Dec 30, 2010
Dec 10, 2010
So if you know me, you know I have had high expectations for my child(n future children) long before she was conceived. One of those expectations is that she(they) will be multi-lingual. From birth I have been teaching her(and my self) sign language and now I feel it is time to introduce Arabic at home( I fully intend on introducing Spanish latter on in her life). So here, today marks my official journey into multi lingualism.
Arabic Action Plan
- Speak as much Arabic on Fridays as possible (eventually I will limit my self to only speaking in Arabic, to her on Fridays)
- Read Arabic books as much as possible
- (I have recently begun to build an Arabic Library, thanks to the suggestions of a fellow blogger (http://readkutubkids.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/books-to-start-an-arabic-play-group-ages-2-4/ )
- I have purchased books from Noorart.com and Syraj.com
Media and Manipulatives
- We will soon be the owners of Little Thinking Minds DVD set, it is similar to Baby Einstein
- I am thinking of Purchasing little Pim
- We now own Arabic puzzles
- I have decided to start an Arabic playgroup. Insha allah we will be meeting once a week for a couple of hours starting in January.
- If you are interested in joining or want to know more email me and or request to join at http://arabiyyah.qlubb.com/public
My DD's Language Background
- English speaking home
- Introduced to ASL
- Watched by Arabic speaking daycare provider from 8 to 18 months
- My limited Arabic proficiency
Addressing by studying as I teach
Using Rosetta Stone
Reading Quran out loud
- My DD speech delay
Doing Speech therapy at home
watching speech therapy DVDs
seeking professional assistance
DD's Learning style
If you have any suggestions of things I can add to our Action Plan please let me know
Nov 28, 2010
Nov 27, 2010
Nov 26, 2010
Although I live in a city know to have it all, it is not always possible to find all of the hair supplies I want in one store. I have come across three hair sites that sell the hair snaps I love so much. I have found three sites all mommy operated, dedicated to selling hair accessories that make you reminisce the days when your mother did your hair.
Nov 3, 2010
So we have started to walk down the long road of potty training. The first potty I purchased was one that sits on the toilet. This was when she was just an infant and I had decided that I would try Elimination Communication. Well that failed. My babe was terrified of the toilet.
Some months down the line, when she was about 18 months I purchased a simple potty. No princess characters, no lights bells or whistles, a basic affordable potty. My purchase was inspired by my DD discovery of a new talent, how to remove a diaper. I even purchased a potty training movie by barron and a book. They were both amusing to her but I doubt they had any impact on her choice to use the potty.
In fact I'm sure that the most sucess we have had is due to her imitating. But I am afraid our potty training milestones have taking a break. It may be due to our new use of pull ups. So I have decided to make the switch to training pants.
I was hesitant because the thought of cleaning them is no more enticing then the thought of cleaning the free standing potty. But I will take one for the team. After its great ratings I decided to go with the potty patty brand of training pants. What I predict to be a days worth was comparable to a pack of pull ups, so I suppose they will be well worth it shall they work.
I decided not to go for the complete potty patty system(their is also potty scotty) for a number of reasons. The first being it is about $100. We also have no need for the potty, since we own one. Lastly, the doll lacks diversity. As in they are only cacasion.
I did however decide to buy her a potty doll. I decided on the The Childrens Factorys baby bottoms potty doll.(Their whole line of dolls is pretty amazing) Simply because it was the only African American cloth potty doll I could find.(I am not a fan of plastic toys). I think she will be a good complement to my DD baby Stella doll(her first doll).Furthermore, I appreciate the fact that the doll is available in many varieties, Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian and African American. Since it is in essence a rag doll it does have one short coming when compared to the potty patty. It can not actually pee.
However, one frugal creative mom gave me an idea to overcome that minor detail. She took a doll and attached a small shampoo bottle filled with yellow water to the back of it and presto! A urinating doll. Once my amazon purchase arrives I feel I will be prepared to continue our potty training journey.
Nov 2, 2010
Oct 16, 2010
Then the light blub went off. the only time I am able to iron with out having to stop and run into the room is when she "irons" with me. When ever she sees me take out the ironing board she runs and gets some clothes out of her draw to press. I brought a toy iron from here on esty about a month ago. Only 5 dollars it was one of my best buys. It started my love affair with esty, one that has yet to disappoint me. Sigh But back to the light blub, I figured I could purchase a toy sewing machine and have her sew with me.
