Elfing Around Studios

The Elfing Around Studios is the Creativity Corner I designed around the holidays season.

Elfing Around Studios is a toy workshop where one can deign, build, and fix toys. And of course PLAY with toys as well.

Elfing Around Studios was a bigger hit than I was expecting. My daughter found endless hour of engagement in this Creativity Corner.

IMG_6049

Creative Corners are designed and curated to develop imagination, language, critical thinking, problem solving and more! I select content themes and skills that engage cognitive, social and emotional development. I create engagement opportunities that are designed to meet my daughters changing needs.

Creative Corners are replaced and upgraded every 4-6 weeks. Topics are thematically aligned with topics of the seasons and celebrations of the year.

The Witchy Kitchen was open for 6 weeks around the holiday season.

Content Skills of Elfing Around Studios

Sensory Engagement:  Focused on light.  I placed a small pink christmas tree in the studio.  Among all the hand made wooden ornaments one could discovered Prism Glasses. These create fractal light. See in the picture below. These glasses blew her mind and inspired interest and investigation into lights around our home.

Language Development: Elfing Around Studios inspires and develops language around colors, shapes, and building.  While engaging in Elfing Around Studios we talked about materials. For example: the block is blue, flat, smooth, etc. We also discussed the language of building with blocks. For example: stack, slide, build, fall, ect.

Imaginary Inspirations: Elfing Around Studios has endless imaginary play opportunities.  Pretend props:  computer for toy creation, toy blue print,  wood toy blocks, wood toy tool kit, side kick robot friend, and Elf clothes: hat, shoes and work vest.

IMG_6054
Toy Blue Prints

Wood Block Engagement: Wooden blocks are one of the most creativity enhancing toys around. Wood is a great natural material that has his own smell, texture and color so children can use all their senses. While playing with wooden blocks may not be very sophisticated, they are ideal learning tool because the child has countless possibilities and can use all of his imagination.

Physical benefits: wooden blocks improve eye-hand coordination and build strength in a child’s fingers and hands. They also help educate children to feel and recognize different shapes.

Social benefits: playing with wooden blocks encourages children to make friends and cooperate. It is often the first experience a child has playing with other children. Wooden blocks are a benefit for the children because they encourage creativity, interaction and imagination which is important for social play.

Intellectual benefits: children can potentially develop their vocabularies as they learn to describe sizes, shapes, and positions. Math skills are developed through the process of grouping, adding, and subtracting, particularly with standardized wooden blocks, such as unit blocks. Experiences with gravity, balance, and geometry learned from wooden blocks also provide intellectual stimulation.

Creative benefits: children develop their creative stimulation by constructing the wooden blocks in countless ways.

Like what you see?    Want a Creativity Corner in your home?

Contact me at glowingmamawing@gmail.com for a consultation of your dream Creativity Corner for your child.

Click here on Creativity Corners for more information.

 

The Witchy Kitchen

The Witchy Kitchen is the first Creative Corner I created for my daughter.

It was a hit!  My daughter loved it and many guests of all ages at our home loved it as well!

It’s amazing what you can create with the items around your house.  I created this Creative Corner with all object around the house and didn’t spend any money on new items for  Witchy Kitchen.  My Halloween decorations were so well-loved in the Witchy Kitchen.

Creative Corners are designed and curated to develop imagination, language, critical thinking, problem solving and more! I select content themes and skills that engage cognitive, social and emotional development.  I create engagement opportunities that are designed to meet my daughters changing needs.

Creative Corners are replaced and upgraded every 4-6 weeks.  Topics are thematically aligned with topics of the seasons and celebrations of the year.

The Witchy Kitchen was open for 6 weeks around Halloween and Harvest time.

Content and Skills Focus of the Witchy Kitchen:

Language Development:  The Witch Kitchen natural lends itself to inspire and develop language around food, cooking, and eating.  While engaging in the Witchy Kitchen we discuss ingredients.  For example: the pumpkin is orange, round, smooth, small, etc.  We also discussed the language of cooking.  For example: mix, stir, fill, pour ect.

