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Dragon Treasure Sensory Bin

Dragon Treasure Sensory Bin

Set up a simple sensory bin with sand and a handful of treasures. Add some dragons or just pretend to be a dragon and you’ll have a dragon treasure sensory bin that kids will love. I get commissions for purchases made through the affiliate links in this post.

Dragon Treasure Sensory Bin - set up a simple sensory bin with colored sand, treasures, and dragons.

Baby Dragon, Baby Dragon! is fun read about a little dragon who likes to fly through the kingdom getting into all sorts of trouble. Penguin Kids sent us a copy of the book for review. Baby dragon is constantly on the go. A little girl decides to keep up with dragon. She narrates the story. Each scene begins with her saying “Baby dragon, baby dragon…” and then describing what she sees. This line feels like it should lead the book in rhythm and rhyme but it doesn’t. The book doesn’t lose anything by not rhyming though.

The book reminds me of a young child’s adventures. They often do everything full speed ahead and sometimes end up with a mess in their wake. The little girl praises the dragon for its accomplishments and ignores the rest.

Dragon Treasure Sensory Bin

In the book Baby Dragon, Baby Dragon! the dragon has a cave full of treasures. There are stacks of crowns, sea shells, colorful sticks, gems, and more. Inspired by the dragon’s treasure, I created a dragon treasure sensory bin.

Dragon Treasure Sensory Bin - set up a simple sensory bin with colored sand, treasures, and dragons.

The simple sensory bin is made with colored sand and treasures.

I like to use the Crayola colored play sand. It comes in a variety of colors – blue, green, pink, and purple. I’ve included an Amazon link so you can check out the product. It’s available in the spring/summer at Walmart for about $7 while supplies last. Amazon usually sells it for over $20 plus shipping.

I used a shoe size storage bin and a slightly larger bin for my two kids (ages 5 and 3).

For our treasures, I used a combination of gold coins, treasure chests, polished rocks, and toy dragons. Be sure to use age appropriate treasures and watch out for items that are too small as they can be a choking hazard for kids who like to put things in their mouths.

Dragon Treasure Sensory Bin - set up a simple sensory bin with colored sand, treasures, and dragons.

Add a layer of sand. Add the treasure. Then, bury the treasure.

Dragon Treasure Sensory Bin - set up a simple sensory bin with colored sand, treasures, and dragons.

Then, it’s time to dig for the treasure. Use your hands, a shovel, or a small cup. I also gave my kids a bowl to place their found treasures in.

Sensory bins are great for pretend play. Blue colored sand with toy dragons shown.

Sensory bins are great for encouraging pretend play. My kids had the dragons bury and uncover their treasures over and over again. They had some fun dialogue going as well.

Sensory bins are great for pretend play. Blue colored sand with toy dragons shown.

 

 

Source: inspirationlaboratories

This is how to make the most out of a short parent-teacher conference, Mama

This is how to make the most out of a short parent-teacher conference, Mama

For the first time, I sat on the other side of the conference table. My 4-year-old daughter's teacher apologized for placing her cell phone visibly on the table as it started counting down. 11:59, 11:58, 11:57. She was trying desperately to stick to an almost impossible schedule.

I had 12 minutes to hear everything about my daughter's classroom experience—her academic performance, behavior, frustrations, challenges, goals, as well as flip through a binder of her work that probably took her teacher way more than 12 minutes to prepare.

As a special education teacher, I have conducted many parent-teacher conferences, so I'm very familiar with one-on-one time with parents. After almost nine years, I've figured out how to get the best out of this short period of time.

The most important thing to remember during a parent-teacher conference is NOT to feel timed—which is hard to do with a clock counting down before your eyes and the buzzing of parents gathering by the door waiting for their turn. But even though you only have a few minutes, this should not be the only chance to communicate with teachers. If it feels like is, the conference is a great time to fix that.

Here are five ways to get the most out of a parent-teacher conference:

1. Be a good listener.

In most cases, the teacher should have prepared some information to share with you. It's okay to just listen and not feel pressured to interrupt with questions. If you decide to share anecdotes, make sure they are short and to the point—don't waste time on frivolous topics.

2. Come prepared with at least three questions.

You may have specific questions already. If not, consider asking questions about how your child interacts or plays with her peers or how they participate in classroom activities. Some examples:

  • Does he ask questions or wait to be called on?
  • Does she transition well between activities?
  • Does he have difficulty working independently?
Often children behave differently at home and at school, and these questions will prompt the teacher to speak in more detail about their behavior in the classroom and on the playground. One of my favorite questions is: "How can I support my child at home?" This gives teachers an opportunity to talk about academic or social areas in which your child would benefit from help or reinforcement. It will also let the teacher see that you are a team player and want to work with your child to help them succeed.

3. Ask to review your child's work after the conference is over.

It's a good idea to take their work into the hallway so the next parent can start their conference. That way you can take your time looking at the work and it doesn't take away from your 12 minutes.

4. Create a plan at your conference.

Depending on your child's goals, you can make a plan at the conference of how you can help your child at home. For example, if your child is having difficulty using scissors, the teacher may have suggestions for activities you can do together at home or materials you should have access to around the house. If you'd like to communicate more regularly with the teacher, you can decide together the best way to consistently share helpful information. The teacher may offer to create a weekly progress report or a special notebook that both of you write in daily. Whatever your plan is, you should leave the conference with a clear understanding of your role and responsibility as well as the teacher's in making it work.

5. Set up a follow-up meeting.

Teachers understand that 12 minutes twice a year is not enough time to discuss all of your concerns. You may need to set up an additional meeting to continue the conversation or to re-evaluate the plan you've put in place. This can often be done over the phone or at a time more convenient than the scheduled conferences.

