Sunday, November 24, 2013

Beady Boy

Zilla is 6 years Old

This week Meg's was sick a couple of days. When Zilla came home fr school to find her napping the the first thing pout of is mouth was "Csn I do beads?"

He has been a fan of the beads (that fuze together when ironed) for the past couple of years. While they are not out all the te as an activity choice, they are stored on a shelf he can see. This is one activity he really prefers to do alone so he gets very annoyed when Mega wants to "help". 
I am often surprised by how much he grows from season to season but this time with the beads it felt like a leap to a whole new level. The person, Christmas Tree and rainbow all came together withou adult help or a design to follow. This afternoon he even managed to correctly iron/fuze his own creation. We are impressed. I think he is even impressed with himself! :-)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Seeds Of Praise: Free Download Through Thanksgiving

Need some good music?
Want to give it a listen for free?

Seeds Family Worship has great music at a reasonable price… and… for Thanksgiving:

Seeds Of Praise: Free Download Through Thanksgiving
1. Go to:
2. Just above Buy Now says Digital Album. Click that and enter 0.3. Enter your e-mail address and they will send you a link.

Did I mention that they also list the cords for each song on the homepage? 
Love it! (Our Music > Chord Chart)

While this may not seem kid-related it really is all about the kids.  What we teach them in terms of faith (or if you choose not to) lays the groundwork for future beliefs and world views.  Even little kids benefit from knowing what you believe and why. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall Books

Zilla is 6 years old
Mega is 3 years old
Here are some of our favorite fall books.

As the weather cools we read about harvest time and the change or seasons.  It is also a great time to learn some American folk lore.
Paul Bunyan by Carol Ottolenghi
The Story of Johnny Appleseed by Aliki
The Biggest Apple Ever by Steven Kroll
 Stone Soup From Scholastic Trade
Gathering: A Northwoods Counting Book By Betsy Bowen
Jamberry by Bruce Degen

Thanksgiving Books

Thanksgiving isn't a holiday in Japan (for obvious reasons) but it is still part of our family's cultural heritage so we celebrate it every here.  Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving books.  While most focus on being thankful, we also use this time to learn about Native American culture and why settlers left Europe all those years ago.

Mega's selections:
  Corduroy's Thanksgiving From Viking Juvenile 
The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks By Jan Berenstain, Mike Berenstain 
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll 
  The Pumpkin Gospel: A Story Of A New Start With God! By Matt Whitlock

Zilla's selections:
Read and Write Booklets Thanksgiving Grades K-2 By Alyse Sweeney
Hiawatha By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hisashiburi Sushi!

When you have small kids there are some things which are just not worth the effort to do them. For us one of those things is going out to eat. Many styles of food in Japan are not child friendly. Ramen is too hot, yaki niku has grills with hot coals and raw meat on the table, and the rotating sushi places have raw fish passing by on a conveyer belt within easy reach of a child.
 Every once in a while we try one of these places to see if the kids can manage to eat like little adults without turning the meal into a test of our patience. 
Recently we tried going out for sushi. It has been a while but the kids are still not at the point where we can relax and enjoy the meal.
At this place you order what you want on the touch screen as well as pick up dishes that look good when they make their rounds. The thing I love about these places is that there are enough things other than fish on the menu for me to eat. Emo and Zilla love that they can order all their favorites. Mega likes watching everything go by.
One of the interesting points about this kind of place is that you pay per plate. The 4 of us ate 35 plates... Zilla, Emo and I each ate about 10 plates. It won't be long before this kind of place becomes too expensive to go to as a family!
~ Houdini

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Homework Time

Zilla is 6 years old
Mega is 3 years old

As we enter the 2nd half of the school year one of my "jobs" is preparing Zilla for 1st grade.  The school has been chosen, he is officially accepted and the uniform is ordered.  We are budgeting for the upcoming expenses (school supplies, commuter train ticket etc.) and thinking about how our life will change with getting up earlier and making a bento lunch every day.
One thing I am trying to do to help make the transition easier is to have a daily "homework time" after school/before supper.  Miss Mega does not like to be left out of anything so she is also spending some time doing homework each day.
Right now we are using mostly Kumon workbooks.  Each day Zilla has a page each of English, hiragana, math, clock, cut & paste and maze. Mega has two pages each of cut & paste, writing basics and coloring.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Masked Kids

Todaty's after school art project was decorating a couple of masks from a kit. While the kit is Mardi Gras theme and the stickers are Thanksgiving theme, the creations are completely original!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Early Morning Art

I guess the plus side of jet lag is having 4 hours before school to do art projects?
We picked up these wooden masks at a craft store in the US. A very easy and fun project to have on hand!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

TED Talks - Lessons for Parents

For those who are keeping track we are still jet lagging around here - hence the 3 AM/4 AM posts :-)

One of my favorite things to do with "extra" time is to watch a TED Talk or two.  It is important for parents to continue learning especially as their kids grow.  A quick/easy way for me is to have a TED Talk on while doing housework.  Here is the one I just watched this morning after seeing it on a friend's blog. (Thanks Jo!)

