Friday, August 31, 2012

i'm over at Learn With Play at Home today

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i'm hanging out over at Learn with Play at Home today. pop on over and  see my post that's out of this world!!

 
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

the stoplight discipline method

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not too long ago, i posted about disciplining with natural consequences.  using "if...then" statements are how we try to handle Bear's challenging or inappropriate behaviors.  i'm going to be honest with you.  he is a strong-willed child, so it doesn't always work.  my son is a visual learner in that he often needs to see examples or pictorial clues. 
 
there are times when trying to "talk it out"  when he made poor choices just weren't effective.  after behaviors are repeated so many times, with the same natural consequences, it stops having a behavior altering effect.  so we moved to our contingency plan.  this is something i've had in my back pocket since my days as a preschool teacher... Stoplight Discipline.

it was a simple thing... i got out 3 craft sticks, one of each color green, yellow, and red.  Bear has known what the colors represent for quite some time.  it took me just a minute or two to introduce him to the process.  these were his sticks.  with good choices, he had all three.  for each poor choice, he looses a stick.  i then gave him the color definitions as illustrated below.  finally i told him that if he lost his red stick, then he would have help being redirected to another activity.
 


Bear carried the sticks in an empty watercolors plastic container for a few days.  after having to hand me sticks and earn them back several times, he would anticipate my asking for one and bring them to me unasked.  this showed me that he was developing an awareness of his actions and the ensuing consequences.  we only actually used them for a week or so.  it's been over a month since i introduced the sticks... now they sit on the counter.  through this, he has been able to connect this stoplight behavior method with actual objects because he's a visual/hands-on learner who does best with examples. all i need to do now is ask him if he needs to go get his sticks.  this is usually enough of a reminder to curb the undesirable behavior.

it doesn't always work. just like using natural consequences doesn't always work.  nothing works all of the time.  but it's a good back up plan for those times when i just. can't. seem to get through. 
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

tip-toe thru tuesday aug: 4

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hello lovelies!!  welcome to tip-toe thru tuesday co-hosted by myself and Kim from Tiaras and Bowties

also, i would like to share with you the winner of my Kevin Henkes giveaway for the darling book Jessica.  the winner is Sheila.  i emailed you :)

aside from the party, i'm also guest posting over at Creative with Kids. so pop over there and check out my "wheely" fun post!


the school supply program ran by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America is in need of support.  you can read the full post here.  the basics of it are that if you donate $10 to their Tools for Success fund, you get an amazing ebook as a thank you gift! it contains 50+ activities from over 40 bloggers.

*and* if you're a blogger, note your blog name in your donation and i'll give you a free ad space for september and october!


here are the toP 2 pOSts from 2 weeks ago plus one of mY faVEs. don't forget to check out Kim's fave over at Tiaras and Bowties. if you're featured, grab a fEAtuRed button from my button page!


3 Busy Bags with Pipe Cleaners from Making Boys Men
Playdough Robots from Happy Whimsical Hearts

Rainbow Squares I Spy Quilt from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy!
 




PoST aNYtHiNG you've created (show me some etsy shops and giveaways!)

Feel free to share several posts

Link back to my page somewhere on your blog

Stay around and check out a few other links. wE aLL LovE fEEdBaCK!


Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.

Monday, August 27, 2012

in {her} shoes...The Chirping Moms

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today's guest posters are super fun and have one of the cutest blogs i've seen.  recently, they created super adorable personalized lunchboxes and many more great ideas for kiddos in their For the Kids Thursdays.  

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We are so thrilled to be invited by Andie to be here today!  Our names are Julie and Courtney, and together you can call us The Chirping Moms
 
 
We live in the suburbs of New Jersey, right outside the craziness of New York City!  Julie grew up in the Midwest and somehow after college, landed on the East Coast with her husband.  She has lived in Washington, DC, Jersey City, coastal Connecticut before moving to this wonderful town:)  Courtney grew up in New Jersey, moved away to Chicago and North Carolina, before relocating back near her parents right down the street from Julie!  We met at the neighborhood park and became great friends after that.  Between us, we have four kids, three and under.  Julie has two boys while Courtney has two girls--so we always are BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!  We both stay at home with our little ones.   Stay at home parenting is one exhausting job, but also rewarding and fun!  Who else gets to do crafts, go on special outings, and enjoy a little nap time every day (but don't forget you are also cleaning dishes every minute, potty training, and handling toddler meltdowns.)?


What is the most challenging part of being the type of mom you are?

