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Stop and Take Notice to What Your Child can Teach You
Safety and Easy Access: Home Modification Tips for Disabled Parents
#Halloween - Happy Monster Family
Happy Pumpkin family an Easy Fun and Inexpensive #Halloweencraft
Happy St Pattys Day Enjoy some #Leprechaunmagic

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Haunted House Craft
Valentine mailbox craft - Happy Valentines House
Educational Play dates - Learn something new everyday
Kids and accountability - Teaching them to do what is right
Mothers Guilt - Let it go!

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#Halloween - Happy Monster Family


Happy Monster Family!

With #Halloween week in full swing the craft fun continues. This is a craft from a previous year, but we had so much fun making, I thought I would repost for all my new readers.  #Makethetime and #enjoythetime with your kids making these simple, fun and inexpensive crafts.  They add a lot of fun to your existing decorations and the time you spend making them with your kids is priceless!  All of my best, Dyan 
 
This craft started our #Halloween family and was easy, fun and inexpensive!  By the time we were done doing all of these crafts, my daughter was painting like a pro and really doing better than ever with a paint brush.   We finished with making a haunted house for all of them to hang out around.  
 
Items needed:  Paper towel rolls, scissors, miscellaneous paint colors, paint brush, googley eyes, black foam paper for mouth, hair and other add-ons, glue or hot glue gun. 
 
Cut the paper towel holders into miscellaneous sizes.
Paint using different colors - use your imagination.
Let dry. Fold in sides to make horns.
Glue on googley eyes.  Let dry.
Cut different shapes for mouths, hair and ears.
Glue on.
That's it!
 
What we learned:  To use our imagination with creating different looking monsters, colors and designs.  It was my daughters idea to do a tie-dyed one and a rainbow one.  Getting better at using a paint brush and filling in all the spaces as she painted.  Creativity with colors and shapes of mouths and hair.  Adults should do the cutting and use the hot glue gun.
What we shared:  #Halloween memories to last a lifetime, creating a family for our haunted house, quality time together and more decorations for our home. And of course lots of fun!
#MAKETHETIME & #TAKETHETIME TO #SPENDTIME

WITH YOUR KIDS!  YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID!

#TAKETIME TO #RAISEAMAZINGKIDS

Happy Pumpkin family an Easy Fun and Inexpensive #Halloweencraft

Happy Pumpkin FamilyOne of my favorite fun inexpensive #Halloweencrafts. You also are #reusing some of the items from around your house!  My favorite thing to do when making crafts.  I thought I would share again.  I love #Halloween!  I love the childhood memories of picking a character for a costume (my mother made many of mine from scratch), dressing up and trick or treating.  The memories of #Halloween have changed for me over the years and now as a mother myself, #Halloween has become fun again!  My #Halloweencraft today is easy, fun and inexpensive, Happy Pumpkin Family.  For all you moms out there that say you can't be crafty, think again.  You can with a few products and some you might already have on hand.  All of my best, Dyan
 
 
 
All you need is:  paper towel roll, scissors, orange paint, paint brush, green tissue paper, black marker, googley eyes and a hot glue gun.
 
Cut the paper towel holder in 3 parts- small, medium and large.
Paint with the orange paint.  Let dry.
Tear off green tissue paper, stuff in top of holder and twist a stem.
Glue eyes on with hot glue gun or other glue.
And make a nose and a mouth with black marker.
 
That's it!  Fun, easy and inexpensive.
 
What you learn: Your child learns to think creatively by finding items around the house, strengthens hands for writing by painting and drawing mouths and noses.
 
What we shared: lots of fun painting and creating our pumpkin faces, and making our first home made #Halloween decoration and a fun memory!
 
 
 

#Happypumpkinfamily

HAPPY PUMPKIN FAMILY is

One of my favorite #funeasyinexpensivekidscrafts for #Halloween. You also are #reusing some of the items from around your house!  My favorite thing to do when making crafts.  I thought I would share again.  As it is already October and we have already started on our #HappyHalloween decorating. 

I love #Halloween! 

I love the childhood memories of picking a character for a costume (my mother made many of mine from scratch), dressing up and trick or treating.  The memories of #Halloween have changed for me over the years and now as a mother myself, #Halloween has become fun again! 

My #Halloweencraft today is easy, fun and inexpensive, Happy Pumpkin Family.  

For all you moms out there that say you can't be crafty, think again.  You can with a few products and some you might already have on hand.  All of my best, Dyan


#HappyPumpkinFamily 

All you need is:  paper towel roll, scissors, orange paint, paint brush, green tissue paper, black marker, googley eyes and a hot glue gun.
 
