Easy Peasy Painting

Would you like a simple activity that will entertain kids of multiple ages? I have an easy one for you today! It is called… wait for it… “Paint the Sidewalk.” ha, real original, but SO EASY!

IMG_2861

Now that the weather is nicer, we are taking every opportunity to get outside. On a really warm day last week, I remembered that my kindergarten students loved painting the sidewalk with water… what an easy and fun idea! So, I grabbed some paint brushes, tupperware, and for some more fun; food coloring.

Emmy and I headed outside with some excitement, some clothes we didn’t mind getting messy and started painting. At this time, Emmy is 14 months old and is really starting to mimic everything I do. I gave her the paintbrush and watched her twist it around her hand, feel the bristles, and then give it a good shake. I used another paint brush to dip in the water and showed her how to paint the sidewalk. She immediately started copying me. I could see the wheels turning in her head as she was figuring out this new activity. She was fully engaged for a good 10 minutes. When I noticed she was losing interest, I added the food coloring and once again she was fascinated! I added another tupperware container with water and a different color and again she was sucked into painting our sidewalk.

IMG_2851IMG_2847IMG_2846IMG_2860

This activity can’t get any easier, and it provides a lot of sensory input, language development, as well as some fine motor and gross motor activity. Encourage vocabulary by naming the colors, and the materials, and take this time to narrate what your child is doing or maybe even label a feeling. (Try; “Wow! Painting seems to help you relax!” Or “Wow! You are painting so much! You have so much energy!” Sounds cheesy, but the more you talk, the better!) My kindergarten students always loved this activity, so I don’t see a need to modify it for older children. For babies, you could forget the water (or keep it, if its warm enough) and just use a paint brush to tickle their toes, knees and hands!

I hope that you have so much fun getting outdoors with your little ones! I would love to hear how you make this activity your own. What are some other ways that you enjoy the outdoors?

IMG_2861IMG_2863IMG_2864

Advertisements

Babywearing Love

IMG_6213IMG_1354IMG_1146Have you tried babywearing? Baby carriers make a lot of things easier; travel, getting things done, or chasing after older children while keeping your littlest one close. It also gives parents time to bond with their newborn, while also helping their newborn to feel safe in their new environment. I absolutely love both of my baby carriers, but I didn’t always feel that way. 

We registered and received an Ergo 360. We love it, and it has been crucial when traveling with Emmy. When Emmy was just a few weeks old, I purchased a Solly baby wrap. I purchased the Solly because I actually felt intimidated by our Ergo 360, which is funny since now, I am quick to get it on, make sure Emmy is comfy and do my safety check within a couple of minutes. I couldn’t wear Emmy at first because she had a low birth rate. Once she was big enough to be held in the Solly baby wrap… well, let’s just say it was a game changer! This little girl, like most newborns, LOVED to be held! When my husband returned to work, I pretty much nursed Emmy, went to the bathroom if I could, and shoveled easy to grab snacks all day while I waited for him to come home. I got some adorable snuggles in between, but I felt as though it became quite rare for me to do something normal- put away dishes, make an actual meal, maybe even take a glorious shower! When I was finally able to wear Emmy, it was like a part of myself was returning, and I was getting more confident as a mom.

One part of motherhood that surprised me was anxiety. I will save more on that for a later post, but for now, I found that any anxieties I had often resulted in a rabbit hole of google searches. Babywearing was one of those rabbit holes for me. When I first started wearing Emmy, I pretty much checked her posture and breathing about every .024 seconds! After my new hobby of googling, I found a lot of resources that helped me to relax and enjoy the sweetness that is babywearing.

Here are some helpful websites I found useful and I am hoping can help you as well!

If you have an Ergo, their website includes videos with tutorials, along with FAQ and more.

Solly Baby Wrap also has great video tutorials.

Do you remember how I shared above that I do a safety check? Like I mentioned, I got incredibly anxious when I wore Emmy, so much so that I couldn’t relax. This website really helped me as I became more comfortable. Babywearing International has LOTS of amazing resources, but I am linking straight to their safety page.

I would love to hear from you about your favorites when it comes to babywearing. What type did you enjoy the most? How has it made parenthood easier for you?

 

Three Easy Reading Tips

As a former teacher, books and reading are a huge passion of mine. Emmy’s Grammy is also a reading recovery teacher so this child is surrounded by literacy. I am hoping to share some easy ideas to help create a rich literacy environment that fosters a love for reading and books.

Emmy-108

Here are three easy ideas for you to try today!

  • Be Silly Take this time to be silly! Create voices for each character, go over the top for sounds and just have fun! I hate my singing voice, but when there is a song in a book I just go for it! Emmy loooves it and we end up having so much fun reading together. Your learner will pick up on how you read, and before you know it, you’ll see them making silly sounds and voices when they pick up a book.
  • Read the pictures In the beginning of kindergarten, I start the year by teaching my students to read independently and every year they tell me that they can’t because they don’t know how to read! I always respond with, “You can read! You are already a reader!” I reinforce this by showing them that they can read the pictures. This is such an easy and fun skill to start now. Go through a book with your little one and just point to the pictures. There are so many literacy skills you are covering with this simple task. This is especially great with babies, but since this is a skill I teach to kinders, you won’t need to modify it for your children of various ages. Have fun!!
  • Point to words When you read, point to the words. Your child already notices that when you pick up a book, you are talking and telling a story. Pointing to words is another way to instill meaning. They will begin to notice that those silly symbols on the page mean something.

These are simple and easy things to try, and it’s likely many of you already do this! Please share your experiences whether it be old or new! I love hearing from you!

 

The pictures from today’s post were taken by Sunshine Marigold Photography

In and Out

I feel like most activities I do with my toddler last maybe 10 minutes? And that would definitely be the maximum amount of time! Tonight, Emmy was engaged in an activity for a solid 30 minutes!!! My husband and I were in disbelief.

 

All you need is an empty tissue box, some bouncy balls and maybe another container. I used a tupperware container.

IMG_2784

 

It is super simple, and a great activity for building language, fine motor skills and even gross motor.

 

I modeled how to take the balls in an out of the tissue box. Each time, I said, “in, and out.” The bouncy balls were new to Emmy so, she was fascinated by these and had to turn them over in her hands a few times. I kept pointing and repeating “ball.” Then, she began to mimic what I had been doing. She kept taking the balls out of the tissue box and placing them in the tupperware container. I only had six balls because they are smaller than I would prefer, so these are an item I will put away because I don’t want her to play with them without me monitoring. Once she had placed all six in the tupperware, I clapped and cheered! She then started clapping for herself, which is so cute, and then started the process over again!

 

There were so many variations with this activity and they all kept her so engaged. I could see her wheels turning as she manipulated the bouncy balls. I thought for sure I would end up with bouncy balls all over my living room… but she was very intent on keeping these in their containers.

 

Emmy actually created her own variation to this activity. She pulled a ball out of the tissue box, walked around our ottoman, and then placed in the other container. She did this so many times we were worried she was going to get dizzy!

Toddlers love taking objects out of containers, bags, cabinets, and drawers! Although this can drive us crazy, it can also be a fun opportunity for building language skills and having some fun with your little one!

IMG_2772

Let me know if you tried this activity or created something of your own. I am off to clean up all of the tupperware that Emmy forgot to put back in a cabinet!