Reading, Writing & Math: A Rewarding Experience for My Little Girl

 

“Mommy, may I please do some reading today,” my five year old pleaded. Those words are always music to my ears! Since my daughter was a baby, she’s always been eager to learn. Also, like many children, she loves playing with toys. One of her toys of choice is her doll, Sophia. Whenever we go near the toy section in Target, Quinn’s eyes widen as she sees the many doll accessories: clothing, footwear, little brushes, beds, you name it.

Since the star reward system my husband and I started with Quinn when she was two to reinforce positive behaviors was so successful, I thought why not implement a program like that to encourage and reward her for learning, especially since her school does not issue homework for kindergartners.

Over the summer, I purchased several workbooks and resources to help her with reading, writing and math. Then, I ordered big charts, smiley stickers and punch cards through Amazon. For every three stickers Quinn earns a smiley face. Then, she gets one punch on the card. Once she earns ten punches, she’s able to get some doll accessories for Sophia.

Of course, some parents might argue that learning is a requirement for children, and why should a child be rewarded? While this may be plausible for some, I’ve actually found that my daughter is even more eager to learn. It does not feel like a chore to her, and she does not do it solely to earn stickers or punches on the punch card. Sometimes, I have to let her know that she’s able to earn a sticker since she asked about practicing her writing.

Often, Quinn will ask to write and read instead of watch television or play with her toys.  What I love is that she even does math by counting up how many more smiley faces she needs in the different sections to earn a punch on the card and then how many punches she needs to get to ten.

This reward system also teaches Quinn about value. As she gets the doll accessories, she knows she had to put in a lot of work to earn them. It makes her appreciate them more than me just giving them to her.

Does your child needs a little encouragement to learn? Give the reward punch card system a try. Maybe it will be as successful for your child as it has been for mine!

All the best,

Tanya

Autumn “Leaves” Fun Chores for My Little Girl!

“This is the best chore of the day, Mommy,” my five year old excitedly told me. It’s that time of the year where autumn is in full swing. Trees display beautiful leaves in hues of red, yellow and orange that we all gaze at and admire. Unfortunately, those very leaves eventually fall to the ground leaving behind that dreaded chore for many adults to continuously rake them all up for the next month or longer, depending on how many of these beautiful trees surround their homes.

I actually don’t mind it so much because I often daydream about when I was younger jumping in the leaves or just making that crunchy sound as I walked down the street stepping on leaves. My daughter has the same love for nature that I have. This morning, after getting home from my kickboxing workout, the sun was shining, and the leaves covered most of our grass and portions of our sidewalk, so I figured that I’d get a little more exercise by raking the leaves.

Automatically, Quinn said, “I want to help too, Mommy! I love raking the leaves!” My sweet girl has been helping since she was just one years old, and each year, she gets better and better. We made it a family activity along with her dad and spent about an hour outside clearing the colorful leaves. She even wanted to hold onto some of the leaves so that she could identify what trees they came from.

I love how we can have fun doing chores and truly enjoy each other’s company. These are the colorful moments we share together, and I will always cherish them.

All the best,

Tanya

What Do You Call a Fairy & and Mermaid? Mommy and Daughter Halloween Fun!

Halloween is such a fun time of year not just for my daughter but for me too. What makes it extra fun is the strengthening of our mommy/daughter bond. Since she was two, she began picking out a costume not just for herself but for me too. She’s been Doc McStuffins, and I’ve been Lambie. When she was three, she was an astronaut, and I was her rocket. Last year, she was Snow White, and I was the Evil Queen. This year, she decided to be a fairy and asked me to be a mermaid with a similar color scheme: purple as her favorite color and blue as my favorite color. I thought to myself, what a great idea! She’s already thinking about next year wanting to be a princess so that I can be her unicorn, and I love it!

I feel like dressing up together, going to parties, special events and trick or treating brings out the best in us both and brings us closer together. Sometimes, life just gets so hectic, and work even gets stressful, so I thank my daughter for allowing me to just have fun and enjoy life as different characters. Here’s to a happy fun-filled Halloween. Time with my daughter is the ultimate treat!

Scary Pancake Fun: Counting Candy Corns

Just about every Friday, my family goes to IHOP, one of my daughter’s favorite restaurants to have breakfast for dinner. This time of year, however, is extra special because the scary pancake face it added to the menu for Halloween. It comes with two miniature Oreo cookies for the eyes, a strawberry for the nose, candy corn for the teeth and whipped cream too.

