I get my inspiration from my 3-year-old. I dedicated a wall to McKinley’s art work. It’s been a slow coming master piece.
It’s hard to remember, but I constantly forget that the way we visually present projects, or activities to our children—matters.
And it’s like– wait we aren’t doing enough already? Now we have to make stuff visually appealing too? Let alone actually plan an afternoon “something.” Yeeeeesh!
But, I completely understand why. I mean, it’s the same reason I like certain restaurants. The ambience makes a difference– and that’s basically the same concept here. The more inviting a project is, the more likely they will learn more, or get more out of it.
Many parents work long hours through the week. And as much as we don’t want to believe it–it’s just hard on our little critters. They miss us. Constantly. At least in our household McKinley misses her father day in and day out.
The book, The Kiss Box by Bonnie Verburg and Henry Cole is a great story that illustrates to children how as parents our love is just as strong even when we’re away. And nowadays so many parents have to work outside the home.
The story helps initiate conversations about feelings, and in this case feelings of “missing.” And, it provides wonderful ways to send each other love, or in the book “kisses,” when being a part from one another. In the story Mama Bear and Little Bear create “kiss boxes” as a way to send each other kisses when they were a part from each other.
McKinley and I decided we wanted to create our own kiss boxes, as a way to send each other love when we needed it. This turned out to be a truly meaningful, engaging, and fun project– Naturally, I had to share.
Inside the boxes we put random things. McKinley cut up fabrics and different textured paper as little sheets to represent love and kisses. I cut tiny hearts out of tissue paper. When it comes to love the possibilities are endless.
Everyone knows I’m all about getting crafty and letting McKinley get messy.
Here is a quick & simple activity to put together. I’ve laid out different materials for her to create her own “Fall Tree.”
- Apple stamps & paint
- Sparkle ribbon
- Pipe cleaners
- Glue stick
- Paper roll
My efforts to distract yet another tantrum led to the making of a coloring book.
My toddler begs to watch Peppa Pig. So much that one time I made the mistake of making it a reward for taking a nap. And now, sleep = Peppa.
Television was actually something I did not tolerate for over the first year of her life. “No screen time what-so-ever,” I would tell people. But, then life happened.
Taking care of my dad in the end of his life was way more important than being a screen time drill Sargent. And so, she became familiar with Curious George and Peppa Pig.
Birth of a Coloring Book
McKinley starts begging to watch Peppa pig and it’s 10am.
“No Peppa right now,” I say.
“Mama I want Peppa!”
“Later today.” The tantrum slowly begins. “How about we color Peppa instead?” I ask. Diversion complete.
1. Look on Google images and let them pick out and point to the photos they want to color.
2. Print photos out 5X7 on printer
paper (2 pictures per page).
3. Stack all printed pages and place a piece of colored construction paper on the bottom.
4. Fold all pages in half together. When you do this, you’ll have a blank page and a coloring page. You can then create stories. (I asked McKinley what she saw and wrote down her words.)
Happy 21 months to McKinley today!