I love the idea of "granny cloud" and having kids work in groups with computers rather than on their own.  We see the power of "granny cloud" every week when my kids talk with their grandparents via iChat.  There is something special about grandparents! I'm now looking forward to when my kids are a little older and can handle the computer a bit better so I can give them some mystery questions!

Here is another talk that I enjoy - Patricia Kuhl: The linguistic genius of babies

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Way of Jet Lag

A lesson we relearn every year, with every overseas trip, is to respect jet lag and flow with it. This is our 4th jet lag experience in the last 2 months. The novelty has worn off and I'm ready to return to "normal" life!
Jet lag is what you feel as your body adjusts the natural rhythm (sleep/wake/eat) to the day/night timing of the location you suddenly are at. It can cause sudden, deep sleep which is very hard to wake up from, pounding headaches and great hunger at odd times.
Here is what it often looks like when the kids are trying to adjust to a 14 hour time difference after 24 hours or so traveling...
Day 1: Arrive at destination in the evening, try to get kids to bed by 10PM
Day 2: Kids wake up at 2 or 3 AM, hungry and hyper. By noon they slow down a little and have had at least 3 meals. About 1 PM they fall into a sudden, deep sleep. 3 PM we attempt to wake them up again but this is often unsuccessful. At least one adult goes to bed by 7PM in order to get some sleep before the kids wake up.
Day 3: Kids wake up at 3 AM hungry and ready to play. Nap may happen earlier (11 AM) leading to missing lunch but creating the chance to be awake a little in the afternoon but that might make bedtime later than normal.
Day 4: Kids up at 3:30 AM. Morning goes well, kids stay awake into the early afternoon but fall into a sudden deep sleep around 2 PM. Attempts to wake them up for supper are successful for one but not the other.
Day 5: Kids wake up at 3 AM again but aren't starving so they will lay somewhat quietly for an hour before getting up. Morning goes well, perhaps we won't have a nap in the afternoon? Can they stay awake until the normal 8PM bedtime? No luck, 1 child is asleep by 4 and the other at 6.
Day 6: Kids get up at 4 AM but are somewhat quiet and don't ask about eating until 6 AM. Day goes well but 1 child falls asleep by 5PM and the other just after eating supper at 6:30PM.
Day 7: I'm guessing that they'll sleep a little closer to 5 AM and we may have supper as a family for the first time in a week! I can let you know how it goes tomorrow :-)
There are many approaches to getting over jet lag quickly but honestly I have never found one way that works all the time.
Here are some things that do help:
- Jump into the new time zone schedule as soon as you get off the plane.
- Keep the daytime bright and active, night dark and quiet.
- Don't plan anything important that kids "have to" be awake for in the first few days after travel. This will save you from experiencing a jet lag induced screaming/crying fit.
- Roll with the sleepiness making graduated adjustments towards the desired waking/sleeping schedule. You can do the sudden change method but don't expect a small child to be able to understand the yucky way the body feels or be able to force himself to stay awake. This only leads to frustration and tantrums.
Every trip, jet lag presents a little differently. While I have general expectations when we travel I've also seen times when a child gets over jet lag very quickly or takes 2 full weeks to recover. On a recent trip my kids "jet lagged" opposite each other (when one sleeps the other is awake) which meant I was up nearly 24 hours a day for the first few days so I could keep an eye on the non-sleeping child.
While jet lag is not fun it is part of travel. Knowing, accepting and working around that has made traveling with our kids a bite a easier!

To T or T or not to T or T...

