Friday, April 20, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

It is that time of year when we are struggling to find some meaningful and heartfelt gift for our moms or mother-in-laws.  Usually it ends up being a photo of the family or kids.  Yes, they love photos, but after awhile they run out of space to display these cherished images.  Here are some inexpensive alternatives that she will love and be proud to display.

Photo Flowerpot:  Originally saw this idea on under Teacher Gifts but thought Grandma would love and appreciate it too.  You can use photos of your family or include photos of all the grandchildren and/or their families.
Depending on the number of photos, chose a terracotta pot to fit.  Print the photos on regular printer paper.  You or your child paint the pot first.  When dry, modge-podge the pictures onto the pot.  Once everything is glued down well (with some coats on top) spray the whole thing down with some clear acrylic spray to remove any stickiness.
I found this quote that would be the perfect finishing touch:   "A garden of Love grows in a Grandmother's heart."  Author: Unknown

Garden Stone:  These are always a hit and easy to make.  Handprint or footprints make it a special keepsake.
Brag Bag and Shutterfly 8x8 book

Brag Bag: Paint your child/children handprint using fabric paint on a canvas bag.  Once dry, put a special book about Grandmas or if you have time, a digital photo book inside.  She can take this anywhere and show off to her friends.
One of my favorite books for Grandma is The Gifts of Bring Grand and Grand-O-Grams by Mariane Richmond.
 "The Gifts of Being Grand", for grandparents everywhere, pays tribute to the special joys and rewards of grandparenthood.  You can have your child add a letter to grandma telling the reasons why they love them or have them draw a picture.  "Grand-O-Grams" is a bound book of 40 everyday and seasonal postcards that allow grandparents to keep in touch with those precious grandchildren.  I added a book of postcard stamps. 
The Storyteller in Lafaette has a great selection of books. 30 Lafayette Cir Lafayette, CA 94549 
Craft supplies and garden kits can be purchased at Michaels in Pleasant Hill.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Parent Praise

Hear what parents are saying:
I had the pleasure of attending Diana O’Daniels’ (“Miss Diana”) classes for 18 month – 3 year olds for 5 months. I have nothing but wonderful things to say, and in fact I am disappointed that she has relocated because I was hoping to take her class with my second child who will be 18 months in July.

With my oldest child I took several Music type classes and Paint, Paste and Pour classes and I would by far say that Diana’s class was head and shoulders above these classes. I enjoyed the format she used for her class, which consisted of a 50 minute class which had a daily theme broken up into a simple, yet creative and fun art project, followed by music, discussion, and story, all tied into the theme, then followed by time for the kids to get up, march around and dance, play with instruments, scarves, or balls…needless to say it was a packed 50 minutes, which was perfect for the attention span of a toddler. I LOVED the fact that I was getting a little bit of everything in her class: art, music, movement, and on top of that, there was education tied in. Some of the topics that we covered were rain, rainbows, frogs, worms, trains, butterflies… and there was a small informational lesson about each topic, tied into introductions to letters, colors and numbers. The cherry on top of all this was Miss Diana. She is kind, patient, fun and engaging.  Diana has a fun and appealing class to match her personality which kept me coming back. The only reason we stopped attending her class is because my son began attending school which interfered with Diana’s class, and as I previously mentioned I was looking forward to signing my second child up for her class once he was old enough. I am very disappointed that we don’t have her class anymore, and there is nothing that even comes close to replacing it in our community. Our community took a big loss when Diana left.
  - Ann, San Clemente

Dear Miss Diana,
Thank you so much for the pictures and for making this an amazing class. Nicholas and I have done a lot of "mommy and me", music, art, and gym classes and this is by far the most interactive, organized, and fun. Thank you so much for all the effort you put into making this class very worthwhile for the children!
See you next week and definitely next session!
Nicholas' mom

If you haven't heard of this class...and you haven't heard of Mrs. O'Daniels...then you HAVE TO CHECK IT/HER out!!!  Marcos took her class in the fall at the Talega Swim and Athletic Club and it was amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I can't sing enough praise for Mrs. O'Daniels.  She is smiley, loving, energetic, smart, and super enthusiastic.  One of the best teathers I have EVER seen.  Marcos LOVED it and learned a lot.  Check it out!!  You won't be disappointed.  We love it so much, we are doing it again!!!  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Basket Fillers

Chocolate and jelly beans galore, but not what I want my kids to eat early Easter morning.  Do we have candy, YES.  However, I try to limit the amount and have other fun items too.
Here is a list of non-candy items to fill an Easter basket:
sand toys
art supplies or coloring/activity books
play dough
sun glasses
swim suit or sun hat
garden tools/packets of seeds
real carrots with the green attached
chap stick

Non-candy items to put into the plastic eggs:
Cheerios cereal, goldfish, raisins, bunny crackers
play dough
army men
leave some empty

What do you include in your child's Easter celebration?

Dear Easter Bunny

Every year we write a note to the Easter Bunny and place it in our basket with some fresh carrots.  This is a great opportunity to ask the Easter Bunny any questions, like how do you hide all the eggs or decorate some many?  As the parent, take this opportunity to have your child help you "sound-out" beginning sounds to some of the words and model how to write a letter.
In the morning, most of the carrots are gone or half eaten and the Easter Bunny leaves a note thanking us for the delicious carrots.

Happy Easter!