Saturday, 21 December 2013

Spend TIME, not money on children this holiday

Our X-mas countdown continues!
The most important part of early childhood is connecting and building relationships with caregivers, siblings and friends. It enables the child to discover its own identity, skills and passions in a supportive environment. It will help her to understand the world around her as well as building her confidence and empathy. Maintaining and building a strong bond with your child is the best way to support her mental health in the future.
So please, spend time with your child this holiday. Happiness can only be realized, not bought.
Time spending idea number three is.......


3# Fix the world together
Sounds dramatic! But when you invest time in fixing small things in your environment or community you really are fixing a tiny bit of the world. It all adds up.
Fixing broken appliances or toys is a great adventure! You might not be able to fix it, but contemplating about it and understanding why it broke is a good way to bond with your child as well as teaching her that things can be fixed. 
It is that thought process that is sadly becoming rare in our disposable society. It is so important for children to develop it and learn to apply it to their life. Not just for their belongings, but also for their relationships and the obstacles that they will face in their life.

I would also recommend collecting broken things from relatives and offering “fixing” as a play resource. This might not work for toddlers but children from about 4 will enjoy it. You never know what moments will spark your child’s passion for life!

You can also apply this to less tangible concepts and fix other ideas or situations that the world has created. It might be cleaning up trash from the streets, visit a neighbor that seems lonely, bring food to a local animal shelter or anything you can think of. Small ideas like that become magical when you share them with children. Their empathy is so real and true. 

Our very on Tom Shea is a part of a group that organizes a BIG Christmas party for the elderly that live alone and don't have a family taking care of them. This year they got the Ritz to donate decorations and artists to come and entertain. It just takes a tiny effort from all of us and the world will be fixed!

Hulda

Friday, 20 December 2013

Spend TIME, not money on children this holiday

Our X-mas countdown continues!!!
The most important part of early childhood is connecting and building relationships with caregivers, siblings and friends. It enables the child to discover its own identity, skills and passions in a supportive environment. It will help her to understand the world around her as well as building her confidence and empathy. Maintaining and building a strong bond with your child is the best way to support her mental health in the future.
So please, spend time with your child this holiday. Happiness can only be realized, not bought.
To begin with, remember to SLOW DOWN. Be realistic in what you “need” to get done. Keep calm and enjoy your family.
Idea number two is up....

2# Read LONG books together

Reading is a relaxing way to bond with your child. It will also support early literacy while still staying fun and comforting. If you haven’t tried reading long books (with no pictures!) with your children you really should! Find a good one that will last you all through the holidays. It will build memories and connect your time together in one story. Your child will remember this year as “the year we read Pippi Longstocking” or “the year we read The Brothers Lionheart” and reading anything by Astrid Lindgren will make that holiday even more special!
Other good classic like Harry Potter, Oliver Twist, The little Prince, Peter Pan will also be great. You could even dust off some old ones you enjoyed when you were younger. We especially enjoy when I recite the characters and give them different voices. It really brings the story to life!
Little Virgil - packed with amazing characters
I haven't started reading this years book (still deciding!), but we are warming up with another one, an old favorite that I used to read as a child. Its only 94 pages in 7 chapters with fairly big letters and a few pictures (ideal for 7-9 year old children to read themselves) so it is easily manageable while still preparing for the holiday. Little Virgil really needs to be translated to English (I cant find it??) it is hilarious! Just what you need as a family after a long day trying to get everything ready (yes, with sibling rows and exhausting trips to the shops!).
Hulda

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Spend TIME, not money on children this holiday


The most important part of early childhood is connecting and building relationships with caregivers, siblings and friends. It enables the child to discover its own identity, skills and passions in a supportive environment. It will help her to understand the world around her as well as building her confidence and empathy. Maintaining and building a strong bond with your child is the best way to support her mental health in the future.

So please, spend time with your child this holiday. Happiness can only be realized, not bought.

I will be posting some fun ideas for families to spend time on. It is all about the moment and the process, not about achieving any specific thing. To begin with, remember to SLOW DOWN. Be realistic in what you “need” to get done. Keep calm and enjoy your family.
Simple paper decoration I made with HeiĆ°a (7) the other day

 1# Make things together
Creating something together is precious. Creating something on your own is even more precious for a young child. It can be anything – making holiday decorations out of paper, baking cookies or crafting different things. Pinterest is a great resource for ideas if you are inexperienced!

My craft shelves! Lots of open ended resources :)

Try to use as open ended materials as possible and see what the child comes up with. I usually just offer a lot of resources and work on my own thing while the children do theirs. If you liberate yourself from the end result, enjoy the process and only offer help when they ask for it you will end up with children that understand how to work and create independently. They won’t experience the pressure of making a specific object. They will just remember the joy of the process. They might need help from time to time, but try not to offer it unless they ask (this can be very difficult for adults!).

This will support their development of problem solving skills, creative vision as well as persistence. The best lessons come from hard work and it takes patience to build great skills. Enable your child to feel complete ownership in the accomplishment.

Have fun!

Hulda