Perhaps she will have such found memories of her times sewing with me that she will pick it up as she gets older (and save me money on things like hijabs and hims, all the reasons why I am learning). And maybe me spending money on a toy will motivate me to continue sewing. (ok that ones a stretch) But the point is, I found some beautiful sewing machines. Their were several toy machines that really sewed, we are clearly not ready for that but they were cute. I also saw a few that were more along the lines of what I was looking for. The prices, were not. So i am still searching, but these are the few I have found thus far.
The first I found from A TOY GARDEN. This 12 inch toy sells for approximately $45. It is handmade in the USA and has a moving "needle". It was featured in the December 2007 issue of Living Craft. It is shown at the right.
My next two finds were on esty. The first is made by Woodclinic. He sells two models shown below. They both have moving parts. But what is special about his sewing machines is that they are made of reclaimed wood. His sewing toys are being sold for $49 and $60. Shown below.
The next esty person I found is SSWoodCraft. His toy have moving parts and ships from Montana for $39. This toy seller has been perfecting his craft for 40 years and it shows in the beauty of his work. It is shown here to the right.
My last find is from a story Wooden Toy Junction. These sewing machines are made of white pine. The wood comes from trees that are substantially harvested. It even ships in water souble biodegradable packing. Plus it is the most pocket friendly at $25.
It is shown to your left.
Oct 11, 2010
So my mother started buying Welches fruit snacks for my booba. My DD loved them and I loved that she was eating something. That is until I realized they were made with pork gelatin :-(. So I have had it on my to do list to find a suitable alternative and today I did.
First I walked to Trader Joes and was happy to find they had three varieties of fruit snacks. Unfortunately they were all made with animal gelatin. I must say i appreciate the fact that they clearly listed that on their package, unlike Welches. From downtown Brooklyn I traveled to Park Slope. At Back to the Land.(Side note, they sell Qhemet Biologics!) I found what I was looking for, Vegan Gummy bears.
Well actually they were gummy bunnies. Annies Homegrown sells four varieties of their Bunny fruit snacks. So me being the collector and having traveled so far purchased all four varieties, berry patch, tropical treat, sunny citrus and summer strawberry. I must say they were tasty, a little bit stickier and chewier then Welches but yummy none the less. Plus the ingredients were pretty cool, no corn starch or red 40, it was made of cane sugar and fruit juices for color. The sugar and calories and the like were pretty comparable. Now although I was impressed with all of the above, I was not impressed with the price. They were about $5 a box and each box contains 5 individual pouches. Not highway robbery but just not cheap enough for this frugal momma. So I will either be on the hunt for a store that sells them for less.
Now there are some other Vegan/ Halal alternatives.
Edwards and Sons is another highly respected vegan company. They produce three kinds of gummy, regular, sour and jelly. Although I have not tasted them (yet), I have read nothing but good reviews of their gummies.
Surf Sweets. Some of their gummies are vegetarian and some are not. But they clearly state this on their website, again unlike other companies. The following was taken from their FAQ page.
Are your products Vegetarian?Five of our products are Vegetarian (Fruity Bears, Gummy Swirls, Jelly Beans, Sour Berry Bears and Sour Worms). Our Gummy Bears and Gummy Worms contain gelatin so they are not vegetarian.
Are your products Vegan? Four of our products are Vegan (Fruity Bears, Gummy Swirls, Sour Berry Bears and Sour Worms).
Seitenbacher is another company that sells gummies. On their site I counted 15 different flavors! Although they do not come in the cute individual bags like Annies, baggies work just fine.Goody Good stuff is another brand that has received vegetarian certification. 8 flavorsere vegetarian approved and 4 were vegan approved. They are gelatin free.
One major candy company has jumped on the bandwagon, Haribo candies now sells a kosher and a halal version of their gummy bears. Their halal version is only produced in Turkey, but can be purch as ed in the North West. They are come in 8 flavors and are gelatin free. Here is their FAQ page.
Heavenly Delights is an Halal sweets company. They unlike the previously mentioned candies use gelatin and so they are not Vegetarian friendly. Still they are Halal their website states" All gelatin is from Pakistan and is approved by S.A.N.H.A (South African National Halaal Authority). You can also rest assured that the whole production process for Heavenly Delights confectionery is monitored by qualified scholars."
You may also go the kosher route.
Oh nuts is a store based in Brooklyn. They sell Kosher certified gummy bears. They are made using fish gelatin.
Simcha Sweets is another New York store. They sell kosher gummy bears. What is cool about their site is they tell you the name of the Rabbis in charge of ensuring they are kosher.