We are both very hands-on moms who keep our children active during that day!  On any given day, you can find both of us heading to the park, doing crafts, cooking dinner, going to the pool, vacuuming mashed cereal from our carpet, reading many board books, and attempting to start our own sewing project at night.  One way to keep our little kids from having as many meltdowns is to keep them content through our never-ending list of activities:)  But you have to have a fine line between doing activities and letting your children be kids---they have to know what it is like to be bored, give them some quiet time to learn to play on their own and encourage independent play and imagination.  And most moms face this, but with a husband who works 12 hours days with two active kids, we would have to say that we both face the challenge of exhaustion!!!  Let's just say thank goodness for a little coffee and a little quiet nap time:)

What is the most rewarding?

One of the most rewarding things about being a mom is watching your children grow into their own little unique selves.  We love watching our children love---how they love their friends, family, and God.  We love hearing the new things they say---pretending to be Super Why, telling their baby sister to eat more food, or screaming out "car" every time one drives by the window.  We love watching them how to solve problems---learning to turn the lights on by themselves or pouring their own cup of juice (even if it does spill all over the floor).  We love watching them develop passions---may it be for baby dolls or monster trucks or Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  We love watching them take on more responsibility---brushing their own teeth, trying to dress themselves, and helping walk the dogs.  One of the greatest things about being with them all day is just knowing that you are there with them every step of the way (LITERALLY---they don't seem to leave your side!).  


In your opinion, what’s the most important value(s) parents can instill in their children? 

This is a really TOUGH question!  There are so many values that we want to instill in our children.  Julie just hung a custom-made Etsy sign for her living room that sums up what she wants in her family.  I think we both agree that these would be a wonderful way to live.  It reads:
In the Rogers family,
Trust our God
Forgive and Forget
Tell the Truth
Speak Kindly of All
Bless our Food
Encourage Others
Believe in the Good
Never Give Up
Follow our Dreams
Keep our Promises
Work Hard
Laugh Often
Love Unconditionally

If your children could describe you in 3 words, what would they be?

Our kids are so little that I'm pretty sure they would describe our hair color (Courtney-brown and Julie-blonde), tell everyone that we love to run, and we both love to be outside!   Honestly, we both inspire to be parents who love, care, and are patient with our children:)  


We would love to have you visit us over at The Chirping Moms blog!  We love to share our adventures into our world as mommies, as well as provide some awesome giveaways every Monday.  
You can also find us here at our Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/thechirpingmoms
And on Twitter:  @thechirpingmoms
And sharing our Pinterest finds!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

how he organizes

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nothing much today.  just a few pics that make me chuckle. i always find it interesting to see how Bear organizes toys, items, etc. 

toys all lined up

toiletries put on the counter
neat and orderly


 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Little Cloud activities

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not too long ago we came across an Eric Carle book that i had never heard of before.  Little Cloud how this is possible, i don't know.  but both Bear and i fell in love with this sweet little book.  we probably read it 5 or 6 times in the first couple days we had it. 

 
since Bear was so intrigued by the book, we did an art, a literacy, and a couple sciences activities that tied into it during our preschool time.

 
for art i set up a classic art project for Bear.  not sure if there is an actual name for it, but i call it Rorschach painting.  at the beginning, Bear just put a dollop of paint on the paper, folded it, and smushed it out.  i had only intended for him to do a few of these...

but he loved it so much, he made an entire book.  i cut pieces of blue paper in half.  for the book he wanted to paint on the paper before he folded it.  this was a good idea, actually, because it created much more diverse images.  once all the paint was dry, i asked him what each picture was and wrote his answers on it with a marker.  then i stapled it together for him.  he's so proud of his book! we called it "A Cloud Can Be..." 
 
for science we did a fun experiment i saw over at Almost Unschoolers.  using a glass, water, and ice you can make clouds in a jar.  we tried it and it turned out really cool.  i don't think we did it quite right, though, because ours looked more like fog, but we were still enthralled.
 
 
the last science experiment we did was a complete fail.  i saw a cool experiment on making clouds rain in a jar at Reading Confetti.  it called for foam shaving creme.  we only had a tad of it, so i tried to use shaving gel instead, and it didn't work at all.  go here to see what it's really supposed to do.  even with our project fail, Bear thought it was really cool to see the food coloring swirl around in the water.  we even found that if i picked up the glass and swirled it a bit, it created a tornado-like effect.
 
 
i had also wanted to lay on a blanket outside and look at the clouds to see if we could find any shapes.  but it was a beautiful day with a nice clear blue sky.  so here's a post from Childhood Beckons on Telling Stories with Clouds that covers close to what we were going to do.
 

 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.
 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our Feminist {Play}School

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Our Feminist {Play}School is one of the August sponsors here at Crayon Freckles. Lyndsay offers amazing insights on natural/attachment parenting and living.  Her honesty is refreshing and often causes me to stop and think. 
 
