Bridging the Million Word Gap
We know reading to children is vitally important. We have all been told that we must read to our little ones. Whether we were told by our physicians, pediatricians, teachers, other parents, our own parents, or we read it in every baby book or blog post, we know reading is important. Now here's what I want you to know... (especially before you read the rest of this article) ...it is better to begin reading late than to not begin at all.
Alongside shamrocks, lots of green and leprechauns, March play is often full of rainbows! You may be lucky enough to see a real rainbow this month if you live somewhere with a climate that allows for rain in March but sadly for us up north in the Canadian winterland, we still have snow… and lots of it. So I suppose the only rainbows we will be seeing are the ones leading us to the pots of gold! 🌈✨
The writing on the stone is the powerful philosophy by which I find myself guided as a teacher. This stone was a gift to me from a student and it is something I keep close so that I don't ever lose my way in the plethora of pedagogical approaches that teachers have. You see, Plutarch's philosophical definition of education is something I am very passionate about because when it comes to teaching, I don't teach... I light fires.
These jars are some of my favourite little play items! Easy to make and they are entertaining and engaging for brand new babies, toddlers and big kids alike! I first made them for Lilly to play with she was around 3 months old. She’s now almost two and they are still a relevant play thing and have become a fun learning tool for her! Let me share how I use and make these superb little Sensory Jars!
Let Them Be Messy
Hundreds of colourful buttons cascade from the button box in my toddler's hands onto the carpet floor. Every inch of my entire body is silently cringing while I force a smile and cherrily say, "Wow! Look at all those buttons on the floor!" My little one delights in her precious pile of poured buttons and begins her curious exploration and observation after noting my supportive reaction. Beside her, I clasp my hands together fighting back the urge to quickly begin picking them all up off the floor. I remind myself that the mess matters to her and dive into her eager exploration.
Tinker trays are taking toddler play to another level these days! Trending on social media, sensory play has given rise to another realm of playtime for young ones! These trays differ from the classic sensory play because these don’t contain a base material like rice, sand or beans. Don’t worry though, these tinker trays still create open-ended opportunities for play! Little hands delight in exploration, experimentation, manipulation and learning-based play with tiny items carefully chosen by you! Blending together the best pieces of ideologies like Montessori and Reggio with added fundamentals of sensory play and learning-based play, these tinker trays also bolster a big opportunity to fine tune those fine motor skills.
Adventures in Entomology
With only a few short months left of warmth before we are covered completely in snow up here in Canada, I am definitely making the most of my time spent outdoors with my toddler! One thing we both love to do right now are tiny treasure hunts around our yard. This all started when spring brought hundreds of tiny bright orange ladybugs to our backyard and my little girl was overjoyed with their presence! Each day we would scour the yard in search of these little ladybugs. She would squeal with delight upon spotting one in the grass and beg me to collect it and put it in our potted plants so it could munch on the leaves or mites. Some days we would have a dozen or more little ladybirds collected!
A Heart for Horses
The benevolence for and keen curiosity of animals that Lilly has continues to be one of her most defining characteristics at just 18 months old. Most notably, her little heart is full of a big love for horses. This toddler girl has a passion for all things pony. When it's quiet, I can often find her cheerily pretending with her play stables and horse figurines or delighting wholeheartedly at every horse picture in our books. Other days, she wants to ride and race on her wooden rocking horse, and whinny, bray and neigh the day away. I truly have a teeny tiny equestrian enthusiast.
She Will Rise: Part 4
The Road Home As the days continued to pass, death didn’t come for me. I continued to be monitored on all levels, had regular visits with OBGYN doctors and many consults with the Infectious Diseases Department. No one could find a source of infection, no one could explain some of the levels they were seeing in my CBC labs and bloodwork analysis. My platelet count was over 600 and they assumed it was from my transfusion but they weren’t certain. My fever continued with no additional symptoms. I was a mystery and no one was comfortable to release me from the hospital. So they continued to keep me on the maternity floor and continued to monitor me. Some nurses wore PPE and others didn’t. I gained strength back in my legs gradually. I even graduated from walking around my hospital room to roaming the hallways. I would push Lilly in the bassinet throughout the maternity floor, pausing to gaze out the windows into the world that continued to turn outside. Nurses who had witnessed my journey and recovery applauded me every time I stepped into the hallway and made my way around. Whether I was coming or going from my room, my steps were always slow, methodical and laboured but I hoped they were going to get me home soon. Eventually, I had the stamina to make some tiny trips outside for some fresh air. Kevynn and Lilly would accompany me on these little adventures. Always, I would find a bench in the courtyard outside and gingerly lower myself to sit. Every inhale of the freezing cold, fresh air was life-giving to my lungs. To be outdoors was exhilarating, even in the dead of winter. Huddled in my parka next to Kevynn, with Lilly snuggled in her stroller surrounded by a fleece muff, we would sit in silence and I would close my eyes and feel the bite of the cold air on my face and thank God for my life, for Lilly, for Kevynn, my mom, my friends, my family, the medical team and each breath I was lucky enough to take.
She Will Rise: Part 3
The CT The trip to the CT scan was as hurried as could be. They had to find the hemorrhage before all of that new blood flowed out. They quickly hoisted me from the operating room table into a hospital bed to transport me. We didn’t have to travel too far to get there but the nurses wheeled me through the hallways rather quickly. I didn’t have to wait when we arrived in the diagnostic imaging area and they were ready for me as soon as we wheeled into the CT room. The tech met us and went over the procedure with me and asked if I had any questions. I asked if the contrast dye was safe for me because I was breastfeeding my newborn baby. Lilly was at the forefront of my mind. He assured me all was safe as the nurses lifted me off the hospital bed and onto the CT scanner. As I was being positioned in the machine, the CT tech explained that because I had a catheter in almost 75% of the dye would be out within a few hours.