Parent’s Corner : There is help if you need it!

Postpartum Depression
Most of you reading my blog are moms, and if one thing since having my son has become abundantly clear it’s that we need each other. PPD has been getting a lot of press but still so many moms aren’t getting the help they need and deserve. When I read Jenny and Graham Gibbs- Bankston’s tragic story I couldn’t imagine the pain that she must have been in and the grief that those families are left with. Please visit the link to Jenny’s Light, a foundation set up to educate and support those facing PPD and their families.

This is the number for the National Postpartum Depression Hotline , please pass it along to anyone in need 1-800-PPD-MOMS .

A reader Katherine also added this comment which I thought should be included :

1-800-944-4PPD This is the phone number for Postpartum Support International, the largest nonprofit in the world supporting women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. The people who answer this number can connect women to resources in every state in the US. Plus, they have Spanish speakers as well.

Thanks Katherine!

Naptime Creation: Halloween Hair Do!

Easy Peasy
Hair Bow

Naptime Creations are fun activities for school age children and parents. These hair bows are incredibly easy, need no glue or hot glue guns and cost next to nothing! Oh and they are really cute too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need two fun contrasting ribbons, I am using craft ribbon because it’s stiffer and will keep it’s shape well. You also need a hair elastic, some pinking shears and a can from your pantry.
  2. Cut 4 pieces of ribbon, 2 in each color in two longer and two shorter lengths. I used pinking shears to prevent unraveling and i like the way it looks.
  3. Pop the elastic on the can , this will keep your elastic in one place while you tie the ribbons on.
  4. Tie the ribbon on making a snug knot. If the ribbon isn’t even don’t worry you can always cut it later.
  5. Keep tying the ribbon OVER the original knot, with your last layer you want to tie a double knot.
  6. That’s it- told you it was easy peasy!

Letter of the Week ! E e !

Elephant E !

This is a simple but effective activity to introduce the letter E. With older children I have grabbed everything from my craft closet and let them make ” Everything Es” but toddlers and young preschoolers are better served with something more tangible like an elephant. So it’s not our cutest craft ever, but it will do the trick!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper, something to color with, glue, scissors and a marker. We used chalk because we haven’t used it in a while but paint would look great!
  2. Draw an E with a long trunk in the middle. Draw a large ear .
  3. Have your child color the E, talk about how elephants have trunks, and ask them what other big things do elephants have on their heads?
  4. Have them color the big ear.
  5. This is just a picture of my son stacking the chalk on his tractor, he took a breather while I cut out the E .
  6. Grab the 2nd piece of construction paper and if your child wants to color it as well.
  7. Time to glue everything on!
  8. All done!
Books!

” Ella : The elegant elephant” by Carmela and Steven D’Amico is a cute story about Ella the little elephant that is nervous about her first day of school. She tries to make herself feel better but the school bully still teases her. I like this book because it shows kids that you can stand up for yourself without bullying the bully.

“Elmer ” by David McKee is another book with a great message. Elmer is different, he isn’t gray like all the other elephants, and he’s a little bit of a goof too! He’s not so sure he likes that though. Like all of us it takes some time for Elmer to accept who he is but in the end he sees that patchwork is just who he is!

Big Sponge Painting

This is a perfect example of process not product, during this activity your child is discovering how the big brush and sponge make big prints on the paper while their little fingers make little tiny prints. There is no wrong way to do this, just let your child explore.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some big paper- I like to use the reverse side of old Christmas wrapping paper I am sick of, some paint, a large sponge, adult size paint brush and a pan to put the paint in.
  2. Mix your colors and pour your paint into the pan.
  3. Start with finger painting. Talk to your child about how their little fingers make small dots and squiggles on the paper, with older children you can ask them if they know how they could make bigger marks like a hand print.
  4. Next paint with the paint brush. Ask questions like ” If you had a whole house to paint would you want to use your fingers or a big brush?” with toddlers you can simply say things ” Whoa that’s big!”.
  5. Next paint with the giant sponge. My son loved this one! Before we dipped it in the paint we explored the sponge, feeling it and squishing it.

Books!

 

” How Big Is A Pig”by Clare Beaton is such a sweet board book. Fun rhymes all about different farm animals accompany stunning illustrations that are really photos of fabric patch work! I love just looking at this book, my son loves it too.

” Big Fish , Little Fish” by Ed Heck is a good introduction to opposites for little ones, it’s not as good in my opinion as ” Dinosaur Roar” by Henrietta Stickland but it’s worth a look especially if like my son your child is presently obsessed with fish! Also the final page’s message is rather reminiscent of “Swimmy” by Leo Lioni .

” When I Get Bigger” by Mercer Mayer addresses what it feels like not to be big enough to do things you want to do. Little Critter makes a list of all the things he wants to do when he gets bigger. I remember feeling like this , and to 4 and 5 year olds who desperately want to be big kids this book will strike a chord!

Halloween Books!

Scary Good Books !

I am posting this now so there is some hope that my readers will be able to find these books in their local library before they are all snatched up!

” Monster Math” by Anne Miranda is a fun math lesson turned into a fun and entertaining storybook. You can simply read the book or you can have your little mathematician help you guess how many new monsters arrive and leave on each page. The illustrations are adorable and even if the math skills are above your toddler or preschoolers heads they will still enjoy the book.
” Inside a House That Is Haunted” by Alyssa Satin Capucilli was the hands down favorite Halloween book for my 3 year old class in 2005. I must have read this 200 times and even after Christmas had come and gone it was still requested all the time. The story is a rebus read along, so it is repetitive and it builds upon itself. This is great for children who are eager to “read along” before they are able to read words. The repetitiveness allows them to anticipate what is next and feel included. Very cute even after reading it hundreds of times.

” 10 Trick – or Treaters by Janet Schulman was the book I bought to try and eclipse ” Inside a House That Is Haunted” and while my class loved this one two my plan didn’t quite work out. This book has the most adorable pictures and in every page there is an owl hidden somewhere, which is a great trick to keep reluctant readers involved. The story counts down from 10 to no trick or treaters with fun rhyming text and a fun array of trick or treaters in cute costumes.