A Multiple Intelligence Lifestyle

Exposure Blossoms Curiosity,Curiosity Blossoms Exposure

Friday, July 29, 2011

been awhile

It's been awhile....oh, how those words always remind me of a song from my youth. I think it was by stained. That is really beside the point, I'm really writing to say It's been awhile since I posted. Believe me though, life is still going, and we are still constantly learning.
I haven't posted on this site for quite some time. I started up another blog on wordpress because I tend to like it more. If I have time to blog I usually use this site now. Feel free to take a peek at alivedinhouse@wordpress.com

My only dilemma is I don't want to delete all the content on this site so it has just sort of been hanging around.

Well too make this long indecisive story get real shorter, I'll just say, I'm still not hitting delete.

A handful of Thanks!!

We made thank you cards for Em's birthday guests. There is something I love about a child's hand print. My mom still has my preschool handprints hanging on one of her walls. It has always been my favorite childhood art piece.
We used a few art supplies we had around the house: kids paint, paintbrushes, and card stock cut up to any size you prefer( When I cut mine I kept envelope size in mind).
Find an area around the house that can get messy. I chose outside because the weather was nice. If I did this inside our house, I would sit at the table or on the floor and put a tarp under us to allow for an easier clean up.
Once we were set up outside, Emery chose a few colors and we went to work. I painted her hand with a good coating of paint. I then placed her hand straight down on one of the card stock pieces.
To make a full print I gently pressed on each finger. I talked with her about doing her best to not wiggle as I did this. It worked for the most part :)
I gently pressed on the bottom, than on the top.
After pressing each finger, I also pressed lightly on the area above the palm. Then lifted her hand straight up. She eventually took over this step as we made each card. This is what it looked like.
We did a few in this color and then I cleaned off her hand so we could do another color. The paint cleans off easy because its kids washable paint. I used a different paintbrush though so I didn't have to clean the brush during our project. My child is a little too fast paced to wait through that. After all the cards were done I let the cards dry in the sun. While they dried I cleaned up and she played in the yard. Once the cards were dry, Em put stickers on the back of each card. She had a pirate party so we tried to use pirate stickers. Once we got started she thought of adding personal touches. Like on Grandma Michelle's card she used convertible stickers. It turned in to her picking stickers for each person on our list. So cute & emergent learning at the same time :) After the stickers were added, I wrote a message in the blank area.
I also wrote the words thank you on the front. We mailed a few and also delivered a few. It ended up feeling  very personal and it cost us nothing...well maybe a few stamps :)

Friday, April 15, 2011


As Em was getting dressed to go to grandma's house. The attire included purple dress shirt, purple tutu, purple leggings, purple socks, purple hair clips...

Em:" Mom, I want to wear my purple crocs"

Me: " Sorry, hun, it's REALLY raining and your feet will get all wet"

Em:  "Oooo :( I really wanted to be all purple-ish. "

Me: (thinking) Well, when you say it like that. "Okay, but you have to be really careful and you can't stomp in puddles or your socks will get all wet."

Am I a sucker for purple or what? Maybe it was the cute little voice she used and how fashionably appealing she wanted to be? Maybe it was the shoe appeal? (This girl loves shoes!!Today I picked up a whole armload of shoes scattered around the house). I think it was the purple :)

Feeling Purplicious,
M.I. MaMa

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Toddler toy to promote musical intelligence

When Em was little she L-O-V-E-D this toy! She still does :) I originally loved the toy because it wasn't electronic. Your child makes the music, not a button :)   The toy comes as a set of musical instruments within this cool drum, which makes for great storage. The set includes a tamporine, drumsticks, rattle, and xylophone. I found the toy at Target. It is called Bee Bop Band. It is made by the brand Parents. I love all the toys made by this brand. Target has a decent selection. What I like best about this brand of toys, is the hands-on play involved. Can u tell by the background, we love play!! The first school I taught at used the following phrase as their school motto, Play is Childswork!
Children need play everyday! I encourage parents to provide a variety of toys to encourage a variety of play: wooden, electronic, educational, stuffed, hands-on, realistic, imaginary, etc. The other day Em and I were discussing her sharing time at school. She told me in her exact words," Mom, I want to bring my computer. Then, when (blank) says, what does it do? I can show her." I felt a little sad. When did toys start having to "do" something? I thought it was the other way around and children do something with toys; it's called play :)
Sorry for the blurred pics~
M.I. MaMa

