On the Second Day of Christmas, My Little Girl Gave to Me…Fun Decorating Our Christmas Tree

On the second day of Christmas, my little girl gave to me, fun decorating our Christmas tree.

“Next year, let’s do a fun tree, Mommy!” my little girl suggested back in 2015. For the past few years, even before Quinn was born, our tree could be classified as sophisticated, so when Quinn asked about a fun tree, it was right on time because I was eager to break up the monotony of the same decorations year after year. Shortly after Christmas last year, I started googling “fun Christmas trees,” but the types were vast. So I thought, why not ask my daughter what she thought would be a fun tree, and she immediately said, “How about a rainbow tree just like my playroom!?”

I was instantly on board, told my husband, and we were both on the hunt for after Christmas discounts on ornaments since quite a few would be required, especially with the tree in previous years just having blue, silver and gold ornaments. Then, in September, I saw a commercial for a Christmas tree light called “Tree Dazzler.” I did a little research and found that it was a knockoff of the original “Geek My Tree,” from Shark Tank which comes with an app, unlike the Tree Dazzler, and far more color sequences to set the lights to do just about whatever you want. Though much pricier than the “Tree Dazzler,” it goes perfectly with our rainbow theme, and I was able to set the lights to be in accordance with the color order of the ornaments.

Not only was it fun decorating our tree together, it was a wonderful way to reinforce sorting, color recognition and the order of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The decorations are certainly more fun and playful now, just like my little three year old wanted. Quinn is very happy with the new tree decorations, and so am I.

All the best,

Tanya

The Ultimate Playroom for a Colorful Child: School is in Session!

2014-07-30 10.23.15bJim Greenman, author of Caring Spaces, Learning Places, says, “Children deserve to spend their days in well-designed environments that support their needs and stimulate their learning.” Though Quinn, my sixteen month old daughter, is not in an early childhood education setting,  she certainly deserves to have an area that is not only rich in play and teaching but a place she can call her own.

I am extremely grateful that my husband and I have accommodating work schedules so that we do not have to put Quinn in daycare; however, there are some benefits that come along with such educational environments. For the past few months I envisioned, designed and set up what I consider to be more than a playroom for Quinn but the ultimate learning environment. This area will be constantly evolving as she continues to learn and grow, but at this point, watching Quinn’s face light up and hearing that giggle every time we enter her room melts my heart. So I thought, why not share some of my playroom ideas with other parents looking to create a special place for their children. You may click on the photo below to enlarge it.

 

PlayroomColors: I envisioned a colorful, fun place that would brighten Quinn’s mood even when she may be a little grumpy but also reinforce learning, so I went with a rainbow. Rather than paint the four walls, I focused mainly on the ceiling and had the rainbow come down one side of the wall with the shelving unit. Sometimes, we actually lie on the floor, which consists of corresponding, colorful, cushy floor mats (purchased through Amazon.com), and look up at the ceiling as she points to the different colors. Quinn enjoys looking at the different size circles and “Quinn’s Playroom” which are actually decals that my sister thought I carefully painted myself (also ordered through Amazon.com).

Toy Storage: Instead of having a traditional toy box, most of Quinn’s toys are on display in a shelving unit purchased at Ikea to encourage her to reach for the ones on the lower shelves and to put them back exactly where they belong. On the lower shelves, I have Ikea storage boxes with the pictures and names of the objects which I added with iron-on labels, to promote reading and sight recognition. I also included a seating area with comfortable Dr. Seuss cushions  I made for adults visiting or activities for Quinn. This area doubles as storage behind the colorful curtains I made with fabric purchased from Joann Fabrics.

 Educational Toys: A playroom isn’t an effective playroom without toys but not just any toys: toys that promote learning, physical and cognitive development. Lakeshore Learning, Beckers as well as Amazon.com were some of my go-to places. Of course, every toy and activity is not for every child, but I do plan on providing follow-up blog entries on which toys Quinn loves and are really engaging her in the learning process.

Though my little Quinn is not in an actual school, I am extremely excited as she starts her first official day of “Mommy and Me Play School.” (and daddy too 🙂

All the best,

Tanya