This year we had an intersting and unplanned quick trip to the States for a funeral but it also happened to be at the time of Reformation Sunday and Trick or Treating.
While Halloween is growing in popularity in Japan it is far from the "everybody does it" feeling we had in the US. I'm not a fan of the "holiday" and choose not to celebrate it. However, like we do with many Japanese religion-influenced customs, I try to find a way for my kids to still experience the general custom but with our own take on the meaning.
We read books like the "Pumpkin Gospel", play dress-up and talk about Reformation Day & All Saints Day. Zilla is reaching the point he can figure out some of the US customs from what he seems on Disney Channel and other TV shows so he has started to ask more detailed questions but they mainly focus on wanting to go collect candy or try bobbing for apples.
One thing I never thought my kids would experience during their childhood is Trick or Treating. This year they did for probably the first/last time.
It just so happened that Grandma made matching cowboy/cowgirl dress-up clothes for the cousins over summer. It just happened that Walmart had matching boots in their sizes (which we picked up on the way from the airport!) and it just happened that we would all be together on the afternoon of trick-or-treating. So, to Zilla's extreme joy, Mega's growing understanding and the yougest one's initial confusion we loaded up the little red wagon and went to greet the neighbors while collecting candy which they so kindly offered. It was a fun way to greet some of the neighbors I haven't really seen in years.
One of the things which pleasently surprised me was seeing Zilla and Mega get as excited about handing out candy as going door-to-door to collect candy. They took great joy in guessing what the various costumes were and talking to the visitors. They will probably forever remember the "robot" who came first even though it was just a preteen boy wearing regular clothes with a box on his head. If you listen to their version of the story you'd think a transformer or Buzz Lighyear had showed up in person!
While I'm still not a fan of the Halloween I am glad the kids had a chance to experience part of it. It is a part of their cultural herritage and that is a valuable thing.

Friday, September 27, 2013

First Test

I am not a fan of making young kids study. I'd rather entice them to study by preparing a place which ignites curiosity and allows for exploration.

However, sometimes that is not an option.
The school system in Japan has a lot of testing. Some of the tests are easy or for placement purposes. Others are seen as making or breaking a child's future. There are tests to get into schools at every level (Kinder, Elm. Jr. High, Sr. High, College) and there are ways to get around the testing. One way is to get into an "escalator" school which will move a child up through the levels without requiring reapplying and retesting at each level. These schools are usually private/parochial and can be challenging to enter. They can also be expensive. However, sometimes God opens a door and it is up to us to walk in that direction.
For the past few weeks we've been working with Zilla to prepare him for his first ever test. It includes reading, writing, math and critical thing components. There is also a body movement section from what I'm told.
I've never been a fan of cram schools but trying to figure out what to study with him and how to study it has given me an understanding of why so many families pay for/trust a cram school to see them through the exam process. There are books and example tests you can buy but even those don't come cheap.
I don't know for sure, at this point, what school he will go to next year. However, I do know that my husband will need to be home more to help with homework and Mega gets jealous of Zilla having homework so I need to prepare more work for her so she will leave him alone long enough for him to study!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Washing Dishes

A key theme in the world of Montessori is having the environment prepared in a way which encourages children to be independent. Along that line is also the idea that kids should learn how to "work" as they enjoy work. With these two things in mind I set up our house and daily activities for the kids.
At 3 and 5 both of my kids love water play and are familiar with various types of water-related work. In the past they have enjoyed washing dishes together from time to time. Recently, though, there has been a surprising change.
Since returning from the States last week Mega has initiated whine the dishes at some point each day. While I appreciate the help (Dishes are one of my least favorite chores) I'm not a huge fan of the wet mess it causes! We have a jointed mat on the floor by the sink which isn't the easiest to clean up so Mega needs help wiping up the excess water when she is done. She also has been known to not get everything as clean as we would like... By then again she is only 3.
What I like is that she sees dishes in the sink, realizes they need to get clean, takes the initiative to clean them and then follows through until they are all washed. It is also really cute to watch :-)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Beach Getaway

Lesson: kids need to get away from it all sometimes too!
During summer we have a few adventures planned. One of the things Zilla and Mega look forward to in summer is spending some time at the beach swimming and building sand castles.
Our typical plan for an in-country trip is to travel by train or bus to some place within a few hours reach of Tokyo. When we take the train getting an eki-ben (train station boxed lunch) is part of the experience. On this trip the kids and I headed to Atami with a friend for a few days as Daddy was out of the country. Getting out of Tokyo for a few days was nice and traveling this year was easier than last but taking the kids anyplace overnight is still a challenge :-) But sometimes a challenge is worth taking!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Support a good cause!

