It Can Be Done!

I love HGTV. I mean LOVE it!! I recently stumbled upon this article by them, and knew I had to share it as it’s exactly what I like to share with people!

The article is called “20+ Tips for Creating a Family-Friendly Living Room”. This is so important, because its where everyone comes to gather.  This is where you eat, sleep (if your lucky enough to get a nap!), play, and entertain. Having this space work for both adults and children is key to living a happy and cohesive life together.

At times I feel baby proofing goes to the extremes, where anything and everything with a pointy edge, anything glass, anything that can’t be wrapped in bubble wrap is removed from a room.  A family I work with yesterday saw their toddler bang on the glass table and said “hmm, I guess that’s our fault for having it in here”. No! It’s not! Your welcome to have your home decorated the way you want to display it, and work with your children to create safe “yes” spaces for them to play, while acknowledging some areas are not ok to bang on.

Some of the tips in the article include how to not have fear of white furniture, how to include surfaces kids can play on (again, a “yes” space!), and how to organize the items you have in any particular area.

One of my favorite tips was the “make furniture work for you”. I have two sizes of glass lanterns on my table in the mudroom/entryway, and love making them “work” for me by changing them up for the season/holiday. This picture below isn’t mine, but a great example of how it can be used —

PS- Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

1604762_1038640039506720_3460443775325703955_n

HGTV Article:http://www.hgtv.com/design/rooms/living-and-dining-rooms/2016-pictures/tips-for-creating-a-family-friendly-living-room?soc=hgtvcom57829806&adbid=10153609118824213&adbpl=fb&adbpr=16801589212

Lanterns: https://www.mymaryandmartha.com/JRICH/shop/PRODUCTDETAIL.aspx?prod=17842

Chalkboard Tray:  https://www.mymaryandmartha.com/JRICH/shop/PRODUCTDETAIL.aspx?prod=44952

Advertisements

Nope.

So….In my last post, I bragged about how wonderful my new schedule was that I set up, and how much more often I would be blogging now, and how AWESOME I was at time management…

…Then real life set in…

So here I am again!! Back for round 2 (which really should have been round 12 by now!) But all that matters is when you fall that you get back up!!

Last night for my EI job I presented with a coworker about Developmental Milestones, and what we as EI professionals look for when evaluating children. While we were presented, the topic of toys came up, and as we both LOVED to point out, that the best toys don’t do anything.

Like nothing.  They make no sounds.  They require no batteries. They have no lights.

I recently found a blog by/about Magna Gerber (originally written in ’86) but the same thing still applies now!! Children now don’t have to use their imagination for ANYTHING anymore, the toys talk to them and tell them exactly what to do. In my work, I encourage the use of open ended toys that can do many things. A box used for a car, boat, spaceship, fort, house, anything you can think of!

Really great home decor does the same! It can be anything! You can use this piece as a wall hanging, tray, table, statement piece on your table, anything your little heart desires!!

& tray

 

Need more idea of toys to use in your own home, or how to use one piece of M&M decor for multiple needs? JUST ASK! 🙂

Best Toys for Babies Blog: http://www.magdagerber.org/blog/the-best-toys-for-babies-dont-do-anything

& Tray: https://www.mymaryandmartha.com/JRICH/shop/PRODUCTDETAIL.aspx?prod=17830

 

Blocks, blocks everywhere!

Hi everyone!!

I was doing so good for my resolution to write in this blog…but then real life set in and got in my way!!! Now that I have written myself a nice little calendar to dictate what I am reserving time for on certain days, I will (hopefully) be more consistent!

This post is all about blocks!! Wooden blocks, rubber blocks, stacking blocks, ANY blocks!! Children LOVE blocks! And I think they are the perfect toy, because SO many things can be done with them! They can stack up, be lined up sideways, turn into a train or car, really be anything you want them to be!!

598494_Alt01

While playing with blocks such as these, there is so much language that can be incorporated! Using simple words while stacking “up, up, up” then “crash” when the blocks fall, or lining three blocks together to move them and say “choo-choo”.  These blocks are also great to work on numbers and letter once the child is older (say 3,3 1/2). You can build houses for animals or dolls, towers, or anything they show an interest in!

cropped view from kitchen I found these blocks on pinterest from this amazing blog: (http://styleburb.blogspot.com/2011/04/fun-family-photo-cubes.html) that are PERFECT to use to identify family members and friends while having a little fun! Lay they out and say “wheres mama?” to have the child work on identifying family members, especially nice for family they may not get to see everyday, so they are constantly being seen and talked about!

8258769563f88040432e82be45ef1605Place your blocks in a jar (such as pictured above) or in a container to maximize language opportunities so the child will need to say “help” or “open” to get the blocks out. I have multiple glass lanterns around my home, and as the candle holder can be removed, it makes the perfect place to store and display these picture blocks! Find the lanterns here:  https://www.mymaryandmartha.com/JRICH/shop/PRODUCTDETAIL.aspx?prod=17842

 

**FIND WOODEN BLOCKS HERE!!: //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=tf_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=play04f-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B000067NXE&asins=B000067NXE&linkId=QFI2BG2FHOANHQ5A&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true

 

Why Clean?

why clean

How many of you have ever felt like this?!? I don’t even have children, and I feel the never ending battle of picking up the same items over and over, knowing full well it will somehow end up back in the same (incorrect) place tomorrow!!

In most of my visits, I always recommend to parents to place toys away in bins, or small containers that are decorative. Once people have children, some think they have to”give up” on decorating their home, and it’s completely turned over to their child, with toys lining the walls and all over the carpet.

There was ONE house I’ve been into the merged child’s toys and adult decor PERFECTLY!! On her formal dining table, she had a beautiful silver clam-shell, filled with legos! In her kitchen she had a cute bench next to the table, and the storage underneath was filled with crayons, markers, and coloring pages. I couldn’t believe, everywhere I turned, was beautiful ADULT decorations, with some strategically placed children’s items.

This you can’t do this in your own home?? Guess again! And guess who’s here to help you do it!! Here are just two items that can provide some organization into your life.

1bcfb034a591417f096436945344e58c These wire baskets are great!! You can fill them with stuffed toys, blocks, plastic eggs, cars/trucks, anything! Bonus: the child can see whats inside so they know what they want to play with, and have to ASK (see, in-cooperate language!) to pull a certain basket off the shelf.

f11bb53472f374ba9b9cc62af0733f3f  Or, use this copper pillar as a great centerpiece on your table to add seasonal decor when entertaining, or legos/blocks/ barbie clothes into when your not! When placed into the middle of the table, encourage your child to say “more” or “me” to indicate they need more items from the pillar as they cannot reach it themselves.

Find these items and more to organize and decorate here: mymaryandmartha.com/jrich

Hello.

say_hello_1024x1024Hi!!

With the start of 2016, everyone is asking themselves, who do I want to be this year? 

Working full time in Early Intervention in MA, and having began my own Mary and Martha business in 2015, I decided to expand on everything I know, and put it out to the universe for everyone to enjoy!

Since what I know includes decorating a home and teaching children, can you guess what this blog will be about?? YOU GUESSED IT!! Decor and children!!

My posts will include ways to play, talk to, and interact with your children during the day in simple easy ways to enhance their development, as well as keeping a clean, organized, and well decorated home, that other people would love to come and be entertained in!

Looking forward to a happy, healthy, and adventurous 2016!!