-my-daughters

4. sink-or-float-experiment

5. gearing-up-for-project-365-2013

If you are a new reader welcome, happy to have you!! If you are an old friend thanks for sticking around! Above all I am keenly aware of the plethora of blog choices and internet entertainment you have to choose from and I am humbled and grateful that you choose to read what I have to say and share.

Happy New Year and much peace, love and blessings for 2013!!

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