 
Our Feminist {Play}School has ideas on:
 
 
 
So please take a few minutes to click over and check out Our Feminist {Play}School.  You can also find Lyndsay here:
Facebook     Twitter
 
 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kevin Henkes Book Giveaway: Closed

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As part of the August Virtual Book Club, Harper Collins has given us a copy of the book Jessica to give away to one lucky reader participating in the Virtual Book Club! You can read my post on the book Jessica here.

Entry Guidelines:
Giveaway begins today August 22 and will end on August 27th at 1159 PM CST. 
Open to U.S. residents only
Random entry will be choosen using Random.org
Winner will be announced at the tip-toe thru tuesday party on August 28th. 
Winner must reply within 48 hours or a new one will be chosen.


Here's how to enter:
Add a comment stating that you did each of the following:
(Please include your email address with each entry)

1. Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment with your email address below.

2. Additional Optional Entries:
- Tell us the title of your favorite Kevin Henkes book.
- Be the first or last one to enter and get an EXTRA entry!!

*** Make sure to leave a comment for each additional optional entry so that we can make sure to count it. You get one point for each entry. If you write everything in one comment, then it will only count as one entry.


Here are some other blogs that are doing Kevin Henkes book giveaways... so go check them out too:
 
Chester's Way- Toddler Approved
Chrysanthemum- Teach Preschool
My Garden- Crafty Moms Share
Chrysanthemum- Ready.Set.Read!
Sheila Rae, The Brave- Juggling With Kids
Old Bear- Reading Confetti
Wemberly Worried - The Educators' Spin On It
Penny and Her Song - Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse- Mommy and Me Book Club
Owen - Royal Baloo

 
 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Harper Collins. I was not compensated for this post.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

tip-toe thru tuesday aug: 3

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hello lovelies!!  welcome to tip-toe thru tuesday co-hosted by myself and Kim from Tiaras and Bowties

have you been over to Tiaras & Bowties yet?  if you haven't...go now and link up there!!! kim has an awesome redesign done by yours truly.  i'm not the bragging kind, but i think that it looks amazing.  it's such a great reflection of the beautiful, classy lady that Kim is. to celebrate her new look, Kim is having a giveaway for $75 worth of products from ThirtyOne Gifts!! 

*and* make sure you check back tomorrow for a little giveaway here at Crayon Freckles as well!


last week, i announced the beginning of an amazing fundraiser that benefits the school supply program ran by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  you can read the full post here.  the basics of it are that if you donate $10 to their Tools for Success fund, you get an amazing ebook as a thank you gift! it contains 50+ activities from over 40 bloggers.


here are the toP 2 pOSts from 2 weeks ago plus one of mY faVEs. don't forget to check out Kim's fave over at Tiaras and Bowties. if you're featured, grab a fEAtuRed button from my button page!
Making Homemade Soaps with Kids from Little Wonders' Days
The Ultimate Lego Party from One Artsy Mama
DIY Paper Bag Puppet Kit from Childhood Beckons







PoST aNYtHiNG you've created (show me some etsy shops and giveaways!)

Feel free to share several posts

Link back to my page somewhere on your blog

Stay around and check out a few other links. wE aLL LovE fEEdBaCK!


Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August Virtual Book Club for Kids: Kevin Henkes

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this is the first time we've participated in the Virtual Book Club for Kids that Toddler Approved hosts.  this month's featured author is Kevin Henkes and our activity is based on his book Jessica .
Jessica is a darling book about a little girl named Ruthie and her best friend, Jessica.  Ruthie takes Jessica everywhere she goes.  Her parents insist that Jessica isn't real, but Ruthie doesn't listen.  When Ruthie starts kindergarten, Jessica is there, too {in more ways than one}.  Harper Collins has been amazing enough to give us a copy of Jessica to give away on Wednesday!!
After we read the book, Bear and I talked about what a friend is.  Here are Bear's answers about what the definition of a friend is:
They love you.
They play with you....like JD (his bestie) does.
They are nice to you.

Bear's dad has been off work, so he's not wanted to do much activity with me at all.  thus putting my ideas for activities related to this book into action were shot down.  Again and again.  I had wanted to...
  • Make a friendship wreath out of our handprints.  Each handprint would have a friendship quality on it.
  • We could make our own paper imaginary friends (similar to Flat Stanley's) to carry with us throughout the day.

The bonus of this book, is that it opened up dialogue between Bear and I about his imaginary friends... {a topic that I will post on Wednesday}.  I am so grateful to have found a book that reassures Bear's imagination choices.


