Going Through The Motions

GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS | At 14 months, Claire is at an age where she’s not interested in staying still. It’s okay most of the time, but it can make tasks like diaper changes, changing clothes, and wiping her face and hands after eating challenging. This can be frustrating, especially when we’re in a hurry to get out the door and we don’t have time to chase her down haha.

To keep her from trying to wrestle away from us, we sing songs to grab her attention long enough to get the task done. While this has worked pretty well, we’ve taken it a step further and taught her hand gestures that go with the song. Songs like “head, shoulders, knees, and toes”, “wheels on the bus”, and “five little monkeys” are great for this! She can’t do all the gestures yet, but as she tries, she’s able to get her wiggles out through concentrated movements in her arms and hands, keeping her body still enough so we can complete the task. It’s a bonus if big sister, Eleanor (2.5 years), is around to sing and do the motions with her! Making it a game is a fun way to connect with her, and she loves it too! Talking, singing, and pointing are not only important for learning and language development, but they can be great ways to make mundane tasks more enjoyable!

By Lizzy Tahsuda

Learn more about the Basic – Talk, Sing and Point

The Power of a Hug

THE POWER OF A HUG | Children experience stress and anxiety similar to adults, but may express it in different ways. Often when adults feel stressed, through both verbal and nonverbal communication, children can feel the impact. Unintentionally, children can interpret parents’ actions towards them in ways that increase their own stress level. Because of this, some children can react with more aggression or acts of withdrawal. It is
important that while adults recognize their own stress and anxiety to consider how to help children
process their stress as well.

Though simple, the power of a hug can provide many benefits. Taking a moment to ask a child if they want a hug can ease tension quickly. Children want to know that they are loved, valued, accepted, and most of all that they are cared for, especially during stressful moments. The dual benefit of a hug also helps adults to take a moment to breathe.

During times of stress, when emotions have been high, I have come down to my four-year-old son’s
level and asked him if he would like a hug. Almost always, the answer has been “yes” which seems to
melt the stress and anxiety away. Children still want to feel loved, even if they are experiencing big
emotions of anger, sadness, frustration, or disappointment. In that moment, a hug brings security,
reaffirms relationship, and establishes value. I can sometimes hear a sigh of relief as he begins to calm
after giving him a hug. Hugs have a way to Maximize Love, Manage Stress go beyond words
of expression.

By Airreia Pierce, Educator, Author and Speaker

Early Math Adventures

MATH QUEST ADVENTURES | Turn daily activities into fun learning adventures with the basic, Count, Group, and Compare!

Titus loves lending a helping hand around the house. Whether it’s measuring ingredients during cooking, sorting laundry, or counting toys during cleanup, these simple tasks become fun-filled lessons in numbers and organization.

At playtime, Titus explores how comparison works. When sorting his toys by color and size or while doing puzzles, he creates categories. We count each group and discuss which has the most or the least. Through these playful activities, Titus is not just counting; he’s organizing and recognizing patterns. It’s also helping him explore the fun side of numbers!

Count, Group and Compare is more than just shapes, numbers and counting on his fingers, it’s teaching Titus about solving problems, making decisions and building his confidence.

By Candace Martin

Her Own Voice

HER OWN VOICE | Claire turned one this month! She has her own little language these days. She can say a few words (“mama”, “hi”, “yes”), but most of the time she’s babbling to us with the tone and inflection like she knows exactly what she’s saying. It’s hilarious!

To help with her speech and communication, we frequently incorporate simple words and receptive listening into our play. For example, she’s in the phase where she loves to put something in a container and then take it out again. We started by narrating this for her by saying “in” and “out” as she does these actions on her own. Now, we can say “in” and/or “out” and she will follow the action. Soon, she’ll be saying the words herself! It’s a fun way for her to learn through play as we talk, sing, and point with her!

Unwrapping The Power of Play

UNWRAPPING THE POWER OF PLAY | Movement and play is essential for growing toddlers; it helps build muscles, strengthen coordination and release energy! But aside from the physical benefits, playtime fuels the brain.

