Easy Ways to Surprise and Delight Your Children

The following is by contributor Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore.

My kids love a good surprise – how about yours? Since the baby days of peek-a-boo, I’ve loved finding little ways to add more smiles and giggles to our days.

As often as I can, I look for sweet, memorable, or unexpected things I can do for my kids. I feel like I shine as a parent when I make the everyday things special - these moments fill me up as much as they do for my girls.

So, here are a few ideas I have up my sleeve that I know will both surprise and delight my two girls. They are easy, frugal, and don’t require much more than my time. There are going to be lots of smiles around here!

[Read more…]

Ages and Stages: Toddlers

I”m taking a few weeks away from blogging as my family celebrates our new baby, Mia.   Before I “unplugged” from the computer, I worked on this series about Ages and Stages.  Today”s installment is about toddlers.  I hope you enjoy it!  Best Wishes – Kara

Toddlerhood:  a time when our child is often full on emotion and short on patience.  But, toddlerhood can also be a time of great joy, silliness, and bonding.

In fact, many parents I know, myself included, declare these years to be among their favorite ages, despite the sometimes rocky phases one and two year olds can go through.

Patience and Laughter

It is true that toddlers have a reputation for getting frustrated easily and sometimes lashing out.  They aren”t naturally very patient so it is important that their caregivers are patient.

I know that this is sometimes easier said than done, but one thing I have learned about patience is that it gets easier the more you practice it.  And toddlers give us lots of chances to practice patience.

[Read more…]

Special Parenting: Lessons on Perfection

I’m enjoying a break from blogging as my family settles in to life with our new baby. However, I”m leaving you in the hands of some very talented guest writers.  Today, Simple Kids is pleased to welcome Deanna Smith. I think you”ll be very touched by her words, as I was.  – Kara

When I was newly pregnant with my daughter, the thoughts filling my head were competitive, fierce and determined.

My spirits were high to not only be the most stellar mother possible, but also to have the most perfect, beautiful, smart daughter ever before seen on this earth.

I had a checklist: she would crawl at 6 months, walk at 9 months, begin the violin at 3, read ridiculously early and just overall be a genius/prodigy. I looked around at all of my friend”s babies and made mental notes so that I could push my child to beat all of their milestones.

[Read more…]

At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Forever Blowing Bubbles

The following is a post written by author and Crafts Contributor Rae Grant of My Little Hen.  This post originally appeared June 2010.

Some people say that kids will only be inventive if they are allowed to experience boredom. Although it was soap maker Andrew Pears who popularized bubble blowing in the late 1800’s, I have no doubt that it was probably a child who came up with the idea of making homemade bubbles one hot summer day in July.

Perfect Boredom Buster

With summer coming as fast as it can, so is the need to have a few activities for your kids to do when they have some down time. Making bubbles is one of the more simple and fanciful ways to spend a warm sunny afternoon. They work well on a grassy lawn, outside on the steps, under the  shade of a tree, and even in the kitchen.

When it comes to kids, bubbles have everything going for them; they fascinate, they float, have rainbow colors, and require some skill to blow a good bubble. They can be treated as a scientific experiment or as a past time. Best of all, they are inexpensive to make.

Bubbles are, indeed, the perfect boredom buster for a summer day.

[Read more…]

Ages and Stages: the First Year

I’m taking a few weeks off from blogging while my family settles in with our new baby.  Before I “unplugged” from the computer, I worked on this series about Ages and Stages.  Today is the second installment, on the first year.  I hope you enjoy it!  Best Wishes – Kara

The first year of a baby’s life is a time of amazing changes and growth.  It has always seemed to me that my babies change overnight. Every day they learn something new, grow more confident in their surroundings, and master new ways to communicate and express themselves.

It doesn’t seem take long for the tiny, quiet curled up newborn to become a happy, bouncy, giggling, cooing one year old eager to get into everything and be on the move!  The days of the first year go by in the blink of an eye.

I find that parents go through some big changes during the first year, too. That first birthday?  It is not just a celebration of the first year of life for a baby, but it a celebration of the first year of life as a parent.

[Read more…]