In my past life, before I had children, I was a Kindergarten teacher. I loved my job. I mean, I REALLY loved my job. It was one of those jobs that, as a young single woman in her 20s and in an exciting and wonderful city full of nightlife, culture, art, and beautiful nature, would still come home on Friday night after a long week of teaching and not being able to wait for Monday to come around again. Don't get me wrong- I loved my alone time. But I adored teaching. And particularly I loved teaching kindergarten and I loved having the opportunity to teach in a progressive, child-centered charter school that truly cared for the social and emotional development of it's students. I was never pressured to teach to a test. I taught to each individual student and their needs. I connected and bonded with those students. I loved them and I still miss them all so much to this very day.
But then I had my second daughter and my love shifted. I still enjoyed teaching, but I loved spending time with my girls more. So two years ago we decided I would stay at home with my girls for a while. I still miss teaching, but for me, I know that I would miss being at home with the girls so much more.
What does that have to do with Toddler Tuesdays, you ask?? Well, Toddler Tuesdays is a series designed to highlight various games, crafts, projects, ect just for toddlers. Some of the projects are slightly more adult involved than others and ALL of these projects will require adult supervision. But at the core, none of these projects are designed for parents to complete and then write their child's name on it and frame it. I believe that children learn by doing. I've seen it. Some of these activities might require the use of tools like scissors. I will say it now- yes! My two year old uses scissors and has been since about 18 months. Many of her projects look like they've been completed by a young Edward Scissor Hands, but it's HERS. To guide you along, in each blog post in this series I will highlight for you what skill(s) are involved in the project and how it will promote readiness for more complex skills. By all means, if you feel as though your child is not ready for a particular skill or that attempting the skill will cause unnecessary stress, do it for them or skip that step. Sometimes I may pre-cut or pre-assemble part of a project. I might pre-cut a Christmas tree to have the kids decorate because I really want them to focus on the skill of tracing or gluing. You get the idea. These are just my thoughts as a former educator. Complete these projects as you see fit, but keep in mind, art doesn't always have to be pretty. Sometimes it's a hot mess but the beauty comes in knowing that your child created it and in the process they are developing new skills.
(First post in this series will be up tomorrow afternoon.)