Recently Titus embraced the holiday spirit and crafted and customized his own gingerbread house! This hands-on play enabled him to experiment with fitting pieces, brainstorming ideas, and using tools (he’s quite the hammer enthusiast!). Constructing the gingerbread house unleashed his creativity, boosting his decision-making confidence. The fun continued after this activity when Titus “drove” the cart throughout the store.

Titus is TWO! As part of birthday celebrations, he went to Winter Wonderlights at the Greensboro Science Center and saw so many colors & designs and finished with a ride on the carousel.

These precious moments are building the foundation for a creative mind, strong body and laying the groundwork for a healthy future for Titus. Through the Basic, Explore through Movement and Play, Titus learns to master problem-solving, teamwork, and regulating his emotions – many life skills wrapped up in fun.

By Candace Martin

The Magic of Reading

THE MAGIC OF READING | Since we’ve been incorporating The Basic – Read & Discuss Stories, we’ve realized that reading to Titus; even as a baby, it’s never too early to start! We used to think, “He’s too young to understand,” but we were wrong. Starting to read to Titus right from the start has been one of the best things we’ve done.

When reading to Titus, we know he won’t get every word, but we do know that it’s helping build his language skills. There’s so much value in helping him understand how sentences work and planting seeds for his vocabulary. But even without words, it helps stimulate his imagination and we can have an adventure without even leaving home.

Cuddling up to read a book is such a special time. It’s our chance to bond and create beautiful, cozy moments together. It’s amazing how a simple story can make him feel safe and loved. And honestly, it’s not just good for him, it’s good for us too. It’s more than just reading; it’s about growing, learning, and making memories that last a lifetime and it’s worth every minute!

By Candace Martin

Act It Out!

ACT IT OUT | At 11 months, Claire is busy! She’s on the move and interested in everything, which means that sitting still and reading can be a challenge. To keep her attention, we make the books interactive!

We move the book to match the actions in the story. Does the character jump? We make the book jump!
We “act out” adjectives mentioned in the book. For example, if the book says something is soft, we might softly pet the picture.

We match our tone and volume with whatever is happening on the page. Are the characters dancing? We read in a singing tone. Are they loud or quiet? We will get louder or whisper.

We point at the pictures that correspond with the words. Claire loves to point, so she will often imitate us.
Reading is one of our favorite things to do! Making it interactive combines all of the basics into one activity. Plus, as a parent of two children who are two-and-under, it gives me an opportunity to sit down. 😅

By Lizzy Tahsuda

Thanksgiving Play Ideas

No matter if you plan to gather with others over Thanksgiving weekend or not, if young children are a part of your gathering, having simple play opportunities available is smart! We’ve curated a few easy ideas for themed holiday activities to keep their brains and bodies active through Explore Through Movement and Play!

Turkey Waddle – Give kids and adults a small balloon and make them race with the balloon between their knees. It will make for a fun and active start to Thanksgiving.

Turkey Tag – This is a Thanksgiving version of Hide and Seek. One child gets to be the hunter while the others hide. When one of the players is caught, they have to gobble like a turkey until at least two other players set them free. Once the hunter has caught three turkeys, a new hunter is chosen.

Turkey Baster Race – Buy a few inexpensive turkey basters at the dollar store and give kids pompoms, feathers, or leaves. Line them up on the starting line and see who can blow the items past he finish using the air generated by the baster. This is a great exercise for young children to build strength in their hands in preparation for learning to write.

Cardboard Cornhole – Save a few boxes from a recent delivery and give kids markers and construction paper. Help them cut a hole in the box bottom and let them draw a turkey around the hole or make colorful feathers with construction paper. Once they are done, let them toss bean bags or balled up tissue paper at the turkey!

Feather Hunt – No holiday is complete without an indoor or outdoor hunt. Find a large bag of colorful feathers at a craft store and send your little ones on a hunt to find all the places the turkey has been!

