Thursday, May 31, 2012

drive-thru ABCs

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there's nothing that a car or truck can't do when it comes to Bear.  w

e're exploring letter shapes and he had no desire to trace the letters with his finger. 

enter a dumptruck eraser.  
totally saved the day so he could have drive thru letters instead. 

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Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

letting your child choose their own clothes

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it's not uncommon for me to go to the store with my son wearing one of his teenage sister's shirts over his own Lightning McQueen jeans, work boots, and a Barbie microphone {see above pic}. 

allowing your child to pick their own outfits allows them to express themselves and assert their independence.  being little in a big world doesn't give your child  a whole lot of control .  why not give them the opportunity to have an effect on their daily life?

letting them choose their own clothes shows them that you trust and respect their decisions, thus increasing their self-esteem.   

choosing their own clothes can give them a sense of accomplishment.  they've picked out their own clothes, which is a "job" that mom or dad normally does.  that's big stuff for a kiddo!  then to top it off, hearing compliments from others about what they've done just makes it all the better.

you can stop wasting money.  after your child has picked out their own outfits for awhile, you might be able to see a trend.  perhaps your little girl avoids wearing the color pink or your son only likes shorts/pants with pockets.  though this may seem like a silly quirk to you, it is indicative of your child's preferences and interests.  when it comes time to shop for clothes for them, you can eliminate buying those colors/styles/fabrics that they don't like, essentially saving you from buying something that won't be worn.

you can now pick your battles.  this doesn't mean letting your son wear your bra on his head to the store as his "space helmet".  if there are certain clothes that aren't up for grabs for daily wear, remove them from your child's reach or place them on a designated "special occasion" shelf.  if conflict does arise {say, over shorts in winter}, explain your reasons for prohibiting it clearly and find a compromise.  {perhaps leggings under the shorts}

a yellow shirt, brown shorts, green socks and rainboots will likely gain you more knowing smiles from other parents who have gone through this same phase with their own children than a disparaging look. 
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.

Monday, May 28, 2012

in {her} shoes...charlotte

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today's guest blogger for the in {her} shoes series is Charlotte from Make, Do, and Friend.  Charlotte is a fun, funky young mom from London who does some creative things with her son.  I wish that there wasn't an ocean between us so we could have momma talk while watching our boys play. 


Hey you guys, I'm Charlotte from Make, Do and Friend where I blog about creative play and imaginative learning with my 2.5yo son Vincent.

When it comes to our family we are a mix of different styles and philosophies. I think of us as modern hippies, we unschool, practise many aspects of Attachment Parenting but if I had to label my parenting style it would be available, hands on and unconditional. I'm a young mum compared to many of my friends (I'm 25, but some of my firends are in their late thirties) but I know that this is what I was always meant to do. I went back to work for a short while after Vin's first birthday, while my other half looked after him during the day and went to work in the evenings. We stuck it out for 8 months before I knew for sure that being at home with my son was way more important! I'm now studying to be a childminder/ Home Daycare Provider because I love working with kids and really love to play!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

this week in pictures

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just doing something different for today...a few highlights from our week.  we didn't do much preschool because it we had a playdate and we spent a lot of time outside :)

we found a new park with a super fast slide!

Doc McStuffins became a inspiration for pretend play
Bear showed he could write a T, I, L, O, and C.

I got the opportunity to participate in something so amazing! 
{i'm gonna make you wait to find out about it}

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, May 24, 2012

alphabet parking lot: identifying letter sounds

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Bear is a wHeeL fAnATiC...if it has wheels, he'll play with it.  so why not use what he's interested in to propel learning? the goal of this activity was to practice identifying the beginning letter sounds of words.

i used the letter magnets from our  LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Alphabet Set some of Bear's little matchbox-esque work trucks.  i spread the letters out on the table and he "drove" each vehicle to park by the letter its name starts with. 

S is for snowplow {what he calls it}

F is for front end loader
we kept having to dig out different cars and trucks because he kept wanting to do more!  but at least he was learning, too!

