Monday, April 22, 2013

Power of Moms Workshop

I wanted to let you know that I will be hosting a couple's workshop for The Power of Moms on Friday, May 31st at my friend's lovely home in South Ogden from 7 to 9:30 pm. The workshop is FREE and we will be discussing family systems, which has helped our little family of six(!) tremendously since I attended my first retreat for Power of Moms two years ago at the Eyre's home. This is what we will be discussing:
  • Building Your Family Legal System (helping children WANT to behave the way you want them to behave by establishing a positive and loving environment with clear and consistent laws and consequences)
  • Building Your Family Economic System (teaching your children about work and money through building a micro-economy in your home that mirrors real-world economic principles and helps your children learn the importance of work and the value of money)
  • Building Your Family Culture (creating strong family identity and culture that can trump peer culture and offer your children the sense of belonging and fun they crave)
Free date night! I've dragged my husband along to two of these couple's nights and we've left feeling uplifted, encouraged, and FULL of ideas to strengthen and improve our family. Click on the link below to sign up and please pass this on to anyone you know that might be interested. (P.S. You do not have to have your spouse present to attend!


Hope you all are doing well. We're plugging along here, anxious for warm weather and summertime! Our heart goes out to Boston and West, Texas where there has been so much loss and heartache. Makes me more grateful for the blissfully ordinary things that I don't always appreciate as much as I should.
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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to plan your Activity Time with your toddler or preschooler

Let me go ahead and answer one question I've heard a lot lately: 
How do you plan your activities?

It's taken some time, but I've found a good system that works for me and my kids. Even still, it changes. Some weeks we rock it and do lots of great activities and some weeks I check out and our Letter of the Week turns into Letter of the Month. I've accepted that. My goal is to have some solid one-on-one time with my kids once a day, and it has to happen in the morning. I try at least once a week, sometimes twice, to have an activity planned here at home where we study our Letter of the Week/Month and do a coinciding craft, read books, or a learning game. On the other days, we visit the library, our local children's museum, or (now that's it's spring) head to the park. 
Time spent together with no distractions = Activity Time.   

So here's my method:
Every Tuesday, we hit up the local library and attend their awesome Discovery Time. They even provide worksheets with all the finger plays and songs they teach each week so I can take it home and file it away for another day. Love the library. Then we head to the computers where my girls can hold their own (mostly) while Edison and I search around for books. I usually have a few topics in mind and watch for books that support my ideas for the current letter of the week. I also have great librarians! I usually pull some children's fiction, a fairy tale, a science topic (body parts, astronomy, etc.), and one or two animal biographies.

Then we base our activities around the topics I found at the library. So for the letter K, my book list might look something like this:
Plant a Kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
(I'm a huge Rosenthal fan)
This book goes perfectly with our lipstick-kissed "K" activity above.
You could create a game of pretending to be kangaroos and make these cute kangaroo pouches.
My library has a more toned down series of animal biographies that I love.
With this you could make paper kites to fly outside.
The King's Wish & Other Stories *1960* Vintage Childrens' Book
For a fun snack, make King's "crowns" with apple halves and toothpicks with
mini marshmallows, craisins, and cut up cheese)

I always start our activity time with a review of the date, weather, the alphabet and sometimes one of our favorite songs or finger plays. Then we read our books followed up with a game or craft and of course, a snack. 

That's it! The goal of course is to be present. My best activities are not those that took the most preparation or thought, but rather the ones where we really connect and play together. Planning for an activity time almost every day, helps me to create those moments more often.
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