Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer time!

I've been pretty busy at work this summer...not teaching, but taking on many other responsibilities! Today, I took a group of kids to our local art museum! They have an awesome family center, were we went and made cool animal puppets! We also walked around and talked about Mummies, Van Gogh, medieval art, Jackson Pollock and sculptures. The kids were well behaved, were interested and asked some really good questions. I'm hoping their parents will take them up there again soon! I'm amazed at all the great local things we have that none of the parents take advantage of. I hope that this summer, you take the kids in your life to an art museum, natural history museum (which kids LOVE) or some other place where they can explore and learn!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Babies aren't ready to 'read'

(thanks to for the picture)

I opened a Parents magazine the other day, and was completely disappointed that they had a 2 page add about the 'your baby can read' junk. There is no reason to teach your baby to 'read'. They have years before they will really be developmentally ready for that.

Sure, it might work for some people, but what are those kids losing out on? The ability to color, hold scissors, and to just talk and have a childhood is much more important than impressing your friends with your child's ability to read. I've found, in my 10+ years of teaching preschool and being in a daycare setting that children who are very strong academically suffer with the social/emotional side of things. I have not found that the opposite is true.

Kids go to school for a reason, and are taught by professionals, not from a video or flashcards. There is no substitute for just talking and reading to your child. At ages two to five, children are sponges. They absorb everything, and while you might not see it right away, those connections are being made, and will one day fit together.

Monday, March 22, 2010

grown ups are magic

“A Drink in the Night” by Deborah Garrison:

My eyes opened
at once for you were standing
by my side, you’d padded
in to ask for a drink in the night.

The cup was—-where?
Fallen down, behind?
Churning in the dishwater, downstairs?
Too tired to care, I cupped
my hand and tipped it
to you. You stared, gulped,
some cold down your chin.
Whispered, “Again!”

O wonder. You’d no idea
I could make a cup.
You’ve no idea what
I can do for you, or hope to.
You watched, curious and cool,
as I cupped some up
to my own lips, too,
then asked,
“Why does it taste better?”

found this poem, and it made me think of how children have to be taught so many things that we, as grown ups, take for granted. I quickly tied a pair or tricky shoes the other day and the child asked me, full of wonder, "How did you do that?!". It's amazing the things we teach children everyday.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One of the best things about working with kids is the books I get to read. I love kids books. There are some fantastic books out there. Not only are they great stories, but the art work is amazing. I think all too often, kids books are seen as simple stories. This may be true, but even some of the most simple stories have such wonderful pictures. The link is to one of my favorite blogs. It takes a look at some illustrators and how they work. One of my favorite is Oliver Jeffers. His drawings are so full of feeling and whimsy and the stories are sweet.

Take a look at the website, or hit your local library or book store for some great kids books! Your kids will love them, and you will too!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spring is coming!

Well, hopefully! Kids are getting restless and want to go outside! Even in the winter, as long as everyone has hats and boots and gloves, kids should be able to get a few minutes of outside play time. This is hard when not everyon has winter weather clothing, but as it's almost March, hopefully all that winter stuff can be put away!

I've noticed that kids are always playing 'Robot' and 'Lava'. I played those when I was a kid! It's funny how those games are just hanging out in a kids brain somewhere until they get the chance to play it. I'm a big fan of Red Rover and Red Light Green Light. Older kids can even play Simon Says without any adult help. I'm so looking forard to getting outside!
We're also hoping to plant a garden this spring so we can watch things grow and have yummy veggies to eat for snack as well!

(how awesome does this playgound thing look?!)

Saturday, January 30, 2010


One of the best ways to help kids with fine motor and pre writing skills is to give them access to art supplies. Even the very young (10+ months) can have fun with a crayon and sheet of paper (as with everything, some activities require more supervision with young children). Learning to hold a crayon and see how it makes marks on a plain piece of paper helps with those important fine motor skills, and will help with writing in the future.
Crayola has some fantastic items for younger kids: crayons that fit in a little egg shaped animal so that it's easier for kids to hold them, stamps, markers, and that color wonder paper and paint that only works with the special paper.
Look for non-toxic stuff, and you don't have to worry about a mouth full of crayon. It won't hurt will make for good stories later on!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another thought...

The best thing about working with kids is how much laughing you do! I can't think of many other jobs where you can lay on the floor laughing until you are crying and your stomach hurts! Kids do say the funniest things! Take a second and listen to what kids around you are talking can be amusing and amazing at same time!