Schneider Gummy Planet is the last that I will list for now. They van be purchased at Park East Kosher store.
Now you should be aware that although Vegetarian, Vegan, Halal and Kosher often overlap they are not always the same. Vegan is always vegetarian as, it has no animal products. However Vegetarian is not always Vegan,( a vegetarian could drink milk as it is not meat, but a vegan wouldn't because it comes from an animal. ) Similarly Vegetarian, vegan and kosher products may be Halal since they will not use pork. However they are not necessarily halal as they may use alcohol. So be responsible and read the box before you purchase and always feel free to call companies and ask them directly.
Oct 9, 2010
Snapaholics is having a one week sale.. This is the first sale they have ever had, I almost wish I had a need for new hair snaps. But instead of spending, I will share the love. For 20% off put FIRSTSALE in the coupon code section, sale ends OCt. 14. Let me just say I love their snaps, I live in New York, they capitol of everything and haven't found such cute, perfectly sized, affordable hair snaps for my babe. My favorite are the hearts and Style 12 flower snaps. Check out their sister blog, Keep Me Curly too.
Most importantly my booba enjoyed herself and I noticed I few things about my booba. She loves organization(She insisted on putting away the chalk and pushing all chairs in), hates getting her hands dirty(a drop of glue or paint and she was off to the sink) and she gravitated towards legos (this combined with the organization caused her to fuss at a boy playing with legos outside of the lego section until he put them where they belonged). I left the museum inspired.
I came home and searched for my brothers old lego set. (Just because I had to wait to have a little brother before I discovered blocks, legos and cars doesn't mean my booba has not wait) I sorted through the set for the large legos. Their weren't many, and after about 18 years of after their purchase many were quite faded in color, but they will due the job. We washed them together and got to work building.
The lego's lead me to an arts n craft project. I decided to re-purpose a wipes container. Not just re-purpose, but decorate. Today we are taking bits of construction paper and making a collage on the box. When we are done I'll put up a picture of our creations.
Oct 7, 2010
Oct 6, 2010
If you are a frequent follower of my blog (if your not please click the little button at the very bottom of the page that says follow) you know that recently I have been looking for toys that encourage various skill sets. To make a long story short I came across this political cartoon and I think it sums up my last two post, Pink planes trains and cars oh my! and Raising balanced, high achieving girls through play.
My favorite, for its ability to be taken a part and put back together is are Automoblox by Manhattan toy(side note, my babes first doll is by them).
As the name suggest Automoblex are a combination of cars and blocks. This car is about $37. The body is made of wood and the parts are compatible with other automoblex cars. So you can put the extra large rims from the purple X9 SUV on the pink C9 Sports car. (These two are on my to obtain in the future list). They also have a smaller car and many more color options. The Automoblex mini in pink available at Land of the Nod These cars would fit in two learning skills categories disguised in my previous post Raising balanced, high achieving daughters through play.
Approximately 5.5 inches long by 2 inches tall the Brio Race car (left) is a sleek option. It is designed for 12 months and up and comes in pink and other colors. You can find this wooden car for $3.50 to 7.50.
Do you prefer a more old fashion styled car? How about this Citron. You could get this toy for $18 to 30. Like the two above it is said to be the perfect first car, as it is large and easy to grip. And much to my liken made from wood. They also produce a lighter pink car.
The Whittle Shortline Railroad pink train set is simple beautiful. This company has been around for a long time and has a history of building long lasting wooden trains. For those who want to buy U.S. this company is in the Midwest. You can find this birchwood toy for 40 to 50 dollars.
If you do not have the room for such a long train you can purchase an engine for about $14. The BigJigs wooden pink train engine has nice bright yellow and red accents.It is also compatible with most tracks sets.(left)
If your daughter is a fan of Thomas the train she will adore Rosie. Designed by Learning Curve Rosie ranges in price from $5 to $12. Rosie is characterized as a Tom Boy on the show. She is also jut as big and strong as Thomas! If you search you may be able to find Lady a purple engine who has been retired by Learning Curve.
This pink planes simplicity made it a winner for me. I first noticed it on this Mommy Brain Reports. At $12 the Ribbon Plane by Monkey Business Sports is affordable, classic and cute. It is made of foam, making it light and able to glide through the air.(As it is also made for indoor and outdoor play, the foam is nice to prevent accidents) To play with it you spin it around using the attached string or toss it in the air.
