Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Child-Sized: in the garden

I think one of the best ways to teach your kids about the earth is to let them play in it!


2011-06-17 10.28.40We took a trip to the local nursery in the spring and the kids got to pick out their own flowers, then we came home and planted them! It was a lot of fun, and the kids had a great time watching them grow.

Children like to work – to them, it is play. If we can capitalize on that, then we can help them grow to love work even as adults. 2011-06-17 10.36.33Most work for me is play because my mother let work be my play, and now my favorite thing to do is go out and work in the yard, or build something, or write something, or solve a problem.

IMG_0430The best way to keep children happy “at work” is to provide child-sized tools for them to use in their work. When we bought our home, we had to go out and buy yard tools (shovels, rakes, etc). In our car on the way home were child-sized versions of the adult-sized tools we had just purchased. It is imporant that their tools are as high quality and of the same material we would buy. The yard tools we bought for the kids are made out of metal, not plastic. But you can expect them to work with a plastic shovel. You would never think of it. Having “real” tools requires a lot more adult supervision than most people like to give their children – for us it just happens, because we are always supervising our children.

What life-like, child-sized tools do you provide your children? Do they have child-sized kitchen utensils? Shop tools? Cleaning tools? How are you capitalizing on your child’s play?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tire Tunnels


Earlier this summer I had the kids with me at a tire and auto place having the brakes checked out on my husband’s car (turned out it needed a lot of work done… but that’s another story). Well, it was a little bit of a wait, and while we were sitting around with nothing to do, the kids discovered that they could climb through the tires in the shop.

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I was just grateful to have them entertained for a while, and the store folks didn’t seem to mind.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Nature Creations

We often have extra children in our home. We haven’t finished the requirements for our foster care license quite yet, so the children are not official foster children, but we often think of them as our children. We have been blessed to be in a position of helping several children (and their mothers) from broken homes. That is a story for another day.
One day while watching some extra kiddos, we took a walk and gathered stuff we found outside, and then made crafts and art projects using the things the kids picked up.
DSCN5024 One of our extra kids showing off his find.
DSCN5026 Little stuffing his bag full of sticks, rocks, and leaves.
DSCN5028Baby even enjoyed gathering rocks.
DSCN5034These boys are like peas in a pod. Little loves his “big brothers” and is constantly asking us to get him a big brother. These two brothers have spent a lot of time at our house and they feel like our children. We love them very much and we love their mom a lot, too. She’s an amazing woman. We enjoy these boys’ company when they come over. They are so well behaved and sweet kids.
DSCN5043After picking up lots of goodies, we headed back to the craft room to assemble our projects. One of our extras made some pigs from Angry Birds. Can you find them?
And here are the finished products. We had boats, spiders, Angry Birds, dinosaurs, faces, you name it. These kids were so creative. I loved watching them enjoy making something. 
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Find more fun activities for preschoolers over on 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hopscotch and Sidewalk Chalk

IMG_0555One of our favorite things to do when the weather is good is draw with sidewalk chalk. This particular time we drew fishes and whales (and the latter eating the former…)

And then I had a stroke of genius. Teach my kids hopscotch!

So I drew a simple hopscotch board (complete with numbers) and taught the kids how to play. Baby mostly just jumped up and down the squares, but Little caught on to dropping the rock, skipping it, and picking it up on his way back. It was a great activity to help with gross motor skills like jumping, standing on one leg, and bending over to pick things up. IMG_0561IMG_0567

An added benefit was learning the order of numbers, and my favorite – they were wiped out and completely ready for naps afterwards!

Faith is like a little Seed

As part of our spring themes, we planted wildflower seeds in a little pot and watched them grow. Unfortunately, they weren’t very hardy and died before they even flowered, but it was fun to see them emerge from the soil!

We talked about how faith starts as a little seed, and if we give it water and sunshine (that is, if we study and pray, and are obedient) then the seed will eventually grow and flourish (that is, our faith will eventually grow into a testimony).


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