Monday, April 4

Beans, beans the magical fruit

You are probably thinking this post is going to be about tooting...
Well, it's not.

A while back I posted about my frustration with keeping Crew busy. There were so many helpful 
comments from moms that have been great..

I thought I would share the love and tell you a couple of things I have done that Crew loves.

BEANS! I am convinced they are the cheapest, easiest and most fun activity you could do with your 
children. The possibilities are endless. For now, Crew loves just playing with them. Put a sheet down in
 your family room, dump a whole bag into a big bowl and let them play! It's great for sensory development.
 You do need to supervise carefully to make sure none of them make it into their mouths. You may also
 need to suppress your innate mom-desire to prevent the messes. It might be hard, but just relax and let
 them fling those beans! :) Cleanup is easy with the sheet.  When you are finished playing, pour a 
handful of beans into a tupperware, tin can or paper towel cylinder as a noisemaker. When your kids get
 a little older, you can buy different colors and have them make pictures by glueing them to paper.

The last upper-division class I took before I graduated was Cognitive Development. It was one of my
favorite classes and I learned so much! Probably the most valuable thing we studied was encouraging
creativity and exploration in your children. Research shows that it is vitally important to your child's 
cognitive development that you not restrict their exploratory play. Out of all the children in a Harvard 
study, those who scored the highest on both cognitive and social tests had mothers who

did not use gates, child locks or other means to restrict exploration
kept dangerous objects out of reach instead of locked-up
encouraged creativity through constant hands-on activities
had the TV on very little
used everyday accidents like spilled milk to play with and teach children instead of getting upset
had clean homes but were not intent on keeping them immaculate
(if you are so worried about keeping your home perfect, it's hard to allow creative messes)
spoke up to 3x the amount of words in a day as the parents of the children who scored lowest
And this one is my favorite....they had intentionality in their parenting.

Any other ideas to encourage creativity and exploration?
I would love to hear them! 

Friday, April 1


Spring is finally here! The last couple of days have been gorgeous and despite feeling sick (we have been sick for a LONG time, like 3 weeks long) we went outside to enjoy the sunshine. It's really the first time Crew has been able to explore in the warm weather, and he was loving it!

I recently found a photography blog that I can't get enough of. She is so talented and frequently shares tips on how to get good pictures of your children. I would definitely recommend her site if you have a DSLR (Emy, Jenn, Melissa, Kirstin), or even if you don't. She is linked in the sidebar under "favorites" as Ashley Ann Photography.

Anyways, after reading some of her tips, I was anxious to try them on my willing subject, Crew. So while he was having a ball exploring the yard, I was snapping away (and occasionally pulling things out of his mouth :).

All of these are straight out of the camera, no editing. I didn't even edit the color!

There's nothing like the summer grass.

Went straight for the dirt.

And the dirt went straight in his mouth.

Next was saying hello to the chickens

This tin can was pretty fun too.

Simple joys.