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Monday, March 17, 2014

Preschoolers Learning Lifelong Habits Now

I'll admit I've given in to a tantrum or two.  Yes, have one more cookie if you will stop whining.  Okay one more show if you'll stop asking.  Raising children is difficult and sometimes I just want to have an easy day.  Giving in may stop the complaining in the moment, but it doesn't do your child any good in the long run.  Really our roles as parents is to raise our children to be competent, thoughtful, responsible adults.  Our children will one day be adults and the way they relate to others will be directly correlated to the way they related to us.  If we let them cry or whine their way into what they want, they will learn that this is the way to get what your needs met.  We are their training ground. 

I've recently started putting my foot down and I was surprised by how quickly my preschooler responded.  I've stopped giving her choices. Yes, she still can make some choices, just not with everything.  Kids need boundaries, we all do.  Think of it this way... when you get a new job you want to know the rules of the company.  Can I take a two hour lunch or do I need to eat on campus?  Adults feel more comfortable knowing the expectation, certainly children more so.  Their growing brains can't make every decision.  They need responsible adults to make the decisions for them.  We decide what they eat to keep their growing bodies healthy.  We decide bedtimes as we understand their sleep needs.  My girl made the decision to dress head to toe in green today. She made the decision to wear her hair down.  She decided that she would paint an orange cat with a purple collar.  She still makes decisions but so do I.  Very quickly she learned that a tantrum or crying doesn't get her what she wants.  I know her future husband will thank me.
Crafting with www.craftyfunmom.com

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday Fun

I've watched this several times because it's just so cute.  I heard that this is just a promo for the movie and that the mom and dad in the video are actors, but I like to think they are just out for a drive.  The preschooler in the back makes me laugh.  Enjoy.
http://www.babble.com/kid/awesome-parents-sing-disneys-frozen-perfectly-while-daughter-ignores/
http://www.babble.com/kid/awesome-parents-sing-disneys-frozen-perfectly-while-daughter-ignores/

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Preschool Crafting Encourages Confidence

I've been working on little projects with my girl for years.  When she was 18 months I collected all sorts of little bits of this and that, strings, rickrack, paper scraps and had her arrange them on a piece of contact paper.  I framed this and violia ... Art!  Beautiful, handmade art.  It still graces our home and is a sweet reminder of times past. 


Over the years I've watched her confidence grow in her willingness to try things.  She enjoys mixing paints and discovering new colors, searches the house for little blocks and tape to add to her projects.  She understands that there isn't "perfect" art.  She understands that art is about the process. 


 
We want to encourage our children to make art.  It encourages risk taking, increases confidence, and aids in problem solving.  As our children are creating we want to gently guide them and encourage them.  When we sit with them while they are working it tells them that their work is important and that translates into ... You are important. 

So how about crafting with your child today.  If you need some project ideas, check out craftyfunmom.com.  Our craft boxes include all the materials you'll need to craft with your child all month.  We plan, shop, and send you a daily email outlining the daily craft.

Monday, March 10, 2014

www.craftyfunmom.com Delivers Fun to 3-7 Year Olds - A Giveaway

One LUCKY person will win one monthly craft kit from www.craftyfunmom.com.  We plan, shop, and deliver enough materials for you to do 20 crafts a month with your 3-7 year old.  We’ll even send you a daily email outing the daily craft.  

HOW TO ENTER:  Enter in one of the following ways:
·         Leave a comment telling us what types of crafting you do with your child. 

·         Visit www.craftyfunmom.com and enter your email.

·         Like us on Facebook

·         Share us on Facebook for a double entry.
This Giveaway will end Midnight Saturday, March 22nd.  The winner will be randomly chosen and the winner will be announced on Monday, March 24th.  Good Luck and Happy Crafting.
(This giveaway is open to US residents only.)



 


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cool Winter Science Activities for Preschoolers and Young Children

There are so many fun activities to do with preschoolers and young children in the winter months. If you live in a winter wonderland, have fun with these really cool science experiments.  
 
 
IMG_0551
Ice balls to decorate your yard (but only if you live in a colder climate)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Living with Young Children - A Good Read

I've been thinking lately about how I want our home to be and Sally Clarkson pretty much sums it up. If you haven't read Sally, you can check her out at itakejoy.com.  She is all about encouraging mamas to be mamas. Read her post about Developing Souls.  There is so much in it to think about.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Be sure to leave a comment when you finish this great read. 

Developing Souls Alive vs. De-personalizing of technology by Sally Clarkson.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hallelujah (I'll Still Sing) [Feat. Rachael Lee] - From film Confessions...


This beautiful song is by Nathan Clarkson, my friend's son.  I call Sally Clarkson friend because I've read every one of her books and she has taught me so much about mothering.  Truth be told, we've never met or even spoken on the phone.  Still she is a friend and has kept me company late in the night when I read her words on raising head strong babes.  She taught me about grace.  So she is my never known friend, but I hope to have tea with her one day. 