Cut the paper towel holder in 3 parts- small, medium and large.
Paint with the orange paint.  Let dry.
Tear off green tissue paper, stuff in top of holder and twist a stem.
Glue eyes on with hot glue gun or other glue.
And make a nose and a mouth with black marker.
 
That's it!  #Funeasyinexpensivekidcraft.
 
#Whatwelearned: Your child learns to think creatively by finding items around the house, strengthens hands for writing by painting and drawing mouths and noses.
 
#Whatweshared: lots of fun painting and creating our pumpkin faces, and making our first home made #Halloween decoration and a fun memory!

#CutestValentinesEver - #HappyHearts to you

Heart Balloons
Heart Balloons
First step - picked up balloons
Craft supplies
Craft supplies
craft sticks, glue, paper
Craft sticks
Craft sticks
Handwritten name
Heart shaped paper
Heart shaped paper
Valentines Day cards
Valentines Day cards
Puppets
Valentines day card and gift bag
Valentines day card and gift bag
Puppets
Valentine Girl puppet
Valentine Girl puppet
Our favorite
Balloons and Valentines gift bags
Balloons and Valentines gift bags
With puppets
Boy!  What a success!!  These turned out cuter than I could of ever imagined...they really were not that much work and the #Valentine card gift bag was not that much money to put together.  I found a deal on the balloons at a dollar a piece and the craft cards were only about a dollar each with a couple of pieces of candy what a hit and definitely the #CutestValentinesEver   What we learned:  following directions, practicing handwriting, trial and error-what worked best where, creativity, uniqueness-just like everyone looks different so did our hand puppets, teamwork, using glue, counting, sorting and filling with our bags and treats.  What we shared:  using our imaginations, our ideas, creating happiness and joy, a fun-filled couple of hours. 
 
What we used:
craft sticks
glue
markers
heart shaped paper (foam, stickies or construction paper will do) pink, red or white
pom pom balls
googlie eyes
decorative valentines day bags
couple pieces of candy to fill
heart shaped balloons
 
Enjoy making your #Valentines, whether homemade or conventional, just take the time to do it!  It will bring excitement and joy to your child and create memories for you both, that you will cherish forever. 
May love, happiness and joy fill your day this #Valentines.  #HappyHearts to you!  Dyan

#Thanksgivingcraft to treasure and keep - fun easy and inexpensive #grateful craft for #Thanksgiving

This is a repost from last year...and I still love these so I had to share again.  They were such a hit last year at the dinner table every guest felt special and loved the fact that my daughter created each one especially for them!!  My daughter and I loved these so much that we are using again this year for our guest place mats.  A #Thanksgivingcraft to treasure and keep!!  They are fun, easy and inexpensive to make (my motto)...What better way to show your children's love and #gratitude for their family and friends by creating unique place mats for all of your guests on #Thanksgiving Day!
 
What you will need to create these special take home treasures:

1. Orange, brown, yellow or white construction paper.
2. Different colored pencils, markers, crayons to create their masterpieces.
3. Scissors if paper needs to be trimmed to fit your laminator.
4. Miscellaneous Thanksgiving stickers (optional).
5. Paper laminator.  Caution:  adult should always supervise this activity as the laminator gets very hot!  If you do not have a laminator, you could use a thicker paper (i.e. poster board or paper cover sheets/pre-laminated sheets purchased at any office supply store.
6. Your child's imagination.

#thanksgivingcraftsCreate each place mat unique for each guest.
 
Use your child's hand to trace to make the turkey.  Then have them decorate, color or use stickers to make as intricate as they choose. You can label each place mat and then use them as place cards too!



What we learned:  Lots of stuff!  How to use our hands to make turkeys, how to draw leaves, colors of #Thanksgiving and fall, practiced hand writing names, worked on letters and spelling, practiced writing name, creativity, strengthening hands by cutting, using the laminating machine and practiced safety lessons.
 

I love crafts that reinforce learning!
 
What we shared:  Lots of fun!  Getting into the holiday spirit, memories, useful craft that we will have many uses (a #Thanksgiving Day card, place mat, place card and take home gift for our guests), creative ideas and a fun afternoon of spending time together.




May your #Thanksgiving holiday be filled with peace, blessings and many things to be #grateful for....may you take the time to enjoy the time with your family, friends and kids.  Grab some paper and create some special memories this #Thanksgiving and make these place cmats.  They are easy, fun and inexpensive to make.  #Thanksgiving blessings to you and yours.   All of my best, Dyan

It's #ThankfulThursday - What are you #thankful for? #Flowers -

Yesterday, my daughter and I decided to take a #naturewalk with some friends.  The two girls were going crazy stopping and picking every wildflower and #flower from every bush, plant and tree they could find.   It was a beautiful fall day and I was #thankful for the moment spent with my child and friend.  My friend and I delighted in watching our daughters enjoy the #naturewalk as much as we did. 