Imaginary Play: Imaginary play that reflects practical life is essential for toddlerhood.  The Witchy Kitchen was deigned to engage and stimulate the imagination in cooking and eating.

Fine Motor Development: In the Witchy Kitchen there are a variety of props that support fine motor development.  We focused on several fine motor activities that toddler needs to practice and master.  Fine motor activities that promote hand strength, coordination and control: mix, stir, pick up, put down. lift, fill, empty, spill, carry, and pour.

Imagination Inspirations: My daughter would play endlessly in her Withy Kitchen.  The imaginary  play opportunities were endless as she played by herself and with others.  Whenever possible I use real life objects for more hours on engagement.  Props that inspired pretend play: pots & pans, mixing utensils, real pumpkins, real gourds, real stones, pretend felt food: garlic, tomato, lettuce, & mushrooms, plastic bones, Potions Bottles with colored water, sparkles and black quinoa.

Sensory Exploration: The Witchy Kitchen was designed with specific sensory experiences.

  • Potion Bottles: (a.k.a. sensory bottles): different, colors, textures, sounds and viscosity of materials to explore and observe.
  • Fabric Walls:  layered cut and frayed black fabric engaged perspective, dimension and texture
  • Pumpkins and Gourds: real life objects are essential for sensory exploration and give children a greater background knowledge of the world.
  • Music: When playing in the Witchy Kitchen I would play music to enrich my daughter’s experience with auditory stimulation.  Pandora is an excellent resource  for free music.  The Witchy Kitchen Play Lists:  Kids’ Halloween, Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween Party, and I would also play a CD of spooky sounds deigned for kids.
IMG_6032
Dining Area
IMG_6031
A view of the pumpkin patch.

It was joy creating and experiencing the Witchy Kitchen.  I look forward to the Witchy Kitchen 2.0 next Halloween!

IMG_6030
Dining Area

Like what you see?  Want a Creativity Corner in your home?

Contact me at glowingmamawing@gmail.com  for a consultation of your dream Creativity Corner for your child.

Click here on Creativity Corners for more information.

Dilworth Park

 

The city of Philadelphia is killing it at creating interactive parks for the public.

Get the most out of your Dilworth Park Experience:

  1. Water shoes: The fountain at Dilworth park has a lot of space t romp around in the water.  Bring along your water shoes for safety and play.
  2. Water Play is essential engagement for children under 3 and provides a plethora of sensory understanding and knowledge.  Water play is wonderful for people of all ages as it also provide therapeutic and positive impact on our senses, mood and feelings.
  3. Language Development: Share what you see, tough, hear, feel, etc. (“The water is clear,cool and wet.”)
  4. Say Hello and make friends with new people. Dilworth Park a mecca center any day of the week.
  5. Bring a picnic and enjoy one of the grass areas.
  6. People watch.  Dilworth park is in the heart of Philadelphia with all the hustle and bustle, street performers and more around.
  7. Pack all you regular essentials in your diaper bag and don’t forgot a change of clothes.  You are going to get wet with all the splashing and splashing!

Check out more about Dilworth Park here. Dilworth Park

Fountain at Logan Square

 

Logan square is home to to one of my favorite fountains in Philadelphia. Take  visit to Logan and Square and discover the Swann Memorial Fountain.

The grounds are beautiful landscaped.  There are park benches, grass areas, a dirt gravel path around fountain and flowers.  It is a beautiful place to walk, read,picnic,play and more!

Toddler around at a fountain:

  1. Observe and interact with art.
  2. Water play and wade in the fountain. Be warned Fairmount Park Rangers may ask you to leave in the fountain.  Enjoy until you can’t!
  3. Meet new people and make friends.
  4. Sit on a park bench and people watch.
  5. Language development: describe what you see, hear, feel, touch etc. (For example, the water is cool, wet, clear.)
  6. Run jump, play, laugh, eat.
  7. Have a picnic.