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, May 23, 2012

honoring soldiers with my preschooler

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a few streets down from ours is a street that has been honorarily named after a local soldier that was killed by an IED in Afghanistan.  the Sgt's family lives on the street and keeps a cross and a flag at the bottom of the street sign.  every time we drive past it, i think of this young man...someone's son...who gave his life so my son could live safely.

last month, i was doing some spring cleaning of the garage and came across some plastic flower crosses that we've had forever.  i shared with Bear what i thought we could do with them and he liked the idea. 

the next time we ran an errand, we stopped at the Sgt's street.  Bear helped me to stick the cross in the ground.  he also picked a dandelion for the soldier {see pic above}. 

there are things what we can randomly do with our children to help them develop their patriotism and a reverence for those who fight daily for our country.  we needn't wait until Memorial Day to honor those who've fallen in battle.  explanations don't have to be graphic or too in-depth.  since Bear's dad is military, we've explained to him that there are very brave soldiers in our country and in other countries that keep us safe.

because we live in a military community, it's common for us to run into active duty and veterans.  if they happen to be wearing a veteran's hat or something else to identify them as a vet, we point the person out to Bear.  usually on his own, he goes and says, "thank you for being a soldier." his little voice saying this never fails to bring tears to my eyes.  most of the ones he's thanked have reacted with surprise that quickly changes to a grateful, warm smile.  

i want to help my son learn ways to reach out to others in appreciation, compassion, and in reflection of God's love.  this is just another lesson on that journey.  sometimes, it doesn't take much to touch the heart of another. and i can only hope, that the Sgt's mother passes our cross on her way to work, the grocery store, wherever.  i hope that she sees it and realizes that someone else remembers the incredible gift her son gave our country.

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.

Monday, May 21, 2012

in {her} shoes...danielle

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the guest poster for this week's shoes installment, is Danielle from 52 Brand New.  she is beyond inspirational with the various things she does with her kiddos.  they range from fun and interesting to classic activities.  she's a great resource for those families who need a little push to find some memory-making activities!

Hi! I'm Danielle and I blog at 52brandnew where I share our family's adventures while we try 52 new experiences this year. I hope to inspire others to try new things with their children, too. I absolutely love reading the in {her} shoes series on Crayon Freckles, so I am so excited to share my story here.
hiking boots
Here is a picture of my hiking boots from where I was sitting on a mountaintop in Shenandoah National Park in 2009. That was a difficult year for me as my marriage had fallen apart. My husband had recently left me, and I had a 3 year old and an 18 month old to take care of on my own. We divorced the following year, and I became an anomaly in the world of moms.

I am a single Stay At Home Mom- a title that not many women claim. I absolutely love my job and know that staying home is a privilege not afforded to every woman, so I relish this amazing time in my life. The days can sometimes seem very long as there is no one to pitch in with the household and childcare duties. The hardest part of being a divorced mom is the constant negotiation of my children's time with my ex-husband. It is very stressful for me, but I work hard not to let my children know about this aspect. I worry all the time about the effect our family situation may have on my children, but they seem to be happy and well-adjusted kids.

While I do not like being divorced, I do enjoy being the sole architect of our time. I have so much more freedom than many moms I know. I am the only one in charge of making the household rules, maintaining the budget, and deciding what we do each day. This can be a lot of work, but it is liberating. When I feel tired, I will declare a Lazy Morning in which we make pancakes for breakfast and wear our pajamas until lunchtime. When I feel like we need some fresh air, we'll hop in the car and head to the nearest hiking trail, with no particular destination in mind. If I don't feel like cooking dinner, the kids and I happily eat peanut butter and jelly. I try to fill each day with something educational and something just for fun.

Being a mom is absolutely the best job I have ever had. My children are so cuddly and affectionate. I get paid in hugs and kisses. My favorite time of the day is after we change into pajamas and brush our teeth. We climb up onto my bed and read stories for 20 or 30 minutes before I tuck them into their own beds. In that time, when we are sitting close and snuggling over a good book, I feel so content.

Like any mom, I want to raise children who will grow up with strong values. I'd like them to be curious and open-minded about the world. I hope they are self-reliant. Most of all, I hope they are empathetic towards others.

If my children had to choose three words to describe me, I hope they would say I am affectionate, silly, and fun-loving.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

how will our garden grow?

