4 Aug

TBT: Yoga For Children

This post is a throw-back of mine from August 2009.

Exercise is very important for adults and children alike. Many children get exercise naturally by playing outside, running, riding bike, and playing sports. However, with video games, computers, etc. some physical activities are becoming less and less of a priority.

It is recommended that children over age 2 engage in moderate to vigorous activity 60-90 minutes, every day.  There are many benefits of exercising: stronger muscles and bones, lean muscle, confidence, sleep better, and lower chance of developing diabetes.

Adults and children can have fun together while exercising. Have you tried YOGA play with a child? It’s not vigorous, but is important for flexibility and toning of the muscles. You don’t have to be a yoga pro either. Watch the video below to see how easy it can be!

31 Dec

TBT: Talk About Frustrating!

This frustrating post is a throw-back of mine from February 2011.

On Saturday I attended the Hooked on Books event in my town with my son. It was phenomenal! There were so many hands-on activities for children to experience and enjoy, including a few ‘meet and greet’ opportunities with authors.

We spent the full amount of time allotted at the event – 3 hours. We raced minnows, said hello to the “reading dogs”, decorated (and ate) a cupcake, while reading the book If You Give a Cat a Cupcake, watched dancers from the adaptive dancing program, had a free lunch/snack, made Oobleck while listening to the story Bartholomew and the Oobleck, chose a free book to keep, did some weaving on a large loom, and much more!

One of the highlights of the day for my son, was by far the “author and illustrate your own book room”. It was enjoyable for me to watch patiently as he made decisions about his creation. He learned so many concepts (ON HIS OWN) during the 45 minute process. The end result – a beaming young boy, proud of his accomplishment and very excited to read ‘his book.’ In case you’re curious, he entitled it “All About Me”, in which he discusses his favorite things. I’ve included a pic below.
All About Me- my not so frustrating experienceYou may be wondering…what was so frustrating? The people (mom) sitting directly across from us. Her poor daughter (I’d guess about 5 or 6 yrs old) had a very different experience. Her mom started out well, allowing her daughter to talk about ideas for her book. The girl decided on the front page she wanted a house and began drawing a house. Her mom stepped in and said, “Oh, but don’t you want your house to be made from one of these pretty papers? You could cut out a house.” “Okay,” said the girl. “How about a red house?” “Okay,” said the girl as she continued on to draw a door in the red house, talking about all the people that could/would come through that door. “But don’t you want a purple door?” Asked the mom, handing her some purple paper. “Yeah.”

Once the house was finished, the little girl lit up as she talked about the princess that would live in the house. “I’m going to put her in a pretty blue dress!” She exclaimed with excitement. The mom said, “First, you need to cut out the girl.” “Nah, I’m cutting out the pretty blue dress first.” “No, you need to cut out the girl first.” The girl began to cut out her ‘pretty blue princess dress’. The mom actually grabbed the scissors from her hand as she said, “How will you know how big to cut the dress if you don’t yet have the girl cut out?” With a defeated look, the young child began to cut out a little girl. The mom continued to interject her opinion about the child’s progress. Finally, the girl said, “Mom, can you just do it for me? You do it better.” And so it went, with each page, the mother choosing/doing her entire book.

Meanwhile, the child was getting more and more frustrated. At the very end she said, “I can’t do it” in reply to her mom who said, “You do it. You’re doing just fine.” I had forced myself to keep quiet throughout the entire process, although it was painstakingly frustrating for me.

When the child threw down the scissors in utter frustration, I had had enough. I spoke to the mom in a joking (but not really) manner. “Mom, it’s my book”, I said. “I know”, she replied, but it didn’t seem to help. She continued to dictate each and every flower and did most of the work herself until the book was finished.

The mom held up the book and proceeded to say, “Wow! It’s absolutely perfect!” What did the child learn from that experience? Ugh…so frustrating! Why do some people assume that children can’t do their own work? Please remember that it’s about the process, not the product (end result).

I’d love to hear about similar experiences that YOU have had. Would you have intervened? How can we support these children when they’re in our care and want us to do things for them because of experiences like this? Comment/Reply below.

