What Would We Do Without It Wednesdays: Rain, rain, come this way. My Little Girl Wants to Play

2016-05-17 17.15.26“Rain, rain, go away! Come again another day!” is a song most children and adults are familiar with because rain disrupts outdoor plans and even has the ability to put people in a dreary mood. Nevertheless, there’s some fun that comes with rain. When I was a little girl, I loved putting on my galoshes and rain coat and splashing in puddles. Though it may not be safe, I was guilty of trying to catch raindrops with my tongue too. Of course, my daughter loves the sunshine, but she’s excited about rainy days so that she can splash in puddles, dance around and sing. She could barely contain herself when she got to wear her new galoshes and rain coat for the first time asking to show her big cousin her rain outfit.

Since we’ve been experiencing quite a bit of rain, yesterday, I purchased a My Little Pony umbrella that she picked out all by herself. Quinn asked if she could open it in the store and even in the car. As soon as we arrived home, she insisted, “Mommy, I need to open my umbrella now to make sure it works for the rain, please!” I obliged of course, and then she begged, “Mommy, I have to use my umbrella when we go to the train station to meet Daddy. Please, Mommy!” She excitedly awaited her daddy’s arrival with her umbrella in hand and the tag still attached to the handle. “Look at my new umbrella, Daddy! I’m using it in the rain and waiting for you,” my three year old  said.

I just imagined, what if we adults were that excited to put on our galoshes, rain coats and use our umbrellas. What would we do without looking on the bright side and having fun even on rainy days?

All the best,

Tanya

Terrific Toy Tuesday: Let’s Pop the Pig!

“Mommy, I want Pop the Pig for my birthday, please,” my daughter requested. I never heard of pop the pig, nor had I seen any commercials, so I responded with the typical parent phrase, “We’ll see, honey.” After looking it up online, I discovered that it is quite the educational game. So I went back to Target and got it for her. The premise of the game is to feed the pig burgers and to press his chef hat corresponding with the number on the bottom of the burger until his belly pops causing his arms to fly up and his shirt to pop open.

The burgers have a number one, two, three or four on them and come in red, green, purple and yellow. This game engages a child to count, select colors and even strategize.  For instance, when my little girl and I were playing the game the other day, she she rolled the die, which is used to determine what color burger the player will select, and purposely wanted the color green because she knew that was the only set of burgers with the number four remaining. She exclaimed, “I need a number four, not a one, Mommy! The more times I press then I’ll win and pop the pig!” Something some parents will like about this game is that it is fast moving. It takes well under ten minutes to play it. Even though it is a quick moving game, however, that doesn’t stop Quinn from wanting to play it a few times a day since she got it for her birthday a couple of weeks ago. It’s exciting seeing her so interested in playing games and developing her critical thinking skills.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Monday Moments: Game On, Little Girl!

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Playing Ms. Pac-Man

One of my favorite video games when I was a little girl was Ms. Pac-Man. I could play it for hours on the Atari (That’s right, I said Atari!) with my siblings. Today, I had a nostalgic moment when I took my daughter in for her dental check-up to a new dentist and witnessed a Ms. Pac-Man arcade game in the waiting area. As I tried to resist the lure of Ms. Pac-man as she went around the screen eating the pellets and avoiding ghosts in the game simulation, my little girl said, “Look Mommy, a game! What kind of game is it?” She quickly skipped over and stood on the pedestal to reach the controller. When I began telling her, “Honey, I think the game will cost money,” She pressed start, and the game commenced.

Before I knew it, I was out of my seat showing her how to play. “See the arrows and the controller? Use this to move right and left and up and down.” “Like this, Mommy?!” Quinn looked towards me for approval. And then, “Wah…wah…wah wah…”Pay attention, and watch out for the ghosts. Now, it’s Mommy’s turn!” Then, the inevitable happened when I held onto to controller to show her how it’s done. I was really into the game and even made it to the next level, and then I heard, “Quinn, we’re ready for you now.” from the dental hygienist. I smiled and told Quinn, “They’re ready for you honey,” but my inner voice was saying, “Aw man! Can I just finish this level first?”

Though she’s only three and did not fully understand the full concept of the game, it was great being able to play Ms. Pac-Man with her as it was a big part of my childhood and brought back some good memories.

All the best,

Tanya

 

 

Special, Simple Sundays: Chalk it up to Having Fun with My Little One!

Some months ago, I did a blog post about my little girl the artist and how she enjoys painting and the arts in general. Yesterday, was the first time she used sidewalk chalk as her art medium, and she had so much fun and wanted to use every single color from red to orange to green and even black. Then, she wanted to do it again today. Actually, I think I enjoyed this activity just as much if not more than Quinn because when I was younger there weren’t many opportunities to use chalk on our sidewalk, but I always imagined the wonderful drawings I would do. I really got into this project and made a pretty rainbow and stars. Then, my daughter started giggling as she grabbed the gray chalk and started drawing over my rainbow exclaiming, “Here comes a rain cloud over your rainbow, Mommy!” Even if she did think it was hilarious to draw on top of my “masterpiece,” I really did enjoy our simple yet special time together. I look forward to many more of these moments with my little one.

