Monthly Archives: October 2015

Educational Programs

On Wednesday, we talked about achieving a better screen time balance for our kids.

Today I want to talk about what I feel to be some of the best T.V. programs for kids.

My favorite children’s T.V. program, Baby’s First! I didn’t stumble upon until we switched cable providers. At that point, my daughter was almost 22 months old. This program is beyond AMAZING! My personal favorite is Preschool Basics. This show literally has the BEST educational show on T.V. It has numbers, colors, words, and alphabet, ect. Our daughter counts along with the show and often says what’s on the screen before the program does. Honestly, I feel this show taught her how to count. I do love all the other programs on Baby’s First, Preschool Basics just happens to be my favorite. My daughter enjoys Tec the Tractor, Harry the Bunny, Squeak, Knee Bouncers, etc. This show has plenty for the infant/baby stage as well as, including a mommy and me class as one of their T.V. programs. My only regret is that I didn’t find this program sooner. If you are looking for something sweet and educational for your children then I encourage you to check out Baby’s First.

When my daughter was 8 months old, I began doing basic sign language with her. I started with simple signs such as; eat, hungry, milk, cup, diaper change, banana, etc. At one point I realized I had taken it as far as I could on my own. So I began looking for supplemental materials and that’s when I found Baby Signing Time! These DVD’s are wonderful! My daughter lights up when I put one on! She has learned so many signs and is fully engaged with the DVD’s. We have now moved on to Preschool Signing Time DVD’s, which are AMAZING! Eventually we hope to own EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. But for now the ABC’s DVD is fabulous. Currently, my favorite is the potty Time DVD! If you’re in the throws of potty training hell – then this DVD is for you!

Baby Einstein, my daughter absolutely adores these DVD’s. Even now, she is still completely memorized by those cute puppets! I love that the collection of DVD’s runs the gamut, from colors, shapes, numbers, languages, words, and sign language. These DVD’s have beautiful soft melodies that are not too loud or over powering. Baby Einstein DVD’s are very wholesome and educational. I also recommend Little Einstein’s on Disney Junior. My daughter loves to dance to the music!

Lastly, Your Baby Can Read DVD set is great! No, I don’t have it because I thought it would teach my daughter how to read. I have it and like it because its educational and it ties in with the Baby Signing Language Flash Cards we have. Honestly, just reading the books to her were great! Just to clarify – my daughter did not learn to read. However, I do feel it helped teach her small aspects, like waving to someone. I will definitely use this set with future children, as I did like the content, but it isn’t necessary to have.

What do you children watch? Do you have any educational programs your children really love?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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Screen Time Balance

As parents, we have so much on our plates. There are so many things to worry about. We work hard to make sure our children become well-rounded individuals. This post isn’t about how to be the best parent. It’s simple about how we learn, grow, and change as parents. Well… to be more specific, how I changed to achieve a parenting goal.

Screen time. It’s at the forefront of our culture. It’s what we use to connect ourselves to the rest of the world on a daily basis. It’s available to us at one click of a button 24/7, 7 days a week. Screen time has also been making headlines in recent years. With experts discussing the appropriate amount of time in front of a screen with regards to children.

As an educator, I realized creating a balance was so important. Before I had my daughter I thought a lot about creating the perfect balance for her. Then I had her and creating that balance wasn’t so easy. Part of me wants to blame living in a small apartment, but truthfully, that’s not the case. In truth, I loved my shows and hated to give them up. Plus, having the T.V. on when I was home, whether I was watching it or not, had always been my normal.

Now, this doesn’t mean we stayed home all day, everyday in front of the T.V. Quite the contrary, we left our apartment 3 to 4 mornings a week from the time she was 6 weeks old. We took family walks almost every evening. We talked, read, and played together everyday, but the T.V. was always there – in the background. It made the room feel louder and busier, as if we never slowed down.

As we were preparing for our move, our daughter was approaching 22 months and I noticed she began taking more of an interest in all things technology. It was at this point, that I vowed to create a better screen time balance. We doubled our square footage, there was space for a playroom, and we finally had our own back yard.

Even with those additions, it was still a bit of a transition for all of us, but it has proven to be so beneficial. I feel like our interactions with one another are more focused because there is nothing in the background to distract us. Our family time feels more calm, rather than rushed and chaotic. We are more focused on the everyday life with each other – including love, conversations, reading, and imaginary play.

