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Too Small To Fail

Today, I’m really excited to announce my partnership with in Too Small To Fail – a joint initiative between The Clinton Foundation and Next Generation. Their goal is to improve the development of kids in America (you can read all about it here.) Research shows that over 80% of a child’s brain develops before they turn 3 – so it’s important for parents and communities to spend quality time interacting with kids in positive ways. I’ve caught myself sounding like a dork talking to my toddlers because it looks like I’m talking to myself “this is our favorite park and wow! look at that big tree.” But the research shows that talking with your kids and giving them that eye to eye contact is what really helps them develop. I have been wanting to create some habits to make sure I spend more time with my kiddos so I’m setting a few goals on Go Mighty over the next few months. I’ll be sharing my experiences there. I’d love to hear if you have any tips on what kind of activities have helped you spend quality time with the kids in your life. (ie: Volunteer at their preschool, go to the park everyday, read together everyday, play games together, etc) I’d love any ideas.


Photo via my Instagram

This post is sponsored by Go Mighty and Too Small To Fail 

  1. Emily

    October 22, 2013

    So excited to hear about this! This is the basis of our business concept as well – provide children with the experience, opportunity to explore and create beginning at a young age. Thank you for sharing!

  2. chiara

    October 22, 2013

    Love this!

    We’ve started a nightly journal routine – where the boys write down one thing they did that day, and draw a little picture next to it. A lot of days it just says, “play” but it’s cool to look back and see what we’ve done, what they remember, and how their writing and drawing has evolved and grown.

  3. Betsy

    October 22, 2013

    No kiddos of my own, but I have distinct memories in childhood of my dad reading to us every night – a page of the children’s Bible and a page of an illustrated classic (I still remember the Hound of the Baskervilles even though I was probably all of 4).

  4. Giao

    October 22, 2013

    Some activities we have done with our kids are:
    1. Play old school Battleship, Connect Four, checkers, to teach strategy skills
    2. Pray with them at night & ask what they are thankful for, pray for, & a “God sighting”
    3. Travel with them. Expose them to new food, museums, etc
    4. Let them cut out grocery ads & sort according to color, food groups, discuss math concepts, etc.
    5. Give them toothpicks & marshmallows: build tallest & longest structure.
    6. Prepare a meal for the homeless.
    7. Help with houe chores (dusting, vacuuming, sorting /folding laundry)
    8. Role playing situations with LEGOs & Lalaloopsy dolls.
    9. Using a thin baking sheet & flour to write name, address, phone number, etc.

  5. sugarleg

    October 22, 2013

    LOVE the nightly journal idea.

  6. Maggie

    October 22, 2013

    There are just so many ideas and suggestions and Giao is right on the money! We take our boys to Forest Park or hiking every weekend and find things to talk about, look for, bring home. This past weekend we collected leaves and brought them home to iron between waxed paper for placemats. I try to involve them in a lot of what i do; cooking, baking, gardening. They get dirty and love the process. Reading every night is huge and when we graduated to chapter books for our oldest it was a big deal. Currently reading Little House on the Praire.

    Seasonal stuff is great. Apple/pumpkin picking, designing costumes and helping to pick out materials and create, family game night, decorating the house together. We are heading out on a road trip through the smokey mountains tomorrow and both boys 5 and 20 months) have travel journals with maps and drawing materials. Also, more esoteric stuff like asking them specific but open ended questions; “what was the best part of your day?” “What was the hardest thing you had to do today?” “What new mistakes did you make?” “Did you smile/laugh today? Did someone do something funny?” It works!

  7. Erin

    October 22, 2013

    If we decide to stay home one thing we do is have a “low tech” day where we listen to the radio/Pandora and have a dance party by ourselves, this makes me feel so connected to my kids and it’s also calming getting rid of brain clutter caused by tv/internet. We also started a momma/kid journal, like they write stories and draw pictures just for me, and I write and draw pictures back and so forth. We just use the 70 cent composition notebooks.

  8. G.t.

    October 22, 2013

    I read the Brain Rules for Baby book and it had so many tips backed by research.

  9. Rebecca

    October 23, 2013

    I have read to my children since they were babies. My son is now 9 and I still read to him each night. We also have a tradition of “what’s new” where each night at bedtime we talk about our day. No matter how tired they are they will not contemplate going to sleep without this!

  10. Michelle

    October 23, 2013

    What a wonderful idea. We have read to our children – 3y & 4y – from day one (possibly before too!). We read when they ask and always before bed. which is not negotiable and the children are now the ones that demand a book, even if it’s late.
    We also do the weekly grocery shopping as a dad and daughter or son activity. The child who goes gets to count apples with dad and learns all about manners, talking to the butcher, baker, grocer and fish monger. This is such a good way to introduce new foods and have them start making healthy choices. The farmers market is great for this too.
    Most importantly I make sure each day I spend a good deal of time doing what my children are doing. Totally involved, not in between laundry loads or chores. Just sit down and build a castle, make a cubby house, dance to a song. When I am totally present it feels good and they love it too.

  11. Tasneem

    October 23, 2013

    I’m excited to see what you do and how it all goes for you. My son is only a year but we read to him a lot and let him get into all sorts of messes to satisfy his curiosity. We have also taken him to the science museum and the aquarium a few times and he loved it. Once he is more steady with walking I plan on taking him to the art museum; they have a great kids’ section where the kids can explore.

  12. Aixa

    October 24, 2013

    Congrats on your new partnership with Too Small to Fail! I think it’s great to bring more awareness to the role we as parents have in the development of our children. One thing that I have done with my daughter since she was a baby is reading to her. I wanted her to know how much she can learn through reading and how much fun it can be. Now she reads to me more than what I read to her! I also like to make time to listen to her and stories about her day. It fosters trust and open communication. One fun thing we do as a family when we’re in the car is play the game my daughter called: ‘what starts with… ‘. We pick a subject, say animals that live in the ocean’. One person thinks of an animal and says the first letter of the name, then the others have to guess. We give out clues as needed. It’s a fun way to engage with each other, stimulate thinking and can be a learning tool. Ok, now I want to go pick her up from school and play! Lol.

  13. Kristen Genevieve

    October 24, 2013

    Love this post and seeing all the great responses! I’m in my second trimester, pregnant with my first, and I have already been researching learning tools. G.T. suggested Brain Rules for Baby – I’m curious if anyone has found other similar books relating to this topic?
    xo kristen genevieve

    sunny bloglovin

  14. noelle

    October 25, 2013

    check out a montessori school (ami certified). it will blow your mind. forget preschool…this learning approach is AMAZING.

  15. Paulette Leto

    October 29, 2013

    I don’t have kids of my own, but I do know one activity that’s extremely important for developing kids. READ TO THEM! Take them to your local library and get all kinds of books to read with them. Maybe I’m biased, but children’s librarians are a great resource for helping you pick the right materials. And in addition to reading to them yourself, see if your library has a storytime that accepts them so young, because that’s a good experience too!

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