Score! My Preschooler Wants to do Chores!

“Mommy, can I help you clean? What chores do you think I can do?” my four and a half year old asked me. I asked, “What chores do “you” think you can do?” My daughter quickly responded, “I can dust, clean tables, rinse out my dishes. I can do anything you need me to do, Mommy!” Since my daughter was a little over a year, she’s express interest in helping out around the house and doing chores. She would grab her little broom to help sweep, and at three she was asking to help with the dishes.

“I want chores to do too, Mommy,” Quinn says quite frequently as she sees me folding the laundry, vacuuming or doing any other household chores. Though I want her to enjoy her childhood and have fun playing, I am so impressed with my little girl. At a young age, she understands the importance of contributing towards our household, not to earn an allowance or treat but because she sincerely wants to help. My fingers are crossed that she continues on this path and is eager to do chores even when they are not so fun.

All the best,

Tanya

A Glimpse of My Little Girl’s Preschool World

“Mommy, are you coming to my school this week?” My little girl asked me with a big smile and eagerness in her voice. “Not this week, but I’ll be coming in next week. “Next week, we’ll be learning about the human body. Maybe we can find a book about it,” she suggested. At least once a month, I have the opportunity to come to my daughter’s four year old preschool classroom to read a story, participate with Shabbat (though we are not Jewish, we both enjoy the service and what it represents) and snack time. The last time I came, Quinn and her classmates were learning about the solar system, so she suggested that I bring in Dr. Seuss’s There’s No Place Like Space. It was a big hit with the children, and they were all eager to help out and identify the different planets. Little did I know, my daughter’s teacher was taking my picture as I read to the children.

I remember when I was younger, and my mother would occasionally come to my class. It was a wonderful feeling having her there. Now that I’m a mom, it feels awesome being able to go to my daughter’s classroom. After each classroom visit, Quinn gives me a big hug and kiss and then thanks me for coming to her school. I hope as she gets older I’ll be able to continue to be a part of her world at school.

All the best,

Tanya

Surprise! LOL with My Little Girl

“See, this little sister is color changing, and she squirts water from her mouth,” my daughter explained as she showed me the enclosed booklet. My four and a half year old was so articulate and had no problem telling me all about the different L.O.L. toy options and how these little surprise toys can be categorized. There’s Big Sisters, Little Sisters, Pets, and charm fizz all waiting in different size L.O.L. Balls in the aisles of Target, Walmart and other retail stores where children, young and old, empty the shelves hoping to collect all within a series or that special one that will fulfill the collection group.

While they do come with little pieces and are basically knick knacks that amount to clutter over time, I do love seeing my daughter’s eyes light up as she unpackages her latest L.O.L surprise. She has even made an effort to take on chores around the house to earn them. I know I would have wanted them when I was her age, so I find myself laughing out loud as she surprised me becoming the teacher and I becoming the student learning all about L.O.L surprises.

All the best,

Tanya

Being a Mom is No Piece of Cake, But Baking One with My Daughter is a Wonderful, Memorable Experience

“I’m so excited, Mommy!” my daughter exclaimed as we gathered up the ingredients to bake a cake. She’s helped me bake cookies, cupcakes and even dinner in the past, but yesterday was the first time she helped to bake a cake almost all on her own. As we did our measurements and added the ingredients, it made me think about the phrase, “Life is  no piece of cake!” Being a mother and trying to balance family life and work life certainly is no piece of cake at times, and it truly is a sweet treat when it all falls in place from time to time.

Actually, as we were preparing the frosting, I realized that I did not let an extra stick of butter sit out to be softened, and it made me think about how as a mother it is sometimes necessary to improvise and find a way to make it work, In this instance, softening up the butter was an easy fix, but there are some instances when it’s simply not. For instance, I would not feel comfortable using regular flour instead of cake flour or using some type of egg substitute instead of real eggs for the recipe. But something my grandmother taught me about baking still resonates with me. The recipe and ingredients are just guides. As I begin to feel more comfortable, I will eventually make the recipe my own.