Screen Time Balance:

  • Our T.V. doesn’t go on until 4:00pm
  • T.V. is off for dinner time
  • Evening walks as a family – weather permitting
  • Play in playroom
  • Color and draw
  • Play outside
  • She only plays on computers while at the library
  • All tablets are only played with 1-2 times a week for an hour a piece

Please remember, it took me 22 months to get to this point. We are continuously growing and changing through this process called parenthood. There is no right or wrong way – there is simply what works best for you and your family.

Have you achieved the perfect screen time balance? It this something you’re still working on? Either way, remember, your doing the best job you can! You are a good parent!

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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Juggling Life’s Tasks After A Move

This post is difficult to write. In fact, I have been avoiding completely, as it highlights all my shortcomings. When we moved into our home I had hoped to become more organized, but instead I dropped the ball on everything…

Not only have I dropped the ball, but I also feel completely unorganized. How do I get my organizational skills back? Honestly, I have no idea. I was not an extremely organized person before the move. After the move, I am an absolutely mess. Not only that, but I have added even more work to my plate.

Here were are some of my household goals:

  1. Decorate our daughters room
  2. Decorate the playroom
  3. Decorate the living room
  4. Refurbish a piece a furniture left by the previous home owners
  5. Organize each room of the house

We have been in our home for over six months and I haven’t checked one thing off the list. I have friends who had some of these minor things completed in a matter of a few months and were already working on bigger projects. In hindsight these are small projects I know, but combine that with my disastrous closet and piles of paper that always seem to stack up on my kitchen counters…

I always read posts about how to organize your home, but I have never actually tried any of the tips. While it’s a little too early to be talking about New Year’s Resolutions, it has crossed my mind. I have been considering a “30 Day Challenge to De-clutter My Home.” I feel like this would be a great challenge to help me put organization at the for-front. My goal is to feel more organized in every aspect of my life.

I am currently working on some time management techniques in order to use my time more productively. My hope is that by starting with this simple step, I will become a more organized person in all aspects of my life.

Have you lost your organization skills? Do you have a stack of miscellaneous papers growing on your kitchen counter, an unnecessary junk drawer, or a messy closet? How do you plan to tackle the problem? I would love to hear your plan!

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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Christmas – Melissa & Doug Toys

Last Christmas marked our second year living in an apartment with a toddler. I remember thinking, “What are we going to get our ever growing daughter for Christmas?” At 20 months she was becoming more active, so stuff animals and stacking cup were off the list. At this point my mind was a complete blank. I wanted a few items that fostered education, but didn’t take up much space. So I did what I always do in these situations – asked my group of experienced mommy friends.

Their response, “Melissa and Doug Toys.”

One look and I was COMPLETELY sold!

Here’s why I LOVE Melissa and Doug toys:

  1. Each items comes with a list of guidelines, which explains how to use the toy with each stage of your child’s development.
  2. There are toys for every age and stage of development.
  3. The products made by Melissa and Doug are VERY durable.
  4. These toys are not only educational but are also fun and appealing for kids.
  5. Jumbo Knob Puzzles – I couldn’t find them anywhere else!

I wish I had taken a photo of the guidelines that came with the toys last Christmas to show you exactly want I mean. Either on the back on the box or attached to the bottom of each item was a list of how to use each toy with developmental goals in mind. It wasn’t just a few things written up, but a long list of how to continuously use the toy to foster your child’s growth for months to come. As both an educator and parent, I can tell you this was by far my FAVORITE aspect of their toys.

Shopping made easy! In just one click I was checking out the options for my daughters age group! Not only that, but I could also shop by the toys skill, such as; fine motor skills, speech skills, cognitive skills, etc. It is clearly evident to me this company takes the time and care to create both fun and educational items, while making it convenient to find the right toys for your child’s development.

For us, investing in a toy that will last is extremely important. Like most families, we are on a budget. So, when it comes to making purchases, we want to get the most out of a product that we possibly can. We especially want the toys with educational value to last with each additional child. I am pleased to say the ones we purchased last Christmas are in excellent condition, so when we do have more children they will be able to reap the benefits of these amazing toys.

These toys are FUN! While I do place a high value on toys that are educational, it is just as important that children enjoy playing with them. Melissa and Doug for the win here, because my daughter really enjoys these toys! For example, our Teddy Wear Toddler Learning Toy is a weekly passenger on our car rides. Puzzles – don’t even get me started! My daughter is puzzle obsessed and loves animals. The Jumbo Knob Puzzles were the only ones she could put together on her own at the time. While she has moved up in skill level, these are still some of her favorite toys to play with!

Can’t decide what to get your children for Christmas? I definitely recommend checking out Melissa & Doug!

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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