Airflow Collectibles is the maker of this Fantasy Flyer.(to the left) It is a peddle plane, meaning large enough for your Bessie Colemen or Amelia Earheart to fit in. It ranges in price from $315 to 430 and can be purchased at many major stores. They also design other products including 2 peddle cars and 2 tricycles.
American Retro also designed a peddle air plan. It is similar is size and price but with a retro flare. They also have two pink cars available a Sedan and an Estate Wagon.
If you are looking for handmade items do not for get to search esty. And don't be like me and wait too long to purchase can many items are one of a kind (I missed out on a cute three car set). Here are a few I found. A cute helicopter by Birdyboots who also sells pink trucks and cars. A purple push car by DCWoodcrafts. Lastly, this adorable LadyBug car by Toys2Treasures.
The following is a list of non wooden toys. They are not my style but cool enough to mention.
Wow toys offers a few pink car options for younger girls. They are all compatible with other Wow toys and affordable. Their Dynamite Daisy seems particularly popular.
Fisher price has a plastic pink race car. Named the Shake N' Go the more you shake it the longer it races off. It is readily available and several major stores and only $10. They also manufacture a plane Little People Little Movers.
Looking for a remote control car? Kid Galaxy has you covered with My 1st Radio-Control Go Go Bubble Gum Racer.
Based off of the Pikar movie cars. Mattel manufactured a Pink SUV named Prank Pinkerton. Since I mentioned Mattel, I suspect you can find several pink Barbie Cars if it was desired.
Oct 5, 2010
If you have been reading my blogs you know that I put a lot of thought into the toys I allow my daughter to play with. I prefer toys that are natural because they stimulate the mind encouraging the child to think and discover, with out over stimulating. They also tend to provide a way to develop the life skills that children tend to naturally imitate you(and those around them). With my daughter imitating me she tends to do things that are stereotypically girly. Before I proceed, I am not against my daughter developing nurturing habits, in-fact I think it is desirable. Still, I sometimes wonder if I am providing her with enough opportunities to develop other skills. As an educator I am fully aware that girls lag behind in math and science skills. I feel we play a role in what types of thinkers we raise. If we limit our daughters to "girl toys" we will be limiting them to the house, or at minimum forcing them to run up hill if they choose a job that is not in a field that women traditionally work.
I am now challenging myself to encourage other types of play(while not discouraging her current play patterns). I took out the play doe and ball and purchased a set of Melissa and Doug Blocks on Wheels(a big hit). Still I was running into a brick wall and then I remembered a book I read when I was pregnant and decided to skim back through it.
The book I am referring to is Entitled Growing A Girl: Seven Strategies For Raising A strong, Spirited Daughter, by Dr. Barbara Mackoff. The chapter that I have re and re read several times is Chapter 17, Teach Her to learn Through Play. This chapter discusses what children learn during play, how toys socialize and develop or limit skills. It challenges the parent to look at the products they have been buying for their girl. She gives you several examples on how to use toys to raise a thinker. Here I will post a part of a section, What Toys Teach, that I found particularly useful.
Spatial Skills- Three-dimensional space, distance
Blocks, Tinkertoys, Legos, Erector sets, Lincoln Logs, Bowling sets,basket- balls, T-ball, puzzles, Duplos, transportation toys:trains, trucks, cars.
Relationship/Nurturing Skills- role-playing, empathy care-taking: Dolls, puppets, stuffed animals, and animal figurines.
Science Skills- Collecting, identifying, observing, classifying:
Magnets. chemistry sets, ant farm, magnifying glass, binoculars, telescope, shell or rock collection.
Verbal Skills/ Linguistic Skills.- Spelling, vocabulary, reading:
Alphabet puzzles and games, puppet theater, Scrabble.
Mechanical Concepts Skills- tinkering, fixing assembling:
Model trains, tool kits, model car and airplane kits.
Math Skills- estimating, counting, distance, weight, volume, patterns:
Dominoes, Chutes and Ladders, Candy land, cooking sets.
Creativity- storytelling, picturing, portraying
puppets, modeling paints, crayons, craft kits.
Strategic Problem solving- tic-tac-toe, Uno, Connect Four, chess checkers.
Dr. Mackoff's list is a good place to start. Rereading this chapter has inspired me to reflect on the toys my daughter owns and the ones I have been thinking of buying. As I already think about what skills a toys develops when I shop, I think before I shop I should think what skills is she not developing though her play and then look for things to meet that need.