I didn't realize that my daughter had picked so many #flowers until we arrived home and I asked her to take them out of her back pack before they all died and wilted.  She asked me for a bowl to put them in water.  She took her time arranging each and every #flower as if she was working on a masterpiece.  I guess in away she was, her masterpiece, she took each #flower one by one and delicately arranged them in each bowl.  At one point, she told me she even wanted to be a florist as well as a vet when she grows up!

As you can see, she arranged them beautifully!!  We have set them out on our kitchen  table to enjoy!  I don't think my friend did, but that is ok....this is our "thing"  making something out of something to enjoy without spending any money.  Stopping and smelling the roses of life.  Taking the time and making the time together to create memories that last a lifetime.  Making us both better, #momskidsandfriends.  

We are fortunate enough to live, where there are still wildflowers and #flowers on bushes and trees.  If you live somewhere where there are no #flowers still blooming, still take the #naturewalk and see what amazing things you can find..... leaves, pine cones, rocks or unique branches.  Take a #naturewalk, enjoy the day with your child and friend, take a moment to  enjoy life, enjoy #mothernature, enjoy each other, enjoy this wonderful place we call plant #earth. 

It's #thankfulthursday What are you #thankful for?

All of my best,  Dyan

What we learned:  About different kinds of #flowers, bushes and plants,  not to pick #flowers from someone's yard - unless you ask of course!  Spending time with friends outdoors is refreshing and fun, more about our friends and what we have in common with others, arranging #flowers is fun, relaxing and makes a beautiful centerpiece for our kitchen table, having fun and learning does not need to cost money, putting down our cell phones is not only good for us but great for our kids!!  #nocellphoneforaday


What we shared:   A wonderful day together making memories, pictures of our #flower arrangements - we sent as a thank you note (w the picture) for the day spent w/ our friends.



















Practice #Patience with your kid - #Baking a good learning tool

Practice #Patience with your kid - Baking a good learning tool

We all need a little #patience, right?  I think there was a song about that…. If you are lucky enough to be a #patient person, I wish I was more like you!  One way that I practice #patience is when I am #baking with my daughter.  I love to #bake!  And this time of year is the best time to #bake.  It is like a switch goes off and my oven is in use all the time.  Something to do with the fresh cool air and the holidays right around the corner and my need to reconnect with myself and my family through good old fashioned #baking.  

My daughter and I have enjoyed this shared experience since she could stand up next to me in the kitchen (she even was my audience while still in her high chair).  Every time we #bake, I come to the same conclusion… I love creating things with her in the kitchen, I am a bit of a control freak (a this is how we do it kind of person - so is my daughter) and I have to be #PATIENT! 

This past week we did all things #pumpkin.  #Pumpkin pancakes – yum!  #Pumpkin cheesecake, #pumpkin chia seed pudding – yum yum!! (See Holiday page for recipe).

Filling cupcake holders.One way to practice #patience with your kid is to #bake.  I find that when I #bake with my daughter I have to practice patience, real patience.  She is eager to learn and create.  She loves to measure, mix and pour. She has always loved to create things in a bowl making some concoction or another.  I am a good baker, I always have been.  But I know that it takes patience, correct measurements, time and having the mix of the right ingredients. 

Since she was little I had to always take a deep breath to let her do the work, pouring, sifting, folding, stirring, measuring whatever the next step was, I had to take a step back and let her do it.  This simple small step has given me the ability to teach her and grow with her in the kitchen.  Even if it means, cracked eggshells in your dish, liquids spilled on the counter, flour everywhere, licked fingers in the bowl for the second, third or fourth time. 
I tell myself she is learning, growing and one day will be a good baker and it is OK to make the mess as long as you clean it up, right?  

Having fun learning and practicing patience!Over the past several years I am finding that I am finally becoming more #patient.  I am standing back and letting her have some control.  After all, there are so many valuable lessons, learning opportunities and quality time spent with #baking (I always want this to be something fun we do together), not to mention the delicious creations you can make!

#Patience with #baking is not only practice for you, but for your kid.  My daughter is always in the hurry up and pour, create and taste mood. She also likes to have complete control.  While #baking I take the time to tell her the importance of correct measuring, mixing and the many safety rules of a kitchen.  She has to practice #patience too, which is why this is such a valuable educational task for both of you.

Still don’t think you can be #patient?

If you cannot stand to relinquish the control…you can do what one of my friends does.  She gives some ingredients to her daughter including her own bowls and measuring cups and lets her make her own in her own bowl.  A good way to mix fun and learning without having to be so #patient.

