Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Preschool Arts & Crafts

Creative art projects await us on Buy Nothing, whose geographically-based, Facebook groups offer a platform to give, receive, and request almost anything for free. 

I found this Keirug cup holder on my local Buy Nothing group, intending it for a creative art project with my 3.5 year old daughter.  

My daughter is learning to cut, tape, and perform other fine motor skills, so I figured we could cut up construction paper and hang strips from each circle.  My wife, daughter, and I cut them out together, adding important family time together.

We taped the pieces onto the K-cup holder.  My wife and I had ideas for the perfect design, but my daughter wanted her own pattern.  Time spent cutting and taping her five or six pieces contributed to growing motor skills.  

The whole thing was a cost-free mixture of family attachment, arts and crafts, and fine motor skills, the result being a fun, goofy type of Dr. Seuss concoction.  As you can see, the base of this K-cup holder rotates!

Buy Nothing and thrift stores provide numerous preschool arts and crafts projects for our developing minds and families.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Importance of Family Member Sleep Rhythms

In families, different members have different sleep rhythms, and these sleep rhythms can change over time.

"Early risers" sometimes receive false credit for hard work, while "night owls" might be called lazy or undisciplined.  However, sleep science is discovering these sleep rhythms have biological causes instead of perceived character traits.

For example, teenagers can receive a bad rap for laziness; however, a shift in sleep rhythm is more responsible.  Studies show that teenage sleep cycles generally shift bedtime to later in the evening and later in the morning.  Our high school systems have not responded very well, and I favor later classes for teenagers.

While life schedules are complex and intertwining, my hope for families is to accommodate the sleep patterns of its members as best as possible.

Work cited
"Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders"
The Great Courses
Professor H. Craig Heller, Ph.D.
Stanford University

Photo above by Mpho Mojapelo on Unsplash

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Practice Trick or Treat Before Halloween

In our home, Halloween starts much sooner than October 31st because of our daughter's 3.5 year old imagination.  She has been practicing trick-or-treating since September 30th.

Almost daily, she puts on last year's butterfly costume, grabs our plastic jack-o-lantern, and knocks "trick-or-treat" on doors throughout the hallway.  My wife and I open with a "Happy Halloween" and drop small toys into her pretend collection of gummy dinosaurs, chocolate oxen, and licorice snakes.  

"Let's pretend trick-or-treating again!" She smiles.

Mom and Dad switch places, knocking on her doors, and receiving her pretend candy, extending Halloween from a one night event to weeks of playtime.  

Add Peppa Pig and Fancy Nancy Halloween books into the equation, and Halloween becomes a month-long tradition that builds family-emotional connections for a lifetime.  

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash