Keep Your Children Healthy & Active

January 27th, 2010

1187576_playful_spring_time_1A healthy lifestyle is beneficial when learned early in life. Longer life span, more energy, and happiness and contentment all accompany good health. And what more could you want for your children? But for some families maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle isn't easy. It takes effort. It takes work. But it is worth it in the end. Set an Example: One of the easiest and most effective ways to teach your child about healthy living is to live healthily yourself. As you know, children watch the actions and habits of their parents. You can show them that healthy living is fun and rewarding. Along with your example, talk to your child or children about how to make healthy choices and ways to… [more]

Excluding Inclusion: Our Shopping Search

August 30th, 2009

Somewhat inspired by the theme of issues related to race as blogged by Mandy W and Robyn C recently, I would like to introduce my story of the search for the newborn Hispanic Cabbage Patch Doll. No, really. I have a story that actually does aptly fit that description. But while this blog doesn't touch on the same issues discussed by Mandy and Robyn, it does discuss some of the implications of the inclusion/exclusion conundrum. Prior to the birth of Bear in 2006 and long before the idea of actually moving forth with adoption flew onto our family radar, I always envisioned a home full of toys, namely dolls in this context, bearing representations of different races. Yet once Bear was born… [more]

Heading Into Summer

June 23rd, 2008

Because we home school - and home school year ‘round - we don’t really have an “official” herald that summer is here. No end of school year kick-off to really mark the passing of another grade. I chose to home school year ‘round, because, as a child with undiagnosed ADD (I wasn’t diagnosed until adulthood), I found that making the transition from the purely recreational back into a formal, structured schedule was really hard. Plus, it seemed like I had to play “catch up” a little bit since my brain atrophied a bit over the summer! This way, it’s not like pulling teeth when the kids get back to a more formal schedule. That said, there are some subtle differences in the timbre of our… [more]

Interests and Gender

May 31st, 2008
Categories: Activities, Play

My kids all have varying interests: cooking, ballet, sewing and knitting...Oh, and did I mention I was talking about my sons as well? Because I am an avid knitter, I thought teaching my oldest to knit when he was in kindergarten might help him strengthen the manual dexterity that often develops later in boys, and that in turn, would help him with writing. As it turned out, he enjoyed knitting. In fact, when he did his homeschool service project last year, he chose a knitting project, and recruited his dad by teaching him to knit also! He comes with me to the weekly Teen and 'Tween Knitting Circle that I facilitate, where he is one of about five boys out of fourteen or so kids! My youngest… [more]

Top 5 Toddler Toys

May 10th, 2007
Categories: Play

When I asked around on my personal blog what Adoptive Parents wanted to learn more about Toy and Product reviews came up.It makes sense, everyone likes the Mom tested and kid approved favorites. It seems that there is a overwhelming array of toys and educational products to choose from. There is nothing more frustrating that seeing the toy that you searched for and probably shelled out alot of money on just sit in the corner gathering dust and not being played with. I often see the same toys at resale shops and thrift stores.I have found many of Livi's toys at the children’s resale shops or thrift stores. I get some of them home and I realize why they were there in the first… [more]

Toy Review- Velcro sliceable food

April 24th, 2007
Categories: Play

My daughter just loves this activity. She played very contently with this at school and I’m always looking for toys that will keep her occupied for longer than a millisecond. I pay close attention to the toys that the occupational therapist uses to improve skills at school. I also read that these were recommended to improve fine motor skills. I searched a few local stores and while I did see them over the holidays I was unable to locate a set at a store close to my home. I eventually found a set on ebay. My daughter loves this cutting toy and comes back to it time and time again in favor of her more hi tech toys. It’s great for… [more]

Love Thursday- Swinging

April 19th, 2007
Categories: Play

Happy Love Thursday Everyone. We are so ready for nicer weather already. Our swing set in the backyard is just taunting us. It’s still to cold to stay outside for too long but rumor has it that it may finally get nice this weekend. We put up the swing set late last summer and Livi was still too young to really benefit from it all that much. She could hardly climb up by herself and she did not get much use out if it before the cold winter winds came blowing. This summer she is sure to really have fun with it. We have had a few nice days sprinkled in this yucky weather and already she can climb the rock wall… [more]

Top 5 Winter Toddler Activities

February 12th, 2007
Categories: Play

So how do you keep your toddler busy during the winter months? Somedays we go stir crazy when the weather is so bad and its so cold outside. Here are a few activities that we enjoy in our home. Please share any fun ideas that you have. 1.Dramatic play boxes for dress up Play- fill a box with old hats, clothes, shoes, necklaces, gloves and have some fun pretend play. You can even make themed dress up boxes- a doctor box filled with a doctor kit & a white shirt, a restuarant themed box filled with play food food, table cloth, dishes and pretend menus. Themed boxes are fun and you can always find really fun clothes at the thrift stores or resale shop… [more]

Top 5 Attachment Games

January 26th, 2007
Categories: Play

So your home with your new child... now what? Besides creating a loving routine and being consistent what can you do to start the attachment process? Play is the work of children and there is no better way to encourage attachment than through games and play. Repetition is key and soon you will discover your child’s favorite games and building those bonds together. I try with all games to have Livi on my lap facing me and making eye contact. This takes time and your child may push you away or avoid it at times. 1. Here are Grandma's Glasses- this finger play is great at encouraging eye contact, have your little one straddle your lap facing you and teach them how to… [more]

Cabin Fever Activities

December 4th, 2006
Categories: Play

Summer is long gone, its snowy here and we are now stuck inside most days. I put together a list of cabin fever activities to share. Rotate your child’s toys & books- bring out new stuff every month ( Especially great for books & puzzles) Finger Paint with Pudding Make a Cheerio necklace- with yarn or a new shoelace, allow your toddler to thread the cheerios on the yarn and nibble them off. Any cereal with a hole works Set up a tent indoors…camp out & read stories in the tent Fill a low shallow container with several types of dried beans (navy/kidney/pinto)… allow your child to spoon pour into various size household containers. Provide measuring spoons, small pitcher, bowls and cups.( supervision a must) My daughter loves… [more]