All of us could use a bit more #patience.  In this time and age we live in, it seems everywhere I turn people are getting more and more impatient.  Standing in line at a store, traffic light, school pick-up, with your kids, your spouse….the list goes on and on.  I am just as guilty as the next and have really been trying to focus on being #patient in every aspect of my life, with everyone that I interact with on a daily basis.  Deep breathing, thinking before I act and now #baking.  Grab your favorite cookbook, google your favorite recipe, get your kid in the kitchen and spend some quality time #baking.  All of my best, Dyan

What I learned:  Be more flexible, lighten up and that messes and mistakes are okay.

What we learned:  #Baking improves many skills and is a wonderful learning tool. Depending on your childs age many things can be learned and/or introduced to them.  How to organize ingredients, counting, measuring properly wet and dry ingredients, pouring, cracking eggs, stirring, reading the recipe and labels on ingredients, teamwork, textures of the ingredients, patience, creativity, an everyday task has a plethora of educational value, introducing the concept of fractions, clean-up, kitchen safety the list goes on….what a great way to be with each other, create something delicious and special for yourselves and family.

Get up and bake time - pumpkin cupcakes...yum!What we shared:  A morning of fun, good old-fashioned quality time, laughs, good food, creating memories and practicing #patience together!!

#Stopthebully - #AntiBullyingWeek -

#AntiBullyingWeek - #Stopthebully
#Beingthankful for being in the right place at the right time.

What I learned:  
Keep your kids close even in perceived safe places, step in if you see a child or anyone in need of help, teach your child to communicate their feelings and wants so they can express themselves in all situations, in a wrong situation...I did the right thing.  Take the time to pay attention to your child - what you do today will make a difference tomorrow.
 
What we shared:  
Hopefully a better awareness of parent responsibility, if a witness to  #bullying step in and help because both the victim and #bully probably need it and even safe environments can be potentially dangerous.

Be aware.  Teach your children.   
#StoptheBully   - #AntiBullyingWeek
(Please enjoy this repost)

Did you ever have one of those days that your behind?  Well I do and they happen more often then not.  Yesterday was one of those days.  When I get behind I always try and remind myself that it is for a reason and to take a deep breath, relax, keep everything in perspective and I will get to where I am going and all will get done and be fine.  

The unique thing about yesterday was that I kept having a nagging feeling that I was behind for a reason.  I knew I would get to the park with my daughter, eventually, and we would have fun.  But the nagging feeling lingered for the reason why we were 2 hours behind schedule.  

When we got to the park it was busier than usual and then I remembered it was spring break for some schools. It was packed, but we settled in quickly and started enjoying the many activities the park has to offer.  Since I have an only child it sometimes is sad for my daughter, no one to play with but me...she tends to get over it pretty quickly and I am a hands on mom so it is not unusual for me to be climbing on the jungle gyms, swinging or going down the slides.  In all the craziness of the tons of children, I was able to sit back and observe between play areas the many parents that just let there kids run wild.  I thought to myself,  am I too over bearing and controlling of a mom to not let my child out of my sight?  I thought again...NO, especially with the unsafe world around us.  I never let her out of my sight or let her be too far for too long.  But I noticed that many parents don't take the same approach I do and there were kids from toddlers and up that didn't have a parent watching closely.  

As I watched my daughter make sand castles in the sand and observed the miscellaneous children coming up to play for a moment then move on, two kids came by me from around the slide.  A boy of about 6 and a girl of about 5, he had her in a choke hold and was dragging her, pulling her hair, clothes anything he could to get her to move in the direction he wanted her to go.  My first reaction was what is he doing???  Since I am not a quiet, sit back and watch kind of  person, I quickly said, "What are you doing?"  He ignored me and kept on doing it, pulling her hair, shoving her and she was screaming and crying as I told him to stop.  He was in his own world and I frantically looked around for a mother of one of the kids...was this his sister?  A friend?  Were they strangers?  Either way, since I was the only parent watching this obvious display of #bullying in a sea of 50 plus parents, I had to do something, regardless of the relationship.  I knew I could not physically touch the children because of the world we live in, so I walked with them asking the boy to stop and telling him he was hurting the girl, it seemed like 20 minutes had gone by, but in reality it was probably only 3. He lessened his grip, finally, a mother came around the slide and I told her, the little boy is hurting the girl and he needs to stop.  She quickly stepped in as I was so thankful that the parent had finally showed up to take responsibility of her child or (children).  I am still not sure if she was the mother of both, but she did know both children.  I heard her start to discipline the little boy and say something about the fact that when she asks her to get the little girl to leave, that he doesn't have to physically remove her from the play ground, but tell her it is time to go.  I guess, I felt the mother should have been paying closer attention, so this little girls 3 plus minutes of torment would of not happened at all.  Then it finally hit me, the reason for being behind yesterday, so I could be there for her exactly at the right place and right time to stop the #bullying of the little boy, the hair pulling, the tugging, the shoving, choking and pushing.  I was really quite horrified and shaken up and then looked around and realized that no one else had even witnessed this except for me in a crowd of 100 plus people.  Amazing to me, that people, are so much in their own world that they don't notice when their child could be in danger.  