24 Dec

TBT: Language/Literacy Activity Ideas

This language post is a throw-back of mine from January 2009.6ab5ab17881c674bd1a45087566e73de

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for simple activity ideas for children. It’s important to make sure that they are developmentally appropriate and safe. (Ex: Marbles would not be a developmentally appropriate activity for infants/toddlers). The activities should also be educational in some way. What’s the purpose of the activity? What will the child learn or ‘get’ from completing the activity. Of course, the activity should be FUN and enjoyable for the child as well.

Today, I’m going to focus on language/literacy activities for preschoolers. These are quick and easy activities that don’t require a lot of extras. Use a box lid (shoe or larger) to create a writing slate. The child can add a bit of salt or sand into the lid. (You can reinforce edges with ducktape/booktape, if desired) Make sure he/she pours in enough to cover the bottom of the lid. The child can then write their name, draw shapes, and letters in the salt/sand. The child can gently shake the lid side to side to ‘erase’ their work and begin again.

Another fun activity is called Add-On. It usually works best as a one-on-one activity. You’ll need a tablet and pencil. Draw simple objects with obvious missing parts. Encourage the child to add on the missing part. (Ex: Rectangle with one side missing, Car with no wheels)

Here’s a simple writing activity using page protectors and crayons. Write child’s name on piece of paper. Put paper in page protector. Encourage child to trace name with crayon. Using a cloth, etc. child can erase crayon name and begin again.

What simple DIY language/literacy activities for preschoolers do you use? Comment/Reply below.

17 Dec

TBT: The Olympic Commercial You Haven’t Seen

profile-picThe number of commercials shown in an hour of television has increased over the past five years, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town. In fact, the estimated revenue of the U.S. broadcasting industry is said to be about $125 billion!  These statistics seem crazy, but can you believe that in 2010 an average U.S. consumer spent 5h 25.5min daily with TV?!

Why am I talking about broadcasting on an early childhood blog? Today’s TBT post is in regards to an Olympic commercial. One of my ‘strengths is learner and I thought about how often I see those around me “plugged in”. Commercials aren’t just shown on the home television set anymore. They’re all around us: on our devices, digital billboards, city buses, etc. I’d say there are both drawbacks and benefits to this. Your thoughts? Reply below.

Blogging has been a part of my life for nearly 8 years. It has been enjoyable to look back in the archives because I have forgotten about many of the posts. It’s like a small time capsule – a window back in time. Every Thursday, I’ll be sharing one post from the archives for Throw Back Thursday. This week’s post comes from Feb. 2010:

There has been a lot of news coverage of the Olympics lately. You probably have a favorite sport to watch and athletes that you cheer on. You may stay up way too late watching finals when you know you should be sleeping. You may have seen some awesome moments and perhaps some horrific ones as well. BUT you probably haven’t seen this…

10 Dec

TBT: Toddlers and Tiaras…a Look at Pageants

This pageant post is a throw-back of mine from December 2009 on this blog

On many weekends, young girls are competing in pageants, parading around on stage in heavy makeup, weighed down by heavily sequined dresses,  to compete and hopefully win trophy’s. In a week, TLC will unveil a new pageant show for children age 10 and under (all the way down to girls in diapers.)

I saw a preview for the show this last weekend and was intrigued to learn more. I found out that the girls use different tactics for the pageants such as: spray tans, hair pieces/extensions, heavy makeup, fake teeth (when they start losing their teeth), pricey outfits, and much more.

The girls are judged on Read More

3 Dec

TBT: Children and Cell Phones

This cell phone post is a throw-back of mine from 2008 on this blog

As I was driving home from work last night, I noticed (as I’m sure you have too) that a high percentage of people were (or seem to be) on their cell phones. Today I stopped into Subway, and again noticed some people on their phones. A few weeks ago, I walked through the park and yes, you guessed, people on their cells. Mobile phones are great and I too, fall victim to almost being dependent on it.53817

The question arises “How did we operate without cell phones?” I didn’t have a cell phone until nearly college. However, it’s the norm now and almost a ‘need’ to have one (and people are getting them younger and younger)… so I’d like to direct this post to you.69f63

At what age do you think it’s safe, healthy, and necessary to give a child a cell phone, if at all? Should infants and toddlers be using cell phones? Once the child has passed through early childhood and is a school-ager, is that a good time to introduce a cell phone?38d94

Should cell phones be given to middle school-agers? Can they handle that responsibility? What are the pros and cons of each age group? Why should a child have a cell phone? Why shouldn’t they? Are there any dangers/potentially harmful effects?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please comment below.