 

source: mother.ly

Positive Intent: A Powerful Positive Parenting Tool

Positive Intent: A Powerful Positive Parenting Tool

The “terrible twos” are coming.

You’re in trouble now!

Just wait until she’s a threenager.

Oh please, that’s a breeze compared to my middle schooler.

They’ll walk all over you if you let them!

He’s just trying to see what he can get by with.

She’ll keep pushing boundaries just to push your buttons!

We are, in fact, smothered with messages about how we must get a handle on our children or there will be hell to pay for years to come. Our culture is constantly feeding us negative ideas about children. When they are infants, we see them as blessings and gifts. We are quick to gush over newborn babies as “innocent” and “sweet,” but just wait a few months and the messages begin to change. We are constantly told about how they will manipulate us, test our authority, push our buttons, and see what they can get away with. With the dire warnings come loads of advice telling us the best way to control our little tyrants – so they don’t control us.

It’s no wonder, then, that we learn to assign negative intent to our children’s behavior. The clamor of the world drowns out the whispers of our hearts, and we end up viewing our children less as gifts and more as mischief to be managed. You may begin seeing our child’s motives as negative (to gain control, to manipulate, to challenge) and when you see negative intent, this triggers negative reactions. You become angry, embarrassed, frustrated, or frightened, and in that triggered state, you become reactive. You may even justify making your child feel bad through your “discipline” because, in your mind, you are doing it to make her a better person in the long run. So, you scold her wrongdoings and highlight her character flaws in the process. Unfortunately, when our children see the “badness” that we see, they may come to themselves that way, too. But they don’t just see their behavior as bad, but often they see themselves as bad. If that works its way into a child’s self-concept, you’ll see the “bad” behaviors repeated again and again.

If, on the other hand, you choose to see positive intent, then you can see that she’s a good person who needs guidance on this issue. You’ll see more than the behavior; you’ll see the heart and soul of the human being exhibiting it. Though you still correct the behavior, you can now approach her with a different tone and attitude, changing your language so that you reflect her light.

Negative intent: You think, She’s a sneaky little liar! You say, “You liar! I see the juice stains on your mouth! Mason was honest. Why wouldn’t you just be honest with me? I’m very disappointed in you. It’s wrong to lie.”

“Liar” is not a label you want to stick. If a child thinks she’s a liar, she’ll be a liar. Then if she gets punished for being a liar, she’ll become a sneaky liar. Self-fulfilling prophesy! You just created what you feared. Remember, our behaviors reflect what we believe about ourselves.

Positive intent: You think, She doesn’t want to get in trouble or disappoint me. You say, “Hmm. I see cherry red lips. I value your honesty. Were you drinking juice and it accidentally spilled? Sometimes I spill things by accident. No big deal. We just need to clean it up. Come help me.”

Doesn’t the tone feel much different in the second scenario? The first one probably leaves Mia feeling like a terrible person. In the second example, she may feel a bit of guilt for spilling the juice or even for fibbing, but she doesn’t get shamed or berated. She cleans up her mess, and you move on.

How can you assign positive intent to bad behavior? The difference is in being mindful of the thoughts that arise when you see “bad” behavior. It is your thoughts about what is driving your child that will determine how you feel and, as a result, respond to the issue. Let’s look at how the intent you perceive determines the actions you take.

A child hits his brother.

Negative intent: He is a naughty child trying to hurt his sibling.

Action: Believing he is acting maliciously will likely incite anger, or at least frustration, in you. This could cause your tone to be sharp. You might verbalize your thoughts, calling him “mean” or “naughty,” and you’ll likely feel he needs some sort of punishment.

The child learns: He is bad or mean. His parent is mad at him. He may believe his brother is favored.

Positive intent: He is needing attention or direction and asking for it in an immature way, as children do. He doesn’t have the words to express his needs.

Action: Because you see that his aggression is a signal for help, you aren’t moved to anger. You are able to address his action calmly. You view him as an immature child needing guidance rather than a mean child needing punishment, so guidance is what you give. You bring him onto your lap and tell him that you won’t allow him to hit and that you will help him calm down. You might look through a book or practice counting to ten while taking big breaths. You’ll then tell him two or three things he can do when he’s upset, practice them, and then as him how to repair the relationship with his brother.

The child learns: Hitting is not an acceptable release of anger. His parent is on his side. How better to handle anger. How to apologize and repair relationships. Emotional intelligence.

A child hits his brother.

Negative intent: He is a naughty child trying to hurt his sibling.

Action: Believing he is acting maliciously will likely incite anger, or at least frustration, in you. This could cause your tone to be sharp. You might verbalize your thoughts, calling him “mean” or “naughty,” and you’ll likely feel he needs some sort of punishment.

The child learns: He is bad or mean. His parent is mad at him. He may believe his brother is favored.

Positive intent: He is needing attention or direction and asking for it in an immature way, as children do. He doesn’t have the words to express his needs.

Action: Because you see that his aggression is a signal for help, you aren’t moved to anger. You are able to address his action calmly. You view him as an immature child needing guidance rather than a mean child needing punishment, so guidance is what you give. You bring him onto your lap and tell him that you won’t allow him to hit and that you will help him calm down. You might look through a book or practice counting to ten while taking big breaths. You’ll then tell him two or three things he can do when he’s upset, practice them, and then as him how to repair the relationship with his brother.

The child learns: Hitting is not an acceptable release of anger. His parent is on his side. How better to handle anger. How to apologize and repair relationships. Emotional intelligence.

 

source: creativechild