Teaching Kids A Sense of Humor That Isn’t Insulting

Having a sense of humor is really important in my family…we love to laugh at and with each other.

But I don’t want my kids to turn into a bunch of bullies who laugh at other’s expense.

So, we have talked a lot about what is funny, and what is NOT funny.

As my kids vocabulary grows so does their love of words like “doodie-butt” and “doo doo face.”

Name-calling is apparently the funniest thing in the world according to my 4 year old, next to telling someone they smell like fill-in-the-blank.

So, I am turning the tables on all-things-silliness.

If my four year old decides to call me a doodie-butt in a silly moment.  I will look at him with a serious face, and calmly but sternly tell him… “Hurtful words aren’t funny, but I love when you are silly.  Try calling mommy ‘honey bunches’ when you want to be silly.  Okay CUTIE PIE HONEY BUNCH!”  And I throw a name right back at him that is “silly” or “cute” but not offensive.

If my four year old decides to tell me that I smell like something stinky.  Again, I look at him (without freaking out like I am a thirteen year old in defense mode…come on parents- we are the grown-ups here) and just seriously, calmly, and sternly tell him “I love when you are in a silly mood, but it is FUNNY when you tell mommy I smell like something that doesn’t really stink.  Sooooo, let’s try: ‘You smell like cinnamon.'” (Cue the huge laugh like that was the funniest thing we have heard in forever).  “Or… “You smell like SUGAH, sugah (also known as sugar).”  HAH!

And finally, we like to tell stories around here.  Stories that people relate to, and then we put a spin on them with some slight exaggerations and expressions thrown into the mix.  I usually make facial expressions like “REALLY?!?” and ask questions like “What happened next?” or “What was that like?” to get my kiddos to make some funny associations.

These little exercises have made a big difference in our kid’s perceptions of what is funny, and what is not okay.

My son now REGULARLY asks me “Mom, is that funny?”

“Mom, is that silly?”

“Mom, is that a mean word?”

We want our kids to keep their sense of humor and not lose it all together from the parent police.

So for us, it just boils down to funny is silly but not hurtful.

What’s your take on this?

 

I Like Pinterest Activities That I Can Do ASAP

Y’all, I love Pinterest; I do, but I have to say – I do NOT like activities that I can not do with my kids almost  immediately after I browse.

If I browse during nap time, I want to do the activities that I find that same afternoon.  I like to get my inspiration from pinterest but then I want to actually DO the activities.  Why use a pinboard if I don’t turn the ideas into experiences?

I think I have finally figured out what to do with my not-so-parent-friendly pins…  Lately, if I see an activity that I can’t do right away, I find out a way to make a printable for it.  That way, other moms can simply pin it, print it, and make it happen that day if they want to.

I also like sharing my experiences so that you feel that much more prepared to make the most of the activity… which is why I added an “ideas” page to my printable:



November Activity Printable With Ideas



Yesterday:

1) I made the November Corn Printable  during nap time, but I only printed one page.  I printed a page of corn that had the numbers on the husks.

2) I put a small handful of candy corn in a cup.

**The order of teaching something  is always  I DO (I will talk about it and show my child an example), WE DO (we will do it together), YOU DO (encourage my child to try it on his own).

So, I DO first:

3) I talked to my three year old “Today we are going to use candy corn to fill the ears of corn, but we will stop counting the candy corn when we get to the number that is on the corn.  Watch mommy….  See this is the number ONE, so mommy is going to count out candy corn until I get to ONE.  (I place one candy corn on the corn with the number one and say “One!”) “Okay I am going to stop right there because I counted to the number on the corn.”

WE DO:

“What do you think this number is (pointing to two)?”  (Two).

“Yes and two comes after one.  Can we put the candy corn on that ear of corn while we count to two?” (one, two).

“Wow you are so good at this! Do you know what number this is if this is one, that is two, then this might be….”  (Three!)

YOU DO:

“Yes, your turn, can you put three candy corns on top of the corn?”

4) We did this page again and then we ate the candy corn, but if your little one doesn’t like the taste of candy corn, it’s okay… I included little candy corn cut-outs so you can glue them on your candy corn.  🙂

**** If you want to download this activity, sign up to be a member for just $5 and get Access to ALL of my printables! – November Corn Printable

So,  PIN this printable if you like it, and follow me if you’d like to see all the things I plan to do with my kids each month!



candy corn printable



My original Pin-spiration was Candy Corn Counting – (I literally just ran out of construction paper and I love to make and save printables).  Thanks No Time For FlashCards. 🙂

Isn’t Corny Math is A-Maize-ing ? {Okay, I think I’m done}

TMT Photo Shoot!

1 photographer + 2 Mommy Teachers + our 6 kids = total mayhem!

Jessica and I are bouncing off the walls after we had a super fun, high-energy, awesomely chaotic photo shoot with a local professional photographer and we cannot wait to see the results!

Kelsey Ryals of Kelsey Ann Photography had amazing patience while our 3+3 kids ran around spilling water, tracking play dough through her house, dumping toys all over the place, and drooling tootsie rolls as Jess and I danced around making funny noises to get the kids to cooperate for that magic shot – all while “Down by the Bay” and other kids’ songs played in the background.  Can you just imagine the scene?



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Whew!  Good thing Kelsey is a mommy teacher herself with her 4-year-old joining in on the fun, excited about the unexpected playdate at her house, otherwise our crew may have been completely overwhelming for a photographer.

Anyway – so many exciting things are coming to The Mommy Teacher and  we are just giddy with anticipation!  After seeing the sneak peeks from the shoot, well, let’s just say, the wheels are in motion for a makeover!

