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We all need to give ourselves a little grace

We all need to give ourselves a little grace

I follow a lot of teachers, occupational therapists, administrators, and entrepreneurs on social media.  You find your people, right?  All these people are in professions where we had to pivot and reinvent the wheel months ago, and honestly, we are still building the plane as we are flying it.  There have been so many times in the last month that I felt like I was not living up to my standards in doing my job - as a mom, as a teacher, as a business owner.  I know there are other people out there that are feeling that same way.  I can feel the stress in the classroom from my students as we are all trying our hardest to stay safe and stay open.  I feel the stress from my colleagues as we navigate a new normal in instructional delivery.  I feel the stress with my husband as our typical means of reaching customers has been limited.  I feel the stress from my son who is going to school and learning in a COVID restrained environment.  We are all stressed.

Even in all this, I have found glimpses of positivity and energy, like from our friend, Jon Box and @theboxstreetwear, and it helps me to keep taking steps forward.  Now I know that I have seen people talk about how they don't want to hear any more "toxic positivity" from anyone.  I read posts about how they are struggling and they don't want to see any messages of how things will get better.  I get it.  When you are stuck in a hole, you don't necessarily want to see people around you with shovels having a party and digging themselves out.  I get it.  My intent is not to shove positivity down anyone's throat.  My intent is to let you know that I get it, I understand, I have felt the same way, and let me try to help you feel different.  As Merideth Grey from Grey's Anatomy would say, "If you need a twisted sister, I'm here for you."  And I am. But we all need a plan and a path to get ourselves out eventually.  And I want to help be that path. 

We all need to give ourselves a little grace and understanding.  We need to give ourselves a gosh darn break.  We are doing the best we can and that's enough.  Once I let myself believe that, I was able to move forward and begin to change my mindset.  I accepted that maybe yesterday or the day before was not perfect, but I was going to move on and move forward and do something differently the next day to change.  And honestly, it would be very easy for me to stay negative, however, I chose to read, watch, and absorb the positive messages that people are putting out and allow them to affect me for the better.  I can be exhausted, stressed, angry, frustrated, all that, but I can also have a positive and compassionate mindset at the same time, and let THAT drive my actions forward. 

My son love TikTok, and he loves making videos with me.  I month ago I posted a video we made and I recently posted another one that had a positive mindset message.  I figure, make a video with a cute kid, and people will watch it, right?  Anyways, it was a video trend that was originally created by @jt_laybourne.  My son and I recreated it and I made it about a message to our teachers, parents, students, and children to say that we are all going through tough times, but we can all get through it together.  It's ok to not always be ok.  But when you need help, lean in and take it.  I am taking this all one day at a time and learning to be ok that it  - my teaching, my classes, my house (you should see the pile of dishes in the sink and baskets of clothes that need folded) is not the same as what it used to be.  But I am determined to come out of this better than when I started.  I hope that you can find your determination to keep going, too.  Don't be afraid to reach out to others in your life to help give you a little push in the right direction.   Till next time - here is another positive video from @jt_laybourne to keep you going.

Nancy

Creator, Effortless Art Crayons

Co-Owner, Two Sparrows LS 

Let's begin with the end in mind

Let's begin with the end in mind
It made me realize that as adults, sometimes we do enough worrying for both ourselves AND our children combined!  I have spent hours worrying about how he will do and if he would be ok.  Honestly, he is resilient and flexible (at least for this….now ask him about wearing shoes other than flip flops, then you will a stubborn, upset five year old!), and he will be ok.  We have a new normal but it is up to us to set the tone and mindset for our children so that they can start and remain positive through this year. 

At home learning inspiration with these fun filled activities!

At home learning inspiration with these fun filled activities!

Hi everyone!

As we prepare for back to school I know that many of you will be starting remote with your child.  We are all concerned about too much screen time and so I've pulled together some of our favorite hands on learning activities to share with all of you! These are all tested and approved by Crayon Kid and use materials you have in your home.  I like simply seeing what I have on hand and making activities out of it. I'm a no fuss kind of person. 

If you have playdough, rocks (maybe from a nature walk), chopsticks (from Chinese food take out), egg cartons, any kind of foam or magnetic letters, you will be set!  I bought our magnetic letters from Amazon.  No I am not an affiliate, just an Amazon addict! 

Play dough Fun with Letters and Chopsticks!

We used our egg cartons, play dough, letters, and chopsticks with these two activities.  I colored inside each section of the egg carton with a different color, and then had Crayon Kid made some small little play dough balls out of the same colors.  He then took chopsticks and practiced picking the play dough up and placing it in the matching colored section.  We even did the reverse once we filled each up.  Chopsticks are still super hard, for me too, so we modified his a bit with a rubber band at the end and placed a folded up piece of paper at the bottom to help make it easier to pinch.  He always has a blast using them! 

Next we kept the play dough out and used our magnetic letter to stamp out our name into the play dough.  He had to use his muscles to press really hard to flatted the play dough out and then press the letters firmly in. We spelled our name but you could spell anything you wanted - like weekly spelling words, right?

Rock Painting with a Side of Shapes and Letters! 

Crayon Kid loves going on walks.  And he loves finding rocks along his walk and bringing them home even more!  So one day after our rock hunt we came home and decided to paint the rocks.  It was a perfect day outside so we put the rocks in a box, everything was contained,  and he could paint them easily and there was no mess! After they dried we used them to create different shapes and letters, which is a super fun way to practice instead of drawing with plain old pencil and paper. 

So many fun learning activities were created from the most basic materials.  And each worked on multiple skills:

  • literacy - making letters with the rocks and stamping our name in play dough
  • math - shapes with the rocks
  • fine motor - stamping, using the chopsticks, pressing the play dough, painting
  • sensory - pressing and squeezing the play dough
  • gross motor - going on the nature walk

I hope these activities inspire you to create at home.  It does not take a lot and anything can be made into a learning experience for you and your child.  

We would love to see pictures or hear about your experience trying any of our projects.  Feel free to comment or to message us on Facebook or Instagram.  Take care and till next time,

Nancy 

Co-Owner, Two Sparrows LS

Creator, Effortless Art Crayons