๐—ช๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—™๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—น๐˜† ๐——๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฝ-๐—œ๐—ป – Learning in the Spirit of Wonder and Joy
 

I’m still here! Just not as often. I will be helping out at the school when children return in June. I enjoy being in the school so I am really excited to be back. Unfortunately, parents are not allowed to come into the school so Family-Drop In will not be open at this time.ย  I hope to continue with Zoom Gatherings on Tuesdays at the same time as usual.ย  If that changes I will let you know by email, text or by sharing the info here on the Blog. If you would like to chat then please reach out to me.

I will post to the Blog weekly as well. Thank you all for your kind messages and support.

Here is a fun VIDEO (click here) of one of my favorite Books with Felt Story

 

Take a Break

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I was listening to a talk with Gordon Neufeld on ‘Parenting in a Pandemic’ recently and I was reminded that the adults in a child’s life need to be their port in a storm. In times of trouble the child needs to feel like they can go to someone and have their needs met. Children feel safe and secure knowing that they will be cared for, even though life may be changing around them. We all benefit from having the confidence that we can handle what life throws at us. So this may mean we have to cry in the closet, but put on a brave face in front of the children. You may need to get to the closet (laundry room, washroom, under the blankets etc) to shed your tears, or just have a quiet moment to allow your feelings to flow. It is okay to show feelings, as long as our feelings don’t push children away. I know from personal experience that if I don’t have space to work through my feelings, I can quickly shift to tuning my own children out. For example, they may be talking to me but I won’t have a clue what they said. I know that checking our cell phones is a very common way to ‘tune out’. Children know when we aren’t present with them. It is okay to want and need a break, but it may take a bit of planning. The best time to make space for yourself is after giving love and quality time to your child. It is helpful to set up some playful activities for children so you can take a break! Here are some ideas for more quiet play.

Cloud Doughย https://www.powerfulmothering.com/how-to-make-cloud-dough-recipe/

Fluffy Slimeย https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/fluffy-slime-recipe/

Quiet Time for Toddlersย https://www.howweelearn.com/quiet-time-activites-2-year-olds/

 

 

How awesome was that! I really enjoyed our ZOOM time together this morning. We sang our favorite songs, read stories and danced until we were out of breath (well, I was out of breath).ย  If you missed joining me for a Zoom gathering this week then leave me a message in the comment section bellow and I will email you details for the next one.

Here are some tips for making Zoom a great experience.

  • Cast the Zoom session to the TV set so that your child can see me and their friends on the big screen.
  • Make sure the volume is adjusted so that we can hear each other.
  • If there is a lot of background noise in your home you should press mute.
  • Toddlers may not enjoy sitting in front of the screen and that’s okay! They may enjoy listening, or perhaps you will decide to leave the meeting.
  • If you are late joining Zoom, please be patient as I may be in the middle of a finger play and can’t invite you in right away.
  • I’d love for you to join me! Stay and sing along with your child if possible.

Children love to squish, poke, pound, roll and create with play-dough. Manipulating play-dough increases hand muscle strength which in turn improves dexterity required for skilled drawing and writing. Playing with play-dough is calming because it is tactile, engaging the senses and improving focus. I always try to allow the children time to experience the play-dough before adding tools. Eventually sticks, buttons, dowel (for rolling out the dough) and cookie cutters can be added to the play. Play-dough can become cookies, flowers, worms, bowls, etc. There is no limit to the child’s imagination and play-dough is an excellent medium for creative play. Best of all you can make play-dough at home with many basic ingredients. Store it in an air tight container for up to 4 weeks!

Since I have already confessed that I do not follow recipes (see my post on Play) I have enlisted my friend and co-worker Beth from Second Street StrongStart to lead you through making play-dough at home. If you have seen me make play-dough at Windsor then you know that there is a little bit more of this, and a little bit less of that happening when I make play- dough with the children. Teacher Beth’s demonstration is bang-on. Thank you Beth! Check out Beth’s Blog for more playful ideas.

Click the link bellow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=tgB-T1y7zec&feature=emb_logo

Hello Families!

I have been reaching out to you this week to say a warm “Hello!” and invite you to join me for a Zoom gathering. If you are a registered family and have not heard from me, it may be that I do not have your current phone number. If you have filled out a registration form (I have access to these records) or have a preschooler starting Kindergarten in September please contact me through the school staff email provided on the Windsor School Website and I can include you in our Zoom meeting.

The Zoom meeting details will be provided through email.

I was encouraged during some of our recent phone conversations to share more videos with me singing our favorite songs….I kinda feel silly singing alone in my living room, but for you I am happy to oblige.

