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A Thursday Post?

I know I don’t normally post on Thursdays, but there were two quick housekeeping items I wanted to take care of.

First off, I’m planning on switching over to a new design format in the next few days.  It will still be the same content in the same place (www.notjustcute.com) but a better layout and organization.  I’m really excited about making this switch and have been working on it for quite some time. 

Now my computer expert helping me out with this says odds are 99.9% certain that all the email and feedburner subscriptions should all transfer just fine.  But I don’t want anyone getting left behind!  So if it seems I’ve disappeared from your reader or inbox in the next few days, please know it wasn’t intentional.  Find your way back to www.notjustcute.com and add the subscriptions again.  I really think you’re going to like what we’ve done with the place!

Last of all, I wanted to remind you that the Simplify Your Family Life Sale ends in a matter of hours!  If you were planning on getting these 31 great ebooks for 90% off, you’ll need to act now.  Click here to purchase your collection today!  (I didn’t one anyone missing out just because they had lost track of time as I tend to do!)

Have a great Thursday!

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Good Reads, Good Deal, Good Cause: Simplify Your Family Life

::Simplify Your Family Life:: 

Click here for more details!

Anyone who knows me well knows that if I was listing some of my favorite things, right up there in the top would be good books with useful information (please refer to my aforementioned nerd status if that surprises you), finding a good deal on something I can really use, and helping a good cause with meaningful work.  And of course, aren’t we all looking to simplify and improve the most important part of our lives – our family life?

Corey from Simple Marriage and Mandi from Life…Your Way must have read my mind because they have brought together some of the top authors in the family life space with over 30 great ebooks covering a variety of topics related to family life.  (And I’m so flattered to be included!)

When purchased separately, these ebooks are worth over $450, but for four days only, you can purchase the entire collection for just $47!  (Nothing says good deal like nearly 90% off!)

 A portion of each sale will also be donated to The Mentoring Project, which seeks to rewrite the story of the fatherless generation. (How’s that for a good cause?)

IMPORTANT DETAIL:  This collection is only available from 2 p.m. on March 21st to 2 p.m. on March 24th. There will be no late sales offered.  ****Correction!!  Due to conflicting media dates (some saying March 24th, some March 25th) the sale will end promptly at 2pm, March 25th!!****

Click here to purchase your collection today!

When you purchase the Simplify Family Life collection, you get instant access to each of the 30 ebooks listed below:

Family Minimalism

   

Food & Cooking

Green Living

Intimacy & Marriage

Money

 

Organizing   

 

Parenting

Personal Development

Travel

Work at Home

Holidays

 Click here to purchase your collection today!
The sale ends at 2 p.m. ET on March 24th, and there will be no late sales offered, so don’t wait.
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Little Shoulders

My grandmother had a lot of sayings.  “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”  “Do not throw upon the floor the food you can not eat.  For many a starving children would think it quite a treat.”  And when my husband asked if I was OK dating him at 10 years my senior, Grandma’s words jumped right out.  “Better to be an old man’s darling than a young man’s slave.”  (Though my then-suitor didn’t appreciate the old man reference at the tender age of 34.)  But apparently there was one I had forgotten until my mom used it the other day:

“You can’t put a big head on little shoulders.”

 It’s a quick reminder, in Grandma’s style, that you can’t expect a small child to think as an adult.  You can’t expect a child to act as an adult.  Children are, after all, children. 

And yet we do it from time to time.

We expect them to wait patiently without giving them something to do.  (And then get upset when they find something to do.)  We say things like, “the baby’s sleeping” but leave out the real message, “it’s time to be quiet”, and assume they’ll fill in the blanks.  And we expect them to ignore that wriggling worm on the sidewalk because we are in a hurry. 

Too often we project our understanding, our perspectives, and our priorities on to the children we love and teach.   Developmentally, children are supposed to be ego-centric.  What’s our excuse as adults?

Monitor your expectations and the words you use with young children and beware of trying to put big heads on little shoulders.  Slow down now and then and see things from their view.  (You were there once, remember?)  Keep expectations appropriate to their abilities, and instructions clear for their understanding. 

Be patient when kids act like….well, kids.

Top photo by Wynand Delport.



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Three Little Pigs

The next time you share the story of the Three Little Pigs, don’t just tell it, have the children be a part of it!  These masks are inexpensive and easy to make.  And the kiddos have a blast as they step into the story!

Start out with some simple supplies: a toilet paper tube, felt, scissors, glue, a Sharpie, and yarn or elastic string. (Oh, and the hole puncher and pencil were sluffing class when the picture was taken, but they’ll come in handy too.)

