Halloween Do-a-Dot Pages

When I started the Teaching My Toddler Series I didn’t know how much she would love doing the letter Do-a-Dot pages. She thinks they are so fun, and it is a really good age appropriate activity that she can do all by herself. Since she loves them so much I though I would make a couple simple halloween do-a-dot pages that she could enjoy during this halloween season.

Candy Corn  Witch Hat  Ghost  Pumpkin

halloweendoadot_malloryhazel

Feel free to download these and let your little enjoy the fun of do-a-dot on Halloween!

 

Teaching My Toddler | Introduction to the Alphabet

A few weeks ago I was at the library with my toddler. I was looking high and low on the bookshelves for great books to bring home while she was playing quietly in the play area. Every once in a while she would run over to give me something she had found. On one of these deliveries she was holding a magnet of the letter “H.” As she handed it to me she said “H.” Some luck and a little bit of knowledge combined for her to get that right, but I was impressed. It got me to thinking, is she capable of learning the alphabet? What is she capable of learning right now? And what can I be doing to guide her in learning new things. She was already picking up on so much, but maybe it was time for us to add a little structured learning to our day.

As I was thinking about what I could do a million extravagant ideas came to mind, but as I thought about what I truly wanted I decided more than anything I wanted to enjoy learning with my daughter. I wanted it to be a simple time together that we could both enjoy. So I have been putting together booklists, simple activities, and some really simple worksheets to share with any other moms that are looking for good ways to introduce letters, the alphabet, and hopefully some other topics to their little ones.

teachingmytoddler_malloryhazel

For this first lesson I wanted to focus on the alphabet generally and as a whole. There are so many fun and clever ABC books out there, but somehow I narrowed our ABC booklist down to our 8 favorites.

Alphabet Booklist

ABC3D by Marion Bataille- This pop-up alphabet book is beautiful and original. My daughter loves it, but we keep it on the high shelf and only look at it together since some of the pages are a bit fragile.

Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli- The illustrations are so fun and adorable. This book is perfect for little hands.

AlphaBugs by David A. Carter- An alphabet book I remember reading over and over again as a child. My daughter loves to read this book at least twice!

Alphaprints: ABC by Roger Priddy- In this book all the pictures are made with fingerprints and the ridges are perfect for little fingers to touch and feel.

A is for Annabelle by Tasha Tudor- This old fashioned doll alphabet is absolutely gorgeous. Perfect for little girls.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault- A classic tale about the letters of the alphabet. My daughter always loves to sing her ABC’s at the end of the book.

LMNO Peas by Keith Baker- I love this story about all the different professions of these little green peas from A to Z.

Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers- In this book there is a short story for each letter of the alphabet. It is a fun book full of nonsensical stories. It would be a great book to read when learning each letter individually.

Alphabet Printable

For this activity I decided to just create a very simple ABC poster. I wanted it to be bright and something I could keep up in our room for some time. You can download the poster here. (It does take a minute to load).

Alphabet Activity

I wanted to keep the activity simple as well. I decided to get out our blocks that have the ABC’s on them and just play with them. My daughter has noted that there are different pictures on the sides of the blocks and will tell me what they are, so I am hoping that she will learn that there are letters too and start to be able to tell them to me.

And that was our first week of our little preschool. It was really fun to do together. I usually just let her pick out some books to read together. We would sing the abc’s a couple of times, and play with blocks. When she was done we were done. It was fun and simple.

Next week we will dive into The Letter A.

What are some of your favorite books you read or activities you do as you teach your child the ABC’s? I would love to know what you love!

It Won’t Be Like This For Long

Last night was one for the books. My sweet little girl decided it would be much more fun to play with me in the middle of the night than sleep sweetly in her crib. I must admit it was dreamy to cuddle with her in the stillness of a peaceful night as she lay sleepily on my lap. The perfect precious moments passed with the time and 2 hours later I was not having quite the same experience. It was midnight and we were both exhausted, but my stubborn little girl just would not give into sleep. She dozed in and out but could never commit to falling into a peaceful slumber. Finally at 1 a.m. I was at my wits end and she was fighting the inevitable sleep that was lurking around the corner. It was so close but she would not allow it to overtake her. Finally I decided to just put her in her crib until she surrendered to it. There were screams and shouts and our poor neighbors probably experienced some of the pain the little one was feeling. Twenty minutes later she gave in and lay her weary head down. Sleep always wins.

It was bliss as I cuddled up to my almost one year old. Her quiet steady breaths in the peace of the night were calming. In those tender moments I felt so close to my little baby. Within hours the peace of the night turned to frustration as our need for rest came on strong and hard. We both felt anxious and exhausted.

This morning I woke up and this experience became a memory. I was no longer in that moment. I was no longer feeling the joy or sorrow of the previous night. It had come and it had gone. I will look back on this night and as time passes I will probably remember rocking my baby as she let me hold her close. The frustration of the moment will blur and maybe be forgotten. Someday she will not need me in the middle of the night, and the inconveniences that follow will be gone. Another thing will be gone as well: the joy of holding a child and rocking back and forth in the peace only night can bring.

As a mother I watch phases of childhood come and go. There are difficulties and blessings with each phase. It truly does not last for long. While the sorrows pass the joys that are associated with them pass as well. It is a gift to be able to experience both.

phasesofchildhood_malloryhazel

Adobe Illustrator

In the middle of February I (kind of out of the blue) decided that I really wanted to learn more about graphic design and Adobe Illustrator. I had no idea where to start or how to use the program in the least, but I was determined and decided to get signed up for the free trial to play around with it. That first night all I could figure out how to do was make circles and change their colors.

FirstProject copy

Pretty awesome right? Someone should probably hire me now for all their design needs.

So I knew I needed some help. As I was browsing the internet I stumbled upon Alma Loveland’s Atly Illustrator classes and knew I wanted to give them a try. So I bought a couple and dove right in. I began experimenting a little more with new tools (like the rectangle) and tricks and found myself loving to create pictures using illustrator. They weren’t great, or even that good, but it was so much fun and I was hooked.

First I tried to make different fruits. I actually really loved how the pear and watermelon turned out.

I also wanted to do a picture of the Idaho Falls Temple. I love this temple and knew I would want to try it out down the road so I decided this could be kind of a marker for me to see how my skills improve as I practice.

As I have been working in illustrator over the past three months I feel like I have learned so much. I understand many of the concepts but am still working on cultivating creativity and style. On my instagram I have been documenting some of the challenges I have given myself (#30patterns challenge, #larsflowerchallenge).

Some of my designs I actually kind of like.

The lucky charms pattern I printed off and made a St. Patricks day card with. The Star Wars Pattern is one of my favorites that I created especially for May the 4th be with you.

My favorite flowers from the #larsflowerchallenge. I love how different they all ended up being.

I also had some lame designs.

I was attempting to do an April showers pattern and nothing turned out great…

And the Sweet Pea and Carnation flower were just hard.

It has been lots of fun learning all about illustrator and then trying my best to create. It is a perfect creative outlet for naptime and is something I really love doing for myself. I look forward to continuing to create and share the different things I am learning. Hopefully I will keep getting better and maybe my style will come through at some point.