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we have a large brick planter in front of our house.  Bear and i decided to pLaNT sOMe fLoWeRS in it.  so we gathered our tools and set to work.  here are a few things i learned about gardening while we were working. 
he said: being around all those bricks can be dangerous. 
i learned: sometimes you can't be too cautious

he said: you sprinkle them all around the dirt
i learned: sometimes Momma's way is more effective

he said: you gotta use the golf club to club the dirt on top
i learned: sometimes Bear's way is more creative

the seeds sat in the dirt for a week.
and then it rained, and the lessons began again.
he said: Thank you God
i learned: sometimes the little things have the biggest effect

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, May 18, 2012

my happy hippie boy

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This post was written as a contribution to the Boys Have Long Hair, Too Blog Carnival.  The participating bloggers are sharing their experiences, struggles, and opinions surrounding having a son who has long hair.

these are oh-so common statements Bear and i hear when we are out in public.  he is 31/2 and has yet to get a hair cut.  i've trimmed the front and the sides so they aren't in his eyes, but he still has all of his baby hair in the back.

many think that children cry when getting their 1st haircut because they see their hair as an extension of themselves.  when it's removed from their bodies, with no reaction from their parents, it causes turmoil in the child.

we're often asked when we plan on getting Bear's hair cut.  our response is,
"he'll get it cut when he wants it cut."

Bear loves his long hair.  he lets me pull it into a ponytail on occasion.  whenever we're out in public, i make it a point to show Bear other men with long hair.  i want him to know that his choice is acceptable as long as he's comfortable.  this morning, he actually pointed out a man and said, "he has long hair like me!"  ultimately, it's his body and i respect his wishes.  i won't do anything to my child that i wouldn't do or have done to myself.  would i want someone cutting my hair against my will?  no. 

i am afraid, though, that some insensitive person or another child will make say something that makes him feel embarrassed.  i don't want him to get his haircut because he feels ashamed of his hair or pressured to conform.  there's enough of that with the current status of public schools and societal pressures. 
we all want our children to be accepted and have friends, but i can't justify getting him an "acceptable" haircut {against his wishes} just to blend in to what has been deemed normal.  i've noticed that many others make judgments and whispered comments about him, myself, or our family in general based on the few things they know about us.  through supporting my son's decision to keep his hair long, i'm telling him:
i respect his choices.
i will not try to change him.
i love him as he is.
whether or not, others agree with my choices doesn't matter.  because at the end of the day, when i see him sleeping with his hands tucked behind that head of long hair, my heart tells me i'm doing this right. 

We'd love it if you stopped by to read submissions by the other amazing carnival bloggers

Boys Have Long Hair, Too: A Father’s View -- Alex from Glittering Muffins says it happens that not only does his son, Nico have long hair, he as the father has no problem with it either. He personally does not find that long hair emasculates a boy (or adult alike)...

Boys Have Long Hair, Too: A Maman’s View -- Valerie from Glittering Muffins son has been called a cute little girl for about a year and a half (he’s 2.5 yo). So she corrects people and tells them he’s a boy and loves his long hair (Once in a while she even throws in a “he also loves to watch Strawberry Shortcake”). 

Boys Have Long Hair, Too --The Monko from Taming the Goblin explains why she likes it when her son is mistaken for a girl and asks the question "Do mums of girls feel this guilty when their child doesn't like having their long hair brushed?"

Sampson -- Kellie from Our Mindful Life reflects on how long hair gives her son power.

Trials and Tribulations of a Boy with Tresses -- Carolyn from Mama's Little Muse talks about her experience in raising a boy with hair too beautiful to cut short. It is about how people have reacted; how she has created keepsakes featuring his hair; and also how they have arrived at a game that they play so that the hair brushing experience goes more smoothly.

Boys Have Long Hair, Too -- Sarah from This is Me…Sarah Mum of 3 is mum to 3 children a boy aged 10, girl aged 8 and a boy aged 5, Always loving the longer hair styles for boys her two boys have had many different hair styles over the years but always seem to resort back to the longer locks even against the negative comments they sometimes recieve.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

painting with a wheelbarrow

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we were getting ready to paint for preschool time the other day.  Bear had been playing with his whEElBaRRow all morning and asked if he could use it to pAiNT with.  though i had a different idea in mind, i wanted to see what he was going to do with the wheelbarrow as it offered several usage options... 
roll the wheel in the paint
                                          or dump it out of the barrow

and off he dump the paint out of the barrow!

some yellow paint got mixed into the red and green and created this:

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, May 15, 2012

Small Hands Creating Hope Cancer Fundraiser

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This is an amazing project that is raising money for the American Cancer Society  I'm part of a group of  incredibly talented group of bloggers who focus on fun, creative, and education activities for kids! Each blogger participating in the project has worked with their children/students to create an art project that could be made by or for someone facing cancer. There are some beautiful projects in this book, with many tutorials so that you can recreate the crafts at home with your own children or students!

