Wishbones: What Do Children Wish For? The Answer Will Surprise You!

Did you save the wishbone? When we give kids a wishbone, what would they wish for? Children wish for family time. You might need a tissue after watching this video.

In a very special video, children were asked if they could eat a meal with anyone they wanted, who would they wish that could be? Surprisingly, they chose their families and gave their reasons. Parents listening to the kids were astonished. They were also quite emotional and many shed a few tears.

There’s a short message that’s often included on posters. “To a child, love is spelled T.I.M.E.” Not time with super heroes or their favorite tv characters, but time with their families. The poster doesn’t give a list of how to spend time, but it could. Kids aren’t wishing for great adventures, but for time to hang out. They want to play games, read stories, and eat meals. Ordinary, everyday activities. One of Big Sister’s favorite ways to spend time is to draw and color with daddy. They create a picture together and cover a whole page with color. Not just play, but work too.children wish for family time

Little Sister loves to bake and prepare meals with whoever is in the kitchen. Another preschool boy thinks it’s an event to wash the car with his dad. Going for a walk with his mom to get the mail at the mailbox down the street is a highlight of the day.

These moments in time are not necessarily the ones that children will remember when they think about their childhood. But, they are the ones that nourish their hearts.

There are tremendous demands on our time and as parents and caregivers our wish would be to have more of it so we could spend time with our kids. But days are already stretched. What works for you and your family? You may be able to find ways to include kids in chores around the house. Tell stories or sing favorite songs while you sort the laundry and make meals. Color a picture or play a card game. You may need to get creative to make TIME together a reality instead of just a wish. Does it surprise you children wish for family time?

President’s Day and Family Day: Connect to Others

February is a unique month for all the event: today in the US it’s Presidents’ Day and in most of Canada it’s Family Day. It’s a special day to connect to others.

mount-rushmore-presidentsIn looking for an image for today, I found this one of Mount Rushmore built out of LEGO. Mount Rushmore shows the faces of presidents and is recognizable around the world. Would it have such an impact if it showed the shoulders? Or the hands? Of course not, it’s the faces that are meaningful.

What’s so important about faces? Faces tell others about who we are. They show our personalities. So much information is conveyed in a face. Have you ever connected with someone only online or on the phone? We may have spoken many times, but still want to meet face to face. When we finally do, we feel connected at such a much deeper level.

Young children are not as skilled at reading faces and expressions as adults, but they still want to see faces. Have you seen the post of the mom who set aside time simply to watch her twin boys as they played?  It’s been shared hundreds of times and has thousands of likes.

The mother, Brandi, counted how many times the boys looked over to see her. Not just to see she was in the room, but to connect with her. “As I sat quietly in the corner of the room I tallied how many times they looked at me for various reasons: to see if I saw their cool tricks, to seek approval or disapproval for what they were doing, and to watch my reactions.” The total was 28 times. Just like these boys, we look to others and want to see their face.

Your family may be able to participate in some community events today or it may be at an home day. Whatever the plan for the day, like the presidents on mountain, can faces and time to connect to others be at the top?

Happy or Joy Jar for the New Year

joy jar for new yearLast year, we made a happy or joy jar for the new year. After a whole year of popping in tickets, event programs, and small reminders, we opened it up and checked what we did. What fun to look at the items and remember doing them!

happy new year 123 kindergartenEach of us had something different that was especially meaningful but it made a wonderful review of last year.  Even though we forgot to save something many times, part way thru the year we had to change to a bigger jar. 

This year, we all want to do it again, but we’ll make more of an effort to stuff the jar. Here is the post from last year that explains about making the jar. Have fun doing a happy or joy jar of your own!

Making a Happy or Joy Jar (from last year)

Have you seen the idea of capturing special moments of the year by writing a few words on a slip of paper, then keeping the papers in a jar for next new year’s? These are called Happy and Joy Jars, or maybe Smile or Gratitude, and what a wonderful idea to do with kids. These jars will encourage finding joy and happy moments. The memories will strengthen family bonds and other relationships. Kids will practice a skill that they will need all their lives, that of being able to find happiness and joy in the little things, especially when the big things seem bad.

happy smile jar for kidsTo create a jar, you don’t even need to start with a jar. It could be a small basket, box, tin, bottle, small bucket, or other container. Once you have shared the idea with the kids, they can help decorate whatever it is with pictures, color, stickers, glitter, or other items. For years, our family had has a jar for found nature treasures on a shelf in the kitchen. It has a picture of a rainbow and says Goodies. We found a different spot for the shells and rocks and have our jar right handy in the kitchen.

Speaking of kitchens, mom and author, Jaden Hair, from Steamy Kitchen says that her family included some little trinkets and charms in the jar that family members could take with them in a pocket when needed. (Maybe those are called bad Hair days?) We’ll skip those items for the health of our washing machine but it’s another idea. child's drawing cat

Young children will need our help to write things down, but they can draw a picture, or color a smile or happy face on the paper beside the words. These jars are a sort of reverse bucket list. Instead of one long list of things we want to do, it’s a lot of small lists of things we have done, like learned to ride a bike, got a kitty-cat, or had a play-date with a friend–moments of joy and happiness. Adults include their moments too. Then, in a year we get to remember them together. Does your family have a happy jar?

P.S. These jars can start anytime, like a birthday, or move to new place, first day of the season, or any other day.

The Importance of Family for Early Learning

The importance of family and time together is even being recognized by the retail industry. Some stores were closed for Black Friday so employees could have a day at home and, even better, some were still paid for the day. Any chance, do you think, this might become a trend? Children’s learning before school ever … Continue reading The Importance of Family for Early Learning

The Early Years: Week of the Young Child

The Importance of the Early Years Last week was the Week of the Young Child for the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Sometimes, it feels like that every week! But these seven days were a special celebration for one of the world’s largest organizations for kids. The aim of the week was … Continue reading The Early Years: Week of the Young Child

What Makes Christmas Magical for Kids? Part One

When it comes to Christmas and kids, are you a super-elf-parent trying to fit in everything? What does make Christmas magical for kids? In a really popular article over the summer Bunmi Laditan declared she was done being super-wizard: “I’m Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical.” She’d had it with themed birthdays, elaborate crafts, and … Continue reading What Makes Christmas Magical for Kids? Part One