Saturday, January 24, 2009
The way they teach this at Kindermusik is they'll play stop and go games. These are easy things to do at home. If you're dancing around with your kids, say STOP and have your kids freeze in place until you say GO. Or, if you're dancing to actual music, hit the pause button so your kids learn to stop when they hear the music stop too. That's good for their aural skills too. Basically, you can do this with any physical or musical activity. My kids love it. N is so much better at controlling himself. Sometimes he starts moving again before I say go, but we're working on it. C loves these kinds of games- they always make her smile. Hopefully learning this now it will help her not have ants in her pants when she's N's age.
So, if you have a wild child like mine who can't sit still for more than two seconds at a time, this would be a good activity for you. Anything to help you not go crazy, right? God speed.
2. Sing Out. Anywhere, anyhow, anytime. Kids learn by repetition, so incorporate songs into your daily routine.
3. Feel the Rhythm. To help pre-walkers (and even older kids) catch the beat, gently bounce or tap your child's body while you sing or listen to music.
4. Shake, Rattle, and Roll. Keep a basket of shakers, whistles, bells, tambourines, drums, harmonicas, and xylophones on hand. And take them out of the basket — often. (Here are a couple of sites where you can buy musical instruments: mindysmuskids and kindermusik or you can check out your local music store) *Also, I'd like to add that ANYTHING can be a musical instrument, as we've all learned as we watch our kids play drums with pots and pans. Let your kids explore different timbres, tempos, and dynamics.
5. Give Them an Earful. Expose kids to the sounds you love — not just children's music.
*The original article can be found at wondertime.go.com
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I wanted to tell you all about this not only because it's darling, but it's a great idea! They read a book together and make their own art work about the book. That's such a simple but fun thing we can all do with our kids. I'm excited to try it with N tomorrow. He loves to draw, so I'm pretty sure he'll have a lot of fun trying to depict what he reads in a book.
Now, I'll give my own review of Rapunzel's Revenge. We actually checked it out from the library today. I got it for me to read because I LOVE Shannon Hale, but when I opened it and saw all the pictures (it looks like a comic book) I realized N would probably like it too. I was right. While I was feeding C some dinner, N grabbed the book on his own and started reading it (by reading it, I mean he looked at the pictures and imagined his own story in his mind). He "read" the whole thing (it's not that short), cover to cover. Then, after C was in bed, he wanted me to read it to him for real. We haven't finished it yet, much to his disappointment, but we'll definitely start up again tomorrow. I'm glad he's interested in it because it's totally different than anything I've read to him. It will give him a whole new experience in reading. And I'm so excited to have him do some fan art when we finish it.
So, check out the blog and check out the book! And have fun with your kids!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Opening Song: Sunbeam (Children's Songbook, p. 60)
Picture: p.62 in Nursery Manual (or use your own- something that shows people helping others). Talk about how we should always help those in need because it makes them happy and makes us happy too.
Scripture: Deutoronomy 22:4 (something I've found that helps N get excited about scriptures is I have him read it. By that, I mean I whisper the words in his ear and he repeats the words. He loves this and always has to be holding his Book of Mormon too. He even graced us with his own reading of the scriptures. It made no sense and for some reason he read like it was Chinese- from right to left. Anyway, moving on...) Briefly explain what the scripture is saying.
Role Play: I had Dad carry some papers across the room and drop them. Then N and I helped him pick them up. Then I took a turn and dropped some books and N and Dad helped pick them up. Of course N wanted a turn to play. He was much more dramatic about it. When he dropped his books he threw himself on the floor too. It was pretty cute and funny.
Song: A Happy Helper (p. 197) or When We're Helping We're Happy (p. 198). We sang the latter one. We sang it holding hands and walking in a circle.
Testimony: Mom and Dad bore brief testimonies about helping others.
*We hold FHE in the family room. Usually we clean up toys beforehand, but not this time. We purposefully did not clean up toys because we wanted another opportunity to teach helping. N seemed to enjoy putting the toys away a lot more because he understood better that he was doing something good that made him feel good too.
*I always try to help N recognize when something makes him feel good. Like, after he helped clean up the toys, we asked him, "Don't you feel good inside?" He enthusiastically said, "Yeah!" Then we reiterated the moral of the story- helping makes us happy.
What was your FHE Lesson this week? Please share!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I hope I'm not the only Mom who's felt like this after church. I'm pretty sure I'm not, which is why I'm posting on the subject of church and children. I don't have a lot of experience in the area, and heaven knows I have a lot to learn. Even still, I do have a few tips to share. But I'll be expecting plenty from all of you!
- Don't take the whole play room to church. I've learned that kids aren't better behaved if they have tons to play with. Here's what I take: a sandwich bag of cereal, N's "My First Book of Mormon," N's mini magna-doodle OR a notebook and pen, and 2 or 3 little board books for C. That's it!
- Books and Treats AFTER the Sacrament. I learned this one from a friend. Her kids have to sit reverently during the sacrament. Then, if they're good, they are rewarded by getting their books and treats. *I'm not very good at this one, but I'm working on it.
- Leaving the chapel is NOT fun. If we had to take N out we tried to make it not fun. It wasn't time to play. I'd try to find an empty room far from the chapel (since he's VERY vocal) and make him sit in a chair until he was ready to go back. *We have to take C out now, but she's still too young to be punished for being irreverent. She doesn't know! So, take your child's age into consideration.
- Teach them at home. FHE is the perfect place to reinforce reverence. Teach them to sit and listen at home, and it will help them do the same at church.
- Be clear and consistent. When we've been clear and consistent about our expectations, the results have been better.
- RELAX! C is starting to get the age where she's hard in church, but I feel much more relaxed about it than I did with N. Since I've gone through this once already, I understand better that children are not wired so that they sit perfectly still and listen intently, so we can't get too angry when they don't. They have to learn it, which they will...eventually. Some kids are more wiggly than others, so it may take longer to learn, but they will. Just relax. It will end...eventually.
N isn't perfect, that's for sure. But now that he's older, which also makes a huge difference, he's a lot better than he used to be. I actually enjoy church now! The biggest struggle with him, though, is that he is still pretty wiggly and does not sit on the bench. He does sometimes, but most of the time he's on the floor or on my lap. I'm looking for a way to cure that. I think a lot of it is his age and personality, but I would like to help him learn to sit on the bench instead of the floor. Any advice?
I hope these tips help. If you have any other tips to add to mine PLEASE do!