Her talented son is working on a film project, Confessions of a Prodigal Son.  If you don't know the story of the prodigal son you can learn more here . It's a story of redemption and love, worth knowing and believing and sharing.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Our Preschoolers Grow Up!

I count on the fact that I'm not the only one who's felt this way - felt this longing for things to stay just as they are at this very moment.  I can't be the only mother who's felt the empty nest feeling even before her children have entered school.  Of course, the business of life makes us look forward to the days we will have a few hours to ourselves to read or exercise or shop all by ourselves.  But then they grow up and wave to us from the school bus window.  And you think ... where did my baby go?  When did the bedtime struggles end and when was the last time I rocked you to sleep?  When did you learn to do so many things all by yourself? And you celebrate the independence but mourn the late night feedings. 

Saint Patrick's Day Decor with your Preschooler in Mind

It is such fun to decorate for the seasons.  I tend to decorate for the biggies but was impressed with some of the cute ways to decorate for Saint Patrick's Day ... really the whole month of March.  Check out these cute ideas from across the web.  Be sure to include your preschooler's crafts in the d├ęcor.  They will be so happy to know their artwork is special enough to display.

Cute ideas @ A Little Tipsy
 

More Green Things @ Free Time Frolics


Sunday, March 2, 2014

I used the Rainbow Connection in my 3rd and 4th grade classrooms for years to teach literacy skills including fluency.  Music is a powerful way to teach reading and writing and just really a joy.  I found this on youtube today and I am sharing it just because it reminds me of my childhood and makes my heart sing.  I can't wait to share The Rainbow Connection with my girl in the morning.  Enjoy!

 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSFLZ-MzIhM&feature=kp

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Preschool Crafts and Art Work and the Need to Contain


Today we’ll discuss how to keep your child’s projects without making your home look like a preschool.  I love my girl’s pictures and projects, especially the ones with glitter and colorful construction paper.  But one turns into two and two into three and on and on…
Kids feel valued and special when we display their work.  Walking into a home you should know a child lives there too.  This isn’t to say that their things need to be all we see.  As in all things, balance is the key.  
These are a few of the things I do to keep our home in balance.  I’d love to hear what you do. 

Use chopsticks and tape to make plant decorations.  Tucking a little craft into a plant makes the craft look intentional.  It keeps it tidy and is really very cute.  Almost like a secret treasure to be discovered.  One plant can house up to three little projects.



Garlands.  Who doesn’t love a garland?  Stinging a cute ribbon across the fireplace with a few paper clips attached does the trick.  Little drawings and crafts attached to the clips … nothing sweeter.   Garlands also are  cute strung across a curtain rod in the bedroom.  Preschoolers like nothing more than seeing their “stuff” in their rooms.
Frames make a child’s drawing look like a million bucks.  Really, those special ones  are priceless. I’ve hung all my “good” art in the bathroom and my girl’s work is framed alongside.  I think they are beautiful.
 You can get simple, easily changeable, inexpensive frames at Michaels.
 All crafts from craftyfunmom.com.

playroom, missing one. Perhaps on the floor.  :)

A bulletin board layered with work is charming. You can pick one up at Target or Walmart for a few bucks.  We keep one in my husband’s office and one in mine.  It makes us smile and lets our girl know she is special to her daddy and me.  We just keep laying them on.  As they pile up, I’m able to take some of the ones in the back down and shhhhh…  I throw some of them away. 
This one is in my office. 

Even with these ideas there does come a time when we need to change out the projects.  Throw them away or put them in a box to give her on her wedding day?  Our children will grow up and hopefully will have their own children one day.  Will they really want a box of their little art projects and papers to keep next to the growing box of their children’s work? Probably not.  But to throw away her first scribble or the family picture drawn on a napkin … how hard this can be.  
I’ve started photographing her work and putting them in books. There are so many online picture books out there.  Try here or here.   Just download your pictures and you have a small reminder of the way she was when she was 3, 4, 5 …

I’d love to hear your ideas. How do you archive your child’s work?  How do you display current masterpieces?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Making a Preschooler Schedule

Okay, so I’ve been living tech free for a full 5 days.  I’ve been getting up earlier (as in 4am) to get my computer work done.   I’m Facebook free during the day but sometimes feeling too tired to really engage.  Patience grasshopper!  This is a new habit and will take some time to really get the hang of it.  You would think it would be easier.  

Now that I have all this free time, today I tackle my daughter’s schedule.  I want her to live in a tech free world as well.  We’re pretty good about no video games, we limit her television time, but it needs to be limited even more.  I can’t take her SpongeBobSquare Pants away without replacing it with something.  Maybe I'll replace it with this.  I’ve been toying with a new schedule for her.  One with an emphasis on quality time, time to create, time for imagination, time for friends. 
My girl filled with imagination, not television.

