I get on average 15-20 emails a week from readers asking all sorts of questions. From specific books they are looking for to their child’s development to where I got my kitchen island ( Ikea). Here are the most frequently asked questions. A Second installment will follow shortly.
Do you have a supply list?
Yes ! I Just finished my Supply List. The craft supplies are linked so if you are having a hard time finding it you can find it online! The list is on my menu bar on the far right.
How old is your son? How old was he when you started doing crafts?
My son turned 3 in November 2009, he was 15 months when I started No Time For Flash Cards. He started out doing very basic things/parts of projects. A good rule of thumb is that when kids show interest in an activity to run with it, but expect the time spent to be short . When he first started out he was spending 5 minutes if that on crafts, now at 3 it’s still sometimes 5 minutes, sometimes much much longer.
What is your background?
I have been teaching children in various capacities since 1993, so you can imagine I have done my fair share of crafts, songs, and circle times. I started as a day camp leader at a local recreation centre while in high school. Taught various preschool age and after school programs through university and worked as a reading tutor while pursuing a second degree in elementary education. After graduating with honors I set out to teach, taught PreK for a year and ended up as a director of a large childcare center and preschool . I returned to the classroom after a year realizing pretty quickly that I belong in a classroom not an office. My son’s birth brought me home and my love of teaching and helping other parents sparked the idea for No Time For Flash Cards.
Since starting NTFFC in early 2008 I have had the opportunity to contribute activities to some wonderful websites , become a staff blogger at FamilyEducation.com and have written curriculum lesson plans for Itty-Bitty Bookworm a literature based preschool curriculum.
Do you have a daily schedule?
I get asked this a lot and there are probably 10 different ones floating around that I have made to reply to mom’s requests. They are all different because our routine is always changing. I like to provide my son with predictability but I also want him to be flexible. Generally speaking we do 1 mommy directed table activity in the morning ( art project, learning game, sensory play- this normally ends up as a post) and one mommy suggested activity in the afternoon ( usually this is less structured- and isn’t a post or has been one in the past and I am pulling it back out for more play. sorting, color hunts, play dough) these are often put on the table and if he wants to do it he can but I don’t ask him to join me, I just let him know they are there if he wants to play. The rest of our day is filled with free play, reading books, going on play dates, preschool, errands, library visits, digging for worms and playing with trucks outside and me checking email while I guilty allow him to watch TV. Meals, when we leave the house daily for school, classes or errands, and sleep times are pretty consistent so he knows generally what to expect but I have no set schedule.
When your baby comes will you still have your blog?
Absolutely! My baby girl is due in late June and I have every intention of continuing on. I love this blog, it’s anything but a burden and while I am sure I will have to have some changes I have no plans for an extended break in posting. I am a pro at nursing and typing thanks to my son so I am confident that not much will change!
Do you have a question? Leave it in the comments and I will help or add it to the next FAQ!
First of all let me apologize for no getting back to some of you who have commented on the FAQ page, I check it periodically but not as often as I thought! Here are my answers to some more recent questions! If you have a question feel free to email me
A: The basics to have on hand are
- Construction Paper
- Tissue Paper
- Pipe Cleaners
- Paper Plates
- Recycled things like cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls etc…
The extras you may also like to have are
- Googly Eyes
- Foam Sheets
- Contact Paper
- Paint Dobbers
- Sparkle Paint
- Ink Pads
- Rubber Stamps
Q: Is there a quick and easy way of finding the best activities for my 2 year old?
A: All of our activities with the exception of ” Naptime Creations” are appropriate to try with toddlers through school age children. You may have to adjust the supplies and your expectations of the final result but your child should be able to do some part of it and learn in the process. I always note when I think a craft is too hard and thus frustrating for toddlers, but you know your child best.
Capatilize on their interests. If they like bugs, check out the bug activities, into fish look for the under the sea ones. Toddlers are notoriously hard to please so by choosing an activity that includes a favorite subject the likely hood that you will have a happy , engaged 2 year old is good.
Remember it’s the process not the product- it’s more important that they love art, love letters and numbers etc.. because they like playing with them instead of being directed by us to do it “right”. Young children learn through play so keep it fun, and just try .
Q: What do you do with all the finished crafts and artwork?
A: I can’t lie. It gets recycled. Every time we make something it gets put on the kitchen cart until we can show it to Daddy when he comes home. When my husband comes home we go over our day , and show him our creation. Then if my son wants to play with it it may hang around for a while , if not I recycle what I can and toss the rest out. I have saved a few special pieces as mementos too.
Letter of the week letters always get put on the side of the fridge until the next one is made.
However as my son gets older and more attached to his masterpieces we will hang them up on a cork board ,in his room, with the rule of one in , one out. That’s the plan anyway.
Q : Is your son always in sleepers?
A: You’d think that if all you ever saw were the pictures on my site, no I swear he does have real clothes, and I do dress him in them. We normally do art right after coming down stairs in the morning, I find for him the best time to learn is after nursing before breakfast. We do art then have breakfast- makes it so he is all ready in his booster and I don’t have to wrangle him twice. Also if he gets paint on PJs I don’t mind.
A: Most of the activities I have featured are geared towards the 2-5 year old age group but I have done each with my son who was 15 months old when I began this site and now pushing 18 months, so it is possible you just have to adjust your expectations, shorten the activity and go with the flow.
Q: What do I do if my child won’t sit for art or doesn’t do it right?
A: Well first let me address not doing it right. None of the activities on this site can be done wrong. Your child may not be ready for a particular craft but that is ok, if they are getting frustrated stop , if you want try it again in a few weeks or months. Let them lead as much as possible.
Depending on your child’s age they may not be ready for sit down activities. Young kids learn best through play so parent directed activities should be a very small portion of their day. Our goal is to help you enrich your child’s environment and hopefully learn something in the process. When kids are forced to sit down and do a project they are not open to learning, and it is no longer fun. We want to instill a love of learning as early as possible so relax and let it happen.
Q: Where do you get your supplies?
A: Everywhere! I buy most of my supplies at discount retail stores like Target and Wal-mart, but most of my paint brushes come from hardware stores- they are much cheaper than an art supply or craft store. Most of my books have come from thrift stores , it takes some digging but I have found awesome books for under a dollar.
Q: Where do you get your ideas? What is your background?
A: My ideas are mostly my own , and old staples passed around schools I have worked in. I have been teaching young children in various capacities since 1993, so you can imagine I have done my fair share of crafts, songs and circle times.
I started as a day camp leader in high school, taught various preschool programs at community centers through university, worked as a tutor while pursuing a second degree in elementary education , and most recently worked as a director and preschool teacher before becoming a full time mom.
Early Childhood Education is my passion, despite a degree in elementary education my heart belongs to the little guys!