Building Blocks of Learning in Early Childhood and Infancy

I’ve decided to write this entry because I’m feeling the need to explain why I do what I do with my child. The last thing I want is someone to think is I am pushing her to be a future best student. My only hope is for her to develop a love for learning and aspire to follow her own calling. With that said…

 As a kindergarten and First grade teacher, I observed children with a variety of life skills and attitudes entering my primary classrooms. It quickly became apparent a student’s early childhood experiences and access to tools of knowledge in the home setting, influenced a student’s incoming skills. If a student attended daycare or preschool also affected experiences, access to tools of knowledge, and overall preparation for primary school years.

When my child was born, I kept thinking about the above observation and questioned myself; what can I do now in infancy and the early childhood years to promote a healthy development of life skills that prepare her for a lifetime of learning? Watching Sesame Street and hoping for the best wasn’t the answer I was looking for. Neither were flashcards.  I was on a quest for an in-depth answer that created a love for learning. After all, I whole heartedly believe, if a student loves learning, than skills will naturally follow.

As my child has grown, I have answered my question and want to share it with you. Four traits quickly became a pattern in our daily interactions, and shaped the activities we did every day. These traits are what I call the Building Blocks of Learning; Exposure, Modeling, Intrigue, and Love.

I envision education as a pyramid, with the early childhood years serving as the base. Throughout a human being’s life we constantly build upon our pyramid. A strong pyramid is built with the building blocks of learning at the base, serving as a foundation for a lifetime of learning.

Exposure: Humans crave activity. Everyday I’m further convinced it’s a NEED!  Activity helps develop life skills. Basically, I’m saying, kids of all ages need to get out there! Life skills centering around emotional, social, and intellectual development depend on activity and are a must to succeed in our modern world. With that said, I do my best at exposing Em to the active elements of life and intelligence. Within this block I use the theory of Multiple Intelligence to guide me in providing a full spectrum of possibilities, adventures, and knowledge.

Modeling: Kids are sponges. A child absorbs his/her surroundings every minute of the day. As parents, we’re our child’s first teachers. We prepare our children for life. If I want my daughter to demonstrate certain behaviors, I too must demonstrate these behaviors. (I’ll admit this hasn’t been the easiest lesson to learn and consistently apply to daily life. Patience has never been a strong virtue for me, except while teaching small children. My own child has been the ultimate test, especially while I try to model patience with other drivers!)

Intrigue: Humans are born curious and should remain this way throughout life!! With exposure to life, curiosity is fed and intrigue is developed. Intrigue leads to questions, action, and answers. What would the world be without wonder?

Love:  Children need to feel successful. Actually, everyone should be bundled up and nurtured with this emotion. With each passing day my daughter teaches me more about love. My sister recently told me about some talk show host she was listening to. The host was claiming children were like seedlings needing proper nutrients to grow. How a seedling is prepared determines the strength as a grown plant. Children are the same. Children who don’t receive the proper nutrients in early childhood often struggle as a growing human. Children who do receive the proper nutrients often thrive in life. Love is the key nutrient for success.  

I understand every child is different. On this site I tailor to my child’s developmental and intellectual needs. I am only suggesting ideas. What works for me, may not for you. I encourage adaptation! If you like what you see but think “that is not practical for my life”, I say, adapt and try. You can even ask me how I would do it.