All the best,

Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesdays: Witnessing the Wiring of My Three Year Old’s Brain

2016-05-02 16.40.57According to Urban Child Institute, “In the first three years, a child’s brain has up to twice as many synapses as it will have in adulthood.” It’s no wonder why my little girl, who just turned three two week’s ago is growing mentally and intellectually by leaps and bounds. I’m often amazed with how much she already knows and what she has retained based on her interactions. As part of her bedtime routine, my husband or I read her a story that she usually selects. What’s interesting is that I did not know she and my husband read “Jack and the Beanstalk” until we were at the park a couple of weeks ago. As she climbed up the jungle gym, exclaiming, “I’m just like Jack, and this is my beanstalk!” I thought it was awesome that she associated what she was doing with the story she read.

Though I know she is observant and loves imaginative play, I’m noticing her ability to make parallel connections and correlations with what she has read with us or seen throughout the course of her day with a different activity she is doing. Witnessing her brain at work is a blessing because some children may have disabilities that prevent them from making these connections. Also, it encourages me to provide her with a positive atmosphere allowing the blooming and pruning process of synapses to take place so that she can thrive as she reaches the stages of preadolescence, adolescence and adulthood.

All the best,

Tanya

Terrific Toy Tuesday: There’s No Place Like Home, Especially an Eco-Friendly One!

“Okay, Mommy! I’ll see you later! I’m going to my house, and you can go to yours,” my daughter informs me. She then proceeded to go into her house in our front yard and closed her little door. My little girl loves playing outdoors and the idea of having a place to call her very own. So for her third birthday, just two weeks ago, my husband and I got her a little play house. Selecting the right house can be just as intense as looking on the market to purchase a real house. What features should it have? Should there be a sitting area? Should it have enough room for multiple children? What color would Quinn like it to be? Though I wanted the house to be a surprise, I thought it was only fair to have her be a part of the selection process since she would be the main one playing inside of the house.

I showed her a few. One had a sliding board attached. Another had a little bench, but the one she actually liked the most was the Little Tikes Go Green Eco-friendly Learning Playhouse. Now, of course, my three year old did not say, “I want the eco-friendly one,” but she did like that it came with a sink, has an outdoor and indoor light, collects rain water and has an area to plant a little garden. I love that it is teaching her the importance of protecting the environment, saving resources and energy. The sink recycles the water, there is a drain to catch all of the rain water that can be used for watering the flowers in her garden along with the flowers and plants in our yard. There are two areas for recycling, and the house has a green roof feature and solar power for the lights. This is the wave of the future, and I’m excited that my daughter is learning about it at a young age.

Last week, the weather was chilly, and it rained just about everyday, so Quinn did not get to fully enjoy her house, but her container did catch quite a bit of rain which was awesome because we were able to use it when we did the green roof this week. I think it’s fair to say that Quinn will be spending a lot of time in her house throughout the course of the spring and summer.  We’re both looking forward to seeing the grass grow on her green roof and flowers grow in her flower bed on the side of her house.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Monday Moments: Even If I Wanted to be, I Can’t Be My Daughter’s Friend

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My Daughter with her Best Friend Grover and New Friend Zoe

“What’s wrong?” I asked my daughter as she began to scrunch up her nose and whimper a little. She fought back tears exclaiming, “My new friends left!” We were outside chatting after going out for a Mother’s Day brunch yesterday, and Quinn quickly befriended some other children with their family who were waiting to be seated. On Saturday, we went to Sesame Place, and it seemed that she would talk to any child who made eye contact with her and be so sad when they went on their merry way. “Where are they going, Mommy? Why are they leaving?”

2015-09-25 12.59.47Quinn is not in school and spends most of her time with her father and me. Even though we play games with her, do different activities and have a great time, deep down I know that she longs for more friends who are children. I posted a blog entry a few months ago about how she sets up all of her friends for “school” to take a picture together, but it’s not the same as actual friends who talk back. She has her cousins and a couple of other young children who are friends, but I am sensing that she feels lonely. I’m not looking to be my daughter’s friend because I’m her mother first, but when I see her with Grover, her best friend from Sesame Street and observe her play and interact with him, I get the feeling that she wishes he was a real person and feel sad sensing that she may be unhappy. It’s no consolation, but I got her a new friend, Zoë, from Sesame Place who is life-sized, and they both have become inseparable already. But Quinn had informed me, “Zoë is my friend, but she can’t talk and walk like you and me mommy.”

It is official. My little girl is ready for school for various reasons, and one of them is so that she may make new friends and have more social interactions with children her own age. When I asked her who are her friends, she said, “You, daddy, Nana, Auntie, Kenzie and Arya.” Most of whom are adults or much older children. Since she will not start until September, I truly am looking forward to setting up playdates throughout the course of the summer so that she feels like she has friends.

All the best,

Tanya