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The Golden Archer

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Motivation, as an important part of helping your child enjoy a special event.

We went to the Circus

A circus set up right beside our school, so, with a group of parents and their children, we chose an evening after school to go and watch the show.

Before that, I was somewhat concerned that Léo would not really enjoy the event, because he was only 2 and I was not sure he would understand what was going on.

A few days before the show, I collected some "circus material" on the Internet, and organized some Arts and Crafts session around this theme.

You can find a list of helpful websites hereunder.

I also read a book called Circus Shapes from Harcourt. It presents shapes through a visit at the circus and small children easily understand that elephants, clowns, tigers and lions are part of the fun things you can see at the circus.

Copy and paste the URL into your browser window:

http://www.preschooleducation.com/circus.shtml
http://www.preschoolcoloringbook.com/color/cpcircus.shtml
http://www.free-printables.com/archive/Animals/Circus/
http://www.birthdaypartyideas.com/html/circus_parties_22.html
And last but not least, a site giving you all the great ways to prepare a party:
http://www.drspock.com/article/0,1510,5851,00.html

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Family and my Baby

It is not so easy for a small child to feel close to grand-parents, uncles, aunties and cousins they only see a few weeks each year. We live abroad and Léo sees his French family for the Summer holidays, sometimes for Christmas.

When we get there, it is always late, we have traveled extensively and everyone is focused on little Léo, expecting him to jump to their arms and cuddle... and I would love this too...

But, it is not so, when we reach the familial home, Léo hides behind my legs, refuses to look at anyone, cries if Granny comes close, and fights if auntie wants to hold him.

It is all normal and even though Léo knows his people, they look strange to him.

It takes more or less one week before he is comfortable with all these new faces, and this is sometimes just the time we need to go away again.

I have found that as he grows, he refers to things he did with his grand-mother or uncle and so on, before he can feel comfortable with them. If they are willing to play along, and talk with him about the great time they had last time watering the plants or riding the horse, then it is all great and the ice is broken in a jiffy.

Léo is now 3 and a half and he is comfortable with his French family. He likes to get back in his "old tracks" when we get there, so I make sure Grand-Dad has charged the battery of his motorbike and that the garage is in the living room.
He just likes when everything is "perfect": auntie and uncle are here, in grand-dad and grand-ma's house, and the cousins are around to play with him.

Patience is a key word, and of course, when your time is limited, it is not so easy, but with a little bit of help from everyone and bending the rules now and then (like letting Léo sleep a little later the day the cousins arrive, for example) it goes smoothly.

At home, Léo has a photo album, giving him snapshots of his 3 and a half years, and he looks through it alone or with me to recall Christmas in France and riding auntie's horse.

Christmas is comming!

Happy Holidays!

Christmas is such an important part of a child's life!

It will teach him about love and forgiveness, sweetness and old people's grace... hopefully...

My son Léo was 2 1/2 and started his Christmas motivation all by himself. On day at naptime, he asked for The Night Before Christmas and I read it through. It was the first time he listened to a story and looked at the picture quietly. It marked a change in my story reading to him.

Before that, storytime was always an exchange, I asked questions or made sure he reacted to pictures and found clues and so on. But this time, he was just happy listening.

He asked a lot about Saint Nicholas, Santa Klaus and the Pere-Noel (Leo understands French and English).

When we went for a vacation to London, I took this opportunity to buy a board book version of the story and since then, it has become a bedtime favourite on the weeks before Christmas.

It is a good thing to resist the temptation and not read Christmas stories at any other time of the year. It is best to keep it for Avent, and prepare the children to what is going to happen at the end of the year.

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