 

 

Play and Sing to Practice Reading in Action

PLAY AND SING TO PRACTICE READING IN ACTION | One thing all children have in common is that they are always on the move! Literacy can easily be integrated into children’s play. Finding ways to be intentional is key to including more literacy. When literacy is integrated in movement and play, it helps to reinforce memory so that
the retention for learning is higher. Children are also using their whole brain to exercise cognitive,
physical, language, emotional, and social skills that they are learning. While children are having fun
playing, they do not even realize that they are learning. This makes play both meaningful and relevant, boosting their ability to remember in the future!

My youngest son loves to play with his older sister, and one day used a microphone in their play.
They were pretending to be singers on a stage while singing a song together. This song had rhyming
words and they enjoyed repeating the sounds. The microphone has also been used to sing the letters and
sounds of the alphabet. Though my son believes he is imitating his favorite singer, he is also learning in
the process. When children can complete rhyming words in songs, this is a key literacy skill that will help
promote early emergent reading. Try to consider what your child enjoys doing and how you can
intentionally integrate literacy in their play. You will be amazed at how many ways children can
practice early reading skills as they Explore Through Movement and Play.

By Airreia Pierce, Author, Educator and Speaker

A Day Out To Talk

A DAY OUT WITH TITUS | As an almost 2 year old, Titus is eager to soak up everything around him! Incorporating basic, daily activities are simple ways to practice The Basic – Talk, Sing and Point.

We encourage Titus to use his words – sometimes we understand and sometimes we don’t. Even when we don’t, we encourage him to keep talking and engage in back and forth dialogue. We practice the ABCs and identify different words, activities and colors from his My First Words book.

Recently we took advantage of one of Greensboro’s greatest assets – The Greensboro Science Center. The Science Center offers so many learning opportunities and there’s so much to see!

We had a very lucky day; pretty much all of the animals were outside. As we saw different animals we pointed and named them using descriptive vocabulary. I think the tiger was his favorite! During this particular visit, there was a Bricksboro exhibit. We were able to see many different creations made out of Lego! You don’t have to go to a museum to point out names for things in your environment. Even a trip to Target can be a great opportunity to Talk, Sing and Point to build vocabulary.

Slowing Down The Rush

SLOWING DOWN THE RUSH | Claire’s (10 months) big sister, Eleanor (2 years), recently started part-time preschool. While it has been a wonderful experience, it also means an end to our slow, relaxed mornings as we rush to get everything (and everyone) loaded for school. It’s easy to get caught up in the “go go go” and when I’m frazzled, the kids are too. After a few weeks of morning meltdowns, I realized something had to change. Mornings are typically the best part of the day at our house, and we needed to get back to our usual calm.

The first step to slowing down our routine is to start the night before. Not only do I pack Eleanor’s lunch and backpack, but I also prep breakfast and help Eleanor pick out an outfit. I set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier so that I can have a solo cup of coffee before getting the kids up. Eleanor likes to read first thing, so we set aside time to read a few books together before we go downstairs for breakfast. Claire loves this too! Once everyone is fed, dressed, and ready to go, we jump in the stroller. We are fortunate to live within walking distance of Eleanor’s school and now that the weather is cooler, taking a brisk morning walk is an incredible way to start the day. When we drop Eleanor off, Claire and I take an extended stroll before heading home for her morning nap. Spending intentional time during our morning routine has helped us Maximize Love, Manage Stress!

Crawl and Compare

CRAWL AND COMPARE | At 9 months, Claire has become very observant! She will pick up toys and naturally study them, which gives us a great platform to point out comparisons. For example, when playing with her, we’ll give her a ball and a block and talk to her about the difference in shape, size, color, etc. Although she may not understand our words, she focuses on the objects and notices the differences, which is an easy way to work in Count, Group and Compare!