Part of my summer "homeschool" for my kids includes picking it a few DVDs on topics we're studying. However, it can be hard to find something with enough educational value to have it add to their learning. In our situation especially it is important for them to hear about the study topic in English from a native speaker other than me.
For years we have enjoyed the Signing Time DVDs and not too long ago when Rachel and the Treeschoolers came out we all got really excited! Treeschoolers comes with activities you can do beyond watching the DVD and covers a large amount of material in 30 minutes.
Two Little Hands, the company which makes Rachel and the Treeschoolers, has been looking to get the show picked up by a TV network but they've been repeatedly told that the show is too educational for TV. Does that make sense? It is entertaining, fun and educational. If you are going to let your kids watch TV why not watch something useful?
To try and bring the rest of the Treeschoolers episodes to market they have started a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. Basically this allows us, the consumers, to have a direct hand in the creating of a wonderful educational series. Lending your support through pledging is risk-free. If you make a pledge and they don't raise enough money to support the current project then your money is not collected. If they do raise enough money your pledge is accepted and you will receive a return gift of your choosing.... Such as a copy of the new DVDs.
Why not hop on over to Kickstarter and take a look?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer of Homework - Preschool Version

Lesson: When the school year does not end before summer there will be homework.
Since Zilla is not yet in Elementary School the amount of summer homework is manageable but I still am not keen on the idea of having to do homework over summer vacation. Perhaps the reason for not being keen on homework from school is that I have my own planned for him?
To celebrate the start of summer break we had McDonald's Happy Meals for lunch. The toys were somewhat educational - a flute-like instrument and a microscope in boxes that can be turned into cars - so I guess it is a fitting start to a summer of homework!
The top, right picture is Zilla's calendar. Each day he has a sticker to mark the day, a sticker for the weather, a sticker for brushing his teeth and a sticker for if he pooped. Yes, that last sticker is real. Each culture handles bodily functions differently... Other areas in the calendar include making notes of what we do each day, an interview for at the end of summer and space for pictures, tickets, etc. In a few years we'll probably enjoy looking back at the calendar so I don't mind doing it.
I don't have pictures of it but Zilla also brought home a mini tomato plant so he is to care for it and has a chart to fill out as he picks the tomatoes. Again, this is not so bad... if you are planning to stay home during summer! We will be babysitting the plant of a classmate as they are going away for the summer.
The bottom, right pictures are "gifts" from the school (if that is what we'd call them...) that Zilla brought home. There is a book, sparkers and a bamboo water squirter. The book encourages reading and the water squirter is a traditional toy btu the sparklers? They don't see to be the kind of thing that preschoolers should be carrying around in their school bag.
I've heard that first graders often receive a pile of homework to do over the holidays - enough for an hour or so a day - so we are going to enjoy having less homework from the school this year as we may not have the same luck next year!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Early Morning Art

This week we've had a few days when Zilla was up and ready for school with an hour to spare. When he gets ready early I like to make the most of the morning hour as he is usually in a better mindset then than in the evening when he's tired. This week he filled the extra hours with art. We love our easel from Ikea because it is light weight so the kids can easily move it to where the light is right.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Flag Bento

Zilla has taken a real interest in preparing his bentos recently. This morning he asked for one to celebrate the 4th of July. We had to work with items we had on hand but I think we did ok. I'm a little worried that the teacher will send home a note about the potato chips (a no-no for bento lunches here) but hopefully he will be able to explain them in a way she'll understand.
The top of the bento has a sandwich (the sandwich top went on when we closed up the bento) with berry jam, yogurt stripes and blueberries cut in half. The bottom of the bento is red tomatoes, white potato chips and blueberries mixed with grapes.
The potato chips are made with potatoes that Zilla's class harvested from the school garden yesterday. We made them in the microwave with a special tray that Grandpa sent. Zilla and Mega love homemade chips!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Foundation for Art

Zilla is 5 years old
Mega is 2 years old

Lesson: It is tough to create the art you want but easier to create it if you know how to use your tools!
Mega and Zilla both love to art.
Mega has taken an interest in learning the skills which will help her to be able to create the things she wants. Zilla is a great big brother and will often lend a hand when she needs one. She also learns a lot by watching how he creates his art. It is a great reminder that kids need to learn the basics (cutting, pasting, coloring, painting) as well as have other kids around to inspire them.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Game Time! Memory

Lesson: Games are worth the stress :-)

Zilla is 5 years old and has a pretty good handle on taking turns and playing a game but still has times where his emotional involvement in the games makes playing together challenging. Mega is 2 years old and wants to play games but only by her rules. Little by little she is figuring out how to play with others and take turns.
Recently we played Memory together. This is a game I play well, especially when playing with young kids. ;-) However, I get very annoyed when the other players bump the cards/tiles so they are no longer in straight lines. So, it goes without saying that playing with a toddler is stressful for me! But it is still fun :-)
Playing games together is so much more than a way to pass time. Kids learn social skills, thinking skills and get to bond with each other. I love that they are truly excited for each other's successes when we play together.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles - Traveling with Toddlers & Preschoolers

Lesson: Preparation is Key!