Click on the link for more information about Logan Square Fountain  .

EXPLORE AROUND THE FOUNTAIN. 

IMG_5349

Go get your fountain on! 

IMG_5350

Paint in the Rain

 

We play outside everyday no matter what the weather.  I believe it is imperative for my daughter to understand and feel the changes of our environment.  So we do not stay in the comforts of our home until the sun comes out.  We go outside and we experience the elements first hand.  Thought experience we learn and understand more about ourselves and our world.

Painting in the rain is magical!

Creating temporary art and persevering through the elements to create art is transformational.

Why paint in the rain:

  1. Creative expression
  2. Problem Solving
  3. Language Development: use words to describe what you see, hear, smell, colors, textures, etc.
  4.  Perseverance
  5. Fine Motor Development
  6. FUN!

Check out this link for a verity of options to create your now homemade paints.

Recipes for Homemade Paint

And Don’t forget to always dress appropriately and safely for all types of weather.

GET OUT THERE AND PAINT IN THE RAIN!

Palmer Street Park

 

Palmer Park is located in the neighborhood of Fishtown in Philadelphia.

Things to do at Palmer Park:

  1. Have a picnic.
  2. Hula Hoop and other flow arts.
  3. Observe beautiful flower.
  4. Concrete path great for bike riding.
  5. Play games, sings songs, dance, play ball, etc.
  6. Be friendly and make friends with new people.
  7. See and say hello to lots of dogs. Many locals walk dogs through this park.  BE WARE THE DOG POOP IN THE GRASS.

Click on the link to find more information about Palmer Park  .

Race Street Pier

The Race Street Pier located on the Delaware River waterfront in Philadelphia, PA. This is a more newly renovated pier.

It is an exceptional set to bring a toddler.  From early walkers to running rascals this Pier is safe, beautiful, and engaging.

Link to the website for more information on Race Street Pier

Toddler Around Race Street Pier:

  1. Collect, observe and enjoy all the acorns.  (In the fall)
  2. Climb, run, jump, skip, eat.  The space is deigned for movement and gross motor engagement.
  3. Observe beautiful scenery as the Race Street Pier is located next to the Ben Franklin Bridge and on the Delaware River there is so much wonder to see.
  4. Meet new people.  The pier is utilized for a variety of purpose.  Say hello and make new friends.
  5. Bring snacks and hydration and stay awhile.
  6. Take a nap in the grass and let the sunshine wash over you.
  7. Play games, sing songs, draw, ride a bike, have a picnic, etc.  There is so much to do at Race Street Pier there is grass, tress, benches for seating, stadium bench seating, pavement, and decking.
  8. Language Acquisition: There is so much to do and explore at Race Street Pier so be mindful to enhance your child’s experience by providing language that describes the environment. Speak about what you see, hear, smell, touch, taste and feel (as in feelings).

I hope you will get you there and enjoy Race Street as much a we do!

Toddlering Around at Race Street Pier:

ACORN EXPLORATION

IMG_5274

 

CLIMBINGIMG_5297

Toddler Hiking

Get out there in nature and go for a walk with your toddler.

Walk around your neighborhood, a trail, a park, beach, ect.   The photos you see here are during a summer time hike in Maine on one of the trails near my family home.

Your toddler needs to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste nature.  Especially during the first 3 years of life when brain development is more rapid.  You will provide your child with priceless experiences that will promote positive cognitive and emotional development.

Toddler Hiking Sucess:

  1. Bring snacks and hydration
  2. Backpack with essentials: SUN SCREEN, diaper supplies, hats, change of clothes, etc.
  3. Wear your toddler.  See my post about baby wearing for more information.
  4. Let your toddler walk.
  5. Let you toddler take the lead and follow.
  6. Touch, smell and observe everything. (Keeping safe of course)
  7. Describe your observations in Toddler friendly language for effective language acquisition. (For example when observing a stone say things that describe its color, texture, moisture, weight, etc)
  8. Have fun!  Smile!  Sing Songs! Meditate! Do yoga! Hold hands! Lay in the grass!  Walk through a stream! Explore and engage in nature.

