Guest Post – 6 Reasons to Buy an Instrument for Your Toddler

Toddlers are easily
attracted to things that make a sound. It comes as no surprise that they enjoy
musical instruments. Whereas you as a parent will probably shudder at the
thought of equipping your little one with a drum set (for obvious reasons), but there is actually a good reason to do so. Here are a few benefits.

  1. It can teach your
    kids discipline –  Learning an
    instrument is not an easy task. As any other skill you want to acquire in life,
    it requires patience and persistence. Unless you are devoted to it, you won’t
    be able to master it. Likewise, your children will learn to be patient and
    disciplined. They will understand that if they don’t spend time practicing,
    they won’t be able to learn the instrument. If they want to succeed, they will
    have to dedicate some time to it.
  2. Your children will
    build confidence –  No matter how
    advanced they are, they will be proud of their progress. Even if they are not
    extremely successful at learning the instrument, your kids will build
    confidence. Mastering a new skill is always an opportunity to learn new things,
    no matter how old you are.
  3. This is a great
    opportunity for your children to make new friends – Children are exposed to instruments in Preschool, Kindergarten, and elementary school. Many move on to play a musical instrument in high school. When they grow up, they can join music clubs and meet other people with common interests. There are a few things that can
    bring people together and music is among them. Your children will be able to
    build social skills. Children want to communicate with their peers too. Consider inviting other parents
    with their kids so that they can show off their
    skills and socialize.
  4. Music is a
    stress-reliever – Unless you listen to
    gloomy songs, music can lift your spirits and relieve stress. The same thing
    will happen to your kids. Don’t disregard your children’s dramas. Anyone at any
    age has problems. No matter how inconspicuous your kid’s problems might seem to
    you, to them they are pretty stressful. Children have many fears. Learning an
    instrument can take their mind off the drama. Before they start worrying about
    bad grades and problems with peers they will learn that there are many great
    ways to shake stress away and music is one of them. If you are lucky enough,
    they will choose to play the piano or the guitar over the drums.
  5. Here are a few to consider buying –   A pair of rhythm sticks, maracas and classic xylophone seem
    very appropriate for your toddler. There is even a complete band available if
    you want to buy your small one more than one instrument.
  6. Music is great. It is
    food for the soul –  There are no
    disadvantages of good music. It has a whole host of beneficial effects on
    living creatures. For example, in human beings, it is shown that relaxing music
    can lower blood pressure and is good for the heart. Music can make you dance.
    Everybody enjoys music. No doubt your small one will too.
toddlers have short attention spans. They may get bored quickly, but is wise to encourage your children to take up a hobby. This will help them discover what they like doing and what they don’t. Nobody knows if they
will enjoy a particular activity unless they give it a try. Someday your kids will thank you.

Patricia loves to play along with small children. She has two beautiful nieces
who teach her new things every day. She is keen on topics related to DIY, home
improvement and sustainable living.  Patricia is co-owner of HomeCleaing Chiswick

Grow Your Own Veggies

I decided to plant a vegetable garden this year.  I have fond memories of my grandparent’s garden when I was growing up, and I remembered the taste of a tomato straight from the garden.  There’s nothing like it.  I want Xavier to experience his summer’s in Mama’s garden and enjoying the taste of fresh veggies and fruit.  He loves apples, pineapples, and strawberries.  I’ll be planting an apple tree next year and a strawberry patch in the fall so we can have fresh strawberries next spring and summer. 

This year I planted tons of tomatoes for canning and salsa, green beans, peppers, eggplant, squash and zucchini.  He’s not fond of veggies yet, but I’m adding a little to my sauces so I can sneak some in.  I’m also looking for recipes that I think he may like without there being a hint of veggies.  So far Zucchini Bread without the walnuts, don’t trust him eating those yet, is at the top of the list.  He loves spaghetti, so I’m finely chopping and I do mean finely chopping peppers and onions to add, lol.  He saw a carrot in some sauce once, and it ended his entire meal. 

Planting your own garden is also a great way to save on the grocery bill, and there’s no pesticides used.   It’s also a great family activity.  Xavier is picking hot banana peppers for Mama’s hot pepper ring mix.   He loves a hot banana pepper, cauliflower and jalapeno mix that I purchase from the store.  I’m going to can a few quarts for his enjoyment. 

After picking the peppers, Xavier watered the garden for Mama.  He now understands the importance of sunshine and water to a garden.  I didn’t leave out weeding either, lol.  We’re going to put a little patch for him next year to include strawberries, raspberries and colorful carrots.  Check out his gardening boots.  He loved them so much, he took them home with him to wear when he waters his mother’s flowers.  Aren’t they adorable, I’ll be doing review on the boots in another post.

Because I acquired poor eating habits growing up, I want to teach my grandson the importance of eating fresh veggies and fruit.  What better way than to walk into your back yard and pluck them off the vine.  I must saw that Michelle Obama’s Get Moving program and White House garden inspired me to plant mine.  What an excellent idea to get children involved in an outside activity, and one that is so important to their health.  We need to get them off the computer and sofa and back outside to get some physical activity and fresh air.  I’m grateful that Xavier would rather be outside than in the house.  He runs an entire acre catching fire flies, making mud pies and cakes, swinging from trees.    Do you have a garden?  What outside activities are your children involved in?  Leave us a comment, we may want to try it. 

My Little Picasso – Crayola Paint Review

Look at my little Picasso, he’s creating a master piece. I decided to introduce Xavier to finger paints. He had a ball. I purchased the No Mess Crayola Finger Paint set and I loved it as much as he did. The paint showed up only on the paper. I did put an old sheet under him, I just had hardwood floors installed and I didn’t want to take any chances, but there was truly no mess.

The set comes with an adorable tray in the shape of a hand with 5 paint colors, red, yellow, green, blue, orange, and 12 double wide sheets of the Wonder paper. I like he fact that the hand is sturdy and stays in place on the table. The lids covering the paint are easy to open; however, for a 2 year old they will need assistance.
Xavier enjoyed sticking his fingers into the paint and was amazed when the colors magically appeared on the paper. He was so funny using the sponge. I tried to get him to wipe his fingers with it, but he wasn’t interested. I decided to show him how to sponge paint. He’s only 2, I didn’t think it would hold his interest. Wrong. He’s quite astute, and caught on quickly as to how he should dip the sponge into the paints and than apply it to the paper.

Here’s my Little Picasso taking a break. Painting makes baby thirsty. This set is recommended for 3+, but Xavier didn’t have a problem using the set. I like to challenge him with toys (as long as they don’t contain small parts), books etc. that are recommended for children a year or 2 older than he is. I believe it helps with a child’s advancement.

I would highly recommend this set to any parent who is looking for a rainy day activity or who just wants to expose their child’s creativity on paper. They have the Gel Paint refills, which includes the classic colors shown and additional tropical colors. Purchasing the set will be money well spent.