Joanna Anastasia

preschool

How to teach kids to share

How to teach kids to share, naturally, without the drama, and making it fun. Simple parenting tricks that work!

I really believe that teaching kids to share is also encouraging them to help each other and cooperate. That in fact, it’s about teaching them to work together, to play together and to respect each other. And it’s also helping them to figure out how to fight and how to make up after. And that in the end, it makes them feel capable and strong while helping them have strong relationships with other kids, and being assertive while staying compassionate. And I always felt that if my daughters will really learn to share, they’ll become the best of friends. That’s why I’ve been thinking a lot about how to tech kids to share, and how to make it really work in our home.

You see, I believe it’s fine it they fight, as long as they know how to resolve their issue afterwards, and in their age, most of fights happen over sharing, or lack of it. So for me, helping them to share is a part of my bigger goal: making sure they’ll have a strong relationship, and that they’ll always know how to get over a fight.

So at least once a day I’ll ask Lili to help Rose with something, “read” her a book that they’ll both hold, draw together on one piece of paper or prepare me a felt-veggie dinner together. And then, once they did something together, and once Lili helped her little sis, all that sharing thing comes a bit easier! And that way also Rose learns that it’s actually nice to share and she feels better about it too.

Of course, my kids are not angels, and they do fight over toys, even after all the sharing they do. But it never lasts long, and recently I don’t even need to intervene, as they’ll excuse themselves on their own, cuddle and find a way to play together afterwords.

How to teach kids to share

How to teach kids to share

How to teach kids to share

So here’s what I do to help them to share, naturally and on a day-to-day basics, :

1. Share one bedroom.

I really believe that because they sleep in one room, and are the first people they see in the morning, they are more used to other people in their personal space and therefore are more open to sharing. Also, since they have this time just for the two of them, when thy fall a sleep and when they wake up, they are closer together and more apt to share things.

2. Do crafts together.

I often set up a craft for the two of them do create together, on a large piece of paper. They have usually one set of paint or crayons to use, and so naturally they need to take turns. There’s no ” that’s mine” talk, since the art piece is supposed to be an effect of their work together.

I think that creating together, sharing a big sheet op paper, paint and crayons makes for a natural setting to share, where the things are less important than the act of creating, and so they concentrate on their creative play, and sharing comes along the way.

3. Playing games where they need to cooperate.

I used to encourage imaginative games where they both had a role to play: setting up a restaurant from felt food, doing puzzles together, simple game boards or pretended play. Now they are used to these and often play together without me setting anything for them.

4. Give them positive attention when they help each other.

Kids do a lot of things only to get our attention. Sharing or not might be one them. So me, I used to come to the playroom every time I heard a cry. And at some point there was a lot of crying in that room! At some point I realized that instead of talking to each other they’d cry, only so I would come and solve their problem.

So I changed my approach. I stopped reacting to cries, and when they would come to me saying : ” she took that, she did this, she doesn’t share” I’d ask: “Why are you telling me this? Was it me who took it? Ask her to give it back, tell her you’re sad when she takes things away from you” And in the end they learned to work it out between them. And they stopped crying just to grab my attention.

So now, when they play and share, I’ll pop in to the play room and say that I appreciate how they share, and I love to see them playing together.

5. Don’t force it.

Last but not the least, I try not to force it. As a friend once told me, for a toddler to share a toy, is as difficult as for an adult to share their spouse: unimaginable!

So that’s why even playing in taking turns might be very difficult for little kids. But I believe that even small kids understand when someone is sad, and they want to fix it. So instead of pushing them to give their toy to play, I would show that the other child is sad, and maybe we could make him happier if we shared for a minute. Or I’d try to show them how nice it is to exchange toys.

So while my kids are definitely not perfect they do cooperate with more ease lately. And since I implemented these ways in our every day life, they do share more and fight less over toys. And I hope these tips might help you too!

The series that’ll inspire your kid to craft and create !

When a series is both amusing and educative, then it's a totall win in my books, and when it inspires my kids to sit down and craft, then I call it a success! And I'm sure you'll love swig your kids inspired and creative too!

Today I’d like to share with you my latest discovery, the new interactive Amazon Original Kids series, that’ll inspire your kid to craft and create. Because if you’re anything like me, then probably you love seeing your kids being creative and learning while playing and crafting, right? So I’ll assume, that just like me, you really appreciate series that are both educative as amusing? Oh, and also series that encourage kids to actually get up, play and do something fun, right? I thought so!

So I’m sure that you’ll love looking at your kids crafting and learning while following their favorite characters from the Creative Galaxy series, Arty and his silly side-kick Epiphany, as they travel around the galaxy to solve problems using many different forms of art. And because is a “make-along, create-along” animated art adventure, it really celebrates creative thinking through crafts, story, music, and dance! And each episode highlights a creative medium, like painting, music, sculpting, or cooking, to teach kids that art is all around us and that it exists in many different forms!