Another natural comparison she notices is surfaces when she’s crawling. This is especially true when she crawls outside. We will put her on a picnic blanket and then let her crawl onto the grass. She carefully looks at the grass and her hands, observing the different sensations. We talk about what she’s feeling and point out the differences. We recently went to the beach and it was her first time touching sand. After trying to eat it (ha!), she started crawling around and was fascinated by the texture. We showed her dry sand and wet sand, explaining how water changes the sand. Helping babies Explore Through Movement and Play and make everyday comparisons is a great way to teach her about the world around her!

Tips for Fathers to Create a Nurturing Environment

MAXIMIZING LOVE AT HOME: 3 TIPS FOR FATHERS TO CREATE A NURTURING ENVIRONMENT | Fathers play a vital role in creating a loving and nurturing environment at home. In this blog
post, we will explore three practical tips for fathers to Maximize Love, Manage Stress and strengthen the parent-
child bond. By implementing these tips, dads can create a nurturing atmosphere where their
children feel their presence and benefit from a stable emotional environment.

1. Be Present and Engaged:
One of the most crucial ways fathers can maximize love at home is by being present and
engaged in their children’s lives. Allocate dedicated quality time to spend with your children
regularly. Engage in activities that interest them, such as playing games, reading together, or
taking walks. Actively listen to your children, showing genuine interest in their thoughts, feelings,
and experiences. By being present both physically and emotionally, you create a strong sense
of security and belonging for your children.

2. Cultivate Self-Awareness and Emotional Stability:
To create a nurturing environment, fathers must cultivate self-awareness and emotional stability.
Recognize and manage your own emotions effectively. Practice self-care to reduce stress and
maintain a healthy work-life balance. Seek support from friends, family, or professionals when
needed. By taking care of your emotional well-being, you role-model emotional intelligence and
provide a positive example for your children to follow. This fosters a harmonious atmosphere
where love and respect flourish.

3. Foster Open Communication and Express Affection:
Open communication and affectionate expressions are essential components of a loving home
environment. Encourage your children to express themselves freely and listen to their thoughts
and concerns without judgment. Create a safe space for open dialogue and empathetic
conversations. Additionally, express affection through hugs, kind words, and gestures of love.
Regularly affirm your love and support for your children, reinforcing their self-esteem and
emotional development.

The Wrap Up:
By implementing these three tips, fathers can Maximize Love, Manage Stress at home and create a nurturing
environment for their children. Being present and engaged, cultivating self-awareness and
emotional stability, and fostering open communication and affectionate expressions are key
strategies for strengthening the parent-child bond. By prioritizing love and actively participating
in their children’s lives, fathers provide a solid foundation for their children’s emotional well-
being and growth. Remember, a father’s love and presence have a lasting impact on their
children’s lives, shaping them into confident and compassionate individuals.

By Special Guest Blogger, Jayvon A. Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of The Peculiar Dad Network

Love & Hugs Go A Long Way

LOVE AND HUGS GO A LONG WAY | Applying the basic – Maximize Love, Manage Stress to our daily routine offers Titus a safe space to express his emotions. As a working parent, juggling life, and family responsibilities can be demanding, but we make sure to spend time with Titus and give him our full attention.

Here are some practical ways we have adapted Maximize Love, Manage Stress to help Titus feel loved, nurtured and supported.

  • Cuddles and Hugs: I may be biased, but Titus gives the best hugs! We always tell him we love him in the morning, at bedtime and at school drop off.
  • Playtime: Giving Titus one on one time while playing with blocks and toys or while reading a book strengthens our bond. We also make sure we spend time outside and play or take walks to help burn off energy.
  • Providing a Structured Routine: We try to stick to a routine, especially during the weeknights. This gives Titus comfort, helps reduce stress and ultimately helps him sleep better at night when he is relaxed.

Incorporating this basic into our lives has not only helped Titus through typical toddler stressors and challenges, but it has also helped us as parents take time and emphasize love, routines and relaxation no matter how hectic life can get.

