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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Five Ways Children Challenge Our Creativity


Musicality:  You surprise yourself at how many ways you can adapt popular tunes and familiar children's songs for any occasion.  For Example:  The Socks and Shoes Song
Tune:  If You're Happy and You Know It
Put your socks and your shoes on your feet.
Put your socks and your shoes on your feet.
Socks and Shoes on your feet
They will keep them warm and neat.
Put your socks and your shoes on your feet!


Time Management:   How can you get children to bed on time and encourage them to wake up for school without tears, tantrums, and tearing out your hair?  Again, there are wake up songs, deciding on clothing options the night before, and arranging coats, backpacks, and lunches where they can be quickly accessed for early morning departure. 


Artistry:  You may be asked to magically produce supplies that allow your children to create last minute projects such as the solar system, one of the elements from the Periodic Table of Elements, 3D book reports, or a costume for that play you just discovered thanks to the crunched announcement found at the bottom of your child's backpack. 
A Few Items to Always Have at Home
Colored Pencils
Markers - Regular and for Fabric
Sharpies - Black
Sharpies - Assorted Colors
Elmer's School Glue - Liquid
Glue Sticks/Glitter
Tape - Masking/Transparent
Clear Packing Tape
Poster Boards
Empty Shoe Boxes/Packing Boxes
Brown Wrapping Paper - Heavy Duty
White Sticky Labels
Construction Paper
Scraps of Cardstock or Cardstock Squares
Fabric Swatches/Extra T-Shirts
Fabric Paints
10 Color Crayola Washable Paints
Paint Brushes - Various sizes/styles
Sewing Kit
Envelopes - Various Sizes
When my daughter was in Kindergarten she had to prepare a presentation on her selected topic:  The Fruit Bat.  The requirement included a visual display to accompany her speech.  We found an old white t-shirt and used fabric crayons and paints to draw the bat.  We added key points to remind her of the items she wanted to talk about during her presentation.  For example: A drawing of bananas - one of the foods eaten by the fruit bat.  She wore the t-shirt to school on the day of her presentation instead of having to carry a large poster board or cumbersome box. 


Dramatic Vocalizations:  Children's behaviors have a way of inspiring us to speak in voices we didn't know lived inside of us. 
Drill Sergeant Mommy:  Repetitive, Loud, Authoritative, and Demanding (No Options)
Hostage Negotiator Mommy:  "Let your brother go and stop torturing him with your stinky feet or I'll take away your electronic privileges."
Over the Top/Tired of Your Fighting Mommy:  Visual Cue: Shake your head vigorously while swatting at your hair as if you've lost your mind.  Then shout loudly, "AAAAAAhrg.  Stop it, Stop it, Stop it.  I hereby resign and will no longer be available to referee your arguments!" 
Loving Mommy:  Quiet, Soothing, Calm, Nurturing  (When administered in the proper tone this can scare the heck out of wild children who won't know what to do with the laissez-faire approach.)
I was once advised by a professional therapist during a training I attended that sometimes you have to match the tone and urgency of a conversation before you can begin to reduce the intensity.  This sometimes works with children too.  Ramp it up a bit to match their level of insanity until everyone has had their fill.  Then make adjustments until everyone had leveled out to a more realistic volume.


Movement and Exercise Options:  Anyone with small children knows the challenges of getting in a workout.  The logistics of managing time and energy levels is overwhelming. Here is one idea to combat that conundrum:
Playground Workouts:  Go up steps and down the slides with your children.  When you get to the bottom of the slide, stop there to do several sets of squats so that your rear end just touches the slide.  Push up from the heels.  Repeat this action of steps, slide, squats 3-4x.  Use one of the steps to step lift with leg out to side, lifted behind you, then with a knee lift in front.  Use variations until you feel your legs getting a bit tight. Then switch sides.  Find new ways to use the playground for your full body workout while your children play around you. 
Note:  I am currently working on a new blog: Monkey Bars, Mud Pies, and Movement that will be dedicated to workout plans parents can do with their children.  I hope to launch it just in time for Spring!