Behind the Art: Welcome Little One

August 30, 2019

Welcome Little One card

The idea for this card came from the realization that not all "baby" cards are needed for people that are having babies. Sometimes people need them for friends and family that adopt a child that is a bit older, and I wanted a card to reflect that, without being blatantly baby. I wanted to create an image that had a smaller being, but there wasn't a stroller or swaddling involved, so hopefully people would see the card as a possibility for the celebration of adoption.


Waskesiu 2019

August 29, 2019

This year's trip to Waskesiu was littered with rain, so we took advantage of any time that the sun made an appearance, and that means that we had less time on the beach this year. We took advantage of one moment in the evening before heading back to camp to make supper before it started to rain once more.

We decided to hike Treebeard Trail again, because it was our favourite trail last year, and we enjoy the view from the top, as well as the change in flora and fauna because of the forest fire that went through there about 200 years ago. The lower part of the hike is all of the new vegetation that has grown as part of the new forest, and the foliage that you see at the top of the hike is from the old part of the forest, the part that didn't burn in the fire and has continued to grow (as well as die per the cycle of life in the forest).

Back at the campsite, I was able to keep the fire going long enough to warm up some water to make hot chocolate, until the rain started up again and we retired to our OTentik and played games (Spot It is our favourite) until it was time to get ready for bed.

In the morning, we had the opportunity to explore a bit more of Waskesiu before we had to leave the park (there was also one more chance to make hot chocolate), and luckily there was a lot to explore in the Nature Centre as we were trapped by a couple of downpours. That's the thing about camping, you don't have control over the weather, so you've got to be prepared for anything and take advantage of the time that you do have without the rain.


What is an Early Childhood Educator?

August 20, 2019

An Early Childhood Educator (ECE) works with children during their earliest years, usually between the ages of 0-6. An ECE can be found in several settings, including early learning centres, preschools, Kindergartens and into the first few grades of school, and has received either a university degree in education, or a college diploma (a 2-year program) with an emphasis on child guidance and planning/implementing age appropriate programming. 

The main goal of an Early Childhood Educator is to guide the development of children during their first few years of life and typically follows a holistic approach, meaning they help grow a child's intellectual, emotional, social, physical, creative and spiritual potentials.

As an ECE continues to work, there are many opportunities for growth and development. A quality educator will take part in educational experiences through conferences and courses, and read books to learn more about the changes in early childhood education and development, as well as any approaches they may be interested in working with (read more about the different approaches here). 

An Early Childhood Educator should always be wanting to develop a deeper understanding of what it means to work with children, and how to continue to enrich the child's environment and their development, as well as work with families to make sure they are all working towards the same goals. They understand what goals are developmentally appropriate for each child (as individuals, as an ECE knows that each child learns differently), and set proper limits and expectations to help a child achieve those goals.

ECEs are so much more than a glorified babysitter. Besides taking care of the basic needs of your child, they understand that child development involves knowledge about how to observe each individual child so that programs may be tailored specifically for a group of children, and not just provide blanketed themes like Winter and Fall. 

They also know how important it is to learn about what you value at home and in the community so that it can be applied at the early learning centre your child is attending. As well, they understand that knowledge about child development is crucial in providing quality care because it is how an ECE knows when your child needs their hearing tested for delays in speaking, or needs some extra support to help them reach the same level of development as their peers (while completely aware that your child may never reach that level, but being compassionate and doing everything they can to help anyway).

An Early Childhood Educator is a teacher that helps children question the world around them and come up with their own answers. They are a source of comfort away from home, a social/emotional guide, and so much more!


The Camping List: My Camping Essentials

August 06, 2019

My Mom, my son and I recently completed our annual mother-daughter-grandson camping trip to Waskesiu and after forgetting a couple of essentials behind, I thought it would be a good idea to make up a list of camping gear that needs to be packed for our future trips. The following are a few of my favourite items that I brought along (and a couple that I forgot).

I wanted a cooler small enough to be able to fit in the trunk of my car without taking too much space away from all the other things that you need for a camping trip, but large enough to fit all of the food that we were taking with us. We didn't need much for the length of our trip, but, for the amount that we ended up packing, we were quite surprised that there was a lot of space left for more! This cooler has thin walls that helps it have more space, but it still keeps food items cold.

I had been looking for a new flashlight that could give off a lot more light than the lanterns and flashlights we had been using in the past for a while, when I found this one on sale. I was excited that it has an incredibly strong beam of light...I was disappointed that I left it behind on this camping trip.

My parents purchased a set of portable cutlery for both my son and I this past Christmas. Not only is each piece solid, but they are also fantastic quality...and I like that they have a pouch to store them in.

The sleeping bag that I use is from my childhood, but I feel like this one is pretty close to the same, and probably has better technologies for keeping you warm.

Normally I have to put a blanket in my sleeping bag to add some extra warmth, but to save some space in the trunk this time I brought along my Sugoi fleece-lined leggings to be able to sleep in. They are my new favourite thing for camping and I will be bringing them on all trips for forever. I even loved them in the cool morning while having some breakfast by the fire.

Like my sleeping bag, my hikers (winter boots, in fact) are from my childhood, but these ones look very similar and make me want to upgrade. I like having hikers on my camping trips because we enjoy going on hikes, and I noticed a huge difference after wearing them on a hike where I had to piggy-back my son through a muddy zone. It was a much better situation than if I had been wearing my sandals. I'm also less likely to hurt myself on roots, and have a lot more control when going down hills.

Not included in the detailed area (as you can find them most anywhere), but still essential to bring along are marshmallows, waterproof matches, a bbq lighter (a back up form of getting fire when the matches don't cut it), extendable fork (for roasting the marshmallows), and my favourite cookies for making s'mores (the chocolate is built in and tastes incredibly delicious).

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