I feel like the same applies with motherhood. I don’t have all of the answers, but as time goes on I am beginning to feel a little more at ease with my child rearing techniques in hopes that we will have more sweet moments than bitter ones.

As Quinn frosted her cake, she nervously said, “Mommy, I’m trying to frost it like you showed me, but it’s getting everywhere.” I assured her that it was okay and the more she bakes the better she will become. It just takes time and patience. I just love how there is a teachable moment in just about everything we do, and I hope that I am demonstrating this lesson to my daughter as well as we share these memorable moments together.

All the best,

Tanya

It’s All About the Love! Memorable Moments with My Valentine, My Little Girl

“What do you like most about Valentine’s Day, Mommy?” My four and half year old asked me. “I like showing people who I care about how much I love them, especially you!” I said. My daughter then smiled at me and said without hesitation, “That’s what I like the most too! Well, I like getting candy sometimes too!” As this Valentine weekend comes to a close, I just couldn’t let it end without acknowledging how wonderful it feels to experience the love of my daughter. She’s so sweet, kind and caring. After saying good morning, she’ll often ask me how I slept. When I pick her up from preschool, she genuinely wants to know if I had a good day at work.

Even though there are times when I may be exhausted or just need a moment to relax to myself, I never tire of loving my daughter and being a recipient of the unconditional love I receive from her on a daily basis. I am grateful for the many memorable moments we’ve shared and truly do love being loved by her.

All the best,

Tanya

Watch Want to Learn Today? Fun with Sid the Science Kid at the Please Touch Museum

What to you say when it’s a rainy day… “Whatcha want to learn today!?” Today, my husband and I surprised my daughter by taking her to The Please Touch Museum for the new Sid the Science Kid exhibit, and it was a fun, educational experience for all. If you allow your child to watch television or cartoons, Sid the Science Kid is a perfect choice because you learn about creating hypothesis, experimenting and even reporting results all in one episode. Today, it was as though we stepped into Sid’s world as not only members of his classroom but members of his family.

There were many activities for different age groups using magnets, triple balance beams and even household items so that a child may be encouraged to try some of the experiments a home. There were even papers and pencils available so tat the child can write down his or her thoughts about the experiment. Even though there are many more exhibits at the Please Touch Museum, we spent about two hours in this area trying out the different activities. I love that my four year old loves science and was fully engaged in the experiments.

If you are in the Philadelphia area, I encourage you to stop by the Please Touch Museum to check out the exhibit. It runs through May 6th, so I’m sure we may return a few more times before it ends.

All the best,

Tanya

Math the Fun Way: Cashing in on Learning with My Little Girl

“Everything is one dollar! Since you have three things, your total is three dollars,” she said. I then replied, “Okay, here’s a five dollar bill.” She then thought for a moment as she went back to her cash register and responded, “Since you gave me five dollars and purchased three toys for a dollar a piece, you get back…two dollars!” She then reached in her drawer, grabbed the two one dollar bills and gave me my change.

Playing store with my four year old is a fun activity. She enjoys setting up her items for sell and determining the prices. Sometimes, she even comes up with backstories on the items to explain why they cost what they cost.

I especially love playing store with her because I know it is so much more than an imaginative play activity. Quinn is using math skills and critical thinking. Sometimes, she’ll negotiate with me on the price. It also teaches her the value of a dollar, what different coins are worth and even information about who’s on the money. “This penny has Abraham Lincoln on it, right Mommy? This one is easy to remember because the coin is brown,” she informed me.

One day when I picked her up from preschool, her teacher told me how excited Quinn was when she found a shiny dime when they were outside and how she couldn’t wait to put it in her piggy bank. It is never too young to learn about money, and I am glad that my daughter loves not just spending but saving and collecting.

All the best,

Tanya