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Showing posts from September, 2016

"Let's Play!" Series: What is Play, and Why it's SO Important

Welcome to my Let's Play! series!!

My first "official" post is going to be kind of a summary on my feelings on why telling your child "Let's Play!" is so important!

So what is "play" and why is it so important, anyway?

Playtime for kids is a HOT topic lately. There are some big stories floating around about it - have you seen the one about schools that are doubling/tripling recess times and seeing improvements in students' work because of it?

Playtime for our kids is complete freedom. Open-ended activites where they can make their own choices and interact with their peers under their own choosing. Playtime is where children's minds can rehearse favorite activites, explore new possibilites, and foster friendships and find commonalities with peers. It's a lot of self-discovery and learning about their environment!

It's where they explore "what happens if..." and learn the positive and negative consequences of their actions.


7-Month-Old Liam! And a Month Gone By Without Daddy

It's been one month since Chris has been gone.

I've been thinking about this post for awhile, but I'm finding that it's really hard to put this last month into words.

It is nonstop crazy, as you would assume with 2 kids still in diapers.

It is pretty much nonstop selflessness.

There are moments of calm and control, which are so, so great. I'm learning to appreciate those moments more and more!

Most days I can stay positive.

And some days the frustration rises and something as simple as trying to buckle the carseat but Liam wont let go of the straps makes me have to step back, breathe, and count to 10 to keep my cool.

Sometimes it's when the 4th piece of food falls from chubby little fingers and splatters on the floor.

Sometimes it's when Ava shrieks at the top of her lungs for the 15th time in a row.

Sometimes it's when we are all packed up and ready to load up in the car and I realize someone needs a diaper change. Or a snack. Or a toy. Or a shoe.

Or m…

Toddler-Friendly Learning Toys

You know, it's really hard to find toys for the child who falls between baby toys that light up and twinkle, and little doll playsets and Legos.
What about that 2 year old who isn't a baby anymore but isn't ready for "big kid" toys?
Have you met a toddler?!
They change their minds constantly and can be quite destructive!
I always struggle with "do I buy Ava cheap toys so if/when she destroys it, it's not a big deal" or "do I buy more expensive, quality toys that will last but risk wasting money if she plays with it twice and decides she doesn't like it".
I figured I can't be the only parent who feels this way! We all want our kids to have meaningful experiences with their toys. I'm always on the hunt for just the right toys that have educational value while also maintaining the feeling of "fun".
And especially for that tricky 2 year old...most toys say 3+ or 5+ because they contain small parts that could be…

Easy Sensory Bins

So I haven't done one of these posts in a long time because life got a little crazy! And it still is - but I was feeling like I needed to do something Ava-focused that is new and exciting for her!
I've always wanted to make sensory bins for her, but I've been waiting for her to pass the phase where she puts everything in her mouth. The last time I tried this activity with her I was about 20 weeks pregnant with Liam and Ava was around 15 months old, and she would take fist fulls of rice and shove it in her mouth at our playgroup!! So now that she is 2, I feel that she is ready to try it again! I used to make Toddler Sensory Bags for her since she clearly wasn't ready for an open bin!
I went to Walmart this morning and bought a big bag of the cheapest rice, cheapest dry beans, and I picked 2 fun items to go into the sensory bins. I chose a variety pack of pom poms (because she loves playing with cotton balls) and a little packet of plastic gems (because what toddler doe…