A couple of weeks ago when the Scary Pancake appeared on the menu, my daughter was very excited to order it but when the pancake and its toppings to create the scary face arrived, Quinn looked intently at the picture then at the container with the candy corn. “Wait a minute! The picture shows seven candy corn and even has some left in the container on the side, but mine only came with five!” she exclaimed.

Ever since my daughter was a baby, she’s always been inquisitive and attentive. As she’s gotten older, I’ve notice how exacting and observant she is, and I love it! I asked, “What would you like to do? Do you want to inform the server?” She shook her head but then whispered to me as she saw him walk by, “Can you tell him please, Mommy?” Upon letting him know my five year old’s observation, he came back with about ten more candy corns, smiled and apologized to Quinn for not bring out the right amount. She was so happy. My husband then jokingly brought to her attention that she now had more than the picture was displaying. So she quickly gobbled up some of the candy corn and then said, “Now it’s the same amount as the picture!”

I love how there are so many opportunities in life for learning experiences. My daughter practiced her counting skills, used some critical thinking and even took the initiative to rectify an error in the amount of her candy corn.

All the best,

Tanya

My Birthdays Are So Special With My Little Girl!

On October 11th, I reached my own milestone and turned a year older. While the level of excitement is not the same as it once was when I was younger, my daughter’s enthusiasm and secretive planning for my big day truly made me feel special. Her planning actually started in the summer. I would overhear her whispering to my husband (her dad) about what she’d like to do and what she gift she would like to get me.

So when the day finally arrived, she could not contain herself. I have to leave early in the morning to get to work and did not see her until the afternoon, so as soon as she arrived home from school, she screamed out, “Happy birthday, Mommy!” and gave me a big, long hug. “We have special plans for you,” she informed me. My five year old selected Outback Steakhouse as the restaurant. “I know you love their salmon and baked sweet potato, Mommy,” she said. I thought to myself, wow, she knows me so well. Usually, she sits next to her dad, but she said that she wanted to sit next to me since it was my birthday.

At the restaurant, she presented her card and gift to me. The card’s wording was perfect and selected by Quinn. The gift was a beautiful key locket necklace. My husband later told me that she picked it out herself and insisted on getting me a pretty necklace since she knows I like wearing them. She even gave input on the cake and wanted blue to be used since it is my favorite color.

Knowing that my daughter is so caring and was excited to make me happy for my birthday warms my heart and is truly the best gift I could ever ask for.

All the best,

Tanya

This Pup Pumpkin’s Gotta Fly! Making a Skye Paw Patrol Pumpkin with My Little Girl

“Wow, Mommy! My pumpkin looks just like Skye! This pups gotta fly,” my daughter said as she compared her toy to the pumpkin she decorated with my help. For the past few years, we’ve been gong to Shadybrook Farm in Yardley, Pennsylvania for some pumpkin patch and halloween fun. Each year, my daughter comes up with a great idea for decorating her pumpkin. One year it was Super Grover, another, it was Marshall from Paw Patrol, last year it was Abby Cadaby from Sesame Street, and this year it was Skye from Paw Patrol.

After selecting our pumpkins, my five year was eager to get home and start decorating, which is something I enjoy doing too. I love these outings and projects because they promote family togetherness, require some creativity and it’s just plain fun. I usually design a pumpkin for myself too. This year, I created a pumpkin unicorn.

Seeing the look on my daughter’s face when she found that perfect pumpkin and then when Skye the pumpkin came to life put a smile on my face. I truly love this time of year, especially the projects and fun activities that come along with it.

All the best,

Tanya

 

My Little Girl Has Character Strengths! How About You?

 

“Hmmm,” my daughter said as she closed her eyes and thought deeply  prior to answering the question, “What are your character strengths?” As her eyes widened a smile came on her face, she said, “Kindness, creativity, aaaaannd, bravery, I guess!” I smiled back at her and said, “Those are wonderful strengths, Quinn! You truly are creative, kind and brave.”

Last week, one of the assignments for her kindergarten class was to discuss the importance of character strengths and to help Quinn identify three of her own strengths. This was a fun and thought-provoking activity because it made me think about my own strengths as well. It also made me think about how I must help my daughter to not only recognize her many strengths but to help her see why they are strengths and how they will benefit her and others throughout the course of her life.

As she matures, I hope she will continue to be creative, kind and brave. I also hope that I can be a shining example of a creative, kind and brave mother, family member, friend and person in her life and the lives o those with whom I come in contact.

What are your character strengths?

All the best,

Tanya