Since Zilla was born we've traveled overseas planes, within the country on trains and around the area in cars and buses.  We've also been on boats ranging in size from a row boat to a cruise ship.  We've camped, stayed in hotels, ryokans, pensions and visited family.  Despite the variety in destination and transportation there are a few basic guidelines I follow for packing.  Some of these I've learned about the hard way to I hope you won't have to!

For the time of transit:
☆ Good luggage is key!
Backpack for the adults (keep hands free for kids!) and mini-backpacks for the kids once they can walk.  A rolling carry-on with 4 caster wheels can be pushed by a toddler or pulled by an adult with a minimum amount of effort.  Trunki suitcases are great for toddlers/preschoolers who are perhaps too big for a stroller but too small yet to reliably walk through airports on their own.
In the kid's backpacks include a snack and small drink as well as a toy or two so they can access it when they with.

☆ Clothes - One change of clothes per person in the carry-ons.  Infants and messy toddlers may need two.   Even on train trips there can be spills that end up on mom and dad!

☆ Diapers - 1 for every 2 hours of travel door to door.  Knot-a-bag (or similar item) is handy to have for bagging up not only dirty diapers but also wet clothes and garbage.

☆ Food - Aim for healthy snacks and mini meals.  Plan to eat about once every three hours.  I could the night time travel hours as well and it usually evens out with snacking a bit more during the day, less at night.

☆ Towel/blanket - Take a quick-drying towel for each child.  We use them as travel blankets most of the time but they also double as towels in the case of a spill or accident.  These are really lightweight and take up a small amount out space.  They can also be easily washed out in a sink and dry in less time than a regular towel.

☆ Wet wipes - Never leave home without them!

☆ Friend to hug - Bringing along a stuffed animal or doll to hug while traveling through new places can help kids to feel comfortable in the midst of the transitions.  We have special, smaller travel friends who visit our house before a trip so the kids are familiar with them before they hop into the backpack to travel along.

☆ Travel Activities - One per hour of transit (or one per hour of the longest flight), each in it's own bag
I should let you know before you read further that I'm not a fan of packing electronics for kids, especially young kids, to use while traveling.  We do take our ipads/ipods etc. along but they are only brought out as a last resort.  The two main reasons for this are that kids don't need them to be entertained and watching a screen, any screen, for hours on end isn't good for them.

This system came about after receiving a lot of advice from experienced travel parents. It has been a lifesaver!
During the months leading up to a trip I put together little bags with items from the 100 yen shop / $1 store.  We now have a box in the closet full of these travel bags so when we have an unexpected trip (family funeral) or a long meeting to attend I can just grab a few activity bags to take along.  Keeping these things separate from the regular toys is key to keeping their sense of mystery!
Here are links to some of our past travel bags:
Travel Activities
Travel Bag Activities
Plane/Train Entertainment for Toddlers

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Random Inspiration

Mega is 2 years old
Zilla is 5 years old
Lesson: Anything can inspire creativity.
Lesson 2; watch out when inspiration strikes!
I try to be understanding of the kid's need to try and do various things...
I try to have items available that can be easily turned into something else with a bit of inspiration...
I try to stay out of the way and be an observer when the creative juices flow...
I try not to stop the creative process...
But sometimes it is difficult!
They are riding down the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon, facing the rivers, mountains and plains with a sometimes unwilling team of horses.
Mega made up her own gross motor Montessori style activity which is worthy of going in an album!
She lined up our milk carton boxes and then went jumping from box to box down the line. Her two footed hoping improved greatly after doing this for a couple of days!
My heart returned to normal rhythm a few days after that... You can't tell from the picture but the end of her jumping course has some hard furniture and a class door - neither of which would be forgiving if is she didn't stop at the right place. Part of the fangs of a small house...
While this may look like a marble run to you and me it can be so many other things like a distribution machine for ice cream ;-)
Of course not all creative endeavors are as far stretched...
Here they are filling the time before Zilla heads to school for the day with math lessons. While it all looks rather normal, Zilla's way of explaining addition to a 2 year old who can count to 8 but only really understand the numbers 1 - 4 was rather interesting!
Perhaps he should consider education as a career?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

