Preschool Style: Pink and Lace

Preschool Style: Pink and Lace

As Ayva gets older, she's becoming very specific about her style. The more feminine, the better. If it's pink, that's like icing on an already super sweet, super girly cake. I don't mind, really. I mean, I used to try to get her to expand her taste. The reality is, she's growing up, and being able to choose clothes that she likes just plants the seed for making other choices for herself. So, pink and girly it is! My Mother-In-Law really gets Ayva, and loves shopping with and for her. She has … [Read more...]

Fairy Garden Themed Basket (Not Just For Easter!) #TargetColors

Fairy Garden Basket

Easter is tomorrow, and my how things have changed! Back in the day, we used to get huge baskets filled with tons of candy and our parents didn't think a second about it. Now, we are more conscious of what we are giving our kids, and folks are getting more creative with ways to make baskets without those super sweet, cavity makers. I went to Target this morning, intent on finding some items for Ayva's basket that would be useful even after the bunny is long forgotten. Right away, I found … [Read more...]

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...]

Black Girls Are Magic #BlackGirlMagic

Black Girls Are Magic

Earlier this week, Ayva told me she wished she had "gold hair like Ashley's". Now, being the Soul Sister Mama that I am, I let her know that her hair is beautiful, just like her friend's, with the added benefit of being able to be braided, twisted, curled, straightened, or left alone to be gorgeous all on its own. Raising a little Black girl, I knew these types of things would come up. Heck, raising a little girl of any color, I'm sure these things come up. Insecurities, wanting to be like … [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...]

5 Ways For Moms To Slow Down And Enjoy Motherhood

Have Patience: 5 Ways For Moms To Slow Down And Enjoy Motherhood

In just a few months, Ayva is going to be finishing up preschool and starting kindergarten. Every time I think about that, my heart starts pounding, I start sweating, and it feels like I'm going to faint. What happened to my baby? She's already started to make friends who take top billing over me during playdates. What if she goes off to elementary school and forgets all about her poor Mama? Of course, I'm exaggerating (kind of), but I'm sure with Ayva going to school all day, things are going … [Read more...]

Hidden Pictures Are Puzzles, Too!

Puzzles for Young Learners

If I were to ask you all to think back (waaay back for some of us!) and tell me one thing that you remember about your childhood doctor's visits, I'm sure many of you would call out Highlights Magazines. Highlights for Children magazines have been around for nearly 70 years. My mother used to read them, I read them as a child, and now Ayva's a Highlights fan! In honor of National Puzzle Day, my friends at Highlights sent samples from their Puzzle Club collection for Ayva to test out. … [Read more...]

Rock Necklace and Children’s Church Activity

Rock Necklace

Once a month, Terrence and I serve our church by leading the K-3rd Children's Church group. Our Youth Ministry Leader, Sugar, sets us up by giving us the lesson that we're going to teach in enough time for us to study the text that the lesson is based on, and come up with activities to engage the children. It was just a couple of years ago that I was writing curriculum for these very grade levels, so you'd think that I have a ton of ideas up my sleeve to pull out when it's our time to teach. … [Read more...]

Preschool Style: Tough Little Valentine

Preschool Style - Mama Knows It All

In our house, we wear pink. No matter how I try to encourage Ayva to try other colors, she can't help herself. She's just drawn to rosy, bubblegum colors! This Christmas, however, my Mother-In-Law bought Ayva a beautiful red dress, and she fell in love with it right away. The chic cable of the dress mixed with the sweet little bit of tulle sticking out from underneath the hem melted my heart a little, and I couldn't wait to see Ayva wearing it. I usually let Ayva pick out her own outfits … [Read more...]