via apartment therapy
via apartment therapy
I know what I’m doing this summer!
Isn’t this a fun way to display children’s artwork?
mix glitter, glitter glue, water and food coloring and voila! via apartment therapy
via apartment therapy
“Music is a puzzle of language and rhythm. It’s linguistics, mathematics, science – how does an instrument make a sound? What is sound? There are so many fun, creative ways to teach and learn through music. Combining movement and music helps develop spatial awareness, coordination and muscle control. It’s great to sing the ABCs, but singing the ABCs while pounding a pot with a wooden spoon is awesome. A dance party in the living room can be an exercise in listening and communication skills. Most pop songs have a distinct separation between verses and a chorus (the part that comes up over and over). Use these different parts of a song to call out different movements. You can hop for one verse, march during the chorus, then skip for the next verse. The kids will learn to anticipate when the music will change. You can up the ante by holding a remote control with a pause function and making a ‘freeze dance.’ This type of active listening is a very valuable exercise for all of us.
I like to retrofit old songs to relate directly to a child. Instead of singing and clapping to the classic B-I-N-G-O song, use your child’s name or the name of a favorite stuffed animal. Instead of Old MacDonald having a farm, why can’t Old MacSam have a gas station? It’s all about taking the original nouns out of the song and inserting new ones. We know the tune already, so writing a song becomes very easy and satisfying. Let your child fill in the spaces with all kinds of silly suggestions. This is a fun and often hilarious exercise in composition. Some other good songs for this game are Itsy Bitsy Dumptruck and Twinkle Twinkle Little Cat. Write down your favorite mash-ups and draw a picture to go along with your song creations.”
Thanks, Miss Aimee Leigh! Catch up with Aimee on her website, where you can find out about playgroups, book a party, or preview and purchase her excellent CD, Can You Come Out And Play?
This post from Cup of Joe’s Motherhood monday series really intrigued me. I must admit I’ve been tempted to leave theo just outside the window when he is fast asleep in his pousette and we are headed into a particularly cramped cafe. I’m not so sure about the cold though. what do you think?
We talked last week about taking kids outside to play every single day, even in cold weather. In Scandinavia, it’s common for people to take their babies outside for naps. And, when they go into restaurants or shops, they’ll even leave their sleeping babies alone in prams outside!
“When I lived in Helsinki, I noticed baby carriages outside most cafés,” says my sister-in-law Emily. “I assumed the babies were inside with their parents. Nope, they were sleeping soundly outside in their carriages while their parents were hanging out inside. Now there’s a country with a low crime rate for you!”
“The parents are usually really close by, near the window,” says photographer and mother of two Jenny Brandt, who lives in southern Sweden and went to Copenhagen to take a few photos for Cup of Jo. “I think the whole thing started because the cafés and shops are so small.”
What happens if a baby wakes up? “I’ve walked into a café letting the guests know that ‘the baby in the blue pram has started to wiggle around and looks like he’s about to get up,’ ” says Jenny.
It sounds crazy at first, right? But it would actually be amazing and liberating, I think, as long as your town was safe. How wonderful to just pop into a store quickly without waking up your baby; or to eat dinner with your spouse while your baby sleeps, and then all walk home together.
Plus, many Scandinavian parents believe it’s healthy for babies and children to be exposed to cold air for a few hours a day. In fact, the Finnish Ministry of Labour specifically recommends it (see page 24 under “naps”). “Parents feel that their child is more alert and eats better after sleeping outside,” says designer and mom of two Elisabeth Dunker of the blog Fine Little Day , who lives in Gothenburg, Sweden.
“My friends tell me that in Swedish daycare, naptime for babies is always outside in their prams, even on the coldest days,” says my friend Kim, who lives in Sweden. “They bundle them up and make them cozy, and park them outside. They say it builds health for the kids–physical toughness as well as reducing colds/germs that would spread if they were all cooped up inside.”
Not all Scandinavian parents are completely sold on the idea, though. “I’ve never let my kids sleep outdoors unattended, wouldn’t dare to!” says Elisabeth. “I would be afraid that someone would take them.”
I have to say, I kind of love this idea! Toby sleeps through the night starting at 7:30pm — it would be amazing to be able to take him out to dinner, where he could sleep soundly in the fresh air. Think how much money you’d save on nighttime babysitters, and it’s really nice for the family to be together, even when the baby is asleep. But then again, New York City is nuts, and there are too many crazy people walking around. (Also, of course, it’s illegal in the United States. In fact, back in 1999, a Danish mom visiting Manhattan left her sleeping baby girl in the stroller outside a restaurant–and got arrested.)
What do you think? Isn’t this fascinating? Does this all seem nuts or amazing to you? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts — all the cultural norms and differences are incredible! Every country, city, family and parent finds what works best for their sweet babies. (It reminds me of this wonderful documentary.)
via apartment therapy
Pajama eaters, the cutest solution to clothes on the floor. Project from sew fearless.
Each of these helpful and huggable creatures lives on a small bed,
and has quite an appetite for clean-but-not-squeeky pajamas.
We feed them every morning and they give back the jammies at night. Isn’t that nice of them?
For this project you will need:
I used quilter’s cotton to make the monsters pictured (except the hot pink material is corduroy). This pattern is designed for woven (non-stretchy) fabrics – quilting cotton and non-stretch apparel fabrics. If you have more experience sewing, you could try using some furry fabric for the body. How awesome would that be? If you want to use fleece, you will need to stabilize the mouth where it is sewn to the zipper. See this article for more info.
This pattern is no longer available as a free download. It is available for purchase here.
Attach a small soft toy to a brightly-colored ribbon. Dangle it in front of your baby and make it sway. When she reaches out to try and touch or grab it, give her lots of praise. Squeaky toys will also entice your baby to reach and grab, and help her practice her hand-eye co-ordination.
Have a conversation together. Your baby loves interacting with you and as she becomes more vocal. Responding to her coos, gurgles and grunts will also encourage her to understand and try to form words.
Sit her facing you and when she says “aahh” say “aahh” in return. Encourage her to mimic you too. Try, for example, stretching the sounds out. Instead of “bah” say “baaaaaah”. Or even add a new sound to a familiar one, for example “ooh-baaaah”.
Most babies are fascinated by bubbles. Sit her in her bouncy chair or car seat and blow bubbles around her. See how she follows the bubbles with her eyes as they float down.
Blow bubbles when she’s outside in her buggy too. If she catches one she’ll learn about cause and effect, touch a bubble and watch it go pop. (Remember to clean her hands afterwards so she doesn’t get soapy water in her eyes.)