When you bring home your baby, there’s that fear that you’re going to mess things up. You’re going to feed her wrong, you’re going to put her in her crib wrong, and heavens to Betsy (whoever Betsy is) don’t drop her! Then she grows up. Shes a toddler, a preschooler, a second grader. Now there’s isn’t fear of putting her in her bed wrong, you just want her to go to sleep. There’s isn’t fear of feeding her wrong, you just want her to eat what you cook for her. The new fear is that you aren’t teaching her enough. That you’re not incorporating enough educational activities into the awake hours.
If you’re like me, these feelings are real! You’re trying to keep up with everyday life: house, husband, kids, cooking, cleaning, drop off, pick up, and hoping to save just a couple hours a week for Shonda Rhimes. Then you hear words like sensory, STEAM, bilateral coordination, common core, or fine motor skills and you panic.
I didn’t teach my child fine motor skills today.
We didn’t review the parts of STEAM.
I didn’t test her bilateral coordination.
And you instantly feel mom guilt in the depths of your core.
First of all, that mom guilt means you’re doing a great job so take a seat and relax for a moment.
Second, it doesn’t have to be like that. You don’t have to ‘practice’ fine motor skills or ‘review’ the parts of STEAM. Those things happen naturally when your child plays. When you are making dinosaur habitats with glitter glue and stickers you are practicing fine motor skills. You are incorporating STEAM into your child’s life by allowing her creativity and imagination to flow through her fingers in the form of sparkly lava on the volcano.
Related Post: Why Moms Need Podcasts + My Favorite Ones!
Fred Rogers said “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
Now I know some may think you can just hand kids a bunch of toys and call it good. I’m not saying go down that road, but look setting up fun, interactive activities doesn’t have to be difficult. Que: Subscription Boxes.
Have you seen these things? They literally take the work out of hands on activities & crafts for kids. The creators of boxes of pure sanity did it all!
On of my favorites, for example, is Green Kids Crafts. Every month my daughter gets a box in the mail that includes at least 5 activities that center around science, technology, engineering, art, and math (HEY Mama, That’s STEAM!) The activities are actually fun, like excavating or making dinosaur fossils.
Each activity comes with all of the supplies needed to do the activity, instructions, and fun facts. The facts are great because sometimes I draw a blank. I don’t know much about dinosaurs, it was never a real interest of mine, but my daughter like’s them! I did a happy dance when there was a card with fun facts about dinosaurs on it. We were able to talk about these fun facts as she created her dinosaur habitat and made fossils. It was awesome!
It felt amazing. My daughter was learning and doing something productive, we were bonding and having a good time, and the only work I had to put in was reading the instructions. It was fabulous and stress free.
Now if I could just order a subscription box that folds my laundry, life would be peachy!