Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Your Child's Favorite Toy

I was inspired the other day after reading an article where the author reminded me that I am my child's favorite toy. It helped that my husband had just straightened up the living room and all of the toys were neatly put back in baskets and on shelves so I didn't want to mess up the room again. But there we were with some time on our hands and each other.

And oh boy! did we have fun! We laughed and screamed and made funny noises and wrestled and chased and played peek-a-boo! We did not pull out one book or one ball or one car. I used me, some pillows and the floor to have a great time with my kids.

We sang some songs and did some spontaneous dancing (to no music). It was so much fun!

If you need an idea of where to start, let me share some of the things we did:

  • do some action songs like the Wheels on the Bus, or Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, or Bouncing Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon, or Row, Row, Row Your Boat. My kids love the Horse song. I have no idea where it came from but it goes something like:
    • This is the way the Old Horse goes, old horse goes, old horse goes (bounce slowly with  both knees together)
    • This is the way the Old Horse goes all the way to ... (we pick Boston or London or Houston)
    • This is the way the Young Mare goes, young mare goes, young mare goes (I bounce my knees a little faster and do it alternating one knee at a time so they go slightly sideways)
    • This is the way the Young Mare goes all the way to ....
    • This is the way the Pony goes, pony goes, pony goes (I toe-tap as fast as I can with my feet alternating for a super bouncy ride!)
    • This is the way the Pony goes all the way to....

  • play peek-a-boo (even with preschoolers! My daughter, 4 1/2, loves to play with my 14 month old son, but if I peek-a-boo her in a new and silly way, like upside down through my legs, she still gets a kick out of the game)

  • help your child "fly." For my son I just hold him up with my arms while I lie on my back. For my daughter I put her tummy (hips to ribs) on my feet and hold her hands while I hoist her in the air for as long my legs can handle it!

  • play "chase!" I crawled after my son and my daughter who both crawled away from me. If it were just my daughter I would have done a silly crawl like a crab-crawl and had her crab-crawl too. When you catch them it's the perfect time to give hugs and kisses... and maybe a few tickles, too!

If you don't have a bunch of songs in your head, print them out and keep them near you so that you have resources at your finger tips! I did not always have a head full of silly songs, but after going to the library's story time, I memorized quite a few favorites!

Now, how do you enjoy being your child's favorite toy?

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Easy DIY Laminating at Home

I love to make things more durable but I don't like to always pull out my big laminator. And I frequently encourage parents to make therapy materials at home that will be used more than a few times. Many of my parents don't have laminators at home. So, I'm going to show you my DIY Laminating that you can do at home easily and quickly with your paper and some dollar store clear packing tape! It is not going to last forever, but it'll be significantly more durable than plain paper!

First, print and cut out what you want laminated. I was making days of the week cards to put on my daughter's outfits that we plan out for the week.

Next, lay out one piece at a time in front of you. Stretch the tape over the paper and smooth it down. You can flip it over so that it is laminated on both sides or just cut it out with one side protected. I do both depending on the project.

That's it! Now you are done!

If you want to take it one step farther, here's what I did for this project. I hole punched and added ribbon so that I could hang the days of the week on her outfit hangers. Each week, I hang them all up on a little metal bar and pull down just what she'll wear the next day.

Honestly, my favorite - now having used these tags for a while - is the single hole punched one I did for Saturday and Sunday (see picture below). It just seems to always hang so nicely.

We laminate lots of things at our home from the outfit labels and other labels to flashcards and other projects. It's quick, easy and inexpensive! Happy laminating!

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