Books Are Brain Food

by Dana Smith Bader
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I love to read. I love books.  I love everything related to books – words, pages, libraries, reading cafes, so it should be no surprise that my favorite activity to do with my children when they were growing up was to read books together.  We would snuggle up at bedtime with classic children’s stories, splish splash at bath time with plastic bath books, take our time on the potty reading stories of other children learning to be big boys and girls and ditch their diapers, ally our fears in the doctor’s office with Elmo’s own doctor visits, and even lazily peruse picture books buckled safely into a car seat.  There were endless opportunities for reading, and I tried to ensure we took as many of them as possible to enjoy books together.

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Drama Kings & Queens

by Dana Smith Bader
Hits: 144

 If you have a 16 year old at home, you are very familiar with the terms “Drama Queen” and “Drama King,” and my guess is that you do whatever you can to minimize their constant drama. In early years, however, we celebrate drama. When children talk to each other, give voices to toys, play pretend (by going to the doctor, school, or restaurant, or by acting like they are cooking or cleaning at home), play with puppets, pretend to be animals in a jungle, role play characters in their favorite story, or imitate adults, they are participating in dramatic and social play, which is essential for their development.

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A Cut above the Rest

by Dana Smith Bader
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My children and I spent a lot of time cutting when they were young. Their favorite activity was to roll out long snakes of playdough and then use their safety scissors to snip small bits of playdough that they would later roll and wrap in gift paper and tie off with small rubber bands to sell as sweets in their role play sweet shop. They also cut lots of scraps of paper. I would draw small straight and wiggly lines on leftover scraps of paper from around the house and store them all in a plastic box for quiet moments of cutting fun. Those quiet moments were a God send because I often managed to get dinner cooked or some papers graded or a lesson planned while my children cut merrily away.

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