Positive Parenting Ages & Stages

Paint Party

Play and Learning
We love to paint, especially with finger-paint. Usually I just purchase ready to use non toxic children finger paints, although occasionally we make our own, then line the table with plastic covering or old newspapers and paint away.  Variations on "sit at the table and paint" are always fun and so here are some ways we think are fun to finger paint: Bathtub Paint party: I find it especially interesting for children 18 months to 21/2 years  to paint with finger-paint in the bath tub. My children find it funny and different and they have so much space to explore the paint and clean up is a breeze.  I like to tape several sheets of paper around the bathtub and let the children paint. When painting time is over we…
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Rewind, Recharge, Refocus.

Parenting, Positive Discipline
Rewind. Recharge, Refocus. One peaceful strategy to avoid a tantrum. Most days our house wakes up to smiles and cuddles.  Other times it all goes well until the one and only beloved “stripy” T-shirt turns out not to be dry thus throwing a wrench into one pre-schoolers’ plans. A grumpy growl face then instigates the toddler and well it could get very hectic from this point on but if I am awake enough to get my game on this is how I try to save the day. Pause and Rewind: It's sort of like a do-over. I empathize with the frustrations and then I suggest we rewind the moment. Often we add in a little turning in a circle for flair and fun of course. In itself this little turn…
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Gone (to play) with the Wind

Play and Learning
Windy Play...part of our summer fun series Windy days can make for some great fun - here are some of the wind projects from our 100 fun things we plan to do this summer list! Speedy Windsock A very easy project to make we have enjoyed making it each year with left over birthday decorations! Materials: Streamers (Creppe Paper), two sheets of construction paper or cardstock per windsock, a stapler, child safe scissors. Directions: Working together cut about 6 pieces of streamers to the approximately double the length of the sheet of construction paper.  Fold the construction paper into a cylinder.  On one end of the cylinder, attach the streamer pieces with a stapler*. From the second sheet of construction paper cut a strip of paper to create a handle…
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Pretend Play and Cooking Outdoors

Play and Learning
Baking Al Fresco - Part of our Summer Fun Series From making mud-pies to rock soup, transforming our backyard into a kitchen, bakery or restaurant is a surefire way for us to fill many hours of the day in the summer time.  I find collecting a few recyclable containers such as yogurt cups, aluminum baking dishes, plastic jugs etc.. makes my outdoor chefs even more excited to cook. Here are our favorite recipes.   Scrumptious Mudpies Ingredients: Dirt, water, rocks and sticks Utensils: foil pie dishes or take away containers, wooden spoons, large mixing bowl or plastic tub, something for scooping the dirt (measuring cup or yogurt cup) Direction s: using a scooper, let each chef take turns combining water and dirt into bowl or tub until the chefs find…
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Bubble Fun

Play and Learning
Bubble Fun Bubble time is practically a given on any day.  We have a collection of wands and plastic containers we like to use.  In our collection are, traditional wands, self made wands,  straw wands and also a battery wand so that even before being able to work a traditional wand my children have felt like full participants in our bubble games. Blowing bubbles is great fun but then what? Check out the bubble games we like to play. Double Bubble One person is the bubble master and blows bubbles, everyone else is paired up by holding hands and runs around trying to catch and pop the bubbles with the free hands.  This is a great way to foster cooperation and a sure to end up in many laughs.  Try…
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100 Fun Things to do this Summer

Play and Learning
The boys, baby and I have put together a huge list of all the things we want to  try doing this summer.  I tried to organize the list a bit and well here it is...  From bubble games to marbling paint to backyard cooking and other adventures check out our ideas and may we all have a fun filled happy summer! 1.       Play with Bubbles 2.       Make bubble wands 3.       Play Bubble Golf 4.       Make Foaminators 5.       Make Mudpies 6.       Create butterflypies 7.       Cook up rock soup 8.       Build a Windsock 9.       Build a Kite 10.   Build a Wind chime 11.   Create a Wind catcher 12.   Build a Garden Mobile 13.   Create a dream catcher 14.   Paint with finger paints 15.   Paint with water colors 16.   Create marble prints 17.  …
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Joy of eating…family style

Nutrition, Parenting, Positive Discipline
*This  article was also featured at at Authentic Parenting* I  strive to serve healthy yet yummy and appealing meals everyday.  The goal being to not to create kitchen master pieces worthy of Top Chef (what an awesome show) but rather  to capitalize on my children' s adventurous nature and allow them a chance to explore tastes and textures. To have fun and exciting family meals,  and create an overall joy of eating, we focus on  portion awareness,  respecting individual tastes, opportunity,  modeling healthy choices and relaxed table manners. Portion Awareness Sometimes its easy to forget that the tummy of a toddler/preschooler is tiny - a great way to remember is to look at their hands. A child's stomach is roughly the same size as it's hand curled into a fist. …
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Spring Time is Bug Time

Play and Learning
For the month of April we are doing a Spring & Bugs theme. Books The Grouchy Lady Bug - Eric Carle The Very Busy Spider - Eric Carle The Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle Art Friendly Ladybugs Giant Spiders Heart Caterpillars Beautiful Butterflies Songs Itsy Bitsy Spider If you are happy and you know it (Grouchy and you know it) March of the Ants Games & Activities Ladybug habitat Spring Time scavenger hunt Bug Boogie Woogie Dance
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15 Play Activities For Rainy Days

Play and Learning
15 activities to do indoors on a yucky day! 1. Build a fort 2. Make paper airplanes 3. Paint with cars 4. Build with Lego 5. Build a book city 6. Read stories 7. Play follow the leader 8. Dance 9. Make up a silly song 10. Play music band 11. Set up an obstacle course 12. Pretend post office 13. Finger paint in the bath tub 14. Bake a cake 15. Go on a treasure hunt.
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vrooooom…car painting

Play and Learning
I find this to be a fun activity for a rainy day. I Line a table with an old shower curtain or table cloth or lots of newspapers. Then lay out long sheets of paper or many smaller sheets of paper tapped together. I Place different colored paints on paper plates. Then place one or two toy cars, trucks, tractors  on each plate. (I like to choose vehicles with various tire patterns) The children cover the tires of each vehicle with paint (rolling car in the paint) and then drive it on the paper.  I model this once or twice but then let them loose... The colorful tracks and the different track textures makes for really cool looking designs! When it's time to clean up we play car wash -…
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