– By Candace Martin

Point and Learn

POINT AND LEARN | Reading goes beyond just reciting words on a page but includes rich engagement with your child and conversation. Meaningful books should prompt questions and make connections with your child that will help boost their memory and recall. By pointing at the pictures and words, children are identifying what they see by what they are hearing. Sometimes this may involve introducing new vocabulary that
can later be used in the child’s environment to support their memory. Another way that pointing is
helpful is that it can teach early emergent reading skills that can be pointed out. For example, you can
point to the words to show that reading is done from left to right, pointing out spaces between words,
helping children point out the difference between letter formation, and much more.

One of the books I recently read, “The Foot Book” by Dr. Seuss was helpful to use pointing to make
connections with his feet. While reading, I asked questions such as “Where are your feet? How many
feet do you have? What are on your feet? How many toes do you have in all?” This prompted my son to
start counting out his toes one by one. This book also helped me point out opposites. I pointed to the
pictures to help him see how the pictures corresponded to the words. Lastly, we practiced learning his
left and right foot from each other. When reading the text about “Left foot, left foot, left foot, right.” I
pointed to his left foot and then his right to help him begin to understand the difference between the
two. Using books to guide discussion is powerful in many ways for parents as they Read and Discuss
Stories each day.

By Airreia Pierce, Author, Educator and Speaker

 

Toy Turnover!

TOY TURNOVER! | As parents, we are overwhelmed by toy advertisements. While toys are fun, development through play happens whether you are introducing the latest trendy toy or an everyday object you repurpose.
One of Claire’s (8 months) favorite “toys” is an old colander that she has turned into a drum and
sometimes a hat!

With a toddler and an infant, our house can feel like it’s drowning in toys. Not only is this overwhelming
to us as parents, it’s overstimulating for our kids too. We started rotating toys about a year ago and it
has been a game changer! We have four bins of toys (including household items that have turned into
toys) that we rotate every two weeks or so.

Our 2-year-old loves “toy rotation days” and while Claire doesn’t quite understand yet, she does show excitement when different toys are put out. Exploring through play doesn’t have to mean buying the latest and greatest. Recycling and repurposing things you already have can seem just as novel as opening brand-new toys! To get more ideas for how to do Explore Through Movement and Play, click here.

Learning with Colors and Shapes

LEARNING WITH COLORS AND SHAPES | This month as we focused on the basic, Count, Group and Compare, we focused on colors, shapes and sorting. Titus enjoys playing with his blocks so we sort them by color and let him match the holes they should go into. We give him time to figure it out himself before we assist. We give him some time for trial and error, but once he figures it out we celebrate with a round of applause! We also call out the different colors and shapes of his blocks.

Titus is a great helper!  When cooking, he helps to separate things and measure out ingredients – although his favorite activity in the kitchen is going through the cabinets and pulling out pots and pans!

When we are walking up & down the stairs, we count each step! We’ve created a playlist full of songs for Titus that he can dance to and learn from. One of our favorites is Gracie’s Corner the Color Song. We go through our home and find the colors that we hear in the song. Here is a link so you can enjoy it too!

By Candace Martin

Create a Calming Space

CREATE A CALMING SPACE | Most of the time when a child feels stressed, a parent also feels stressed and can result in ways that may not be as positive. However, there are ways to address BIG feelings in a calming and loving way that will help manage stress for both child and parent. Young children are learning how to control their feelings,
and this can be a learning process and an adjustment for parents. It is important though to see social
and emotional development as a critical foundation in the early years for future academic success. Long before entering kindergarten, children should begin identifying their emotions, gaining helpful tools to support emotion management, and self-regulation skills.

My son who is three-and-a-half is learning how to manage his BIG feelings. When he gets angry, sad,
frustrated, or anxious, it has been helpful to create a calming space for him to go to and show him what
he can do in this space. Not only does my son see that he can use this space, but he also sees me as his
mom use this space. So how is a calming space created? It is simple! Choose a location in your home
that can be a calming space made with pillows, blankets, a tent, etc. You may add soft textures with
stuffed animals, emotion books, journals, and squishy objects. This space is used best with the loving
guidance of a parent or caregiver who can talk with the child as they experience these BIG feelings.