My goal here is FUN, not pressure! If a child’s early childhood experiences include exposure, modeling, intrigue, and love, he/she is on the road to a lifetime of learning J

Friday, March 25, 2011

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Emery made this at school but it was TOO cute not to share. Plus, it is quite a simple prep!
To prep this activity you will need: 3 paper plates, scissors, stapler, tape, black construction paper cut into strips to represent spider legs, yellow construction paper cut into triangles to represent sun rays, and a marker. Before you sit down with your child cut the black strips and yellow triangles. Also, cut 1 paper plate in half. Bring child(ren) to the work area where tape, marker, and whole plates are within hands reach. Have child draw a face on each whole plate. Choose one plate to be the spider, one to be the sun. With tape secure each spider leg; 4 on each side :) Also, secure sun ray triangles on the sun plate. You may need to help with the tape dispenser. Once legs and sun rays are attached, staple one of the paper plate halves to the sun or spider. This makes a nice pocket for a child to slide their hand into. Repeat with other half of plate and other whole plate. Done!! Have fun with your child and exercise both your musical intelligences while teaching the song "Itsy bitsy Spider"...chances are they know it. Make up a skit for the song to spice it up. In the video, Em is trying to hide the sun until it comes out. She also tries to hold the subject more forward when she is singing about it. 


While watching a video on a point and shoot camera. Little did we know it was on mute :)

Em: "Mom, it's noooot working!"

Me: " Patience, you have to wait a second for it to work"

Em: " Mom, it's noooot working, I can't listen!" as she puts her ear up to the camera

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring is in the air!

With the official arrival of Spring, we are emerging and exposing ourselves in the fresh beauty. Spring is my favorite season :) On the first day of Spring we did a few activities to celebrate the occasion. My goal was to post this days ago, but life has been quite busy with deadlines, and Spring Break activities :)

We began the morning discussing "what happens during Spring?" with some book look time. Book Look time doesn't involve physically reading..it is just as it sounds, we look at the book and her or I ask questions as we go. The books are basically a tool for discussion prompts. Luckily, I have a small personal collection of books leftover from my teaching days. The library is also a wonderful resource.

As I was planning our activities, I realized our books fit into great Spring categories/themes.

Gardening/Plant Growth
Bird Life Cycle

Earth Day
Butterfly Life Cycle

Bugs, Bugs, and more bugs

Since Spring is a time of birth and re-birth, when book look was over, I read this book(and another) to get us further going. It seemed a little above Em's comprehension level, although she did identify with the plants growing and eating food to grow pages. This lets me know, the concept living vs. non-living is a great place to continue our Spring study.
I chose to read one more book because it connected with our previous seed planting adventure. This is a wonderful book about a few kids that plant a garden with seeds given to them from their mother. The adventure starts because mom doesn't tell them what type of seeds they are...it's a surprise! As time passes, change begins to happen. Growth is happening everywhere! The book continues on through the season of Spring into the season of summer and harvest. The author did a wonderful job incorporating counting and observation skills(logical-mathematical intelligence) along with naturalist skills. 
The last page is my favorite. What a chart and great visual stimulation(spatial intelligence). We looked for seeds we planted in our garden :)

Little Em was pretty much done with books so we moved on to a bodily-kinesthetic activity that also involved her intrapersonal intelligence with dress-up time! Dress up time is a constant in our house! A favorite being comes and visits during the Spring...who could that be??
For every holiday I love to decorate the house. As we decorated Em started her own imaginary play with this basket of eggs. She cooked, hid, sorted, mixed&matched, and counted the eggs. She was entertained the whole time I was decorating :)

Later in the day, we continued our fun with a nature walk(naturalist and bodily-kinesthetic) to hunt for SIGNS OF SPRING and added a few Spring poems(linguistic intelligence) to our poem collection.

For our nature walk we went up the road to a local nature park. The trick here is there are no toys at this park..it is really more of a preserved natural area. Many cities are trying to create these type of environments. I encourage you to see if your local city has one...or heck, your backyard could already even be one :)
Daddy came with us :)
Right away he spotted a caterpillar! Em and I walked right past it. Can u tell he was a Boy scout?

Fresh spring rain on a native Oregon Lupine
Cherry blossoms
Leftovers from winter
Not sure, but it looked neat

We also saw daffodils, wild roses, lots of new buds popping of branches, ducks, field mice(EEWWW), and hawks! The best part about nature walks is how your child's ever-emerging personality shines through  in new environments :)Em wanted to truck up this big hill and loved every minute up and down it! She is quite the hiker!! Looks like I need to plan a few summer hikes :)

Spring Sprung,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Did you wash your hands....??

