October 31, 2010

The Baby Signing Book review and giveaway!

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I have had this book for a couple years now, and love it SO much! I really helps me in my classes and many parents have bought or borrowed this book on my recommendation. So I wanted to pass this along to one lucky winner (usually picked by one of my kids!) This contest is running until the end of November. So you have a long time to get the word out!!  This is my longest running contest yet! :) If I get enough people wanting to win, I will most likely pick 1-2 more people to send this book to! 


The Baby Signing Book by Sara Bingham, owner and founder of WEE HANDS, baby, toddler, and preschool sign language classes (and more!) is a great book for anyone wanting to, or already in the process of, signing with their child.

The book includes 350 ASL signs, songs, tips, tricks, child development tips, and more!

It starts out by giving you a history of why Sara started signing with her children, a little history of the WeeHands company, and the history of baby signing. The book then explains how to use the signs and tips in the book, and how to get started signing with your baby.

There are 9 chapters in Part 1 of the book, each one building on the last, in an effort to help you fully understand the hows and whys of using signs with young children. Throughout the book, there are signs along the sides of the page, showing you different signs that pertain the that certain part of the book.

Chapters 1-2 explains the basics...hand shapes, why ASL is important and why not to use made up signs, the importance of parental involvement in the development of language, ASL dialect and grammar, resources, when to start, introducing the concept of conversation, body language and movement, and what signs to start with. It also goes into the benefits of sign language, brain development, and long term benefits of signing.

Chapters 3-6 goes into signing at certain ages, and when to use what signs, how, etc... at each stage of development (Ch. 3 0-6 months, Ch. 4 6-12 months, Ch. 5 12-18 months, Ch. 6 18 -24 months). It even has spaces for you to record your child's progress with signs they have used.

Chapters 7-8 are ones that many people either do not realize is beneficial, or stop before that stage, since their kids should be very verbal by then...preschoolers! Chapter 7 covering 2-2 1/2 and Chapter 8 covering 2 1/2 to 3 years old. These ages, though the child is very verbal at this stage, are ages where signing with your child may actually come in handy! For example, church, across a table at a big dinner, through the window or door, and so on. It also gives fun songs to sign and sign with your preschooler! These are very fun, and children naturally love finger plays, so this will be something they will enjoy!

Chapter 9 covers signing with children with special needs. To me, this is very important, because children with  things such as Downs Syndrome, severe Autism, Apraxia, and so on (and, of course, hard of hearing), have a very hard time communicating. Teaching them sign language will help them over come many barriers they would have had, if they had not know ASL! I have seen some amazing videos over the years of children with disabilities signing away!

Part 2 of The Baby Signing Book is a sign language dictionary. It starts out by explaining hand choice (using your dominant hand), male and female signs, dialects, emotions, nouns and verbs, and resources. It then shows you the ASL alphabet as well as the ASL numbers 1-10.

In the dictionary, there are 350 signs, each one having a spot where you can put the date you introduced your child to the sign, as well as the date they produced the sign for you! Each sign has a picture of a person signing it, the hand shape used for the sign, body space, movement, and memory aid to help you and you child remember the sign.

The last 11 pages have 36 songs, alphabetized, for you to sign and sing with your child. Along the sides of the pages, are pictures of people signing the key words, to help you along.

There are also some great resources listed at the end of the book, to help you find more information about signing with your child.

This is a very helpful book that anyone just starting, or even if you have been signing for quite some time, to use with your child, your day care or preschool class, homeschool group, and so on!


And the best part? One lucky winner will win this book! 


This contest ends November 30! There are  

All you have to do is leave one comment, telling me you have done the following:


  • Follow my blog
  • Tell me about why you want to start or if you sign or have signed with your child
  • Leave a link to your blog in your comment (so I can follow you back!) 
  • Follow me on TWITTER
  • Like Ramblings of a Stay At Home Mom on FACEBOOK
  • Tweet about my giveaway (Use: Win copy of Baby Signing Book click here: 

On my last contest, the winner I picked first left no way to contact them, so they lost out. I need a way to contact you, so the above is VERY important! 


Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!



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Cute Halloween chant in ASL

Posted by Becka
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Click link below 
http://www.weehands.com/Jack-0-Lantern.pdf


Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!


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October 29, 2010

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Posted by Becka
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       Candy Corn Cupcakes- Image
Use a box cake mix to make these super quick cupcakes. Follow my recipe to make it healthy and delicious!
         
You'll need...

Cupcakes:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can diet orange soda
1/4 teaspoon orange food gel
1/4 teaspoon yellow food gel

Frosting:
2 (8 ounce) packages of low-fat cream cheese, at room temp.
1/3 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 to 2 tablespoons skim milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

24 candy corn candies

To make... 
In large bowl, combine cake mix and diet soda. Pour 1/3 batter into small bowl; add orange food gel. Pour 1/3 batter into another small bowl; add yellow food gel. Set aside. Pour yellow batter into lined cupcake pans. Gently spoon orange batter on top. Gently spoon plain batter on top.  Bake as directed.

Make frosting by combining cream cheese, confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla. Whip until smooth.

To decorate....
Pipe frosting on cooled cupcakes. Top with candy corn.