I am #thankful for timing and #thankful for being in the right place at the right time and #thankful for being a parent that stops and takes notice to:  #Stopthebully in their tracks.  

Have a good day and keep your kids close.  You never know what may or may not happen even in a safe environment.  All my best, Dyan
 
Be aware.  Teach your children.   #StoptheBully
#AntiBullyingWeek

Cutest Ever #Turkeypumpkin #Thanksgivingcenterpiece- Reuse and use items from around your house

Happy #thankfulthursday!  I am #thankful for all the wonderful crafts my daughter and I make together and the quality time we spend together while making them... like this one!  So cute, so easy to make, so much fun!     Items needed for #TurkeyPumpkin:  One Pumpkin,     Glue stick or Hot Glue gun (adult supervision required-the glue can get very hot.  Glue gun might work better for you to adhere the feather hands, eyes, nose and wattles).   More items listed below.
Happy #thankfulthursday! I am #thankful for all the wonderful crafts my daughter and I make together and the quality time we spend together while making them... like this one! So cute, so easy to make, so much fun! Items needed for #TurkeyPumpkin: One Pumpkin, Glue stick or Hot Glue gun (adult supervision required-the glue can get very hot. Glue gun might work better for you to adhere the feather hands, eyes, nose and wattles). More items listed below.
We had most of these items around the house. We reused a pumpkin that we had from Halloween.
Red, orange, yellow and brown construction paper
For fun, easy and inexpensive crafts always have a supply of construction paper in the house of various colors.
Red, orange, yellow and brown construction paper
Pencil to trace your kids hands and your hands
Pencil to trace your kids hands and your hands
Scissors to cut out hand shapes to use as feathers.
Brown paint and paint brushes and large googley eyes.
Paint the pumpkin together to make the pumpkin brown to use as the #turkey body of this craft.
Brown paint and paint brushes and large googley eyes.
After pumpkin is painted and dried.  Adhere the cut-out hand shapes on the back as feathers.  It was fun to use both my hands and my daughters hands as feathers.  The size variety was a nice touch to make the feathers fuller.  We also had fun taking turns tracing each others hands both left and right hands.
After pumpkin is painted and dried. Adhere the cut-out hand shapes on the back as feathers. It was fun to use both my hands and my daughters hands as feathers. The size variety was a nice touch to make the feathers fuller. We also had fun taking turns tracing each others hands both left and right hands.
Glue the eyes on the front. Cut a triangle out of construction paper for the nose, fold in half and glue under the eyes. Cut the wattle from red construction paper and attach under the nose. That's it!
This could very well be the cutest #turkeypumpkin ever!
Love, love, love this craft! So much fun! So easy! And so inexpensive! That's my motto! Hope you have the time to make this one to use as a #thanksgivingcenterpiece for your Thanksgiving table. So much we learned and shared: fun, creativity, I even learned with the red thing under the turkey's nose is called (the wattle). Enjoy your #Thanksgiving with family and friends. Remember to be grateful and live in the moment of the day. Cherish one another and make the time and take the time to enjoy your kids. Happy Thanksgiving! All of my best, Dyan
This could very well be the cutest #turkeypumpkin ever!

Valentines Day Mailbox and Puppet House

Make this wonderful Valentines Day craft from a box you have around the house.  Reuse and recycle!  Enjoy making this with your kids this year!  We love it and still put ours out every year.  All of my best, Dyan 
Valentines Day House/Mailbox
Valentines Day House/Mailbox
This Valentines Day House/Mailbox turned out better than I thought! We had a lot of fun putting it together and it was a craft well worth doing. Now we have a place to put all of my daughters Valentines. She was also inspired to use it as a puppet house for her new puppets she received for Valentines Day.
Back of the House/Mailbox
This was a multi-purpose craft and we will definitely keep it for next year.
Back of the House/Mailbox
Side View-we decorated the whole house...what fun!
Side View-we decorated the whole house...what fun!
What we learned: A lot with this one...patterns, sorting, counting/numbers, colors, stacking, creativity, design, imagination in creating the perfect house, lines and using straight lines to create a fence, shapes in creating windows, doors, trees and butterflies, practiced handwriting, cutting with scissors and creative thinking in a multi purpose house (puppet, play and Valentine card holder).
Top view of our Happy Valentines House.
What we shared: laughs, happiness, time together, working as a team, creativity and how to express it, crafting to brighten our home, fun and learning.
Top view of our Happy Valentines House.
Keep the imagination going...kids have great ideas too! My daughters Valentines puppet theater.
Keep the imagination going...kids have great ideas too! My daughters Valentines puppet theater.
What we used to create our craft: box-any size construction paper-red,white,pink glue tape scissors-always help your child and use safety rules stickers-regular and foam markers craft stick,gogglie eyes for person