And my both my daughters and I , we are really exited for the new season, and so we decided to make one of the crafts featured in it, a tiger mask!

series that inspires kids to craft

Now, you know I’m not about perfection, but experience, fun and creativity! So this mask isn’t perfect. But you know what, it doesn’t have to be. Because what I want my kids to learn, is that creativity is an adventure and that the process is sometimes more important then the result. And that’s exactly what they’ll learning with Creative Galaxy!

If you’d like to make the same one with your kids, you can either print out my imperfect mask or draw your own and follow the instructions, or get creative and make it in a totally different way!

What you’ll need:

Paper
Crayons
Scissors
Pipe cleaners

Mask

1. Print out our imperfect mask / or draw your own.

If you’re crafting with a toddler, help them draw some tiger stripes and a nose!

Series that inspires your kid to craft !

2. Let your kids color and decorate it as they want.

Remember, it’s all about experiencing the creative process, and not necessary following the instructions, so if your child wan’t its tiger mask to be purple and green why not let him?

Series that inspires your kid to craft

3. Cut it out and pierce tiny holes with pipe cleaners and insert one on every edge.

Series that inspires your kid to craft !

4. Put them on and get ready for the all new season of creative ideas and adventures!

Now, next time it’s rainy outside and we can’t play in the garden, we’ll be right here watching our new favorite Creative Galaxy series and crafting along. And I hope you’ll join us too! And remember, the second season will be available starting this Friday, September 16!

When a series is both amusing and educative, then it's a totall win in my books, and when it inspires my kids to sit down and craft, then I call it a success! And I'm sure you'll love swig your kids inspired and creative too!

Disclosure:I was compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience!

#YourPerfect

What is perfection, and how do you deal with imperfection? Because let's face it, life with kids is messy, noisy, and tiring. One moms honest opinion. #parenting

When I was in my twenties, a notion of perfect was a gathering in some distant and exotic place with a big group of friends. I used to say that travelling far is my version of perfect. Oh, and staying up late. And it’s funny when I think about it now, but I used to hate mornings. I’m really not a morning person. I need at least two coffees to wake up. And don’t even try talking to me before seven am! But something have changed.

It may be the kids, or just settling down, but now, when it’s early, sunny and warm, and the birds are singing around and I look at my two crazy little girls, I really feel happy.
It’s the mornings with my daughters, that are my favorite moments. Especially since it’s warm enough and we can finally eat outside on our patio.

Seeing my two best people in a whole wide word, in their pajamas, with their crazy, unbrushed hair, and their morning smiles full of energy, makes me feel like I’m in a perfect place.

And don’t think they’re super well behaving and that our mornings are all calm and peaceful. Nope, we’re far from that! Actually, my personal crazy pajama duo is always very grumpy before breakfast and so eager to eat that they’ll usually spill both milk and juice. Then, they’re fighting over the purple cup. And they want to prepare their own breakfast. Without. Any. Help. And that really means mess.

But you know what? I still love it. This is my perfect. Breakfast outside with my daughters. The morning light, and their screams next to the singing birds. My toddler making a huge mess with the peanut butter. And my preschooler serving everyone milk and spilling a good portion of it on the table.

Life with kids

Though when I look at this messy breakfast table, what I really see, is my girls learning new things, I see their determination, and I see them acquiring new skills. And I love this sight. I wouldn’t have it any other way, I wouldn’t change it for anything else in the world.

My perfect isn’t clean, nor exotic. It’s not fancy, nor original. My perfect is this morning light, my daughters dirty faces, and my big mug of fresh coffee. It’s looking at their bright smiles and realizing that I got so lucky to be their mama. And the mess? Well, it’s a part of a deal.

I’d love to know what’s #YourPerfect? Be sure to share it on Instagram !

And to read more about #YourPerfect campaign, click here !

Teaching kids about the months of the year with art

Teach your kid about the months of the year with this one easy trick! #homeschool #preschool # education

I find that now, at four years old, my daughter is more than ever eager to learn and comprehend. She’s a very creative little creature, full of energy and enthusiasm who claims to know it all too. But obviously she doesn’t. And I’ve been trying to teach her about the months of the year for a while now, with no success. But recently I got an idea that changed it all.

It all started with Tuta&Coco, an online service that transforms children’s drawings and paintings in to beautiful, high-quality art objects. As soon as I found out about them, I knew that I want to finally reuse all of my daughters creations from the past months! Because really, how do you display it all? I have no place left on my fridge!

So I’ve set my heart on a calendar. And that was the best choice I could have possibly made because I managed to get rid of the clutter of old drawings and paintings, and I got a great tool to teach Lili about the months of the year!

Teach kids about months

First we laid all of the months down. Because Tuta&Coco’s calendars are printed on separate, thick and beautiful paper sheets, kids can manipulate them and change months on their own (talking about a great design!)

I was really surprised to see that she remembered the meaning of each of her painting and drawing, and she even remembered which ones were made by her sister.

