Tag Archives: learning

Family Goal Setting

Goals
The New Year is like a fresh start and as adults we often come up with a list of goals and resolutions that we look forward to accomplishing. Last year, we created a list of resolutions that we wished our little ones would make. As funny as the list was, what if we actually helped our children to set goals for the New Year? Even better, what if we set goals as a family?

First, children must understand what goals are. Goals are something people work toward. For example, some athletes may want to get better at scoring points and some artists may want to become better at painting.

Creating goals together will help children to learn responsibility and ownership for their actions. Also, setting these goals together will build a strong family unit that does not let one another quit or give up on what they intend to accomplish.

Thanks to Breezy Mama and Notes on Parenting, we have compiled a list that will help you and your little ones create realistic goals for 2014:

  • Age appropriate goals: Think of activities your little ones can do based on their age. For example, younger kids can try to put their toys away at least three times a week. Not only will kids be cleaning (which is always a plus!), but they will be learning how to count by the amount of times they clean up their playroom or bedroom each week.  No matter what age your children are, work together to find a goal that they can achieve and learn from.
  • Opportunity to lead: Give your children a chance to make their own goals. What do they think they need to work on? What is it that they think you, as a parent, can work on? These goals can be silly or serious; either way, they will help both you and your children realize that everyone has something they can work on.
  • Have a family goal: Whether that goal is eating more veggies or more active play time, partake in this goal together. There should also be a prize once this goal is achieved – maybe a trip to the zoo or your family’s favorite park.
  • Goal tracker: Make a chart that you can fill with stars. Each time someone in your family accomplishes a goal, put a star next to their name.  After there are a certain amount of stars on the chart, a celebration is in order! Have a family party to congratulate everyone on all their hard work.

Have fun completing your goals together in 2014! Do you have any tips on how to create and achieve goals as a family for the New Year? What is your goal for 2014?

We’re Moms Too: Watching Her Learn

Watching Her Learn

Written by Ashley

It’s amazing in how in just 14 short months I’ve watched my daughter grow into a giggling and babbling mobile little girl. The milestones I’ve witnessed are incredible – from rolling over, to sitting up, to pulling herself up, to cruising, and now just moments away from her first independent step. She amazes me every day. She’s developed her own little personality and loves to play chase, zoom up the stairs, try new foods and play with her puppy. She also enjoys learning, and I am amazed to see her develop her fine and gross motor skills through play. My husband and I try to expose her to new sights and sounds every chance we get. From playgrounds and festivals to ball games and museums, the more she sees, the more she learns.

This past weekend we visited the Great Lakes Science Center. And while my husband may have played with the exhibits more than her, she learned a great deal. Watching her face light up as she looked at the exhibits, from bubbles and gears to electricity and spaceships, reiterated how important it is to us as parents for her to have these experiences as a child.

Playing With Blocks

It’s not every day I see her use her tiny pointer finger to turn the gears without me showing her how. Nor is it every day that a smile as wide as her ears appears as she slides down a slide. And it’s certainly not every day she gets to try on her own space suit.

Space Baby

I often wonder what she’s thinking and how the human brain develops from infancy to adulthood (I was never good at science). For her to just grasp things, follow our lead, say a new word; it boggles my mind. How does she know that her play food isn’t real food when she “eats” it? How does she know that “doggie” really means her furry friend? How does she know that by flashing me a huge, bright smile, I’ll smile?

Early childhood development is incredible. I am grateful to be there to see her learn something new, to see the gears in her head turn as she figures out that can knock down the blocks, turn her ride-on toy to prevent her from bumping into the wall, and push down on the princess castle to make the princesses talk. While she may be learning something new each day, as am I. I learn each day how to love even more just when I don’t think I have any more room in my heart; how to be patient; how to be comforting; how to be encouraging; how to be a mom.

WM2_AshleyAbout Ashley
Ashley is a self-proclaimed fashionista, social media maven, and proud new mama. Together with her husband, they welcomed their first child last August. They also have a fur-baby named Peak, an 80-lb. yellow lab whom they adopted during a ski trip in Denver. She is the Social Media Manager at Step2 and you may have recently communicated with her if you’ve chatted with Step2 on Facebook or Twitter.

Back to School Tips for Preschoolers

As the summer winds down and school starts back up, it is hard to transition from summer to back to school. Hopefully, your little ones have had an excellent summer. Now it is time to change gears and make sure that they are prepared for back to school.

Parentsfurther.com has provided ten back to school tips that will make the transition a little easier for both you and your children.

Here are the top five tips, Step2 believed were the most helpful:

1. If you and your child have fallen out of your bedtime routine this summer, get back into a solid routine. A week before the first day of school is a good time frame in which to begin.

2. Plan and shop for healthy breakfasts and lunches a week in advance. This will save you precious time and prevent much stress in the long run!

3. Accidents happen! Prepare a change of clothes in advance, and bring it with you on the first day of school for your child’s teacher to keep in the classroom.

4. If possible, arrange play dates with other parents of preschoolers, or find out if your local library or community center offers free events for young children. Spending time with other children will help your child’s social and emotional development and prepare her for the school environment.

5. Parents’ involvement in school is important—even in preschool! Talk to your child’s preschool teacher (or child-care provider) regularly about his educational and social development.

In addition to the tips that Parentsfurther.com had, Step2 suggests promoting creativity within children. For the next couple weeks, encouraging your child to use their desks and easels would help support the back to school transition as well!