Parent’s Corner Extra :Reading is Playtime !

Book Festival!

My son gets read to a lot, he didn’t always like books books though. As an infant he would happily read along with me, swatting at bright colors in the illustrations and mimicking silly sounds I made to keep his attention when he was digging to nurse instead. We did a lot of reading while nursing too – sometimes I would read my books , other times I’d balance a copy Babar or Madeline on the boppy just past his head while we both multi tasked.

Then it happened, he started walking and playing and didn’t want to sit for books except for right before bed. He’d grab a book sit in my lap , we’d read 2 pages and he’d slam it closed and sign “Done”. I’m a patient mom, but that really bugged me. I would patiently grab another book and the slamming and dramatic “DONE” ( I imagined he was screaming the sign) would continue.

In time he started sitting for a book here or there, and by 18 months would easily sit for one or two but never more than that. I knew he was young and I was over thinking things but isn’t that what I do best? Some parents want their child to be a major league pitcher, all I wanted was for my son to love books was I asking too much?

Then one day when he was about 2 we were stuck at home due to weather and I went into his closet grabbed a huge stack of books and we had our first “Book Festival” . We locked ourselves in my bedroom, sitting a top my big bed where there was nothing to distract my son and we read 20 books.

I kid you not. 20.

He was well past signing at this stage having a pretty good vocabulary for a 2 year old but when I would close a book his signing came out again, not the sign for “done” like he did 6 months earlier, instead it was “more” and “please” he said the words as well but he was so excited he busted out his signs to show me just how badly he wanted more!

My whole point isn’t to say that I was being neurotic and putting unrealistic expectations on him ( which are both true) but it’s to say that I was approaching reading the wrong way for him. I always say to parents “Let your kids lead” with toddlers and young preschoolers their interests should lead the way. We as parents should jump on their interests and capitalize learning within that frame work. I wasn’t taking my advice at all. I was sitting down and saying it’s reading time, instead of making reading playtime.

Now we have book festivals at least once a week, sometimes much more. We read 5 books some days and others seem to go on forever! I always start with a huge stack of books and show him each one, he gets to choose which to read and which to pass up. I try to doctor the piles with more advanced books , or ones he’s vetoed during previous festivals but he’s figured it out and will often say ” No mama, I no want that last time.” I still keep trying, but we keep it fun and now reading is playtime.

Need book recommendations for your first festival?
Click Here

Want to get more ideas for playtime and insights about play from other parents
Pop over to
PhD in Parenting
They are hosting a Carnival of Play where they are devoting the first two weeks of April to discussing the importance of play in our children’s lives.

Sunday Spotlight

The Spotlight is on…

I love to cook but between my schedule, my son’s and husband’s individual food quirks and trying to provide the healthiest options possible it can get stressful. What I love about this blog is that they ( Kara and Celeste)not only have recipes but they test the food out and give real reviews and reactions from their own kids! There isn’t an ounce of pretense, they are real moms who will have you in stitches laughing with them while trying to feed your family better.

PS : I also love that like my son, Kara’s older daughter loves to wear her PJ’s for the photos!

Ultimate Blog Party !

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

5 minutes for mom is a great resource for moms, bloggers and of course mom bloggers like me. They are hosting The Ultimate Blog Party 2009 from March 20th – 27th . They have events online and live, prizes and lots of networking for everyone. Pop on over and join the party!

There are so many prizes ! My wish list would be:
$50 Target gift card from Beginner Baby Blog
Ergo Baby Carrier from Giveaway Addicted Mom
$25 gift card to Shutterfly from SandwichINK.com

Really though everything is awesome and you need to check it out!

Oh oh I forgot I am supposed to introduce myself and this little piece of the blogosphere I call No Time For Flash Cards. Well I am Allie,mama to one paint loving 2 year old – you can see him doing all these fun and educational activities . I used to be a teacher now I stay home, write preschool curriculum and all together spend far too much time with a computer on my lap!

Basics for Beginners !


“How do I start?”

I have been asked this question a lot lately, and I never mind answering it. The thing is is that every child is different and the younger the child the harder it is to ask them what they want to do today. So here are some of my most basic activities, most were done when my son was 15-18 months old . For a full list of beginner activities look in the index under Beginners .




Painting with Water