Time to Celebrate Week of the Young Child™ 2014!

The Week Of The Young Child

Every year since Ayva was born, I've looked forward to The Week of the Young Child™. Sponsored by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), The Week of the Young Child™ encourages me to be intentional about celebrating the things that makes my little girl special. This year will be extra significant, because it marks Ayva's last year in preschool, and her graduation out of the "young child" category. I'm not ready, y'all! I know, I know...I'd better get ready, … [Read more...]

Making A Diaroma With A Preschooler

Make A Diaroma With Your Preschooler

In a few months, life as we know it in the Riley Family will change forever as Ayva starts kindergarten. I'm having a really hard time believing it, because, wasn't it just 4 days ago that I brought her home from the hospital for the first time? I mean, come on life. Slow down, why don't you! When I'm not being delusional about the start of grammar school for my little girl, I'm slowly starting to prepare her for the big K. We work on her reading, writing, and math often. Lately, I've started to … [Read more...]

How To Encourage Your Early Reader

Tips and Tools for Encouraging Young Readers

Years ago when I was a new mom, people told me about all of the exciting milestones I could look forward to in my daughter’s life: her first smile, first steps, first words. Nothing could have prepared me however, for the joy that came with watching my little girl begin to recognize letters – a first and most important step on the path toward learning to read. For as long as I can remember, I’ve read anything I could get my hands on, so I am delighted to see that same passion for books in my … [Read more...]

Is “Monsters U” Okay for Preschoolers?

is monsters university okay for little kids

If you're a parent of a young child, I'm sure your family has been anxiously waiting for "Monsters University" to come out. It seems like forever since there has been a movie that I could take my preschooler to that was age appropriate!  Even though I was concerned that the movie might be too scary for my 4-year-old, she was insisting that we go see it as soon as it came out, so I really didn't have a choice in the matter anyway! After looking at some previews of the movie, though, I decided … [Read more...]

Rhyme Time: My 3 Favorite Books of Poetry for Preschoolers

poetry, preschoolers, preschool, national poetry month

It's National Poetry Month, and I have a confession for y'all. As much as I love poetry, I'm really a much bigger fan of poems written for children that I am of poems written for adults. Poets always seem to add a little more wonder and wittiness to their verses intended for children, and that appeals to the part of my spirit that is forever young. I've read poetry to Ayva since she was born. In fact, I wrote a book of poetry for her as a baby. Now that she's nearly 4, and is fascinated with … [Read more...]

Is “The Croods” Okay For 3-Year-Olds?

preschool, movie, The Croods

Since movies for kids seem to come out so few and far between these days, Ayva and I have been anxiously waiting for "The Croods" to come out for weeks. Seeing the big billboards on the highway, and on passing buses helped to build our anticipation, so we were the first people in line to see the movie on opening day. The movie did not disappoint! "The Croods" is about a family (yes, the Crood family) that lives during prehistoric times. They're not quite evolved to the refined people that we … [Read more...]

On The Move With Stonyfield Smoothies

stonyfield, yogurt, smoothies, ballet

If you know Ayva and me, you know that we are constantly on the move. We love exploring, so there's no telling where we're going to end up from day to day. The only thing that I know for sure when we leave the house on our adventures is that eventually we are going to end up hungry. There have been many times that I've stopped at the gas station trying to find the least of the disgusting snack evils to ward off our hunger until we got home. At this point, I'm too nervous about all of the high … [Read more...]

Storybooks Starring You by @StoryBots – Preschool App Review

app review, preschooler, preschool, app, iPad, iPhone

Since Ayva loves reading on the iPad, whenever I find a good app that supports her learning to read and/or gaining technical skills, I'm all over it. If the app happens to make her laugh like crazy because it's so fun, that's like icing on the cake! I recently purchased the Storybooks Starring You app for iPads and iPhones, and since Ayva was having such a good time with it that I wanted to share more about it. Perfect for preschoolers, this app uses your child's image and name to make them the … [Read more...]

Is “Escape From Planet Earth” Okay for 3-Year-Olds?

escape from planet earth, toddler, preschooler

One of Ayva and my favorite things to do together is go to the movies. It's been awhile since a family film had been released, and we've been jonesing to see something fun on the big screen. Fortunately, we were invited to see a sneak preview of the family film "Escape From Planet Earth" before it was released this week. The movie was really hilarious, although I can't say that it's appropriate for preschoolers. First, let me tell you a little bit about the movie, then I'll tell you why it was a … [Read more...]