The Power of a Parent’s Touch: Adding Tenderness to the Routine Tasks of Childcare

The following is an except from an article I wrote for the most recent issue of Bamboo magazine.  I’d love it if you’d join me over there to read the rest of the article and continue the discuss in the comments there.  Thanks!

Touch is a powerful thing, especially a parent’s touch. It is likely you’ve seen the power of a parent’s touch in action.  Babies are soothed when folded in loving arms, tears are chased away with a hug, a gentle squeeze of the shoulder that reminds an antsy child to sit still just a while longer, or how a parent’s large hand wrapped around a child’s small one can provide an extra boost of courage. We know that touch matters.

So, let me ask you a question I recently asked myself:  when was the last time you slowed down enough to connect with your child, not just through words, but through a loving, intentionally tender touch? 

We touch our children often, of course.  But how many of those connections are made on auto-pilot?  What if we put more intention into our tasks as loving caregivers?  How can we add tenderness to the routine tasks of childcare?

[Read the rest in the Summer 2012 issue of Bamboo magazine …]

Painting peg people (Rockin’ Granola)

This summer we’ve been painting peg people and I’m sharing about our creative adventures over at my other blog, Rockin’ Granola. I’d love to invite you over there to share in the fun. See you there!

This summer has been the Summer of the Peg People!  My ten year old, six year old, and four year old have spent many afternoons indoors when the temperatures outdoors have crawled into the triple digits.  We’ve been beating the heat with air conditioning and crafts at the kitchen table, including painting peg people.

We spread newspaper in double layers over the kitchen table, roll up our sleeves, put on some painting clothes (old shirts of Daddy’s), and then unleash our imaginations!

[Read the rest at Rockin’ Granola …]


The Magic Bucket: Simple Ways to Incorporate Thematic Fun

The following was written by contributor Jaimie  of Two Chicks and a Hen.

WWhen my older daughter went to all-day kindergarten this year and my younger daughter started a small part-time preschool, I found that between balancing work, school commitments, home responsibilities, and everything else, I was generally more tired and distracted than I’d like.  When we’d have a window of time to do something fun, or when the kiddos needed a little prodding to find something to do, I’d sometimes come up short.  I needed some more tricks to keep in my back pocket.

At the store one day, I came across a cute steel bucket and wondered what purpose we could find for it.  Inspiration struck, and the Magic Bucket was born.

[Read more…]

Weekend Links

Nature Tables: A Simple Way to Connect with the Natural World

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama. This post originally appeared in July 2010.

A nature table, or nature corner, is a nice way to create a space within our homes that can remind us of our connection to the natural world outside. Devoting an small area of our home to a seasonal display is a simple way to be mindful of that bond.

The display can be as simple as a vase of seasonal flowers and a few pebbles and sticks gathered from outdoors, or it can be a more elaborate display that you add to as the season progresses.  A family could change it out or add to it every season, with the holidays, or as inspiration strikes. There is not a “right” or a “wrong” way to set up a display.

Some of the nature table displays I have seen in people”s homes are just for looking at, but my favorite ones are those that invite the child to touch, explore, and experience.

[Read more…]