Recently, when my son felt frustrated and began to have a meltdown, he came over to the cozy calming
corner and laid down his head. I gave him a back massage and encouraged him to take deep breaths,
relax, and know that it is okay. I reassured him that his feelings were valid for feeling frustrated and that
he can keep trying until he gets it or tries something else. I wanted him to know that he can be
persistent, and it is okay to also take a break before trying again. The next time that there are BIG
feelings from your little one, consider how you might create a calming space to Maximize Love and
Manage Stress.

By Airreia Pierce, Author, Educator and Mom

Goodnight Room

GOODNIGHT ROOM | At 7 months, Claire is fascinated by the world around her. Things that may seem mundane to us are brand new and exciting to her. We can easily entertain her by walking around the house and pointing at art, plants, books, or even the coffee maker! We name objects as we point to them, and she has started to point with us. Claire gets extra excited when we point to photos of people or animals that she knows!

With the 8-month sleep regression around the corner, we are doing everything we can to establish a consistent bedtime routine. One part of our routine is pointing and naming some of the items on her shelves above her rocking chair after reading. She loves doing this every night! We did this with her big sister, Eleanor, when she was an infant too, and now Eleanor likes to say “goodnight” to the items in her room. We found it helped Eleanor’s vocabulary and Claire seems to enjoy it too! Talking, pointing, and singing are easy ways to connect with your child throughout the day. Learn more ways to integrate the Basic, Talk, Sing and Point into your caregiving routine!

By Lizzy Tahsuda

Summer Play!

SUMMER PLAY! | The playground provides us many opportunities for the basic, Explore Through Movement and Play. Titus loves to play on the swings, slide and run through the splash pad. He enjoys exploring the various activities and we follow him around while he leads us.

Some days we take walks after school – Titus plays in the grass, looks at birds, flowers and trees and he can run off some energy! We also give Titus time to create art and play with crayons; he’s an artist in the making!

At 19 months, he is very interested in learning how things work, how to open things and building blocks. At home, as we use the stairs we use words such as up and down and count as we climb. Titus loves throwing his ball and chasing bubbles while we play outside. He helps out around the house by pushing the garage button, and turning the water and lights on & off. By encouraging him to explore his environment and move, we are helping his cognitive abilities to grow at a faster rate, which we know will pay off when it’s time for kindergarten!

By Candace Martin

Basics Guilford PlayDaze – September 9

The Basics Guilford PlayDaze with Greensboro Parks and Recreation is a morning of outdoor play and exploration at Keeley Park in Greensboro, NC. PlayDaze celebrates the value of play and is designed to provide diverse play activities for preschoolers and families of all ages. Activities include:
– Outdoor play and games
– Fun activities and community resources
– Museum exploration
– Opportunities to read
– Food Trucks and more!

  • Saturday, September 9
  • 10 am – 1 pm
  • Keeley Park
  • 4100 Keeley Rd
  • McLeansville, NC 27301

Email us with questions

 

One, Two, Three – Count With Me!

ONE, TWO, THREE – COUNT WITH ME! | Playing simple board games and interactive games can help integrate basic math skills, teach taking turns, and strengthen the bond with your child. My three-year-old recently began playing a new game with me which has now become his favorite. The game is called “Beware of the Bear.” The
concept of the game is to see how many items you can collect from the picnic basket without waking the
bear! The person who has the most items wins!

Once the bear wakes up, I ask my son to count his items. He touches them as he counts and then shows me with his fingers how many it represents. Then if he sees that he has more than me, he excitedly says, “I won mommy!”

