Welcome to the blog of science fiction author Eileen Rhoadarmer--where science fiction and Mommyhood collide!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kiddie Crafts - Preparing for Baby

Well, as you might expect, I haven't really done any crafts with Zaxxon since Kal'El's birth.  But I thought I'd get caught up on blogging the ones we did prior to his birth, because it also involves how we prepared for baby.

We started out introducing the letter B, and as he colored in the pictures he wore his blanket as a cape.

We did a few non-baby crafts, including putting googly eyes and fluffy tummies on a bunny and a bear (one of which then got used for the cover of a birthday card for his Ama (my mom.))

Then we did a "Helping Baby" matching activity.  I found clip art for six different babies crying for different reasons (some were a bit of a stretch, but in those cases I simply told him why I thought the baby was crying) and he had to match a way to help the baby to take care of the various needs (a bottle for the hungry baby, a crib for the tired one, etc.)  He did fairly well, without too much prompting.

Then we got to work on a project that I'm still completing (oops.)  I had Zaxxon paint three picture frames, and I'm currently pasting the words "Big Brother," "Little Brother," and "Brothers" on them.  I plan to put a photo of the two of them in each frame.  The "Big Brother" one will go in Zaxxon's room, the "Little Brother" one in Kal'El's room, and the "Brothers" one somewhere in the living room or hallway.  I wanted Zaxxon to get a feeling that he was helping us prepare for the baby too, and have something special to have in each of their rooms that he created.

Lastly, we laced a banner reading "Welcome Baby," but I did it differently this time.  I read an article in Parents about helping boys achieve in school because the recent trend in early academics favors girls.  One fact (other than the fact that I need to find a play-based preschool for my sons) is that boys have higher levels of dopamine in
their brains, which "helps direct both body motion and the flow of information within the brain."  It said that "movement improves boys' working memory...so fidgeting and wiggling around may actually help boys learn."  Then I remembered how Zaxxon had gotten restless during our last few lacing projects, so instead of putting the letters on the table in front of him, I
mixed them up and set them across the room.  Then I told him to run across and bring me the letters I asked for before lacing them.  I led him to the letters he wasn't familiar with by telling him what color they were.  He seemed to really enjoy the project, and although I haven't done any more structured crafts since this one, I intend to find other ways to incorporate movement into more of his projects.

We also read a LOT of books on getting a new baby and becoming a big brother, and I took Zaxxon to the store and had him pick out a gift to give to the baby.  The baby also gave Zaxxon a gift on the day he came home from the hospital.

I'm happy to report that Zaxxon is doing quite well with adjusting to the new one in our lives.  He reached tantrums a little easier the first few weeks, but he's moved away from that already and is very gentle and helpful with the little one.  Whether this was because of all of our planning or just a result of his personality, I can't say, but I'm quite happy about it.

I'm linking this up at Tot School, and hopefully will get into the swing of things to do this regularly again soon.

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