Parenting Styles Do Not Define the Parent

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    As a stay at home parent, I try to balance my kids having time at home and time with family and friends. To broaden our social circle, I joined a parenting group after my daughter’s birth.  While the group was mostly positive, I had some unforgettable negative experiences. I felt out-of-sync when it […]

Color Mixing is Not Always About Color

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  Though incredibly simple, color-mixing is one of my favorite experiences to offer infants and toddlers.   Water in itself is wonderful because it is such a basic element that children are familiar with, yet are still fascinated by – I assume for its complex properties and seemingly unpredictable nature when splashed or spilled.   […]

Writing Area

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  With a small living space, we need to prioritize what children’s materials we keep out. We keep books on a low shelf and have a building area in one corner, but couldn’t really spare any more space. Greysen has been asking to write and draw, so it seemed time to make a dedicated space […]

When Toddlers Take Toys From Others

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  Toddlers negotiate the use of toys in any number of ways.  Many times they work things out themselves, finding a way for disagreements to become absorbed into the very nature of the play.   Not all instances are so readily resolved, especially when one child takes a toy away from another and that child […]

Adult Influence on Children’s Creative Play

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  Last fall, my daughter made this turkey (pictured right) in school. She was quite proud of it, and very specifically explained which parts she did and which parts her teacher did. She happily indicated where her teacher placed a few feathers and adjusted the eyes. Although I was slightly bummed that what my daughter […]

June Art Group

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  I am eager to host an art group around one theme of materials. I think offering one material in combination with several other art mediums or to be used as several different tools would encourage the children to imagine more possibilities per object.   For instance, I’d like to host a reflective surfaces art […]

Eating Outdoors

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    The girls have free access to our yard, but for reasons unknown to me, Greysen has been disinterested in playing outside lately.   So on this day, when they were toes deep in mud and muck and I didn’t want to pull them inside to eat lunch, I grabbed a bit of food […]

Positive Parenting is Defined By Faith

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As parents, we make countless short-term decisions based on immediate potential consequences and outcomes.  We choose toys that we think will fascinate, and foods that will satisfy. Our decisions and responses are often simple, even reflexive. Then, there are other types of decisions. We may know the response to obvious needs – a tired child […]

Toys That Encourage Thinking

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I consider art mediums, materials, and toys to be resources for play. They are the props and tools that children can use to transform their ideas into something they can hold onto. In this tangible state, children can suppose, test, and re-evaluate their ideas.   Children do not need loads of toys for play, but […]

Starting a Natural Collection

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  Starting a collection of natural materials sounds easy enough. Take a walk, pick up a few things . . .  I figured I’d have a buckets of things in no time. I didn’t realize that 95% of the time the treasures the girls gathered were rocks. Rocks are great, they just did not make […]