July 2011 archive

Take 5 more bites…

Some children have no problem going to town on a meal, while others are more selective about what and how often they eat.  Once your little one is old enough to communicate with you about these things, it is important to be clear and consistent at dinner time.

Dinner time can be super frustrating if you have a little one who is very stubborn when it comes to eating what you have prepared.  This post is NOT the end all – be all for what works and what doesn’t because you definitely have to INDIVIDUALIZE when it comes to meal plans.  Some children are over-eating and you have to help them with portion control, while others are not getting enough nutritional value in their day.

Here are a few of MY tips:

1. If you plan to eat dinner at 6, don’t let your little one snack later than 3:00…Come on, I am rarely hungry at 6:00 if I have been munching prior to dinner time.

2.  Allow them to choose:  would you like to take 4 bites of green beans and 5 bites of chicken or 5 bites of green beans and 4 bites of chicken?  It sounds meticulous but just by their ownership of their caloric intake you might have slightly less of a battle.

3.  Make a little placemat – laminate it and put it under their plate as a constant reminder….each night put a star next to each food group they ate, or a star next to how “happy” their plate was, or whatever incentive plan you choose (maybe dessert).

4.   Provide a little variety for the food groups they dislike, don’t completely cater to their taste buds, but find out what veggies your little one actually likes by varying your side dishes.

5.  Be clear and consistent when it comes to the promise or loss of privilege of dessert.  If they have to eat a certain amount of bites before dessert, don’t give in when everyone else is enjoying their dessert – stick to your consequence.

6.  Make you or your spouse out to be a champion “Daddy has big muscles because he eats his chicken!”  or “Mommy is so healthy because she eats her green beans!”

7.  Bring some reality in to the picture: “I would hate for you to have to go to the doctor because you didn’t give your body what it needs.  We need to take care of the bodies that God has given us.”

8. Come up with a fun family incentive, “Let’s eat all our dinner in the next 10 minutes so that we can clear the table and play a game!”

If you don’t agree with these tips or they don’t apply to you then try new modes of motivation, but stick to what works!  Try to make dinner a positive experience so that family dinners are a special event rather than a dreaded occasion.

Pop Up Books

I went to a little one’s birthday party this weekend and I bought her a gift that I would want to do with my kids….a Pop Up Book gift set.
This one actually:

And then I went browsing around on the internet and there were instructions to making your own pop up books as well as alphabet pop up books, and I loved this one:

The template is here: http://www.fonts4teachers.com/Pop_up_Alphabet_p/new_pop-up_alphabet.htm

But, I thought that if I were to make it myself I would just print the block letters onto cardstock, cut them out, and glue them onto a thin rectangular slice of paper that was folded back and forth over and over again and glue the other end to a book page.  Like this:

And then, OF COURSE you need to decorate it with apples, alligators and all the /a/ sound pictures 🙂

I am all about simplicity and I think your little ones will like it all the same.  Just give him/her stickers, markers, and a whole lots of crafty stuff to decorate.

You could make a numbers pop up book, a shape pop up book, and more.

Here are some templates for ABC and 123 and change the print settings to “multiple pages per sheet” to save paper:

Alphabet Color Font PDF

Numbers Color Font PDF

Handprint and Footprint ABCs

My sister came over yesterday with purple t-shirts and yellow-gold puff paint so that we could gear up for the Fall – cheering on our LSU Tigers.  We wanted to incorporate our kid’s handprints or footprints so we came up with this:

I will definitely be wearing this to the LSU games 🙂

So, this gave me the idea to make a book of the alphabet making each letter formation out of footprints, handprints, fingerprints, or a combination of all three.  This would be up to you and your little one to brainstorm ways to make each letter because that way it forces your little one to concentrate on the letter and problem solve in order to allow for better memory storing of the letter and letter recall.

If your little one is concentrating on letter sounds and words that begin with the letter sounds then you could make a handprint/footprint art book of pictures that start with A (angel) B (bear) and so on and so on…..if you choose to do the activity this way, I recommend this site: http://funhandprintart.blogspot.com/

If you do either one of these books, PLEASE  share pictures on the Mommy Teacher Facebook Page….I would love to see them 🙂

Bowling with Puffs

I haven’t been bowling in a while, but every time I go I really have a great night.  Some time ago I noticed that the “graduates puffs” containers for babies look like bowling pins without the wrappers…as a teacher my mind was always turning when I threw things in the recycle bin.  Save 10 of those cans and you have your very own bowling lane for your kids.

Bowling is a GREAT way to teach subtraction.  Always ask your little one to count the pins to find out how many pins you have to start with, then count how many were taken away, and finally ask how many are left?  These three questions will ingrain in your little one’s mind how subtraction works in a concrete way….even if they can’t figure out the abstract concepts of subtraction just yet….you are showing your little one the process of subtraction in a hands on way.

Sean Patrick opens puff cans with his teeth haha

And when he is finished I take the wrappers off and there you have it….bowling pins!

If you dont have kids…I used to collect these from my sister before I had kids, but if you don’t know anyone who has them then collect something that you might buy for groceries (pringles cans, soda liters, etc.)  Make it work for you!

And the Winner….Is….

Thank you SO much for everyone who participated in the giveaway! I really loved reading all your great feedback and comments as well as appreciated everyone who shared my site 🙂 I will be doing another giveaway somewhat soon so if you didn’t win, keep up with me and keep trying!
There were close to 100 entries but when I plugged all the names into a list randomizer from random.org the name that appeared at the top of the list was…..

……………Sandi W.!!! Congratulations Sandi!!! When I clicked on her name to learn about my winner I found her blog called homeschool endeavors….which I thought was really cute, and maybe a blog that my mommy and daddy teachers might like as well.

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