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Parents doing Parent things

A Parent Power Revolution Has Begun

I love Kindermusik. I also don’t have the money for it. 

Enter: a recycled band in a box set, one set of plastic maracas, a home made “jingle bells” bracelet, and preschool music CDs.  I expose my prince to all kinds of music experiences.  In the car, we listen to world, classic, or preschool music.  We do the same at home.  Sometimes we “integrate” it into a “lesson” plan.  Others, we just sound our instruments! 

Music is essential to emotional and cognitive development during these early years. No professional lessons required. Every child deserves this much.  Every single one. 

Check us out.

Music NOW is a gift of a lifetime.  

Parent Power.  Get some!

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I’m a big fan of play dough.

Whether it’s free play…

Or “structured” math play…

A little of play dough goes a long way. 

I’m excercising my Parent Power.  Are you?

We can do this!

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There’s a lot of stuff going on inside our little ones.  One of our favorite things to do (since  like…ever!) is making “emotion faces”  and its many variations.  Two of those variations: show a baby pictures of people in magazines and mimic their faces or talk about how they might be feeling.  REMIX “if you are happy and you know it” with grumpy, sad, tired, angry, etc. 🙂

The sooner you help child identify variations of emotions the sooner you can help him deal with them as he is having them.  This works wonders if you have an intense child (raises hand)!  Invest the time and effort, it will come back 10 folds!

We really CAN do this. Parent Power.

P.S.

Don’t forget to like “Not Before 2” on facebook and check out my SHOP tab!

Recent events (natural and man-made) continue to remind us on how connected we really hare, which is why ’round here: we play with globes!   Believe it or not, my prince identifies most of the continents and major countries within them.  He also understands countries speak different languages, eat differen’t foods, and have different music. Souns fancy right? Ummm, its not.  We just play around with this stuffed globe, Youtube, and a CD player for world music (my favorite part.)  Here’s a video of one of our geography sessions:

On the video, what you see is our “warm up.”   Once we have hit a few “I don’t knows,”  I switch to playing with ball (throw back and forth).  Everytime either of us “catches” the world, we have to identify a location our hand touched.  The prince usually “cheats” and tries to find/repeat which ever location I say, which honestly, is exactly what I want!

Globe +  2 year old + mom = too much like right.

Parent Power.  This is what we do!

For some reason, moms seem to think babies (infants + toddlers + preschoolers = babies) need to constantly be “entertained” or “taught” in a way that requires a lot of energy.  Whether I’m doing community work, consulting clients, or talking to friends, the idea of turning off the television always scares and overwhelms moms.  I believe it’s that “a lot of energy” myth. 

Relax.  

Recently, my prince pulled his high chair to the kitchen while I cooked and asked to watch cartoons (there’s a TV in the kitchen).  Because I’m mom and I know what he really wants to be is engaged instead, I gave him some play dough.  I also asked him if he would like to help me cook a little later.  He was thrilled.  Here are some bits of our everyday adventure.

Imagination (play dough animals) +

Following Directions & Fine Motor Skills (cleaning out peppers) +

Math Concepts (sorting peppers)  =

Healthy Life Ready Brain

Is it important? Yes.  Does it require lots of energy?  No.

When you close the television door, the world opens.  Step into your Parent Power!  You can most definately do this!

It’s amazing how caught up we get when it comes to teaching, occupying, or even entertaining our children.

We recently drove by a fruit and vegetable stand and my prince inquired what it was.  “It’s a fruit and vegetable stand papi.  The owners of the stand sell fruits and vegetables to people so they can take them home to eat them.” 

His inquiry struck a cord.  I’d bought vegetables and fruits a thousand times with my prince.  We’d put plenty of them in our shopping cart and counted them.  I often cook with my prince.   Hadn’t I?  Hadn’t we?  Didn’t I?

Well, yeah but…he’s 2! Life and all of its details are still novel!  Where have I been?  Inspired by my “aha moment” we have been discovering and re-discovering fruits for two weeks and counting.  Among our discoveries? Seeds!  Turns out they are all different.  

Not all fruits are sweet either.  Some fruits he’d never even tasted or seen before like this “soursop” or “guanabana.”   We’ve googled, felt, peeled, chopped, blended, and tasted all kinds of fruits these two weeks.  We even stopped back by the fruit and vegetable stand where the prince helped pack tangerines in a sack and was paid in fruit  (3 tangerines and 2 bananas to be exact)!

Don’t believe the hype.  You are more than able to create a world of adventure and learning in your own living room (or kitchen) right with what is available to you at all price points.  You don’t need a store bought science kit to teach your child a science lesson.  Turns out all you need is a pepper and a knife.

We can do this! Parent Power.

Something absolutely wonderful happens when you dare to turn off the television, refuse to let your kids play video games, and flat out don’t buy into the pushy commercialization of a toy-FULL childhood…

Two year olds play match-the-cap-to-the-bottle games (which streghthen math concepts such as estimation and measurement) for 20 minutes and then, all by themselves, figure out bottles are also great castle building blocks!

They also build houses in the living room where they eat breakfast in “private” and feel free to bring toys in and let their imagination soar.

By the way, the house building has been brought back to life by the story Three Little Pigs. Pretend play and “theater” role play are brain building, pre-literacy activities that cost you very little but gift them life.

Parent Power! Not only CAN we do this. But we are doing it every day. From my heart to yours, thank you.