Creating a Writing/Art Station for Kids

IMG_0368I feel very strongly writing and creating art are extremely important for children.  Writing contributes to language development and communication.  It is quite a complex process.  It requires more basic skills than most others. Creating art develops motor skills needed to write, visual learning, inventiveness, and language development.

Until recently Emme’s had free reign to create wherever she wanted.  Her craft supplies sort of just exploded all over the house.  While I don’t discourage her from creating elsewhere, I thought it important to create a space for her within my office.  She likes hanging out with me while I work and now that she’s a bit older, I feel comfortable with her having access to her own paper and art supplies. Our first step was to empty one of my cabinets and fill it with all of her writing and art supplies.  It now houses various types of paper (construction, sticky pads, composition books), washable paint, dry erase letters for tracing, coloring books, play doh, ink pads and stamps, and scissors.

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Our next step was a trip to Ikea to find an Emme sized table and chairs.  I let her choose the one she wanted.  It’s important she feel comfortable and part of the process. Lastly, we came home and I gave her two options where her “office” could be.  I had a few criteria for her spot- accessible, inviting, well lit, and easy to keep organized.  She chose the spot and I got to work putting together the table.  While I was building, I had her gather some of her favorite supplies and completed projects to hang.

She’s absolutely in love with this space and so am I.  This was by far my favorite project. She spends a lot of time here creating and that is so fulfilling for both of us.

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Learning Through Nature- Marshy Point Pre- K Drop- In

Nature is good for the soul.  It’s an instant stress reliever. Unless the weather is too hot or too cold, we are outside playing and exploring.  Not only is Emme developing a love for the natural world, she’s learning about and appreciating the connection between all living things.  Plus she burns off mega toddler energy.  Win win for me.

This week we visited the Marshy Point Nature Center for the first time.  It was an hour long event geared toward the preschool crowd.  The rangers did a little presentation on the day’s topic- bees- then we headed outside for hands on experience.  I thought for sure at least one kid would freak out over so many bees but not a one did.

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The kids got an up close look at the inside of a real beehive.  Emme was fascinated.  And as you can see, she was not at all scared.  While learning about the hive, they were offered a taste of honey.  Once finished, we went back inside for a quick bee story, snack, and a bee craft.

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The entire session lasted about an hour, perfect for little attention spans.

After the class, we played in a few of the center’s interactive play areas.

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Once we were sufficiently bugged out, we hit the trails for a little bit and met two turkeys, a chicken, and Mr. Hooty, the owl. One of those turkeys was not so nice. Perhaps he knows Thanksgiving is around the corner?

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I was impressed with the knowledge and patience the rangers had with so many toddlers.  They flowed nicely between events.  I’m always looking for ways to enhance what I teach Emme at home and Marshy Point Nature Center filled in some gaps nicely.  We will definitely drop in on more classes.