So I realized, that its not just a calendar for her: its a collection of memories and stories that she imagined. A collection that helped her finally gasp the notion of time.(Because kids learn best when their emotions and imagination is involved. And this is obviously what happened here.)

I helped her count the months and we separated them it to the seasons of the year. We talked about how seasons change, and how many months are in a season.

Preschool activity

Then we where looking for important events, like Christmas and Easter and birthdays. She remembered a couple, and was surprised to see that her drawings where matching with some events, like valentines day or summer visits at the lake.

Here's a great trick to teach preschoolers about the months of the year

I really wanted Lili to understand that a calendar is used as a planning tool too, so we took a crayon and started marking days of the week, the play dates, the family visits, the days in her part-time daycare. And just like that she understood what a calendar is all about.

Finally she said that she knows why we need calendars: to know when things are going to happen! And I could tell that she was really proud of herself, naming the months and the seasons!

Simple ways to teach kids about the months of the year

And I couldn’t be happier knowing that I managed to do two things that I was struggling with at a time: I organised my kids art, and I thought Lili about the months of the year using her own art!

Teach kids about the months of the year with art #preschool

For more ideas for reusing kids art, check Tuta&Coco Instagram account!

Disclosure: I got this product for a review, all opinions remain my own.

Teaching kids how to recycle and reuse

How to show to small kids what's recycling and reusing is really all about.

We all recycle paper and plastic and glass in our homes. We all know how important it is to reduce the waste and reuse old objects. Thanks to my city’s initiative I even do compost. But I realized that my kids don’t really understand the very essence of recycling nor they understand why we do it.

So I decided to show them the meaning of recycling in a way that they can understand, and that’ll look appealing and useful to them: reusing their old and broken crayons!

We took our crayon box and sorted all the broken crayons aside. I asked them first what should we do with these broken crayons, and my older daughter proposed throwing them away. Now, that was a clear signal to me that I should put more effort in teaching her about the importance of reusing things!

So without explaining to her what exactly are we doing, I asked her to help me with taking the papers off the broken crayons. I wanted her to first see for herself how we can recycle broken objects in to something useful, before telling her what will happen.

How to show to small kid what's recycling and reusing is really all about: a simple craft that can help!

We sorted the crayons in to colour groups : yellow with orange, blue with purple, and green with brown. We’ve put every group in to a different silicone cup, and off to the oven set up for 300F for around 15 minutes.

When I took the melted crayons out of the oven, my daughter was very surprised, but she still didn’t understand why are we doing this.

When the melted crayons finally cooled down, and I popped new and funny shaped crayon cups out of the baking sheets, finally she understood: we made something new out of something old! Yes. Instead of creating waste we reused what we already had.And that is recycling and reusing.

She’s still a bit young for learning about the climate change, the polluted oceans and Arctic ice melting. I spread her all the explanations about the dangers of not reusing what we have. I think that simply seeing the utility of this craft made her see why it’s better to reuse then to throw away things.

And then she started drawing with her new crayons, and later in the afternoon she used them as cupcakes for her dolls. And so I think that she understood what it actually means to recycle. And how fun it is, when we can make something new out of something old!

How to show to small kid what's recycling and reusing is really all about: a simple craft that can help!

And hers what you’ll need to make your new crayons:

Broken crayons
Cupcake moulds (I suggest silicone)
Oven

Take the papers off your crayons, place them in a cupcake moulds, and put in the oven heated to 300F for around 15 minutes so they’ll melt completely. Take them out to cool down. Add some glitter. Pop out once they’re cooled down, and have fun!

Valentine’s day card, that your child can make on its own!

Valentine's day card that your child can really make!

Valentine’s day is approaching, and I know you’re hungry for new ideas! Remember how I was writing about paying attention to not overstimulate our kids? And guided crafting was one of the things to look at? So, I’m happy to say, that this craft is equally a fruit of unguided creativity, and of a guided crafting with mom. So kids get to express themself, and then they can make something really nice too, a win-win!

My girls love crafting, and this card here is their collaborative work, with just a tiny bit of help from my side. But if your kids are confident with scissors, then they can make this card entirely on their own!

What you’ll need :

A big sheet of white paper
Red and pink paint

2 pink cardboards
scissors
Glue

Valentine's day card

First step is unguided painting. Let kids ( even an older baby or a toddler ) paint whatever they want with pink and red paint. You could even give them pompoms to paint with (especially toddlers love painting with unusual materials!) Then let it dry.

Valentine's  day car

Take two, equal in size pink cardboards. Set one aside. Fold another one in half, and cut a half-heart. Set it aside.

Valentine's card

And now cut the painted sheet of paper in to long stripes. Take the other pink cardboard, and glue on it the pink and red stripes. Make sure there’s no space in-between stripes left.

Valentine's day card

Now place the cardboard with a heart on top ( add glue to the edges so it stays).
Your Valentine’s card is ready!

Valentine's day card

We’ll be making more of these, since my daughter decided that she wants to send one to each of her grandparents, and aunts and uncles. And are your kids making cards for friends and family?

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