Mark My Words: Science is Awesome! Colorful Fun with My Little Girl

“Can we make purple next, Mommy?” my five year old excitedly asked. “Sure, what colors do we need?” I inquired. “Red and blue,” she quickly responded. My little girl loves drawing and doing projects, so the “Marker Lab” was perfect for some weekend fun. It comes with a kit that allows a person to create eight markers in various colors from start to finish. While it had the potential to be messy, the process actually went rather smoothly. We read the instructions together, determined what colors were needed and how many drops of color would be needed and got to work!

“To make green, it says we need 1.5 milliliters of blue and 1.5 milliliters,” Quinn informed me. She carefully added the color to the tube with the included the eye dropper, with little assistance from me and eagerly waited for the marker tube to fill up with the marker ink. I then helped her to assemble the marker, and voila they were ready for writing and drawing.

Where was the marker lab when I was a little girl?! I found this really fun project at Home Goods for just $12.99 and was probably more excited than my daughter to make the markers. I highly recommend this kit to any parent who wants to sneak in science, math, writing and a bit of art with a lot of fun.

All the best,

Tanya

Life Lessons of Winning & Losing: Fun & Games with My Little Girl

“Let’s play a different game!” my five year old insisted as she started putting away the “Connect Four” pieces. “Why?” I asked. To which she quickly replied, “You won the past two games!” Yesterday, we spent a few hours playing games from Hungry Hippos (a classic for me), Disney’s Surprise Slides, which is a variation of Shoots and Ladders, Who Shook Hook, Guess Who and a few others.

I can easily recall when I was younger having game day with my mom and my siblings. Though I enjoyed this family time, I often struggled with being a sore loser when we played “Sorry” or “Old Maid,” which I always seemed to be. It might have been the feeling that I’d never win, the hope that my mom would just let me win or even the occasional taunting from my siblings, but there were times when my eyes would fill with tears, and I’d utter those famous five words, “I don’t want to play anymore!”

Now that I’m older, losing isn’t necessarily easier to accept, but I am able to look at it through a different lens for the sake of my daughter. Though she handles losing much better than I did at her age, I can tell that it still upsets her. As we play games together, we laugh, have fun and hi five, there are also opportunities to discuss life as it correlates to games.

I told her that we all need to learn how to lose and win gracefully. We also discussed how we all can improve with practice, as she did with “Connect Four. When we first started playing when she was around three years old, she was still learning the concept of the game of getting four in a row, and diagonal was definitely tricky. Yesterday, she was really strategizing by making sure to block me and really gave me a run for my money. She legitimately won quite a few times without me going easy on her and just needs to balance blocking me while keeping an eye out for how she can get four in a row simultaneously.

Quinnie’s technique actually made me think about how people, sometimes focus so much on blocking others from winning that they still wind up losing because they aren’t paying attention when the opportunities for them to win present themselves. We went over how her strategy will continue to improve and played a few more rounds before moving on to “Hungry Hippos.”

I am so proud of her for her willingness to keep playing even when she was not winning. She even learned with Disney’s Surprise Slides that it’s not over until it’s over. She was far ahead on the board, and I managed to catch up with her. She then kept saying with each turn, “I don’t think I’m going to win!” But she still kept playing. I was on her tail, when she spun the red Mickey Mouse to win the game. A big smile was plastered on her face as she said, “I can’t believe it! I won! I thought I was losing for sure!” That’s when I told her, “Sometimes that’s how it goes! You think you’re going to lose, but you still win. That’s why you always keep trying your best!” We learn so much from life but sometimes more from games reflecting how life works.

All the best,

Tanya

The Little Things Are Sweet Treats: Notes to My Little Girl

Who hasn’t heard the phrase, “It’s the little things that count?!” When it comes to children, some parents, including me, might extend these grand, pricey gestures to our children when in actuality many small gestures to demonstrate love often add up to huge ¬†hugs and love from my little girl. Though I do make an effort to be present for my little girl, sometimes, life just gets so busy that I might fail to let her know how much she means to me. So when she returned to school in the new year, I decided to surprise her with a little something special in her lunch back, not extra cookies or juice instead of milk but a little note to show my love. While I could have just wrote notes on post-it cards, I decided to order cute motivational cards from Amazon.com. It came in a pack of 60 for a little over $10.

After my little kindergartner saw the first note, she was so excited when I picked her up from school, “Mommy, I saw the note from you, and I was able to read it all by myself!” Quinn even wrote down that she was grateful for the note she received in her gratitude journal later that day. I even got my husband on board to write her little notes too as it not only shows her love but helps promote reading.

This past Friday, I immediately realized how my little notes were already leaving a positive impact on my daughter. I had to rush out with limited time in the morning for faculty in-service and mistakenly left the note for her on the table instead of insider of her lunch bag. When I picked her up from school, she immediately informed me, “Mommy, your special note for me wasn’t in my lunch bag!” I felt so bad and made sure to show it to her as soon as we got home.

I truly believe that positive notes cannot only remind us that we are loved but lift our spirits. They even lift my spirits as I write them knowing that they will put a smile on my daughter’s face and result in a huge hug when I pick her up as she tells me what the note said.

All the best,

Tanya

 

Grateful to See the New Year of 2019 with My Little Girl

The last few weeks of 2018 were a roller coaster ride for my family as we dealt with my daughter being ill and hospitalized and then rejoiced in her being home for Christmas and having a great recovery. Even though gratitude is something that I try to practice and teach my daughter regularly, I decided in 2019 I would make a more conscious effort. I also made a resolution to be even more present with my family.

Both my daughter and I received gratitude journals as Christmas gifts, so I thought it would be awesome for us to talk and write together about that for which we are grateful. It’s also a perfect way to promote writing with my little kindergartener. We started our journals on January 1st and actually were grateful for the same thing: a visit from my mom (her nana) and my aunt (her great aunt).

It pleases me that my daughter is grateful for her family because I certainly am grateful for her. I’m looking forward to bonding and sharing wonderful moments together with my five year old as we write about that for which we are grateful throughout 2019.

All the best,

Tanya