All of our projects have been compiled into an ebook, that will be sent out to anyone who donates at least $15 to the American Cancer Society. An email with the download link, as well as a second link that allows you to purchase a hard copy of the book at production cost will be sent once we receive your donation.
MaryAnne at Mama Smiles compiled this book as a way of celebrating thirty years of cancer survivorship! We are hoping to raise $3000 by July 4th, and we are running a blog hop from May 14th until July 4th to celebrate and raise funds so that, in the future, thirty years of cancer survivorship will be possible for everyone diagnosed, not the exception! Learn about each of the bloggers who participated in the book by visiting each blog on their assigned dates – a few bloggers will be running celebratory giveaways, too!
i am one of those blogs that will be hosting a giveaway!
check back June 13th to enter
14 May Mama Smiles
15 May
Artsy Craftsy Mom
           Rainbows Within Reach
16 May
B. Inspired, Mama!
17 May
Rainy Day Mum
           Imagination Soup
18 May
Inspiration Laboratories   
20 May Mama Mia’s Heart2Heart 

21 May NurtureStore   
           Mama Smiles
22 May
Living Montessori Now
23 May
Mess for Less
24 May
Having Fun at Home and CraftoArt
25 May 
Outlaw Mom
26 May
Sense of Wonder
27 May
Sun Hats and Wellie Boots
28 May
Duck Duck Octopus
29 May
Smiling like Sunshine
30 May
Mommy with Selective Memory
31 May
One Perfect Day
1 June
The Educators’ Spin On It
2 June
Kids Stuff World
3 June
Rainy Day Mum
4 June
Teach Preschool
5 June
Dirt and Boogers
6 June
Creative Connections for Kids and The Golden Gleam
7 June
Montessori Tidbits
8 June
Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
9 June
The Iowa Farmer’s Wife
10 June
Scribble Doodle and Draw
11 June
Learn with Play
12 June
Kitchen Counter Chronicles
13 June
CRAYON Freckles     
14 June Glittering Muffins
15 June
Wise Owl Factory
16 June
Crafty Maa
18 June
Lessons Learnt Journal
21 June Growing Play
23 June JDaniel4′s Mom

We would love for you to also post the button in your sidebar for the duration of the event, in order to get as much publicity for this event as possible.
Small Hands Creating Hope
Thank you for your support!

Monday, May 14, 2012

in {her} shoes...mary beth

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today's in {her} shoes post is a bit different from others.  our guest blogger today is a momma that i've known all my life because she's my mommy!  and unlike other shoes posts, i'm providing the intro to her q-and-a.


foreward from andie:
my mom has always been a very influencial part of my life.  as a young single mother, i imagine it wasn't always easy to take care of me.  after working all day, she came home at night and cared for me.  but she built up a great support group of family around us.  she did all she could to ensure that i could be involved in all the school functions i wanted to be in. 

we've had the standard ups and downs...
the drifting away from each other that the teen years brings. 
the awkward relationship of the early 20s
and finally...
the shifting of the relationship to one based on friendship 

 so, enough of my are a few thoughts from my mama, Mary Beth

what is the most challenging part of being the type of mom you are?
letting go and allowing my child to make mistakes...I know that making mistakes is a part of growing, learning and becoming your own person, but as a mom, I always want to protect my daughter....keep her safe from danger and hurt
what is the most rewarding?

watching as the "caterpillar" turns into a beautiful, strong butterfly....with wings that can take on the world

what do you think are the most important value(s) parents can instill in their children?

honesty, dignity, love, faith, courage, self-assurance (no particular order)

if your child could describe you in 3 words, what would they be? 
loving, nurturing, dedicated        
sidenote from andie: she's right. that's exactly how i'd describe her.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

happy mother's day

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it's mother's day here in the U.S.  so much has changed in my life since i celebrated mother's day for the first time actually being a mother myself.  if you'd like to check out my first mother's day click here

and i've got a little surprise for you... i got you flowers!

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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