Many, many thanks to our photographer, Kelsey!  Please go visit the Kelsey Ann Photography Facebook page and visit her website to see her amazing portfolio:  http://www.kelseyannphotography.com .

If you are in the Lafayette, Louisiana area, Kelsey, a member of Professional Photographers of America, does lifestyle, wedding and studio photography – capturing the most precious moments of her clients’ lives!  She also participates in OpLove – providing photo sessions with military families, and Inspiration Through Art – photo sessions for families with children with serious illnesses or life-altering disabilities… ALL FOR FREE!!!  I am so humbled by Kelsey’s passion to provide forever memories to these families at no cost.

Thank you, Kelsey, for helping out these Mommy Teachers!  We cannot wait to see the final product and the changes to come on our site!

Make My Pumpkin

In the spirit of Halloween, I wanted to do an art project with my 4-year-old while my 6-year-old was at school.  My middle child loves and cherishes this one-on-one time with Mommy.  Jess’ post on Monday inspired us to make our own Jack-O-Lanterns, but I had a different objective in mind.

I was also inspired by a “find the differences” book I was reading with Leyson that has two near-identical pictures side by side, but with subtle differences.  Each page asks you to “find (x-amount of) differences” which may be as simple as the omission of an object in the picture or a change of color, shape, size or placement of an object.

The objective of our activity was for my son to be able to both point out and fix the differences between my picture and his picture to make them the same, and also to recreate the picture I created… in this case, a pumpkin.

Materials needed:  construction paper, scissors, maybe some glue after the activity 🙂



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Mommy Prep:  Using orange construction paper, I cut out two large pumpkin shapes, and lots of different sized rectangles*, triangles, circles, squares and other various shapes with brown, yellow and black paper.

*I cut out 4 different types of rectangle stems to bring in some vocabulary to our activity:  short, long, thick, thin


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Leyson first had to close his eyes (or cover his face with a blanket because I learned that I can’t trust him to keep his eyes closed) and count to twenty while I arranged the different shapes to make a face on my pumpkin.  Apparently, counting to twenty now means omitting numbers 14 and 19, so we will be working on that again soon.

I started off with a simple face.  Two circles for eyes, a circle for a nose, a fat, brown rectangle and a U-shape for a smiley mouth.

 

When he got to 20, he pulled the blanket off of his face, he had to use the remaining shapes to make his pumpkin look just like my pumpkin.



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To make the project more challenging in other rounds, I layered some of the shapes such as using smaller circles on top of larger circles for the eyes.

The most difficult part of the activity was when I used only triangles to make a face and he had to figure out which direction the triangles were facing.  It’s harder than it looks!



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We experimented with all the different things we could learn from making pumpkins:

  • Feelings/Emotions: We made happy pumpkins, and sad pumpkins, and angry pumpkins, and scared pumpkins… and talked about why each pumpkin was feeling the way they were feeling.



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  • Counting/More or Less:  Sometimes Mommy’s pumpkin had 4 teeth, sometimes it had more or less.
  • Compare and Contrast:  “What is different about the nose on your pumpkin and the nose on my pumpkin?”  “Do our pumpkins have the same shaped mouth?”
  • Vocabulary:  Colors, shapes, sizes, parts of the face
  • Spacial Awareness:  “Are the eyes close together or far apart?”  “If you put the eyes in the middle of the pumpkin, can we fit a nose and a mouth too?”
  • Phonemic Awareness & Writing:  We segmented the sounds in pumpkin /p/ /u/ /m/ /p/ /k/ /i/ /n/… which is pretty hard to do when your child pronounces it like “po’kin” but we wrote the real word on the back of our project.



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When you are finished the activity, grab some glue so you can add some Halloween decor to your house!



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Who needs to buy decorations from the store, when with a little glue and tape you can make your house ready for any holiday?!

Halloween Freebie and Fun For The Family

I was going to wait til’ Monday to share this with you, but I couldn’t wait any longer and I wanted to give everyone enough time before Halloween to make this happen in your neighborhood if you wanted to.



Neighborhood "Boo"



We wen’t “boo”ing in our neighborhood all morning and it was a blast!

Two days ago we were surprised by a basket of Halloween goodies on our doorstep… I still don’t know who did it but it was so fun!



Halloween Surprise



Whoever “boo’d” us  colored jack-o-lantern faces on oranges, gave us two little craftivities, jack-o-lantern stickers, pencils, gummies, glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth, and bib for our baby girl.  They did a great job!  The little seasonal sticker activity was so cute…



sticker activity



 

I couldn’t wait to keep this going because I knew how much fun we would have putting the little treat baskets together and delivering them.

But, I couldn’t find the template so I made my own, and wanted you to have it!



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[purchase_link id=”4269″ style=”button” color=”yellow” text=”Download”]

So, Sean Patrick helped me pick out some little pumpkins and then we went to family dollar and got a jack-o-lantern bucket, a little scarecrow, some spooky ring pops, and colorful sharpies (to decorate the pumpkins).



Halloween Gift Basket



 

Then I encouraged Sean Patrick to carry the goodie basket to their door, knock, and tip toe away and watch from the car so it could be a surprise.

We had so much fun…he was running!



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And if friends caught us outside it was fun too!

I hope you make the time to do this… It doesn’t have to be fancy…. You could drop off a little ziploc of something with the printable and it would still be fun for the whole family!  You still have time before Halloween!

Disclaimer: the friend already had the chalked word “Boo!”  but I would totally ask a neighbor if they wouldn’t mind and do that because it looked so cute!



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