Make play dates fun! Themed play dates are one of my favorites

Getting ready for our tea partySetting the table with place cardsGetting ready for my guestsItems used to make our placematsMy daughters placemat
Play date events Calendar
Make play dates fun! Themed play dates are one of my favorites, I love them!! I really do.  Even though they are a lot of work sometimes (at least the way I like to do them) my daughter and I always have so much fun and the extra work I put in is worth it!
 
We had a wonderful play date with some of her friends.  My daughter is getting older every day and I got to thinking that all those costumes in her closet might not get the use they once did before Kindergarten started. Now that she is in school full time, she is so busy that we barely have time to do any of our favorites anymore. I thought, we are having a play date and we are going to utilize these costumes, tea set and princess stuff before she out grows it!  (The best part of this play date is your child will love it even if younger or older).
So, we invited her friends over for a dress-up princess tea party.  They were to come dressed up with clothes to change into for after.  My daughter and I set-up her table for tea and crumpets (which were actually cookies), she insisted on making place cards and a huge banner of the play dates activities which included making placements for their tea party and then we laminated them to take home to use at anytime.  This to me is the best part of planning play dates with my daughter for her friends, it allows her to come up with her own ideas and additions to the play date!
We had a wonderful time. Her friends came dressed up as requested and loved the idea of it!  They enjoyed their tea, snacks and making the placements.  Fun was had by all and us moms…we got to hang out talk and enjoy watching our kids play and create.
 
What we learned: Theme play dates are fun!  Even though a bit more work and some set-up is involved the reward is well worth it.  My daughter practiced setting up her tea table correctly, placing place cards and making a fun banner ‘a schedule of events’.  She used her creativity, practiced drawing, writing her letters.  She learned that half the fun of a play date is in the planning and brain storming ideas together to come up with a fun play date.
 
What we shared:  Fun, Fun, Fun...which is a must at my house, creativity in many ways, my daughter had a blast making her place cards. She learned how to spell her friends names and used their favorite colors, her banner kept her busy with coloring, design, drawing and taping together.  The best part of themed play dates is they bring a life of their own to new things to learn and create for my daughter.   She has the chance to participate and fill worthy of her wonderfully creative ideas, it promotes thinking and planning on her part.  I love it!  Her friends had a wonderful time of having tea, practicing manners and being creative with their placemats.  The one thing I learned is that not every mom is like me.  I love and enjoy doing these things with my kid.  My play dates give them the chance to share and be creative and I don’t mind doing this for them and my friends appreciate it as well (even though I am always secretly hoping they will see how effortlessly a few extra details provides many many benefits of learning, sharing and creating memories for them and their daughters to last a lifetime)!
 
Next play date...put your thinking cap on and plan a themed play date.  Plan with your kid, invite some friends over and start creating memories.  All of my best, Dyan
 

Stop Bullying from the start.

THIS IS A REPOST.  WE NEED TO STOP BULLYING FROM THE START.  DO YOUR PART AS A PARENT TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN NOT TO BULLY OR TO TOLERATE THE BULLY.
 
