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October 26, 2007

Parent Club is proud to announce our national syndication on


October 24, 2007

Halloween Costume Ideas

Do you have aspirations of not buying another costume this year? We have compiled some homemade - no sew - costume ideas for your little one. Could it be this easy?!...

Basket of Laundry. Cut the base out of a laundry basket. Make "suspenders" out of fabric or strong ribbon to hold it in place. Drape several articles of clothing on your arms, tummy, neck.

Stop Light. Start with black turtle neck and black pants. Tape cardboard cut-outs in shapes of circle in red, orange and green.

Mom in the Morning. Wear P.J's , robe, and slippers. Curlers and empty Tim Horton's medium sized coffee cup optional.

House Painter. Splash (real) paint on white sweat shirt and sweat pants. Different colours. Take a clean empty paint can; wrap it in construction paper and write "trick or treat" on the front in marker. White paint splashed baseball cap optional.

Clark Kent. The simple addition of a Superman tee under a white shirt, tie and pair of pants turns your little one into a superhero. Add a pair of dollar store glasses (lenses removed) for added effect.

Bubble bath. Cut the bottom out of a circular laundry basket. Cover the basket with white fabric, using a hot glue gun, to make it look like a tub. Attach strong blue ribbon as suspenders for the child to wear the tub. Dress your child in blue sweats and tape blue balloons to their shirt and the top of the tub. Top it off with a shower cap.


Call to Action - FAMILY PHOTOS

Now is the time to book an appointment at your local photo studio for your family photo. Many places are already completely filled for every weekend between now and Dec. 25th.

This is a call to action -- BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT today.

October 23, 2007

Where do runaway balloons go?...

The tears. The drama. The creative thought process parents must develop to deal with unexplained situations. I never thought I would be one to - well - lie to my children. As you can see from the shared Parent Secrets to the left...I am not alone in the secrets parents create to make life a little easier.

I clearly remember the pain - real pain - at loosing a treasured balloon as it escaped for upward freedom. The child was inconsolable. What was I to do?! Well, I lied. I told her quickly, and with much enthusiasm, that she should make a wish because runaway balloons carried a child's wish directly to the North Pole. Because, of course, that is where all balloons go when they are free. All of a sudden, she forgot her tears and whispered..."I wish, I wish for a new headband." And there it was. In my genius, my lie, I created a family tradition.

Who says magnetic fields don't carry balloons to the North Pole? I cannot prove they do not. Is it wrong to create a band-aid solution - if it makes my life easier and encourages my child to believe in magic - just a little longer?Soon enough, they will learn I don't have the solutions. I can't make everything better. I just don't have the answers. But I can be innovative in finding solutions. I hope they learn that from my side of the family.


October 22, 2007

The Scribble Interview - Part 1 - a conversation with Crayola

Celebrate the Scribble - Appreciating Children's Art is a new book written by Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D. This book shows and discusses the joy of the unexpected mark and creativity in pre-schoolers.

In preparing for an interview concerning this book, I was startled by my research on Apparently, artsy kids watch less t.v. and do better in school. Really, I don't know why this surprised me. Of course, a child would learn better if they are experienced in hands on engagement rather than passively watching a screen. Creative kids are generally the innovative thinkers and problem solvers.

We, as parents, usually think of art activities as just crafts. However, according to Cheri Sterman, Director of Child Development at Crayola, art helps develop decision making, motor control, math concepts (horizontal and vertical lines) and representational cognition of a child and their world. I admit, I've never looked at Scribbles that way.

Cheri tells us that their are Four Stages to Scribbles...

1. The Joy of Unexpected Marks. Between 9-12 months begin to mark in unplanned motion. Is your child making lines in their oatmeal? Creating roads in their applesauce? This is a sign they may be ready for a simple - high chair - art activity. 5 - 10 minutes is perfectly fine for a easy art attack.

2. The Intentional Scribble. After 12 months children discover the marks they make. It is not representational of anything -- but that is exactly what you should celebrate in this stage of life.

3. The ARTiculation Stage. Children, after age 24 months, can start to tell you about their artwork. It may not be look like a house -- but the child can tell you exactly where to find the windows and which is his room. The story may change, the picture could be a house today or a rocket tomorrow. Don't ask what specific lines are, rather say "Tell me about..." and let your child lead.

4. Scribbles Take Shape. Around the 3rd birthday. Children put a lot of planning into their artwork. People and families are quite often incorporated into drawings.

It is so interesting to look beyond the Scribbles and notice the movement, colour choice and energy in young artists creations.

We have one copy of Celebrate the Scribble to give away to a lucky Parent Club reader. Tell us about your favourite art activity and it could be yours (our e-mail info. is to the right).

This is Part 1 to the series - The Scribble Interview - a conversation with Crayola.