Parenting Questions, Concerns and Responses

Should We Get A Play Kitchen?


Question:

My son is very very interested in pretend cooking. He’s 19 months old. I am leaning towards getting a play kitchen. But at the same time I am aware that I don’t want to invest in another toy that takes up space and isn’t open ended. Any other ideas to offer the same experience without actually buying a play kitchen?

The Judgemental Mom’s Response:

Let him cook with you.
Show him how to take a piece of bread of out of the bag and put it in the toaster and push it down.
Let him try to butter his toast/crackers, what-have-you. Get him in on baking and mixing – get the the ingredients ready in their own dishes before hand so that when you start you just instruct your LO what to put in first and when to stir. If you’re making muffins or something, let him fill up the muffin tray with the batter he made. Let him help you put away some groceries. If you’re making a can of soup you can show him how to open the can, pour it into the pot, fill the can with water , add it to the pot, stir, then put it on the stove (I would do the stove stuff of course until they’re more familiar).
That sort of thing.

But if this is what you already do, do you have any extra cabinet or drawer space you could make available to him? Something that he could use as a pretend kitchen area for him when he wants to? We happened to have extra space in our kitchen for this, so we dedicated a lower cupboard and two drawers to our little one that he pretends is a fridge and stove. Then we put his table and chairs in there as well so that he could use them as “counter space” when he was in the kitchen-play mood.

If you want to get creative with it, you could even draw and cut out some appliance accents and tape them to the cabinet for added kitchen theme. Like making pretend knobs or fridge handles to put on the draws and cabinet doors. You could even print off pictures of some things and tape them the wall. Utilize a small carboard box and make it into a microwave. All the fancy toys out there do not always satisfy a child’s imagination and creativity! Often it is more fun for them when they get to use the real items in their pretend play.

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Yourself, Seriously

Ways For Kids to Burn Off Energy Indoors


Sometimes being outside isn’t always an option, so kids get pent up energy – resulting in them finding ways to burn off the energy that are often frowned upon or unsafe. While some parents resort to tv, it only temporarily suspends the energy but doesn’t solve the problem itself – that children’s muscles are seeking stimulation for both sensory and growth purposes.


The answer?


What’s called “maximum effort activities”. See below for a list of easy, at-home activities that will burn off some steam.

Just do it yourself

DIY Letter Learning Box


DIY letter box for preschoolers! It is great for both engaging the tactile sensory input as well as the brain while absorbing the LOOK and FEEL of a letter ! We just drew each letter on a piece a paper and put it beside our son as he worked away, focusing hard.

All you need from a dollar store is:

  • A small box
  • Some paint
  • Some sand

Paint the bottom of the box so it stands out through the sand when a letter is traced. Once dry, put a thin layer of sand in!

Parenting kids, Seriously

WTF Is Montessori?


It is a methodology of child rearing and education founded and studied by Maria Montessori. It started with the study of children with special needs, and once it was observed just how well they thrived, it was then studied on all children (not just those with special needs). Again, they all thrived exceedingly well compared to normal upbringing styles, and she went on to teach and watch children while sharing her knowledge with the world.

I’ll break it down into a few simple, commonly used sentences in the Montessori community to explain what it ACTUALLY is;

• Follow the child within safe boundaries. (Metaphorically)

• Have children exposed to open, organized spaces with minimal clutter and toys, or other distractions while introducing practical life activities.

• That way the children learn to follow their natural learning insticts and not the ones generations ‘decided on for them’. I.e., ‘ play with this, stay in this area, you can’t do that yet’