Have you ever done any activities based on a Kevin Henkes book? We'd love to see what you've created or done after being inspired by one of his books!  Please add your links to any Kevin Henkes inspired posts to the blog hop linky below.
There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them:
  1. Link up only posts inspired by Kevin Henkes that share children's book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!
  3. Add our Virtual Book Club to your post if you'd like.

* By linking to this blog hop you are giving the blog hop participants permission to pin images from your post onto Pinterest.

This blog hop will be open from August 20th (12am PST) to September. Come join the fun anytime and link up!


 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

in {her} shoes...Deirdre

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today's guest post is Dierdre from JDaniel4's Mom.  She hosts an informative link party called Read. Explore. Learn where posts that are linked up are based on books.  There are some cute and educational ideas there every week.

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While sandals and flip flops are fun to wear, my summer shoes tend to sneakers that offer my toes protection. My son tends to forget to look down and see if his shoes are going to step on anything and my bare toes seem to be under them often in the summer. Sandals are fun and look so much better than my sneakers with summer outfits, but sneakers tend to keep my toes safe.
Sneakers also keep my feet cleaner. My son loves to play outside in the dirt and summer storm puddles. Joining him in outside play is wet and messy.

What is the most challenging part of being the type of mom I am?

I love to encourage my son to seek the answers to the myriad of questions he has about the world around him. We scour the library of books that will help us find the answers to questions about microorganisms, space, under the sea creatures, etc..

The challenging part isn’t finding answers a four year old will understand it is taking the time to listen to all the questions that he comes up with all day long. Just when you think you have explored every aspect of a topic there are new questions. He is constantly building connections in his find or asking me to help me find ways to build them.
The questions come up at good times and bad. Times like when you are trying to focus on following driving directions, decide what is for dinner, and encourage a small boy to go to sleep are bad. Times when you have arrived at your location, are eating dinner or a small boy gets up in the morning are good.

I want my son to seek knowledge and think about things. Given that he is an auditory learner he tends to process information and ideas orally. It can be hard to ask him hold that thought until later or tell me that mom is overwhelmed with all the words those questions are filled with.

I don’t want him to stop asking questions, but I do want him to learn to file some of his questions quietly in his mind until later.

What is the most rewarding?
I became a mom over the age of forty. Hearing a little boy that for most I my life I never knew I would have call me Mom is the most rewarding thing ever. I am amazed everyday that I gave birth to this incredible little boy.

What do you think are the most important values parents can instill in their children?

My biggest dream for my son is that he will change his world. I don’t mean the whole world although that would be great. I do mean his small part of the world.

Teaching him to care for others who are older, younger, less fortunate, or have special needs is something I am really trying to teach him.
We are working on this by volunteering to do yard work at a children’s home, taking food to the food bank, and donating clothes and toys to a local charity.

Another way we are working on caring for others is talking, reading and being around people that are different that we are.
Sometimes that is planned and other times it just happens. JDaniel noticed a man with warts all over his face at a restaurant on Father’s Day. He wanted to know why he was different. I told him I didn’t know why he had those warts, but I did know he must be a very special man. JDaniel wanted to know why and I asked him to look at the lady who was sitting with him. She was holding one of his hands and having a conversation with him eye to eye. Her eyes were filled with great love. “To have someone love you that much means you have a beauty that you may have to look inside to see,” I told him.
If JDaniel learns that all people have value and treats them with respect, I will be thrilled.
Deirdre Smith
JDaniel4's Mom

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

cleaning handprints off the wall

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i don't want to
clean off those handprints.

their smallness makes me smile.
smeared as he tromped up the stairs
in a hurry to grab a toy car,
a juice box, some other random toy.

it would only take a minute
of soap and water for them
to be washed away.

but for now,
i'll leave them there.
they won't be that small
forever.


 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Friday, August 17, 2012

board game sensory bin and activity

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our latest sensory bin is a play off of Bear's new found appreciation for board games.  while his old favorite was CandyLand, he's since discovered Sorry and The Game of Life.  we play Life about 2-3 times a week.  seriously.  and the kid beats me.  every. time.

as a base for the bin i used our popcorn/beans mix.  then i just added a whole bunch of game pieces from games like:

Ants in the Pants

Monopoly
CandyLand
Chess
Trouble
Sorry
Dominoes
Bingo (markers)


after Bear had gotten over the initial excitement of the new bin, i introduced 2 activities that we could do with it.   

the first activity used the cards from CandyLand.  we took turns choosing a card and then finding an item in the bin that matched the color on the card.

 
the second activity was more advanced and up to Bear's developmental level.  using the sorry cards, we drew a card and then picked out the appropriate number of items. 



for an added challenge, you can require players to use tongs to get the game pieces out. 


 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.
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