Life Lesson for Mommy #144:

Small and colorful table and chairs for little kids

Cluttered Environment Creates a Cluttered Mind

My daughter is 4 years old and is going to a private Montessori preschool and we recently had a parent/teacher conference. Now before I get into the conference, I want to touch base on what is Montessori.

Montessori is a hands on form of learning. It is very well recognized and really gets the children engaged in what they are learning through a series of different toys that are tailored for education-such as math and reading. A famous child going to Montessori right now is Prince George! So that’s a plus!

But you really need to learn more about it before deciding if it’s right for your child. And you also should consider that not all Montessori schools are the same, some have more play time, some have less. Some are more tailored to reading some are more for math. If you are interested in the Montessori approach it’s best to talk to the teacher and see the work other students have done; and take your toddler along with you to see how they like it.

M

If you want to start giving your child the montessori experience there are a ton of free DIY activities on pinterest
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/170081323405870908/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/52495151882682507/

Tons of awesome ways to get their little minds working! Or you can take a trip down to amazon and purchase these
Math & Numbers
Counting & Math
Upper & Lower Case Letters
Building words

Trust me, don’t spend the money and DIY it! The process of making it yourself is like craft time and also saves a ton of money! And it does the same thing with the added flexibility of tailoring it to your child.

Anyways, continuing on. My daughter goes to a Montessori preschool as I stated, but it is also coupled with drilling on good old fashioned pen and paper. Because life is not all games and play time. I believe that learning should be fun but taken seriously. It’s what will set them up for the rest of their life, it should be something you help create love for! So don’t badger and push them, encourage and engage them!

So on to the parent/teacher conference! The teacher asked me if she can be blunt so right away I was nervous. I mean I knew my daughter had focus issues and always just wanted to play instead of sitting down to read with me or practice her numbers, but I was not prepared to hear this.

“She is stubborn and distracted”…ouch that hurts. But I had to shake off those feelings and stop myself from becoming defensive and get to the point of why she felt this way. When she showed me my daughters work I could see what she was talking about. My daughter has had some conflicting discipline issues (her grandparents don’t believe in time out or consequences just give her whatever she wants to stop the tantrums- sigh). I thought that might be the cause so I discussed what exactly does my daughter do in class, when and how much does she focus.

The teacher was very good at explaining my daughters day, and what is expected of her. And she is progressing but she does not like learning at all…she gravitates to just the play time and often starts to look around and loses focus, even during crafts. She simply just didn’t want to do anything that wasn’t playing with toys, not even drawing.

I knew right away, that this is the same things I’m noticing at home. Resistance to even read with me, or draw and do crafts. The teacher asked me about her environment at home to get a sense of why my daughter might be so unfocused and distracted. And as soon as she asked how many toys are available to her I knew that this was probably it. My daughter has a lot of toys, and a lot of it was distracting, non-motivational play…basically zombie play. She did have blocks and lego but she usually made castles and thats it. She also has loads of puzzles but she doesn’t want to do them. She also has dolls, drum set, and just a bunch of other toys way too young for her age. The teacher knew it right away, that maybe she’s unfocused because there is no focused play at home. Everything is everywhere and she has loads of stuff to play with.

So I went home and went through all the toys and started to pack up a lot of the stuff she didn’t play with, were too young for her age to play with and just loud distracting colours and sounds….I left her with her puzzles, her books, 1 doll set, her dress up box and her mouse family tree house, and thats it.

In 2 days I noticed a difference in her. She started to play with her puzzles, she even sat down and read with me. Like how long has it been since she did that, I can’t even remember! Her attitude also calmed down, she responded better when I told her no or time out.

I think she honestly needed a overhaul of her toys and all the things that distracted her. She practiced her numbers with me and was eager to see all the check marks and wanted to correct her work when she got an X – I saw that as a huge improvement instead of her  just accepting the x mark and doing nothing about it.

So if you have a toddler who is all over the place, try to clean up your house, put away things in drawers or boxes and keep their toys limited and to things that stimulate imaginative play and not zombie play. For example a toy that you just press a button and the lights flash and a voice comes on- even if that voices is for alphabets, that’s zombie play. Get a puzzle instead, or purchase a kids boardgames that gets them excited and thinking.

Couple that with a solid routine- when is play time and when is learning time, creative time and reading time. These things should all be sectioned into different parts of the day. (Click here to Print this cute weekly schedule for preschoolers)  timetable

And when you get a doll, don’t just get a frozen doll that all they are going to do with is brush their hair. Get a  set, that comes with some accessories like little pets or furniture. It doesn’t have to be pricey! If you don’t want to buy it, grab some dollar store felt material and cardboard and make your own accessories and get their minds going!

There are great tips and tricks on pinterest on sensory play, but try to look into creative play because nothing builds a mind better then thinking and problem solving.

And get rid of all those toys!!

Good Luck!
😀

Life Lessons for Mommy #143:

Rest, Relax, Colour

Adult Coloring Is Hard

I used to color a lot when I was younger, I don’t mean just in my teen years I mean well into college and beyond years.
But as the years ticked on and I got older, got married, got some kids, got responsibilities and some things in life just change you. And then you change so much that you no longer remember that you colored and enjoyed drawing and being excited about it.