Extra Bonus:  If you are working on toilet training, the forest is a great place to learn to pee.

Now get out there!

IMG_4365

 

Adventure Aquarium

I love the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ!

I am passionate about nature and living things. I hope for a sustainable and healthy future for all living creatures.  How better to ensure this future but by teaching the next generation how to love, understanding and care for living creatures and habitats of our world. I take my daughter to Adventure Aquarium routinely.

When it’s best to go:

On a snow day.  When public schools are closed the aquarium is amazing!  You will have access to everything. It’s quiet, calmer and amazing!

I highly recommend becoming a member. It will save you money and expedite you entry to the aquarium. Check out more about Adventure Aquarium at:

http://www.adventureaquarium.com

BEST PARTS OF THE AQUARIUM FOR TODDLERS:

ACTIVE PLAY: The top floor of the aquarium is wonderful!  There wonderful nature inspired play space, live animals and lots to explore.  Check out the top floor when your little one needs  a break to run around and play with others. Here are some images of a small maze that my daughter loves.

IMG_4804

Hands On Experiences: You will find exhibits where you can touch and observe, stingrays, sharks, jellyfish, and a varsity of tide pool creatures.  Theses areas are a must visit and don’t fort to utilize the hand washing stations afterwards to keep clean and healthy.  I also recommend washing your hand before touching any animals.

IMG_4802

And of course…the shark tunnel!!!  Walk through the shark tank because it’s the best!

IMG_4849

I hope you and your family will have unforgettable experiences and gain much knowledge while on your list to the Adventure Aquarium! Every time you visit you will discover something new an amazing!

Please leave any comments or questions about Adventure Aquarium.

Science is my Secret Sauce

Science is my secret sauce as a parent.

I am uncomfortable when friends give me compliments about what an amazing mother I am to other parents.  I feel I’m in a spotlight that promotes comparison, judgement and competetion among parents which just plain prevents connection and authenticity around the experience of child rearing.  I feel a little like a cheat or a fraud because my education is why I’m an amazing mother.

I am grateful everyday for the plethora of information.  My knowledge  continuously informs my choices as a parent and understanding of my child.  I know I would be a great mother even if I had study paleontology.  But I wonder, would my mother instincts be enough?

Children are not born with a manuals. And our instincts truly only get us so far. However, there is a plethora of knowledge and understanding around how we as organisms grow and develop.

I love the science of child development.  The pure magical science of humans is a phenomenal topic to study and a true blessing to observe in real time.

Humans are the most magical creatures on our planet.  The chronological gestation of a human being from egg and sperm through adult is an epic transformational journey.  Our physical, emotional, cognitive and social development is unmatched by any other living being.

It’s so magical! Scientist still have mysteries to unlock. Evolution and progress keeps transforming our species.  The potential of human beings abilities is still yet to be discovered.  We keep pushing through glass ceilings with more knowledge and more understanding.

The greatest amount of growth and development occurs in the first 3 years of a life for a human.  Science tells us when our critical periods for development occur and how specific factors effect development.

Knowledge is power!

When you are informed with the science of human development you will parent more effectively.

I highly recommend selecting a book on child development.  Put it in your bathroom or by your bed stand.  Read it while you can and at the current developmental period of your child.

Here is a  list of some of my favorites resources to get you started. The following are excellent resources that provide clear and concise information to support you in gaining more understanding of your growing child.

Books:

The Wonder Weeks by Frans Plooij and Hetty van de Rijt

Ages and Stages by Charles E. Schaefer

Yardsticks by Chip Wood

What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff

Websites:

babycenter.com 

families.naeyc.org