Thursday, April 11, 2013

What We Don't Say....

Yesterday I was blown away inspired by this post Just Be Kind and Brave from Glennon of

It was one of those moments where I felt overwhelmed with the beautiful wisdom I had just absorbed. I  shared it on Facebook. I pinned it on Pinterest. I wanted to shout out Yes! Yes! Yes! And tell everyone I know to read it and save it and print it and read it to your kids, and share it, and read it again and again and again!

I think the reason it resonated with me so much was because I too had "An Adam" in my childhood. I'm pretty sure most of us can remember a child that was not liked, picked on, sad, didn't have the greatest personal hygiene.  Her name was Diana and all through grade school I can remember how she was the outcast and teased relentlessly. Just as in Glennon's post I too didn't participate in the teasing but I never did anything to stop it.

I remember a very specific moment when the teacher asked us to get in line. Diana went to line up and one by one kids were moving to the back of the line to avoid standing next to her. I remember the look on her face, I remember it like it was yesterday. She was just standing there looking at each child as they were all avoiding standing next to her. She didn't look mad just defeated and heartbroken. She didn't cry. Sadly, this type of behavior went on all the time.  We were in 6th grade and she couldn't have been older than 11 years old.

When I look back on this as an adult and try to wrap my brain around the cruelty this little girl suffered I am filled with regret. This was a little girl who had the right to feel safe and secure everyday at school just like I did. She should have been supported and encouraged and above all treated with kindness. I never remember anyone standing up for her including myself. I do remember being nice to her one on one but when it came to actually telling the "mean" kids to stop humiliating her that's where I stopped short.

Many people have a Diana in their past. We all can relate. I want my children to know this story and how over 25 years later I can still remember little Diana and how I never defended her, how no one was there for her and how we collectively failed her.  If we want bullying to end, if we want compassion to prevail these are the types of conversations we need to be having with our children.

We need to be sharing our stories so as to not repeat our mistakes and to pass on the lessons learned. In my experience the lesson is this...

It's something I not only what to teach my children but words I want to live by as well. It takes a lot of courage to speak out against bullying, to go against the crowd. Stepping in and saying something would have mattered for Diana. Hopefully by remembering all the "Diana's" out there we can have the strength to speak up against the injustices that exist and perhaps in the process we may just change the course of someone's life!

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Cardboard Spring Scenes

Spring scenes

 Well it's finally starting to look like Spring around here and spring fever has hit!!

Today I'd like to share our Spring Scenes project that the girls worked hard on the other day. 

I love to experiment with different types of art media and so do the kids! For this project we used cardboard as the "background" for the Spring Scenes. 

I introduced the project by setting up the materials ahead of time and inviting them to play. 


In addition to the cardboard I set out oil pastels, various spring time stickers and foam flower stickers. 

My 3 year old spent most of her time with the stickers.


  My 4 year old enjoyed drawing with the oil pastels and then experimented with the various stickers.


 After awhile they both said they were done and moved on to something else. I left everything out on the table and my 4 year old continued to "work" on her project for the next two days. She asked me to leave it out so she could revisit it. It was really interesting and exciting to see her so concentrated and intent on her project. It was done all at her own pace!

When kids are given the freedom to create in an open ended manner I truly believe that self motivation happens naturally!

 Her finished labor of love below!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Dollar Store Easter Sensory Bin

I created this Easter Sensory Bin after stocking up on items from the dollar store. I know there's no shortage of these sensory bins on Pinterest but I still wanted to share our seasonal Easter Sensory Bin because it was so incredibly easy to put together, super inexpensive and more importantly the girls had so much fun with it!

I filled it with a few bags of beans, plastic eggs, and Easter grass. That's it! Just like I said, SO EASY! 

My 3 year old enjoyed exploring with the the beans and plastic eggs. She loved scooping them into the eggs, closing it and shaking the eggs. She also enjoyed dumping them out.

My 4 year old wanted to fit the grass into the eggs but decided she needed scissors to help her with this task. So we brought out the scissors and both girls enjoyed cutting the grass. This is an example of allowing the children to lead in their play. Bringing the scissors out was not originally planned by me. It was entirely her idea and we went with it!

Just a few dollar store items put together in a bin and you can have hours of creative play! 

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