Sunday, July 29, 2012

Parenting Styles

All parents have different parenting styles based in part to what they learned from their parents, in part to what they want for their children, and in part to circumstances in their lives. Some parents consciously attempt to choose a style that is counter to their own childhood experience. Some parents consciously research and work at adopting a style that they believe will be best. Many of our split-second decisions are unconscious.
Parenting styles can be seen as a continuum from authoritarian (a parents-know-best approach that emphasizes obedience) to permissive (where parents provide few behavioral guidelines because parents don’t want to upset their children). Somewhere in the middle, I think is an authoritative style that blends a caring tone with structure and consistent limit setting.
Ideally both parents have an authoritative style (blending a caring tone with consistent limit-setting) because that is what fosters healthiest relationships. For those of you who would like to know more about this topic, you might start with the website:
For those who value arts education for your child, check out the Toadally Artsy Kids’ Events. This Saturday Andrea Korpinen will be exploring window art for children ages 3-12 at Toad House. Children will arrange natural materials into mosaic art to take home and hang in their window. You may register for any of the Saturday Artsy Kids’ Events. Pick up a flyer for the activities in August and September in the box at the porch door of Toad House.


My red balloon goes
sailing, sailing, sailing.
My red balloon goes sailing
Over the hills and down and pop.

Pretend to blow a balloon. Reach both arms overhead to indicate a large balloon, sway from side to side as you sing. Give a big clap to pop the balloon.  Choose additional colors to expand the child’s concept development and language.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Staying safe in the hot summer

After a spending few days in the hot sun, I thought I might review some safety tips for staying healthy in the heat of the summer.
Safety tip number one is to be sure you offer your young child water to drink many times in an hour. We all dehydrate quickly in the hot sun and wind. Our children have much less body mass and thus much less fluids in their bodies than adults. When you consider that our little ones play hard and do not pay attention to being thirsty until they are potentially ill, you can understand why you need to be vigilant for them.
Safety tip number two is to set up play areas in the shade for hot weather. The sun beats down and our body temperatures can rise. It is safer to use our lovely trees and shady porches to advantage. Use the middle of the day when it is hottest to be indoors.
Safety tip number three is to use suntan lotion to prevent sunburn and future problems with skin cancer. Hats are also important and sunglasses when your child will keep them on help protect eyes from dangerous ultraviolet light.
I am now taking my own advice. It is about 90 and sunny as I write this, and I am indoors with my glass of water on the table with me. I will go outside to pick beans after six when my garden is shadier. Stay healthy and safe this hot summer!

Mr. Snake, from his hole in the ground
Poked out his head and looked around.

“It’s too nice a day to stay in,” he said
“I think I’ll go for a crawl instead.”

 He swished his tail and gave a ‘hisss’
And off in the meadow he went like this.

pantomime motions

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sneak Peek at the Toad House

Many of my young friends have been curious about the goings on at Toad House. This Saturday, we would like to invite all friends, young and old to come and sneak a peek at what the toads have been up to. We will have music all day beginning with quieter indoor music and ending the day with music on the west porch. Please look for the article in this week’s paper about the Sneak Peek. It lists music schedule.
Musically, children will have an opportunity to listen to harp, guitar, and cello in the morning and maybe even hear a tune on a tuba! Our goal is to share a wide range of styles of music in this Toad House musical adventure.
Our first exhibit in the art gallery is the set of 30 original watercolors by Janelle Thompson from the picture book, TOADS. It is the first time this work is being offered for sale. This exhibit hung in our state capitol and in the Wisconsin Arts Board Gallery. It is a thrill to see the original artwork and match the originals to the pictures in the book. Both picture books will be for sale along with the musical toads. Please take time to enjoy the art and to have a art lesson on drawing a toad.
For my Young@Art friends, I will have a table set up to finger paint toads. Creative art activities for young children are valuable for the developing brain. Children learn problem solving, develop an aesthetic sense, and learn to value their own work. If we give children the opportunities to try many different was of doing things, they will learn a great deal on their own. I would like to ask those of you who bring young children to my painting table on the lawn to not be judgmental concerning what your child is doing and to try your very best not to offer suggestions as to how to do it. This is for your child to decide and explore. However, I do encourage adults who are Young@Art to explore their own creativity and try finger painting! And of course you need to ask about the big white toads hopping about the gardens!
I hope you will also take a slow walk down the pathways of the Enchanted Woods. There are some rules: help your children stay on the path, there are lovely plantings that need careful nurturing in the woods, (and it is true that I cannot vouch for the complete elimination of the poison ivy I found when we first obtained the property!) –and there are probably elves and fairies, hobbits and trolls, and of course a toad or two who need protection from walking feet!

Five Brown bumpy toads
Walking down a bumpy road
Eating the most delicious bugs.
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Then there were four brown bumpy toads.
Four..., three..., two….,
One brown, bumpy toad…...
Then there were no brown bumpy toads.

This is an adaptation of Five Green Speckled Frogs!
The picture is from TOADS illustrated by Janelle Thompson.