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The Whole Child, Issue #044 - Strong Family Ties
November 08, 2007

The Whole Child e-zine brings you free preschool activities each week to maximize your child's potential, build skills and parent-child relationships in just a few minutes per day. Useful tips, quotes, resources, opportunities and articles will be added for extra value!

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8 November 2007, Issue #044

1. Hello from Shirley

How many grandmothers do you know that are willing and able to support and encourage their daughters and daughters-in-law who are raising young families?

How many friends do you have that can drop the children at grandma’s house, instead of having to find a babysitter?

So many of our generation are either separated by geographical miles, by the miles of strained relationships or simply by a lack of time: many grandmas today are still in the workforce or doing things like keeping fit at the gym, or for some other reason are just not available for their children.

My children don’t see their grandparents very much and they long to see them more often. Drawing from this experience, I continually encourage them to make family relationships a priority one day when they are older. I want them to think carefully about where they choose to live and about what job offers or transfers they might accept. There are some things that money can’t buy and family relationships is one of them.

It may be early days, but I think that if we don’t encourage our children from now and always, to want to live nearby and preserve family relationships, we might find ourselves growing old, surrounded only by photos of our grandchildren far away.

Of course, we can't force our offspring to stay close, but we sure can encourage them to consider family when they make their choices!

If we don't, our children, like many of us, will lack the support of extended family and we will miss out on being able to invest into the lives of our grandchildren.

2. What’s New at Shirley’s Preschool Activities?

As the holiday season is approaching, you might want to take a look at some Christmas Crafts for preschoolers and for those in the northern hemisphere, there is also a Winter Preschool Theme that includes rhymes about winter, recipes, including a fun and easy snow ice-cream recipe, a snowflake cutting craft and more!

3. Preschool Activities at Home Egroup

Join our group of moms as well as caregivers of preschoolers as we discuss life with little ones…from discipline issues, to developmental activities, coping with toddlers and babies, TV, delayed milestones and more!

If you haven’t yet joined and would like to, send a blank email to

4. Quote

"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all."


5. Tips

Teach your children to honour one another and you, their parents, in word and action. For instance, when a child speaks to you in a whiny voice, ask her to repeat what she has said in a normal voice and if necessary model the correct intonation for her.

Also teach your children the vocabulary they need to express their emotions verbally so that they don’t need to act them out or whine. For example, tell your child to say “Mom, I am angry because you made me wait so long before you read me a story...” or “I am frustrated because the baby knocked down my tower of blocks”…and then, in response, you need to VALIDATE their emotions and help them deal with them constructively.

(Share your own tips and experiences on our preschool egroup: Email -

6. Book Reviews

Christmas is coming and if your children are like mine, they probably have more toys than they need…so I updated the Store page on my site and added some good alternatives.

It now has 3 pages containing 27 gift ideas from must-have board books for toddlers, picture books, a few great story compilations, some kids CD’s and DVD’s, and lastly, for you, my favourite parenting and homeschooling books. Nearly all 27 items I own myself and have selected from my vast home library as our favourites.

I had to relearn how to build the store while updating it, so please spare me a few minutes and take a look! - Shirley’s Store

Amazon pays me commission vouchers for promoting their products too – so I’d appreciate the support!

7. Readiness Activities

The following activities are aimed at ages 2-3. For older children, adapt the activity to their ability or alternatively repeat the activities previously suggested for ages 3-5 in the earlier Backissues of The Whole Child publication.

To download the activities in a printable pdf, click here.

You will need to have Adobe Reader installed. Its a free download.

Repeat these activities often - with your own variations too!


1. Gross motor skills

Let your child jump from a step of about 15-20cm (1 ft).

2. Fine motor skills

Manual Dexterity: Give your child an empty bottle with a screw top lid to open and close or a doll to dress and undress.

3. Visual skills

Spatial Relations: Build a simple construction with wooden or other big construction blocks. For example, build a house. Let your child then build a similar one on his own. Build more complex constructions as he progresses.

4. Auditory skills

Association: Play the game ‘musical statues’ with your child or a few of her friends. They must start dancing or moving when you start the music and then stop when the music stops. Give them loud clear instructions.

5. Mathematical skills

Counting Skills: Let your child count her body parts. Ask her questions like: How many eyes (ears, noses, mouths, hands, feet, etc) do you have? How may ears does the (dog/cat/doll/teddy) have?

6. Language skills

Reasoning: Talk to your child about any difficulty or challenge that he experiences. Help him to think about what the problem is, what causes the problem and how to solve it. For example: Explain to him how to eat without messing, why it is dangerous to run across a road, why it is good to help tidy up toys etc.

7. Faith-building

Tell your child as often as you can that you love her all the time (not just when she is well-behaved) and that she is a gift from God to her parents. Tell her that God loves her too, and He will always love her.

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Proverbs 16:24

Many blessings

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