Just returned from a beautiful place that I love...Sedona, Arizona. The "Red Rock Country" is a land of contrasts with lush green mountains and forests to the north, Oak Creek flowing through the center and the open space of the Verde Valley to the south. Sedona is full of friendly people and a myriad of things to do from hiking to biking to art shopping to vortex climbing.. My little Tinker had to try out a new personality and here he is as "Bad Bart Tinker". He looks more like "Angry Cat" though and I am not sure that he liked it. But he does like walking at Tlaquepaque and visiting with the ducks in the creek and all of the other visiting dogs. For me, Sedona is a get away from the "hustle" of So Cal and a very beautiful home to the sun and things that I enjoy. It's a great place for a family and I suggest a visit.
I love the beauty of stained glass, but how to do that with young children? We came up with a really easy way to create very pretty "stained glass" that the children could mount on their window or hang for a light to shine through.
From an art store we bought some black construction paper, lots of colored tissue paper and some clear sticky back paper. We then let the children cut the tissue paper into shapes and set them aside. Next we took the black construction paper, folded it gently in half being careful to not make a heavy crease (you will not want a crease to show when you finish your creation). We then took a metal pie pan and laid it on the folded paper so it made the diameter of a circle. The little ones needed a little help to draw around the pan and cut out the hole but he older children could do it themselves. Afterwards, we flattened the construction paper and mounted it on the clear sticky-back paper with just a little edge of sticky all around the construction paper. If constructing a mobile to be hung the edge of sticky edge isn't needed. The children then filled the hole in the center with the pretty pieces of tissue paper.
The resulting stained glass creation could be mounted on a window to create a beautiful effect when the sun comes through or hung as a mobile from the ceiling. For your own project, be creative ... think of other shapes, colors and uses for a beautiful transparent mosaic...hang several together to move as a mobile...many ways to enjoy a fun rainy day project.
Valentine's Day - the day of the celebration of love.
What is love? I read these thoughts and want to put them down on this Valentine's Day.
Loving someone means that you accept them for the person that they are and you don't need or want to change them into someone else whom you would prefer. It means that you appreciate them for the wonderful qualities that they have and ignore the ones they don't have. It means that you value them and will stand by them through the best of times and the worst of times. It means loving them when they are in a bad mood or when they don't do what you want them to do. It means that you love the wonderful person they are inside when it is sometimes not obvious on the outside. It means that you recognize that they will grow into their own destiny whether whether child or adult and you are willing to let them have their dreams even though they might not be your dreams. It means that you want to make them feel safe and supported. If this is how you feel, then tell them often that you love them.
That's a fairly comprehensive definition of love.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Story telling and a healthy imagination are very important in childhood. Children who are introduced to books and stories develop good listening and comprehension skills. When they are then later encouraged to invent and tell their own stories they have great imaginations and are very creative. Most importably, story telling encourages social interaction as the children must communicate with others in telling their stories.
A fun way to exercise creativity and develop imagination is to make up stories and act them out in a skit form. Sometimes story telling can be supported by the use of puppets which add to the creativity. Children who are innately shy can come out as they take on the personality of their puppet in the creation of their story. Try a round robin story telling group session where one child takes the lead and the other children add to the story (possibly with their own puppet characters) as the story develops. Then the next child takes over with a story which adds to the first story. After a while, a very involved story develops and everyone is taking an active part in developing it and all are having fun together..