by Jamie Hinckley on Oct 08, 2011
I got a call from my mother-in-law today. It was a familiar call… she always calls a week or two after her grand kids visit to get nostalgic about all the cute little fingerprints on her walls that have finally faded away and to beg us to come back to visit soon. The fingerprints I spend hours cleaning with a magic eraser are cherished and endeared by her.
I looked at my house with this new perspective and saw all the little fingerprints all over my walls. If there is one thing that defines our lives as mothers, there it is. Perfect… what defines a life full of little children if not the fingerprints they leave behind! They are a reminder of the fun and chaos that defines them.
I thought it would be fun to start off the blog with a great hand print butterfly project! I have been doing this project for years now. It is always a lot of fun to see how the kids react to the cold paint and ticklish brush on their hands. This is a great activity for sensory development. It has the potential to be messy, but is so worth it. Sensory activities help promote social, emotional, and intellectual development so have fun and keep a soap bucket close by!
Supplies: paint, brushes, paper, bucket of soapy water
Instructions: Draw the body of a butterfly without the wings. Paint your child’s hand and let them place it on on the side of the butterfly body. The hand print will be the butterfly wings. Use as many colors as you want to make the butterfly wings colorful.
by Jamie Hinckley on Oct 08, 2011
Keeping kids busy… what a task. I have three little boys that are better known as my three little monkeys. I recently joined a co-op preschool program with a few other mommies in the area. This basically means that we trade off who hosts and teaches all the children while the kids move from house to house based on whose turn it is to teach. It was my turn to teach this week and we did a lot of fun things that I thought were easy and interesting enough to mention.
We did a great sorting activity with random stickers and foam pieces I had around the house. The kids loved it! Each one got a milk carton to themselves. Then I had them sort all of the objects on the table based on color. They ate it up. After this we sorted objects by type (animal, shape, flowers, etc..) and then by size. Great activity! Kept the kids happy and busy while they learned a basic math less on classification and sorting. Great activity for fine motor development as well!
We also went on a “B” hunt searching and collecting all the objects we could find around the house that start with the letter B. The kids loved this and got to show the group what they found and sound it out exaggerating the B sound at the beginning. We ended up with a great collection!
I have to say though, the kids had the most fun throwing the beach ball at the letter B we taped up. Something about being allowed to throw things really got them excited and not just the boys. The girls loved it to! They cheered each other on and clapped when one of them hit the letter. It was a great activity to help them memorize the letter B, increase gross motor skills, and improve hand-eye coordination.
We also made Hand print butterflies! So cute and so much fun! This is a great sensory activity to do with the kids!
by Jamie Hinckley on Jun 05, 2011
One thing I often hear from new mothers is the difficulty they’re having with helping their babies learn to sleep through the night. It can be one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding, tasks an early mother and father go through. The first night your baby sleeps through the night will feel like a huge reward and allow you to get solid sleep for nights to come.
I recently came across this graphic from a childcare and nanny company based here in Northern Virginia that outlines the strategies, goals, and guidelines for helping your baby sleep through the night.
One additional tip that I found to be a huge help is to let your husband be the one to go in and check on the baby. Young babies often have different expectations from their mothers and fathers and may respond better to their father gently but firmly reminding them to lay down and that everything will be okay. My husband and I implemented this approach and it was very helpful in our efforts to help our three boys learn to sleep through the night. He was a bit more reasonable and helped me relax when I wanted to barge in and save my baby from the crib and his tears. Working as a team through this life lesson was extremely beneficial.
Once they’re sleeping through the night in their cribs, you’ll have at least until they grow into a toddler bed to sleep through the night. After they realize they can get out of their bed though, they’ll come find you in the middle of the night for loves and snuggles.
What do you think? Do you think the recommended approach from this graphic is similar to how you taught your children to sleep through the night? Is there anything else you’d recommend to help them learn to sleep?