For a pig snout, cut the tube so that it’s not quite in half.  I would use the piece on the right for the snout.  Then trim down the other to match and you’ve got two snouts from one tube.  (It works out to about a half-inch strip cut out of the center of the tube.)

Punch holes in each side of the tube to aid in stringing it later.  Use your pencil to mark how wide your tube snout is and then roll the tube along to measure how long it is.  You’ll end up with one long rectangle to cut out and then glue around the snout, covering the sides (and the holes – don’t worry, we’ll get to those later).

Set the snout down on the felt again and trace around the outside.  That extra little bit from the pencil will push the outline out a bit and create a circle that is slightly larger, which is exactly what you want.  Cut out the circle and draw on those cute piggie nostrils with your Sharpie.  Then glue the circle to the top of your snout.  (Be sure to align your nostrils with the holes you punched for your string.) 

If you’re using yarn, snip the felt over the holes and thread the yard through, knotting at the holes.  So you’ll end up with two yarn strings that can be tied together.  If you’re using elastic thread, thread it through a needle and feed it right through the fabric and the hole and knot it at each side, creating a band to be stretched around your child’s head.  For the wolf, follow the same directions, but use a full tube.

Enjoy acting out the story with the children you love and teach.  After acting out the basics of the story, let them continue the story or create new stories in their dramatic play.   Not only is storyacting more engaging, but it builds comprehension and fosters language and literacy skills for our budding readers.

Now that’s one fierce wolf!
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Weekend Reads 3.12.11

First off, congrats to Melissa Taylor!   She’s the winner of the Growing an In-Sync Child Giveaway!  Melissa, I’ll be emailing you soon so we can get that on the way!

Here are some great spots around the blogosphere to check out!

Make Your Own Window Clings {Make and Takes}

The Ghost on Peterson’s Farm {Irresistable Ideas for Play Based Learning}

Rhythms and Routines: The Flow of the Week {Simple Kids}

Help Your Child Stay Organized and Productive {Motherhood…Your Way}

Outdoor Classroom Inspiration {Child Central Station}

Math Related Children’s Books {NAEYC}

Kindergarten Math: Lucky Charms Graphing {Kiboomu}

Tissue Paper Forsythia {Pink and Green Mama}  (I was so excited to find this one by chance while I was browsing Pink and Green Mama’s fantastic site!  I had recently seen some cherry blossoms done with the same technique – with pink blossoms on black stems –  but was trying to decide exactly how they were done.  Mystery solved!  Now it’s time to bust out the supplies!)

Enjoy your weekend!

 Top photo by Joanne Kim.
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Weekend Reads 3.5.11

The Importance of Roughhousing {Let the Children Play}

Block Off Time For Learning {NAEYC}  (Block Play)

 Siphon Magic and Tracks in the Paint {Irresistable Ideas for Play Based Learning}

Creativity in Your Homeschool {Simple Homeschool}

(Great tips for home, school, or homeschool!)

Buried Treasure- Magnet Activity {No Time for Flashcards}

Enjoy the weekend! 

 (I’m finally ditching the treadmill for a run OUTSIDE!)

Top photo by Michal Zacharzewski.

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A Few Reminders!

First off, Happy Birthday to Dr. Seuss!  On Monday, I posted some links to great ideas around the web, and just have to add one more to Steph over at Modern Parents, Messy Kids.  If you can’t find a fun way to celebrate today and the man who forever changed reading for children, it wasn’t because you didn’t get enough help!

Secondly, First Friday is right around the corner!  I’m really excited about the questions that have been submitted, and want you to be too, so I’m giving you a little teaser!  So here are a few of the topics I’ll be addressing:

  • Food in Sensory Tables and Art Projects
  • The Letter of the Week Approach
  • Developmentally Appropriate Practice
  • Tattle-Telling
  • And More!

I have really loved reading your emails and getting a sneak peek into your lives and the ways you are applying the information here.  If you have more questions (and I hope that you do) keep sending them to notjustcute@hotmail.com and put Q&A in the subject line.  If I can’t fit it into this month’s video, I’ll slide it over to April’s First Friday.

Last of all, I have to give a big “thank you” to Christie Burnett at Childhood 101 for her review of my E-book, Parenting with Positive Guidance.  I love reading Christie’s blog!  It’s crazy to find someone on the other side of the world, and feel like maybe you were cut from the same cloth.  I’m so honored by what she had to say about the book, and would love to accept her invitation for a cozy chat if either one of us ever ventures across the International Date Line!

See you back here for First Friday Q&A!

Top photo by Julia Freeman-Woolpert.
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