2 Favorite Monster Books

Here are two of our current favorite books:


Season for Outdoor Water Play

Zilla is 5 years old
Mega is 2 years old
Lesson: Kids are irresistibly drawn to water
It does not matter how early in the morning it is, how hungry the mosquitos are or how hot/humid it is outside... when there is water within reach kids want to play.
We picked up a multifaceted water and sand toy which adds some interesting aspects to the usual water experimentation. Mega is enjoying transferring water with various items (shovel, cup bucket) and Zilla is learning about water pressure, hoses and sprinklers. They are working on teamwork... sort of.
Even with new and I the resting toys, they spent the most time blowing leaves across the top of the water in a "boat race"!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Pet Caterpillar

Zilla is 5 years old
Mega is 2 years old
As the weather warms up the kids feel the pull to be outside for I creasing lengths of time. With the coming of spring they have enjoyed seeing the "garden" come alive. We have a a small parking area outside our living room door which they call the backyard or garden.
They found this little "caterpillar" (I'm not sure if it is actually one but the term works for our purposes...) and put it in the bug box for observation.
They decided to take notes and draw pictures to record what they saw.
This kind of activity is something totally unplanned but because we had the tools in place (prepared environment) they were able to take the teachable moment and run with it.
They observed that Catapilly (the name they gave it) would curl up and stop moving when frightened, climbed on leaves and sticks in the box and it even stopped to munch on a leaf from time to time.
While Zilla was at school Mega was on observation duty and she takes her responsibility seriously!
At 6:30 this morning while I was just getting ready for the day I hear the kids outside talking about going for a walk. When I went to investigate I discovered they meant giving Catapilly a chance to take a walk!
Since they have been so engrossed with their new "pet" I gave them the book "From Caterpillar to Butterfly" to look at. We have an oversized edition which seemed to add to the reading fun!
One of the greatest thing about this whole Catapilly experience is at the kids have been able to do nearly everything on their own. They know where the supplies are, they worked together to figure out what would make Catapilly happy and to figure out the best way to make observations. I love that they are at this stage! It makes my job easy :-)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Only 1 day left! Two Little Hands $10 DVD Sale!

Biggest sale of the year on Two Little Hands DVDs On Mon-Wed. (US Time) this week! 
All DVDs and DVD/CD combos are $10. 
 Limit 2 of each kind... but with so many DVDs to choose from you can still end up buying over 60 DVDs!

Have some children's birthdays's coming and want to get a great gift? 

☆ For a preschooler try Rachel and the Treeschoolers

☆ Baby? How about Baby Signing Time

☆  Child headed for 1st grade? Look at the ABCs and Practice Time DVDs for a multisensory and fun start to phonics and sight words. 

☆  Potty Training while the summer is hot? Potty Time can help make it fun for everyone! 

☆  Stuck inside because of rainy season? Check out Move and Grove

With so many choices there is somethign for every kid! Don't be overwhelmed by the choices - ask (e-mail is ok!) and I'll share some suggestions! Here's your link to get to the sale!

While you're thinking of gifts why not pair a DVD with a board book or flashcards to keep the learning going?

Teachers, homeschoolers, parents, grandparents... there are plenty of other resources and ideas on the Two Little Hands homepage so why not take a look around?

Rachel even made a video to share about the sale!

Monday, June 3, 2013

When Inspiration Strikes...

When inspiration strikes... it makes a mess!

Friday, May 24, 2013

When Inspiration Strikes...

Zilla is 5 years old
Mega is 2 years old
When the kids feel the inspiration to create I let them create. When the feel the inspiration to move I let them move. When the feel the inspiration to sing I let them sing.
However, sometimes it is not easy to encourage these things.

This evening I had a number of things which needed to get done but they both wanted my attention and help to follow two very different inspirations...

Mega wanted to be Hnady Manny, Zilla to be Mr. Lopart and me to be Kelly. She does make a pretty cute repair girl even though she is better at breaking things and making messes than fixing them and cleaning up!
Zilla had gym class at preschool today so he wanted to try to recreate what they did in class. If we had more space and a mat I wouldn't mind.
For someone who spent a few year spotting vault for gymnastics it was nearly painful to see his pitiful form but the joy he was oozing made up for it.
A stack of blocks made from milk cartons does not a horse make...
But with a bit of imagination and inspiration can make anything possible!