ENJOY!



Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!


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October 28, 2010

Coats For Kids!

Posted by Becka
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Every year, Fox 23 News hosts the Coats For Kids campaign. 

Coats For Kids is a way for you to help less fortunate kids in your community. It's very simple. Just look for the Coats For Kids poster you see here at a participating dry cleaner and donate a gently-used child sized coat. The dry cleaner will clean the coat free of charge. Then, the coats are delivered to a local charitable organization for distribution to those who need them. All coats collected in a particular county stay within that county.

You can visit the site above for more information...or if you are close to me and want to drop a coat or 2 off, I will be bringing a bunch there by the end of the campaign! (After 4 kids you accumulate A LOT of coats!). 

Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!


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Krafty Kidz Paper Ghosts

Posted by Becka
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Ghost platesYou'll need...

9" paper plate
Black construction paper
White construction paper
Black and pink markers
Glue stick
Scissors
White crepe paper streamers
12" piece of white yarn
Tape
Pattern- to make arms, eyes and mouth
Googly eyes (2)


To make...
Using the pattern, cut out the arms, eyes and mouth. (NOTE...this can also be done freehand) Make your ghost happy, sad, scary or goofy! Glue to the paper plate. Add googly eyes.

Add streamers for the tail. Add a hook with yarn and tape. Draw on eyebrows and cheeks using the markers. 

Hang and enjoy! 

Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!


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October 27, 2010

Product Recalls: Graco Quattro & MetroLite Strollers

Posted by Becka
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Product RecallsGraco Quattro & MetroLite Strollers

Recall- GracoGraco Children's Products Inc., of Atlanta, GA, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), have recalled their Quattro and MetroLite Strollers. The strollers may cause risk of entrapment and/or strangulation. 

These strollers were sold at AAFES, Babies R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Fred Meyer, Meijers, Navy Exchange, Sears, Target, Walmart and other stores nationwide between November 2000 and December 2007 for between $90 and $190 for the strollers, and between $190 and $250 for travel systems. Consumers should stop using these strollers immediately and contact Graco for FREE a repair kit.  NOTE:There are NUMEROUS models being recalled (not just the one pictured). Please visit the website for more information and specific models.gracobaby.com


Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!


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October 26, 2010

Libraries need love too!

Posted by Becka
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I was looking at some online articles about the benefits of teaching toys, flashcards, etc... and I was wondering...why? I admit, we have some teaching toys, they are currently collecting dust lol. My younger 2 seem to prefer their toy vacuums and other nice, quiet toys (well, except the 3 year old, who, as we speak, is playing with some fun Halloween apps on the iPhone) .

I came across an article about how libraries are no longer what they used to be, and how they can still be beneficial to young children.

I used to take my kids to the library all the time in North Carolina, and I try to here, i just need to be more consistent (though, ours has a playground on the premises, so you can probably guess where they would rather go!)

But in this day and age of computers, electronic teaching toys, and educational DVD's (though I, personally LOVE watching Baby Einstein), the public libraries may seem too old fashioned  to be of any use to parents of younger children (even older ones, as they now no longer have to go to the library to do research, but can do it form their own bedrooms!)...but I think that is far from the truth!

Reading to your child is more beneficial than any electronic "teaching" device could ever be! You need to open up the world of books for your child. No matter how advanced our society may get, I can almost guarantee that reading and books will be around for a VERY long time! And learning to read from REAL books (not something with the name Leap Frog on it) is essential to succeed in life, through school and beyond.

Book also open up a world of communication and topics that may have never some up in life! Books help a child learn and grow, discover new worlds, languages, people, and more!

But just as bookstores have evolved to keep pace with out lifestyles and interests (IE Starbucks in your local Barnes and Nobles), libraries have also changed to meet the needs of today's families. Few other places offer the resources and expertise to help us introduce our youngest learners to the exciting world of reading.

Most parents do not want to bring their young children to a library, in fear they will not be quiet or will disturb other patrons. But today's libraries, unlike those that we knew as young children, are no longer like that. Most public libraries now have story times, dedicated children's areas, puzzles, toys, games, and more, for their youngest patrons. Now children can enjoy library time, and not worry about getting into trouble! Those libraries with a dedicated children's area even have comfy chairs, couches, bean bag chairs, child-sized tables, and more, to make the children feel comfortable in their environment.

Now, after this, I think I need to make a time this week to go to the library! We have not been since mid summer. I think it is time for a visit! Too bad Wyatt is too young to get a library card! The older 2 have one...but they get library time multiple times a week at school. Time to give the younger two equal opportunites J


So bring your young children to the library today, and open up a whole new world for them! 




Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!


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October 23, 2010

Altamont Pumpkin Festival

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Today we took the kids to the Altamont Pumpkin festival. It was a HUGE blast! Live music, face painting, bounce houses, and more! So, instead of telling you about it in words, here are some pictures! (Nick was not with us, again...he was at his friends house...again lol)

































Stay at home, business owning mom of 4 young kids, Nick the Sportsman, Michele the Princess, Wyatt the Wild One, and Evan the Baby.Bachelor in Early Childhood Development and Education, with 20 years experience. I could not ask for anything more!





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