Mental Health is something that is really being focused on lately and it’s about time! I didn’t even know I was an anxious person until a car accident and I started to see a Psychologist. And one of the things my psychologist told me about was these adult coloring pages. At first I was really excited about it! I remembered that I used to love drawing and coloring! It was very relaxing and very fun! And apparently it’s mentally good for you!

Adult colouring pages! The new thing in mental health! Next to proper diet, exercise which both need like serious will power, colouring is fun – no will power required!

The one my psychologist gave me just wasn’t doing it for me. So I surfed the net for some one’s that appealed to me. I found this great blog that points you to awesome free printable pages! http://www.everythingetsy.com/2015/08/printable-coloring-pages-for-adults-15-free-designs/
I printed these 2

My favorite honestly is the fishes!!!

And then some one’s from amazon that peeked my interest. These 2 were my favorite
Tribal Life – perfect for both guys and gals
Colour me Calm – my 2nd fave, perfect combo of detail and design

So I got my colouring stuff and was all set and ready to color with a fresh new case of Laurentian pencils. I quickly realized though, I was really sucking. The colors I was using were all over the place and the more I colored the less aesthetically pleasing it was. God, the more I tried to make it look good the more stressful it got. Why wasn’t I just enjoying this?

Some of the shapes and designs area’s weren’t 100% symmetrical, and other times it was just the colors I was using weren’t making it pop out. I was over thinking it and making something that was supposed to be fun into a freaking annoyance. I talked to some of my friends about it, and one of them suggested studying online for color schemes and learning how to use the right colors to make a more aesthetically pleasing page….really? I’m going to have to study how to color to relieve my anxiety?

These pages were causing a lot of anxiety for me. It wasn’t working. When I told my psychologist this, I honestly think she probably thought ‘what the heck are you doing???’ in her head. And that made me more anxious thinking about how anxious I was being about coloring. And its’ true, what the heck am I doing? This is about coloring and having fun, making mistakes and accepting them and letting it pass. This isn’t about looking good or producing something that looks good but something to learn patience from.

I decided that I’m going to print out a new page and go nuts! Have fun and forget about aesthetics and just randomly color and just have fun with it! And I even printed one for my daughter. It will be fun to color with her and learn from her how to just wing and have fun. To be thoughtless for once in doing something. To not over-think or even think. To make something that might not look good but accepting it and being proud of it. I don’t have to try hard on every thing. Maybe the reason why none of the other methods for anxiety are working because I over-think it and try too hard on it. I need to just let it be.

If you want to get started right now, here are a few FREE printables!
1) Sailboat

Sail On My Anxious Friend!
Sail On My Anxious Friend!

2) Flower Garden

These Flowers Need Colour!
These Flowers Need Colour!

 

3) Being Zen

Now you're totally Zen.
Now you’re totally Zen.

I remember a long time ago, when I was in college I believe, I was feeling anxious. I was going through some tough circumstances and things in my life didn’t feel fair and I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. I was actually sad a lot those times. But one day I literally woke up, felt the sun on my face and said “I am not going to be sad anymore!” And I actually just did life, instead of thinking about things. I made some mistakes and I wish I could go back and fix them because I think I would have been able to achieve a lot of great stuff.  I also wish I could go back and not let that car accident happen that would probably end all my current pain and anxiety. But that’s okay, I have a great husband, 2 wonderful kids and yes it’s not all good- there are some bad days and bad things. But I will color myself out of those bad days by relearning how to just let it be and let it go.

And now, to color.

Good Luck!
😀

Life Lesson for Mommy #142:

5 Minute Scrub! DIY!

There are only a few things I do for myself during the week to take care of myself. And this is one of them. I make a cup of it, stick it into a glass mason jar and use it up every week! It’s easy and it cleanses your skin, helps smooth out, lightens and brightens your skin and just overall good! And you probably already have these ingredients in your house!

It doesn’t matter if you have dry or oily skin- this is great for both. I have combination skin so this is perfect for someone like me. You can add a little something extra to it if you feel your skin type needs a little less or more.

The Stuff You Need:

  • 1 lemon squeezed out of all it’s juice, no seeds.
  • 1 cup plain white yogurt
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (blended dry until it’s a powder)

Mix all the ingredients and make a paste- it should not be sliding off your face. Decrease yogurt or increase amount of oatmeal powder to reach paste like consistency.

That’s it! Mix it, put it into a mason jar and keep it in your fridge. And 5 minutes before your shower, or while you’re in the shower slather it on your face and neck and let it sit for as long as you can. Ideal would be until it dries and feels like your face is tight! But any amount of time is great!

It’s like a mask, a scrub, a cleanser, a toner- it freaking does it all!

Some Tips:

  •  Make sure your yogurt is not about to be expired.
  • -Label the mason jar with yogurt expiry so you know when to throw out mixture- should only use for 1 week before making new batch.