 
Did you ever have one of those days that your behind?  Well I do and they happen more often then not.  Yesterday was one of those days.  When I get behind I always try and remind myself that it is for a reason and to take a deep breath, relax, keep everything in perspective and I will get to where I am going and all will get done and be fine.  Well the unique thing about yesterday was that I kept having a nagging feeling that I was behind for a reason.  I knew I would get to the park with my daughter, eventually, and we would have fun.  But the nagging feeling lingered for the reason why we were 2 hours behind schedule.  When we got to the park it was busier than usual and then I remembered it was spring break for some schools. It was packed, but we settled in quickly and started enjoying the many activities the park has to offer.  Since I have an only child it sometimes is sad for my daughter, no one to play with but me...she tends to get over it pretty quickly and I am a hands on mom so it is not unusual for me to be climbing on the jungle gyms, swinging or going down the slides.  Yesterday in all the craziness of the tons of children, I was able to sit back and observe between play areas the many parents that just let there kids run wild.  I thought to myself,  am I too over bearing and controlling of a mom to not let my child out of my sight?  I thought again...no, especially with the unsafe world around us.  I never let her out of my sight or let her be too far for too long.  But I noticed that many parents don't take the same approach I do and there were kids from toddlers and up that didn't have a parent watching closely.  As I watched my daughter make sand castles in the sand and observed the miscellaneous children coming up to play for a moment then move on, two kids came by me from around the slide.  A boy of about 6 and a girl of about 5, he had her in a choke hold and was dragging her, pulling her hair, clothes anything he could to get her to move in the direction he wanted her to go.  My first reaction was what is he doing???  Since I am not a quiet, sit back and watch kind of  person, I quickly said, "What are you doing?"  He ignored me and kept on doing it, pulling her hair, shoving her and she was screaming and crying as I told him to stop.  He was in his own world and I frantically looked around for a mother of one of the kids...was this his sister?  A friend?  Were they strangers?  Either way, since I was the only parent watching this in a sea of 50 plus parents, I had to do something, regardless of the relationship.  I knew I could not physically touch the children because of the world we live in, so I walked with them asking the boy to stop and telling him he was hurting the girl, it seemed like 20 minutes had gone by, but in reality it was probably only 5. He lessoned his grip and finally, a mother came around the slide and I told her, the little boy is hurting the girl and he needs to stop.  She quickly stepped in as I was so thankful that the parent had finally showed up to take responsibility of her child or (children).  I am still not sure if she was the mother of both, but she did know both children.  I heard her start to discipline the little boy and say something about the fact that when she asks her to get the little girl to leave, that he doesn't have to physically remove her from the play ground, but tell her it is time to go.  I guess, I felt the mother should have been paying closer attention, so this little girls 5 plus minutes of torment would of not happened at all.  Then it finally hit me, the reason for being behind yesterday, so I could be there for her exactly at the right place and right time to stop the bullying of the little boy, the hair pulling, the tugging, the shoving, choking and pushing.  I was really quite horrified and shaken up and then looked around and realized that no one else had even witnessed this except for me in a crowd of 100 plus people.  Amazing to me, that people, are so much in their own world that they don't notice when their child could be in danger.  I am thankful for timing and thankful for being in the right place at the right time and being a parent that stops and takes notice to stop bullying in its tracks.  Have a good day and keep your kids close.  You never know what may or may not happen even in a safe environment.  All my best, Dyan
 
What I learned:  Keep your kids close even in perceived safe places, step in if you see a child or anyone in need of help, teach your child to communicate their feelings and wants so they can express themselves in all situations, in a wrong situation...I did the right thing and take the time to pay attention to your child - what you do today will make a difference tomorrow.
 
What we shared:  Hopefully a better awareness of parent responsibility, if a witness to bullying step in and help because both the victim and bully probably need it and even safe environments can be potentially dangerous.

Hershey, PA A vacation worth the trip

Arriving at Hershey, PA
Arriving at Hershey, PA
The smell of chocolate was delightful to our senses.
The smell of chocolate was delightful to our senses.
Getting ready to make our own chocolate bar.
Getting ready to make our own chocolate bar.
Waiting for our turn.
Waiting for our turn.
Meeting new friends.
Meeting new friends.
Trying out some park rides.
Trying out some park rides.
Look at me I'm driving!
A few pictures from our wonderful vacation in Hershey, PA.  A vacation worth the trip!!  Hope you have the chance to go someday!  All of my best, Dyan.

Fathers Day Follow-up A day of crafts

We had a nice Fathers Day and we hope you did too!  Even though we didn't see my husband all that much as he wanted to work on his "to do" list for around the house, my daughter and I kept ourselves busy making crafts.  And boy did we make crafts!  We started with a Fathers Day card that she picked out herself.  And we made our first craft of the day.  A crown.  We brought him breakfast in bed and crowned him with his crown. We gave him his card which had a greatest dad button on it and told him he was king for the day! She also made him a fishing pole out of one of her toys that are like big pipe cleaners (see link on my link page-lots of fun).  Next up.  More crafts.  She wanted to make him a construction paper flag, so we did.  Simple, easy.  Then we made the last craft of the day a pencil and pen holder.  We had a great time crafting together.  I think we crafted from 9-4.  It was a ton of fun.  Every time her dad walked into the kitchen she would tell him not to look at what we were doing.  She finally wrote signs and put them up around the kitchen "No dads allowed"  Which is kind of funny since it was Fathers day.  We presented my husband with these gifts throughout the day and the other fathers day card she picked out herself.  He got a kick out of the fact that almost every other hour he was getting a special gift made for him by her.   The best part of all, we didn't spend one dollar to do them.  I had all the items around the house from other crafts we had previously done together. At the end of the day, when the crafting was done, we made him his favorite dinner, healthy style.  He enjoyed the day because he got to do what he wanted to do and received meaningful gifts from his daughter.  We enjoyed the day spending time together making crafts and using our creativity, spending quality time together.  Since Fathers Day has come and gone, maybe take the opportunity on dads next birthday to make some crafts together and present them to him throughout the day.  If his birthday just passed too...do it just because...I am sure he will love it!  All of my best, Dyan
 
