Fresh Thoughts and Ideas : Eco Friendly Parenting and More!

Three Things we Love About Reading March 2, 2017 16:32

For this week's edition of Three Things Thursdays we're celebrating Read Across America day! We wanted to share three things we love about reading. 


Thing 1: It opens minds to new worlds

Whether it allows your kids to experience a foreign land, new friends, different cultures, minuscule ecosystems, or varied environments, in all cases your child is getting exposure to a wider variety of experiences. This type of exposure broadens the mind and builds more balanced kids. 

Thing 2: Vocabulary and focus

Studies show that kids who get exposure to books and reading at a younger age have vastly larger vocabularies than those who don't. This type of advantage allows kids to get a lift as they move through the developmental cycle. The experience of sitting calmly to read is also an advantage as kids start school. Kids who are able to sit still and focus do better academically. Read more about this here

Thing 3: Imagination

Maybe best of all is the power of imagination. Allowing kids to enter the storybook world exposes them to the magical powers of make believe. This gets the creative juices flowing and leads to more creative problem solving and play. It also allows them to test out a situation before experiencing it in real life. This can be incredibly valuable in managing fear of the unknown.

So... why not grab a book, sit down with your child, and enjoy Read Across America Day? 

Books we love February 28, 2017 16:00

When I learned we were going to be lucky enough to be parents, one of the things I was most excited about was to be able to share my love of reading with our child. Reading was such a magical part of my childhood and I dream that our daughter will enjoy it in the same way I have been able to. With that said... here are a few of the favorites that we've gotten her started on. 

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers - My sister gifted us this lovely story. It takes you through key elements of babyhood one step at a time. It has warm illustrations and charming rhythm while being inclusive of all types of babies and families.

Wind Says Good Night by Katy Rydell - A fabulous journey through the ecosystem outside a child's doorstep as they fall asleep. This story shares the connectedness of our world, and the comfort of nature's sounds. 

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal - This adorable story follows Little Pea through the trials of eating candy for dinner in the hopes of a deliciously green  spinach dessert. Our daughter loves it so much that she often wants to read both of our copies in a single sitting.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen - This one's a throwback. We were gifted a copy by some neighbors who had grown out of it. As we started through it for the first time, I immediately teared up. I had completely forgotten, but this was one I had as a kid. A heartwarming story set on a cold winters night. It tracks a child and their father looking for owls in the night forest. I couldn't help but reminisce about my dad taking us on bird-watching hikes as children. 

This could go on forever. There are so many books we love, I could slice it by reader stage, plot line, setting, and more, but then you'd stop reading. Suffice it to say that these four have been some of the top of the pile for our first 2.5 years of infant to toddler reading. 

What are some of your favorite books? 

An Eco-Friendly Valentines Day February 13, 2017 09:00

Happy Valentines Day (in advance)! We hope you'll be celebrating with your family and saying "I love you" a few extra times tomorrow. 

If you'd like to make a Valentine's Day craft with your little ones but haven't decided which one yet, check out this blogpost offering 14 cute ideas. 

We tested out these cute little cork love bugs!

Valentines Day DIY Recycled Love Bugs

It makes a truly eco-friendly craft because it uses mostly recycled materials and only stuff we already had at home.  We didn't even get the glue gun out but instead used pins to stick on the "wings". 

On top of making a craft from recycled materials, here a few other suggestions to make your Valentine's day greener this year.

  • Choose fair trade and organic chocolate - it makes a huge difference, environmentally. If you don't yet know about Theo Chocolate, you will LOVE the quality of their chocolate as well as their beautiful packaging! 
  • Make your own chocolate instead of buying individually wrapped candies. Melt down some (fair trade and organic) chocolate pieces bought in bulk and pour into heart-shaped molds. 
  • Celebrate simply by wearing pink and red clothes (kids love participating!) or choosing to eat red berries for breakfast. 
  • Give a potted plant or organic flowers instead of the classic bouquet to your loved ones.  

Going green on Valentine's day shows our kids that we love our planet and want to take care of it. So *cheers* to a green (and red, and pink) February 14th!