Video of THE MORE WE GET TOGETHER

Video of OPEN, SHUT THEM

Video of THERE WERE THREE IN THE BED

Video of LOVE GROWS

Well with Mother’s day just around the corner I’ve been remembering some of the awesome moms I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the years. Being a mom is….well there are too many words and emotions to express all that being a mom is. The list of possibilities is endless because moms can do it all. Many moms have even become science teachers due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.ย  I think you may enjoy watching this kitchen science experiment featuring Rachael and Cody. Many moons ago Rachael and I gave birth to baby boys around the same time. Our boys have sure grown up! Thanks to the internet (and Facebook) we have been able to peek into each others lives over the years. I share this video with permission and gratitude.

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEOย 

*you do not need to log in to your Facebook account to view the video,ย  just select ‘not now’ and make sure your sound is ‘on’.

Some families have asked me to share movement activities.ย  I will start with yoga. While I am not a trained yoga teacher I do practice some poses at home and I am happy to share the little bit I know. Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.ย  I like to offer yoga to the children when I notice they are having trouble settling their bodies (what I really mean is, I pull out the yoga mats after I’ve asked them to stop running around the room in a group chase yet they just can’t seem to slow down). Yoga movements, or poses, strengthen the body and help calm the mind by reducing stress. Controlled breathing promotes relaxation and mindfulness techniques offer tools to help one respond to a chaotic world. The more tools we possess the more confidence we have to face the unknown, and there seems to be a lot of unknown to face these days!

ย  ย  ย  ย The video’s attached below may take require extra time to load

ย  ย CLICK HERE TO JOIN ME for the story Yoga in the Garden by Kathy Biliveau, illustrated by Denise Holmes.ย 

Here I am sharing a bit of YOGA on my front lawn, trying to show gratitude despite the roaring traffic.ย  CLICK HERE

We know they are good for us, but vegetables can often be the least appealing food on a child’s dinner plate. There are ways to make veggies more desirable and I’m not just talking about adding butter or salt! You could try hiding them too, spinach in brownies is hardly detectable. Even better, how about putting the veggies out without disguises BUT you have to be okay with letting children play with their food. I play with food all the time, but I call it dressing a plate. It’s a real thing. In fact my brother makes a career of it. So why not let the children assemble their food on their plate? Especially if it helps them to identify and enjoy the vegetables that are so nutritious.

Click the link bellow

https://twohealthykitchens.com/veggie-faces-no-bake-vegetable-pizzas-and-wraps/

ย  To watch a little video of me with my veggie loving pet

CLICK HERE

 

I have to tell you all how much I miss seeing your children at the art table. I feel so much joy watching children explore color, shape and line. I first discovered this joy while I was a young teenager. I had loads of art materials and my neighbor’s children would come to my house and paint. I remember putting the paintings up on the wall of my room. As a young adult I taught woodworking classes to children. I will never forget the little boy who asked me “have you ever been so happy that you had tears in your eyes?” as he held the coping saw in his tiny hands. Is there any greater reward than that? I have to confess that my love of sharing art comes with a bias. I feel very cringy about some art projects. I dislike telling children that red and blue make purple- I would prefer to give them the colors and experience the pleasure of discovering what happens when the two colors mix. I don’t like when every creation follows a pattern, or when outcomes are presented from the get-go. I will bend and offer an example to guide children, or a product for inspiration but I avoid it whenever possible. My youngest son’s grade 2 teacher gave the class instructions on how to collage a paper flower. My son went ahead and assembled the flower without following the instructions. His teacher crumpled up his flower and asked him to start from the beginning. It bothered him enough that he remembered to tell me. It bothered me more because I bawled my eyes out at the school the next day, saddened for my son and feeling really horrible because I appreciate teachers and didn’t want to complain. It was just paper, it was easy to start the flower again, the teacher wasn’t angry- but when it comes to art I am super protective of a child’s creativity.

So that is why when you come to my art table you will probably find scissors, glue, paper, oil pastels (never crayons) red, blue, yellow (primary colors) and white paint, paintbrushes and never much more. Everything creative can be found inside your child. I hope you feel joy while watching them experience art too!

My all time favorite story as a child was The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, illustrated by Michael Smollin. I have never been a fan of thrillers, but this book had me on the edge of my seat! You would think that a scary story would be the last thing a child would want read to them before bed, but books like this actually help children practice dealing with fears. Books that touch upon difficult emotions can open up conversations about feelings that a child may be holding inside and give them the confidence to overcome them. Of course you will want to be very sensitive to your child and choose books that don’t cross the line. Choose books that are age appropriate and that cover subjects you are most comfortable with as well.

Here are some popularย  SCARY STORIES;

Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Go Away Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley

There are also many classics like The Three little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and Little Red Riding Hood to name a few.

 

PLEASE ENJOY THIS DELIGHTFULLY SCARY STORY, click the link bellow

The Monster at the End of this Book