Did you wash your hands? Lately, this is an ever important question, I've been asking of my 3&1/2 year old.

The more bathroom independence Em develops,  the more crucial it's becoming to reinforce this bodily-kinesthetic,  interpersonal, and intrapersonal skill. As all moms know, we can't be there all the time! In fact, for me, now that Em is capable of going to the bathroom by herself, I prefer it that way! Of course, bathroom independence comes with a whole new line of parenting. I hear, "Mooooooommm, I need yooooouuuuur HELP" bellowing from the bathroom almost daily. Bathroom trips are usually followed with the ever important question, "Did you wash your hands?" which is followed with a "yes",(even though I know I heard the water turn on for maybe five seconds) which is then followed with," Do I need to do a mommy check?" Don't get me wrong, when Em started potty training, I dove right in and modeled a hand-washing routine that involved myself and her always washing our hands. Unfortunately, in her ever growing independence, our routine isn't quite sticking without the watchful eye of a grown-up. And if you are wondering why this is a big deal even at home, I will simply say two words: toddler wiping. This should probably give you a visual image as to why it's important. Remember, these toddlers then come touch everything in the house!!    

My goal for Em is hand-washing be a habit, just like second nature(naturalist). My brain began wracking the following question, 'How can I invest Em in the development of a hand washing routine that will promote her independence with personal hygiene, be developmentally appropriate, FUN, and change the constant mommy responses from questioning to praising?"

I came up with the following idea: a visual chart for the bathroom. Em helped me construct the chart.
 I first started by gathering the materials needed(sorry, no picture): 2 sheets of  white paper, scissors, a few markers and crayons, tape, soap dispenser from bathroom, and a drying towel from bathroom. I chose to gather the objects used in the hand washing routine so Em would have a visual reminder as we made our chart.

After gathering the supplies, I called Em to the table and said we were going to make a chart(spatial intelligence) together to help her remember all the steps people do when they wash their hands. Seeing a table full of supplies always seems to intrigue her. In front of Em, I modeled folding the paper into 4 even squares(fold the paper in half, and then in half again). Unfold paper and cut along the crease lines to make 4 squares(logical-mathematical).

Since, our routine has already been established, I asked her leading questions like, "What do we do first when we wash our hands?" She replied, "we get them wet." I labeled one of the squares with a 1 to represent the first step. I drew something that resembled the faucet and then drew water droplets. She even drew one of the droplets. I continued asking leading questions for each step. I labeled each step with a description word(water, soap, sing, dry) to exercise her linguistic  skills. She added her personal touch to each square. 

We sing the ABC song to help make sure a proper amount of time is used for scrubbing. Em added bubbles to this card. This simple moment in time is also exercising her musical and linguistic intelligences.

The step she got stuck on is the one she always forgets..DRY your hands :)  On this card she drew the shape of the towel and colored it the color of our bathroom towels(logical-mathematical and spatial).
We concluded with her idea!! She wanted to trace her hands on the leftover blank squares because she has recently learned this skill. I thought what a great incorporation. I labeled each hand with the word hand. A great extension for this would be to include the words right and left.

We taped the pictures near our sink and ,voila, we were done.

~Happy hand washing,
M.I. MaMa

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day a Multiple Intelligence Way

We've spent the month of March talking about how Spring is coming and the holiday, St. Patrick's Day. Along with a few original stories associated with the holiday, I put my own twist on the holiday and explained to Em the Leprechauns help bring Spring. The day finally arrived and what fun we had!

We woke up to a display of our day's activities. I intentionally didn't want candy associated with this day. Candy seems to be associated with every holiday....she even looked around for some :) This leprechaun only left healthy and fun treats though.  

 Here is a letter our Leprechaun left Em(linguistic intelligence)
Here are the leprechaun's healthy GREEN snacks she likes to eat,
The juice, Em actually loves this too:)  "It tastes like apple juice" is what she said when she first sampled it at Trader Joes.