Drumroll please …
 3-4: reading and quiet playtime
4 – 4:30:  game time, Sorry or Jenga
  • 4:30 -5:00:  Craft Time, more about why it's important for preschoolers and young kids to craft here
  • 5:00-5:30:  Prepare dinner together
  • 5:30 – 6:  Dad time
  • 6-7:  Bedtime ritual and a SpongeBob
I am not a homeschool mom.  I’m not sure how you ladies do it.  Scheduling my afterschool activities are challenging enough for me.   I’d love to hear from you about how you balance it all.  Your tips would be most appreciated. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Craftyfunmom.com Makes Crafting with Preschoolers Easy

Craftyfunmom.com helps moms and dads craft daily with their young children.  We include enough materials for you to craft with your child Monday - Friday, 20 crafts in all.  We plan activities around a monthly theme, we shop, and we ship right to your door.  The best part?  We'll send you a daily email outlining the daily craft.  All that you need to do is spend 15-20 quality minutes a day with your preschooler or young child. 

March's Craft kit theme. A Little Bit of Green...A Whole Lot of Fun!   A fun Saint Patrick's Day craft kit.  Order your craft kit now! We buy, plan and deliver all the materials you need for a whole month of crafts for your little ones. Visit www.craftyfunmom.com to order!

Photo: Drum roll please...Here it is!     March's Craftykit theme. A Little Bit of Green...A Whole Lot of Fun!  Order your craftykit now! We buy, plan and deliver all the materials you need for a whole month of crafts for your little ones. Visit www.craftyfunmom.com to order! #inlikealion #stpatricksdaycrafts #craftyfunmom #kidcrafts
Also check out our Craft Corral.  We have designed these to corral all of our children's stuff!  Crayons, Markers, Stickers...
It even includes a slot for paper or child coloring books.  It looks beautiful on a dining table.  Find out more http://www.craftyfunmom.com/red-crafty-corral/
Antiqued red Crafty Corral 
We've been asked how we are different from kiwi crate.  Their kit includes 4 activities a month.  We send twenty. 

Preschool Craft - Fun Foods to Make with Your Child

kids food 2
cutest food ever!      
 
 
10 Tips to Make Food Fun for Picky Eaters from #MyPlatinum and B-InspiredMama.COM

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hands Free Living - Is it possible to Get Rid of Technology?


Lately I’ve been visualizing my daughter as dried grass in my hands.  You know the kind you rake up as you sit in the grass on a summer’s day.  As I hold the grass in my open hand the wind takes it away.  Blows it away.  Lately this is how I’m seeing my time with my girl.  Fleeting.  I mean she was just born like yesterday and now she dresses herself, goes on play dates (without me),  feels just a little embarrassed if I kiss her in front of her friends.  The days of crafting and coloring and preschool field trips are close to an end.   I take comfort in knowing that I’m not the only mother who’s felt this way.  But it’s hard, really hard

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting rid of technology.  I find that I get sucked into Facebook, and blogs, and amazon.  I feel annoyed if I’m interrupted and what mama doesn’t get interrupted.   I take care of needs, but don’t stop and really take care of needs.  I want to stop and look my girl in the eye and see what she needs.  I want to be fully available to my family.  And technology gets in the way. 

I realize I can’t get rid of technology.  It’s here to stay and it is a main source of communication, I need it for my job.  I can’t get rid of it but I can certainly limit it.  I’ve been reading … Hand Free Mama:  A Guide to Putting down the Phone, Burningthe To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Grasp What Really Matters! ByRachel Macy Stafford.  Rachel has a plan for us over stressed, technology driven mamas.   She found that letting go of distractions like phones and Facebook freed up her time to focus on things that were important to her.   She has some helpful tips to get us started.  She recommends not tossing technology out the window, but rather starting small.  She suggests turning off the radio in the car.  I’ve started doing this and I’ve started listening to my little girl singing quietly in the back.  Such a sweet sound that I was missing.  Better than Justin Bieber any day.  J

 
 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Preschool Crafts and Why They Are Important

Any mother of a preschooler or young school aged child knows how much they LOVE to create things.  A tent made out of pillows and blankets, a castle made out of a big box, a stuffed animal bed out of an Amazon box.   Little bits of paper glue on a paper and little collections perched on shelves and chairs and behind the sofa are all masterpieces. 

When my girl was young she would want to do these things with me.  Sometimes I would sit with her and draw a picture or color with her in her color books.  Sometimes I would set her up with markers and pencils and crayons and let her do it alone.  Looking back I wished I would have done a lot more of this with her.  Not because it was good for her fine motor skills or would help her hold a pencil correctly when she was school aged, but because what she really desired was connection… connection with her mama.




Working on projects from the http://www.craftyfunmom.com/ craftkit.  Learn more here.

I came to realize that when I would give her 20 minutes of undivided time every day I would have more time to do the things that needed to be done.  When I filled her up, gave her my time, she was much more confident to do things on her own.  She could count on that 20 minutes each day with her mama, a time to create and talk. 

Crafting is about sitting together and creating something that’s never been created before.  For a preschooler, it’s putting your heart on a piece of paper.  It’s about the reaction you get from your mom or dad.  It’s about contributing to the family.