When Bria was born I needed an outlet. I needed to work out. I needed some time to feel like the person I was before I became a mom. I needed to DANCE!
**It should be noted I was very hesitant to post the following blog. I mostly keep this as a place to share ideas on creativity and nurturing early childhood development. But parenting is a big part of that. And in parenting we often have to rise to the challenge of disucssing difficult topics with our children. It is important we do so. I am hoping this post can be viewed as a place to think about the values and conversations your have with you own children. If you don't agree with my opinions that is 100% ok. If you feel compeled to write a comment please keep the tone and language respectful and inclusive.**
Most of the time our family dinner time conversation revolves around the typical: school, work, extracurricular activities, upcoming events. Every once in a while though something triggers conversations that as parent I relish and dread at the same time. Last night was one of those nights.
I love working with preschoolers. I know some people get hives just thinking about the unbridled energy, sticky fingers, and constant "why?" But I honestly believe if most of us embodied our inner preschooler we'd be much happier.
Last Saturday we celebrated Malia's 3rd birthday. To start off the festivites I took her for her first hair cut. Yes it has taken me 3 years to cut her hair. In my defence I just couldn't bring myself to cut off her baby curls! But a few months ago when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday she said a hair cut so how could I say no? We took her to Beaners (a local kids salon) and evened everything to a cute bob and bangs. What's left of the baby curls give her ends a nice flip.
Between 6 months to 12 months your baby’s understanding of the world and how she experiences it changes dramatically. Rather then relying on you to move her through her surroundings, your baby will explore and master different locomotor movements that allow her to travel through space. This newfound independence will lead to many new discoveries about her body and the world around her.
Daily tummy time together on the floor ensures your baby will develop the core and spinal strength needed to successfully master locomotor movements. Creeping, crawling and toddling require your baby to use her increasing strength and coordination through body and brain integration as both sides of the body move in unison. You and your baby will both be amazed at what she can achieve when you move and explore together.
What can my Baby See?
Your baby is born with the capacity to see distances from her nose to as far as the horizon. However she still lacks the muscle control and brain development to properly focus on objects farther then an arm’s length away. Over the next 8 months her retina and brain with learn to work together to improve her ability to focus at varying distances and see detail.
Your baby will reflexively be drawn to high contrast colors and patterns, like geographic black and white patterns. However, if bold retro prints do not suite your taste, fear not! Dr. Russell D. Hamer of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute states that:
By about 2 months of age your baby is capable of perceiving almost all of the subtle shadings that make our visual world so rich, textured and interesting: shadings in clouds, shadows that are unique to your face; even see a white teddy bear on a white couch!(What Can My Baby See? 1990)
To dispel any rumors that I am a "super mom", I have decided to confess some things to you. My hope is that it will show you I am just like any other parent, trying my best to be flexible in the craziness that is raising a family. That my ideas do not live in a creative purist vacuum. That I am not perfect. How boring is it to read only about perfect people?
So let's tackle something I have had a few of you ask me about: Craft versus Art
"Mama you look sooooo beeeauuuutifuullll!" were the words that oozed out of Bria last night when she came home to find me looking like this:
I was on my way to the 2011 Fierce Women of the Year Awards as a nominee in the Rising Star Category. I think I managed to pull off a fiercely beautiful look. With the help from a friend who is a professional makeup artist, a great dress, fantastic new shoes, and lots of teasing, straightening and hair spray. I looked beautiful! I felt beautiful....
Learning styles can best be described as the brain’s preferred way of receiving, processing and expressing information. While there are many different theories, describing equally as many learning styles, we are going to be focusing on the VAK Theory of learning styles, which include Visual, Auditory & Kinesthetic learning styles.
Developing Fine Motor Skills
Between 12-24 months, your toddler is making major leaps in her gross motor development. Standing, walking, running, and climbing keep her on the go and keep you on your toes. During your busy day it can be easy to overlook some of the fine motor skills your toddler is working on mastering, but if you watch closely you will be amazed at her growth!
By 12 months your toddler has begun using a pincer grasp, picking up objects using his thumb and index finger. He may bang two blocks together or place them in a container while playing. He will start voluntarily letting go of an object (as long as you have something more interesting he wants) and may use his index finger to point to new or desired objects. Over the next 12 months, he will work on refining these skills further, developing more control and precision.