The gold,
And a game board to help Em find the gold our leprechaun made. I adapted this game from one of my favorite blogs, No Time for Flashcards.
This game became a big part of our day, and the next morning. Her logical-mathematical, naturalist,bodily- kinesthetic, and spatial skills are all at work here. She immediately wanted to hunt for the gold.

To make the game board is very simple. Find a piece of paper or cardstock to use as the game board. Label the board with whatever you decide to call the game. Then use one coin to trace multiple circles. I chose to draw 15 circles. Em has been leaving the number 15 out while she counts. I used this game as an opportunity to exercise this important number. (When you are making your decision just think about where your child(ren) are in counting skills. If your child is still mastering 1-10, stop there. If you need to count higher, than do so). I intentionally didn't label the board with numbers, YET. I did this because I wanted to model number writing with Em. Since I had to pre-make the board the night before, she wouldn't have seen this important modeling. 

As she placed the gold on the board she started counting. 
 Look at that one-to one correspondence in action!
We continued playing this game. First, I hid the gold and she found it. Next, she hid the gold and I found it. To exercise our intrapersonal intelligence,  we dressed up in leprechaun clothes when we were the one's hiding the gold. I believe when a child dresses up or plays make-believe, their self- intelligence is being developed. We kept the hunt inside because it was mighty cold and wet outside. Even inside, her naturalist and spatial skills were still at work. The hunt was focused to two rooms of the house: the kitchen and the living room.  I thought the whole house was to large of an environment for our first scavenger hunt. She really had a good practice with perseverance and  her under, behind, in, and above observation skills. 

All sorts of counting(logical mathematical intelligence) was happening as we played the game: How many have you found? How many more do you need to find? When she found big piles she'd count each one, then say I found four. I loved hearing all the math language she was using!! We had to stop playing to get ready for school, but our afternoon continued with rainbow painting!( More to come below)

The next morning we added the numbers to the game board. Em dictated each number while I wrote. We when got to 12, she lost track. This is a great opportunity to teach the count-on skill. I went back and pointed at the number 10 and said "ten". This got her going. I pointed at 11, she said "eleven". I pointed at 12, she said, "twelve, THIRTEEN!" She was so excited she remembered. We actually had to repeat this again for 14, and 15.  Parents, this is why I love playing games. It gives you the opportunity to assess your child's needs in the moment and teach from there. I call this experiential learning! 
Our Rainbow paint afternoon!

The supplies needed:
The recipe:
I discovered I needed more water! Also, while the mixture is cooking, a wooden spoon works way better for mixing than a plastic spoon. When the mixture is smooth and slighty thick, it is done. After you cook it, if it looks like this put more water in!
 Don't make my mistake :) Mine was too thick and started hardening in the yogurt containers
(I love using recycled yogurt containers for painting projects.)
We went to work exercising our spatial, logical-mathematical, and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences, with some color mixing.
Making orange. Emery did the dropping. I instructed her with how many drops. For example for orange, I stated," Put three drops yellow, two drops red." Please adapt this to what your child(ren) developmental levels are....meaning you may need to do all the prep and just let them paint. 
The end results! I could tell the paint still wasn't quite the right consistency. I once again added water.
Can you tell a difference in the two paints? The bottom is before more water.It is too thick! Also, please notice our work station. I had plenty of paper towels around. I laid out the rainbow cards we made on a previous day. This helped Em recall the order of a rainbow.
The next photo is of a  very important tool. It is a paint knife. We used it for stirring. The paint quickly wiped off when we had to make a new color. If you don't have a paint knife, popsicle sticks would work as a stir stick. Just use a new stick for each color.
When our paint was all cool, Em started painting. I had told her we needed to make Lucy the Leprechaun a thank you card for the gifts and fun ideas! The point of this was to exercise her interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence. Here is her card and mailing envelope.
&, of course throughout the day we were working our musical intelligence with the following tune:
Feeling Lucky,
M.I. MaMa