How to cultivate a growth mindset in your child

Does your child get frustrated and give up (or throw something) when he or she isn’t able to do something new on the very first try? When Bryn was a toddler, I noticed that failure didn’t faze her at all. If she was trying to hop from square to square and landed in the wrong place, she’d go all the way back to the beginning and start over, again and again, until she was satisfied.

But lately, as she’s approaching four years old, I’ve noticed that she has very little tolerance for imperfection, even with new skills. If she’s drawing, it has to “look right.” When she first started tracing, it infuriated her! This perfectionism has snuck in, turning fun new activities into crank-fests. Later that day or the next, I’ll notice that she went back some time after she’d stomped away, and she practiced privately until she figured it out. So what is going on? Continue reading

Kindle FreeTime Unlimited: The BEST free apps for preschoolers

Every morning at about 5:30, Bryn tiptoes out of her room to find her insomniac Daddy in the kitchen pouring his first of many coffees for the day. While I’m happily taking advantage of the extra space in bed, the two of them curl up side-by-side on the couch or patio where they can see the sun come up. She’s got her morning milkies and her pink Kindle Fire, and he’s got his coffee and iPad. They chat, take selfies, share videos back and forth, and ease into the morning together. It’s a routine we all love. Continue reading

STEM Activity: The romping rainbow

What could be more fun than to help your preschooler make their very own rainbow? This simple experiment is part STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and part STEAM (with Art added in).

For weeks, Bryn’s endless questions have focused on “what color does that make?” It doesn’t matter what two colors, she has to KNOW right NOW. Again and again. Oftentimes, my answer is brown. What color does red and green make? Brown. What about purple and orange? Brown. Or red and orange? Uhh, an orangey-red? Coral? I don’t know exactly what you’d call it.

We have done several color-mixing activities using various paints, but the pigments can be tough to work with sometimes to get predictable results. Blue and red, for instance, might make more of a blue-ish color than a real purple. It’s frustrating when I want to show Bryn how blue and red make purple, her favorite color, and it doesn’t exactly work out!

We decided to do a Romping Rainbow experiment, and it was super simple but still had that preschool WOW factor. I hope you try it and have fun learning as much as we did! Continue reading

DIY: Make your own Montessori alphabet box

Our Montessori alphabet box is one of my all-time favorite homeschool DIY projects. I was originally inspired to make my own box after checking them out on Amazon and Etsy, and then reading an excellent DIY post by Wildflower Ramblings.

Montessori alphabet boxes can be used for all sorts of activities, including early phonics, sorting, storytelling, etc. Right now what I like to do is take two letter drawers out that represent very distinctly different sounds (M and D, for instance), mix up the items, and then let Bryn sort bthem. She also likes to just grab a bunch of the tiny items to play with, and when she’s done, we work together to put them back in the proper drawers. Continue reading