Small but Helpful Hands

horse2

  Knowing that Greysen is in the “why?” stage, I did a quick search on the farm that we would be visiting with friends. I quickly learned the names of the animals we would see, and memorized a few key facts, so that I could carry on a conversation with her should she be interested. […]

Parents to Admire

GentleParenting

    Occasionally, I read stories about a parent who comes across some other parent in a moment of desperation. They grab our attention by their yelling, shaming, or general parenting breakdowns.   What about all of those other parent moments? Ever catch a stranger just being an awesome parent?   I’m mostly surrounded by […]

The First Three Years of Art

clay2

What do Reggio Emilia art experiences look like in the first three years?   When I first started learning about Reggio Emilia’s approach, most of the project work I was reading about and had seen occured with preschool-aged children.  I had a hard time finding examples of what infant and toddler play with art materials […]

A Recipe for Sensory Play

adventure

We’ve had some warm days here in California. All other plans have been put on hold so that we can spend some time by the river.  Our only agenda was to have an adventure. Okay, and maybe enjoy some sensory play.   Natural things like water, mud, sand, and flowers in limitless amounts. Only hands, […]

Supporting Morning Farewells

farewell

Like so many things in our lives, our daily “Have a good, fun, day!” routines with Mike have changed as the girls do.   Young children may be ready to say good-bye one day and may hold on tight to you the next.  Even within healthy attachments and positive environments, children may feel ready to […]

Encouraging Play

play

I can’t think of a parent that doesn’t want their child to play. We know that play is, quite simply, good for kids.   Infants play spontaneously without encouragement, and sometimes despite of many distractions. As they age, our expectations of them tend to change. We encourage them, with the best of intentions, to be […]

Parenting Roads

ParentingRoads

I have written no less than three follow-up posts about how I’m feeling about our hard school experience.  My editor (Mike) has vetoed them all, determining that there is not much to be learned from them. Agreeing that my  “processing” is really of no help to anyone but me, I’ve agreed they are better left […]

Our Lives Reflected in Play

Unstructured Play

In education, assessment is the follow-up to any learning activity. Quizzes, tests, and final products are all intended to be evidence of what children are learning. At home, we too have a less intrusive way to get a glimpse into our children’s understanding, by just listening and watching their play.   In play, children can […]

Learning to Use Art Tools

color mixing 4

At first glance this may look like there may have been some learning about what happens when yellow meets blue. I think that might have been going on as well, but the real fascination was with trying to get the water into the pipette.     After some struggle, Greysen is pleased with finally getting […]

Hello Building Area, Good-bye Toy Basket

BlockSpace

  When the Christmas tree came out, I realized that we had a nice little corner full of potential. Instead of returning our dining table to this corner, I changed this to a play space.   I experimented a bit and moved the girls’ kitchen area here, as well as a small table and chairs […]