In addition to counting, since the items are different colors and objects, we can also group them by color and kind. This simple visual discrimination skill is helpful for children to understand what items belong and their characteristics that make the items unique. Learning should be fun for children. I am amazed at how he is learning to count on his own as we continue to play the game. Children who learn the concept of numbers and use one-
to-one correspondence are preparing for kindergarten long before entering.

Even if it is not a board game, simple counting skills can easily be embedded throughout daily routines. This includes counting the steps it takes to walk to the car, counting out snack items before eating them, and counting out favorite toys at home. The ways are endless to involve children with the ability to Count, Group, and Compare in the comfort of their home!

Ultimate Baby/Toddler Summer Reading Guide

Going into a new season is always a fun time to discover new books and Read and Discuss Stories. Because reading to babies and toddlers is an integral part of preparing them to learn to read themselves, here are a few books to explore to jumpstart your summer. Guilford County libraries also offer wonderful summer reading programs for children of all ages to keep older children learning and reading, and to feed the curious minds of babies and toddlers, so take a look at the links below to get involved!

Summer Books for Toddlers & Preschoolers

How to Talk Like a Bear by Charlie Grandy

The Octopus Escapes by Maile Maloy

There’s a Beach in My Bedroom by Kevin Jonas and Danielle Jonas

Hot Dog by Doug Salati

Counting to Bananas by Carrie Tillotson

Hattie Harmony Worry Detective by Elizabeth Olsen and Robbie Arnett

 

Summer Books for Babies

The Smell of a Rainbow by Dawn Goldworm

Spot Goes to the Beach by Eric Hill

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

Duck Duck Goose by Tad Hills

Hello Zoo by Nicola Slater

 

Guilford County Summer Reading Programs Information

From reading lists and competitions to story times, check out these sites to find out more about what local public libraries are offering this summer.

High Point Public Library

Greensboro Public Library

Gibsonville Public Library

Building to Count, Group and Compare

BUILDING TO COUNT, GROUP AND COMPARE | Eleanor was gifted a bag of Mega Bloks for her 1st birthday last year. At first she wasn’t sure what to do with them. However, she just turned two, and they are now one of her favorite toys! They inspire creativity and imagination, they exercise her fine motor skills, and they encourage her to Count, Group and Compare.

Her Mega Bloks come in several different colors, sizes, and shapes. When we are playing together, we help Eleanor think about what pieces will work best for what she wants to build. Since her birthday was recently, she often wants to build birthday cakes. She’ll sort out the colors she wants to use and decide how many layers the cake should be. We love watching her brain work as she makes these decisions. She associates the colors with flavors (pink is strawberry, white is vanilla, etc.) and mostly decides to make two-layer cakes since she is two. Once she builds it to her satisfaction, she’ll blow out the “candles” and have just as much fun destroying it as she had making it!

When it’s time to clean up, we have to take apart all of the Mega Bloks and put them away one at a time so that they will fit in the bag. This allows a great opportunity to compare the sizes of the blocks as we have to think about which ones need to go in first. Eleanor loves her Mega Bloks and we are excited to help her develop early math skills!

By Lizzy Tahsuda

Emotions and Encouragement

EMOTIONS AND ENCOURAGEMENT | The Basic – Maximize Love, Manage Stress is all about emotions, behavior and feelings.

At 17 months, Titus is becoming very aware of his emotions; whether he’s exhausted after a fun filled day at daycare, pushed himself past his naptime or when he’s “hangry”.

When these emotions come out we make sure to give him a hug and express that it’s okay, take a few seconds and just sit with him while he calms down or read a quick book. Sticking to our daily routine in the morning, at dinner and bedtime helps Titus know what to expect and makes it easier for him to transition from one thing to the next.

As parents, it’s important for us to always express love to Titus to make him feel secure and safe. When we encourage and guide him, we see how confident it makes him feel to push himself to do something new or to repeat a positive action. It’s also important for us to manage our own stress, express gratitude and to just be present which in turn strengthens our bond.

By Candace Martin

Guilford Basics