Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

We are excited to go to a Lunar New Year party this weekend to celebrate the Chinese holiday with friends.  In preparation for the party, we read a few books that celebrate the Chinese culture.  The girls became fascinated with dragons, so we thought it would be fun to make a dragon craft.  You will need an egg carton, paint (red, orange, yellow and black), paintbrush, googly eyes, red paper, glue and scissors.  Begin by cutting the bottom half of the egg carton in half, lengthwise.  This will be the dragon's body.  Cut one cup off, to be used as the dragon's head.  Paint the dragon's body and head, using the red, orange and yellow paint.  My girls liked to mix all of the colors together.  Paint the inside of the dragon's head black.  Allow the paint to dry.  When dry, attach the dragon's head to the body with glue.  Add goggly eyes to the top of the dragon's head.  Cut a dragon's tongue from the red paper and glue to the inside of the dragon's mouth.  Gung Hey Fat Choy!

Kara Tuohy
MW2s and MWF

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Good Reminder about Using Cell Phones around your Children

Blog Post

A Good Reminder about Cell Phone Use

Does anyone feel like they need to just put their cell phone down once and for all? Unfortunately, I feel this way sometimes. By chance, I just came upon this great article about cell phone use when with your kids. I thought that we could all use a reminder about this in the day and age of addictive cell phones.... miniature computers at our fingertips every second of the day. It's just too easy to access information with smart phones. I hope this article resonates with you all as much as it did with me.

Want to be a Better Parent? Hang Up the Phone
[ 28 ] August 5, (AD) 2013  | Brandon Vogt

About once a week, my wife and I take our kids to a local indoor playground. The scene is pretty consistent: dozens of kids running around, screaming chaotically, in a place indistinguishable from an orangutan exhibit during the apocalypse.

But something else strikes me each time we go. After setting our kids loose, I glance around at the other parents and almost to a person, each one sits in the same position. They lean forward with their head bent down, eyes glued to a small screen, fingers tapping quickly as if they were playing a miniature piano.

Despite the fact that the most wondrous creatures in the world are zig-zagging and tumbling mere feet away, their attention is locked onto their iPhones. In fact, one day I was sitting next to a mom who was playing Space Invaders on her phone for half an hour. Her son came up to her several times, tugging on her forearm and begging for her to watch what can only be described as a mix between Irish dancing and karate, but she waved him off again and again.

Because she was too busy. Too busy with Space Invaders.

Now I’ll admit that I’ve done the same thing many times. I’ve ignored my kids in favor of cell phones and computers. In fact, I remember one day I was so absorbed in writing an email, that I didn’t even notice my son who kept pulling on my forearm, begging me to play. Whether we’re talking about television, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or text messaging, I’ve chosen all of it over my kids at some point.

However in the past few months, I’ve tried to turn things around. I’ve learned an important key to being a good parent in today’s world:

Hang up!

This short but difficult command can be the hinge of quality parenthood. For example, picture yourself pulling in your driveway after a long day at work. There are two ways you to enter your house. One way is to open the door mired in a phone call, casually waving off the kids as they run to you. Another, however, is to walk in, fully present, ready to play and laugh and listen. If you choose the first way, you signal to your kids that a phone call is more important than them. If you choose the second way, you show, even without speaking, that nobody else matter more.

Now hanging up can be difficult. Sometimes there are calls you just have to take or emails that must be sent right away. But if you need a couple more minutes to finish a call, you might consider parking somewhere else for a few minutes to wrap it up. Sure, you may get home a couple of minutes later than planned, but you’ll be present to your kids from the moment you arrive.

Another way I make sure I’m off the phone is to not accept any phone calls on the drive home. If you pick up a call, you’ll likely continue it. On those rare occasions when I do answer, though, I politely wrap it up as I enter the neighborhood, saying, “Well, I’m just pulling up to the house and the kids are waiting outside…” If you’re talking to a family member or friend, they’ll get the hint.

No child ever says to his or her dad, “You spend way too much time with me! Why don’t you take a couple hours to fiddle with your iPhone or pop off some emails?” But many children grow up wishing their dad or mom had paid more attention to them.

So when you’re talking with your kids, turn off your phone. When it’s time for dinner, put your devices away. If you’re at the park, the playground, a restaurant, or church, choose to unplug.

Pocketing your phone and closing your computer are simple things to do, but they’re some of the most powerful ways to show your kids how much you truly care for them.
Originally posted at

Activity of the Week from Children's Ed Committee

Lego Land

We are big into Legos at our house.  Big!  My girls like to build using Lego sets and then play with their creations.  They rarely take them apart to build other things or rebuild.  Consequently, our house is teeming with Lego creations.  We thought it would be fun to build our very own Lego Land.  You will need Legos, large paper and markers.  We began by laying a large piece of paper on the floor.  The girls had various buildings and houses, as well as vehicles.  We noticed that they had beach vehicles and accessories, as well as mountain vehicles and accessories (from the Lego Advent Calendar).  So, we drew a beach scene and a mountain scene on the large paper.  The girls were having a hard time working together on one paper, so we decided to make two lands, Alexandra-land and Margo-land.  They connected the lands with a Lego bridge.  Problem solved!  The girls enjoyed playing on their very own Lego Lands.  They even added more details to their scenes as they played.  Fun!

Kara Tuohy
MW2s and MWF