The art of travel with young children

The following post is by contributor Catherine Way of Indirect Observations and originally appeared in June of 2010.

The first time I took a big trip with my son, then two years old, I was looking forward to a break from the mundane, a chance to have some time to myself and the opportunity to have a few new adventures.  After all, that is what holidays had been about before I had children.  But that expectation nearly spoiled my holiday.

I found myself upset at my child for just being a child. I worried when he missed naps or didn’t sleep at night.  I worried about disturbing other people on the plane or in the next hotel room when he wouldn’t stop crying.  I worried when he wasn’t enjoying what were doing.  And I got upset that I didn’t have time to sit and read my book or go and see what I wanted to see.

As I got more and more stressed I realised I was ruining my holiday. I was missing my son’s excitement at new experiences and I wasn’t enjoying the time I did get to myself or the new sights and experiences.  Trying to make the holiday fit my expectations was making things harder for me.

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5 Playful ways to practice scissor skills

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

Scissors can be a tricky tool for kids to master. Playful, open-ended scissor activities are naturally inviting to kids, and can lessen feelings of frustration for scissor-newbies. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect – the best way to improve scissor skills is lots of scissor practice.

Tips for success:

• Model the correct way to hold scissors, with lots of gentle reminders. Show your child how to hold the scissors with his elbows close to his body, and his hand turned so the thumb is on top.

• A quality pair of kid scissors is important, too. Nothing is more frustrating than scissors that won’t cut!

• Offer a wide variety of inviting materials and activities for scissor work, and let your child play and experiment.

Here are five simple ways to practice scissor skills and have fun, too:

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Parenting with positive guidance: Amanda Morgan

I consider myself fortunate to have gotten to know Amanda  Morgan, of Not Just Cute For those of you who have not yet discovered her blog, Not Just Cute is a well-written resource for parents and caregivers of preschoolers.

Before she joined Simple Kids as a regular contributor, Amanda graciously consented to let me interview her back in January 2011, so that Simple Kids readers could get to know her and her work. Her family may have grown a bit since then, with the birth of their new baby boy, but her love of children and heart for educating parents and caregivers is the same. I’m re-posting this interview today and sharing some news about her Parenting with Positive Guidance ecourse at the end. Enjoy!

1. So, Amanda, tell me a little bit about your family.

Well, there’s certainly a lot of testosterone in my house!  I have a wonderful husband who is amazingly supportive and often serves as my sounding board.  (I’ll be the first to admit some of the best parts of the book came from discussions with him.  And it was great for us as a parenting team.)

We have three boys ages 6, 4 ½ , and 21 months.  So if you were to walk into my house on any given day, you’d find a lot of Legos, light sabers, books, bruises, battle cries, dirt, and pillow fights.

2.  You run your blog, Not Just Cute, and have written an ebook.  You’re balancing writing with raising a family and you also have a very interesting day job.  Could you share with our readers a bit about what you do?

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