What we learned:  many things, using supplies around the house to create gifts, using our scissors to strengthen writing hands and coordination, the use of construction paper and making a flag, drawing different shapes, stars which are challenging for a 5 year old, practicing to write and learn new words "no dads allowed", creativity with the big twisties, painting, colors, design on our pencil holder, thinking outside of the box and using items from around the house to make gifts-we even opened up the can of garbanzo beans because recycling had just gone out to make our pencil holder and a side dish for dinner.
 
What we shared:  fun, creativity, new ideas, crafting time, quality time and many memories for all of us on a special holiday for dad.

Teaching your kids the importance of thank you

Teaching your kid(s) about thank you is so important. I realized that as a child
I was not taught this very simple gesture of gratitude.  The way I was raised
was always a survival mode as we had a, let's say, challenging childhood. Yes,
of course I said thank you when some gave me something, or no thank you, when I
didn't want something, but it wasn't instilled in me. Thank you notes, cards or
a simple phone call to say thank you.  There was no texting or email in the 70s. So the best way to say thank you was with a hand written note.  Simple to do, right? One would think. 
 
Over the years I have realized that I am terrible at writing or saying thank you and it didn't really hit me until I had my daughter and I would receive thank you notes from friends almost immediately after parties and the like.  When she was born she was showered with gift after gift, I couldn't believe how many people gave gifts to her that we didn't even really know that well, friends of friends or family.  I was overwhelmed with the generosity of so many casual acquaintances.  It was such a wonderful and eye opening event for me.  To this day she still is showered with many gifts.  We make an annual trip to visit my sister in Florida where my sister has a get together "girls" only and her friends shower her with gifts and really nice ones too!  The first year I was so blown away again by the generosity of  people in general.  I had never really experienced this before or I had I never realized it?  Either way, it is truly an amazing thing.  It makes me reflect on my own giving and generosity.  I am learning, even though I thought I was generous, maybe I am not so much, but that is a discussion for another day. 
 
Yes, I can remember about 15 years ago one of my girl friends gave me a gift. She called me about two weeks later reprimanding me for not sending a thank you note. I was a bit upset, but why? Was it because I was embarrassed that I didn't send a note?  I thought I at least called to thank her, didn't I.... but maybe it slipped my mind. Then I thought, aren't givers just supposed to give and expect nothing in return???  I look back and realize that these thoughts were all because of my own ignorance to the world of gift giving.  Of course, you say or send a thank you.  I read somewhere that you have up to one year to send thank yous and believe me most time I take that full year.  I am not sure if that is good etiquette or not, but I am getting better.  The givers really aren't expecting anything but a simple gesture back....a call, an email or how about this, an old fashioned hand written note.  I sometimes get caught up in the process, the card has to be written a certain way or be creative.  But all people are really looking for is a simple thank you.  To let them know your received the gift, to let them know you appreciate them thinking of you or your child.  It really is just a small gesture back for a much larger thought.  
 
My daughter and I spent yesterday sending thank yous for the gifts she received from our "girls" party.  She was really into them and wanted to add special pictures and even practice her handwriting and spelling.  The good news is, even though I might not be the best, she is getting it and loves to do it and say think you.  So, at the very least, I think I am achieving my goal of teaching her the proper etiquette in a world where thank yous are getting lost.  As a reflect on this post, I am going to make a mid year resolution and that is to write a handwritten note, email, text or call, to say thank you. I will try to do in a timely manner and not use my year window that may or may not be the proper etiquette in todays world.  Let's not let the thank yous get lost in the constant fast paced world we live in today.  People are still generous and thoughtful.  They haven't forgotten that, so let's not forget to say "Thank you back"!  Make it a thankful day!  All of my best, Dyan
 
What we learned:  Saying thank you is a simple and very important gesture to express your gratitude, people do wonder if you don't say thank you: if you didn't receive the gift, didn't appreciate the gift or they just want to know if you liked the gift.  People feel good by giving, thank them for letting them know how good it makes you feel.  Being generous is a grand thing to do, it really does make you feel good, and don't get caught up in being recognized for your giving, because that is not what giving is all about.
 
What we shared:  In writing our thanks yous, my daughter expressed her creativity, coloring, practicing, writing, reading and spelling.  It was a great way for us to spend time together creating.  And she is learning the importance of thank you.
  
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