Racing Cars at Big and Tiny Santa Monica

Today we raced cars at Big and Tiny Santa Monica. We made a ramp out of cardboard and then used our favorite colors to paint the cardboard ramp so that we could watch the pain flow down the ramp. 


We used all recycle materials including an old cardboard box to make a car ramp and we collected our favorite cars around the school. We were able to find a pretty good selection of cars to race from Big and Tiny’s diverse toy collection. 

It was so cool to see how the paint splattered all over the board and even on our hands! All the kids had fun and got excited about the race. 

“That was cool!” – Freddie 
“On your mark, get set, Go!” – Boone 

The end result was a beautiful piece of cardboard art splatter! 

 

Why paternity leave benefits the whole family

What are the primary benefits of taking paternity leave?


As a new parent, it is likely that you have a fair number of challenges to undertake. This means getting yourself ready to face up against many things that are brand new to you – diapers, late nights, spit up!! If you are find yourself struggling, then you might wish to make the most of your
paternity leave

As a parent, you need and deserve time, support, and freedom to enjoy these crucial early days of parenting. With more and more parents – male and female – realizing the benefits of paternity leave – especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic when work is such a primary focus for so many – there is a requirement to fully understand the impact that paternity leave can have on your household.

In the past, parental leave was left to the mother while the father would spend time working, living as normal a life as can be. However, there are clear signs that paternity leave could be a huge benefit for both parents. By fathers taking on a more robust number of caregiving responsibilities in these key early months, the benefits extend far beyond avoiding burnout and high stress levels.

Most studies show that men who take paternity leave benefit massively from the break. While some worry it could be detrimental to their career futures, most have found it offers a better work-life balance whilst being able to help out more at home, strengthening relationships with both the child and mother.

Paternity leave isn't only beneficial to dads

It’s proven that paternity leave is beneficial in any family setting. 

There are a great number of benefits that can stem from both parents taking leave in those early months. Some of the benefits include, but are not limited to:

Better relationships at home

Having a child is a huge undertaking, and in the past, this would mean the mother takes on the brunt of the early childhood pressures, while fathers – or partners – would tend to still work, meaning they didn’t face the same challenges when arriving home. After work, the majority of the challenges in raising a baby are handled – the day is nearly over.

However, most studies point to fathers finding it universally positive to have more time to spend with both mother and child. They are more invested in those early days with the child, and thus they can feel the active impact that having a child has on their own life. This is very important as it helps both parents to feel the weight – and benefit – of responsibility.

Better mental health

The mental toll that can come with dealing with a newborn baby can be massive. From ensuring that postpartum care is made easier for the mother to helping out with the tasks needed to run the house, there is less of a toll taken on the body of the typical caregiver for the child.

Instead, with both parents at home and capable of handling the care that is required, there is a greater chance for tasks to be shared and the weight to be balanced. Both parents benefit from not trying to take on too much; now, one parent isn’t entirely focused on at-home care while the other is totally focused on bringing in money.

Instead, it allows the balance to be better shared so that both parents can feel like they are positively contributing.

Forming a family dymanic

A major mistake that stems from spending too much time working in those early months is the lost opportunity to form a lifelong bond. They might not even remember these moments clearly later in life, but those early moments of love, care, and attention from both parents can be essential for forming that loving, happy bond with both parents.

This allows for a more equal household role, yes, but more importantly it sets a clear dynamic that the child will be raised by both parents, not by one parent whilst the other works. This allows both parents to learn the key facts to raising a child as a duo, instead of one parent trying to work out everything on their own.

Setting the stage for the future

These key benefits also ensure that when the time comes for the child to mature and move on to preschool or childcare that they have a more seamless adjustment. When a child is used to being in a single-parent setting for most of early life, being put into a new situation can be very worrisome for a young mind.

Creating an environment where the child feels supported by multiple parental figures makes the transition to kindergarten and beyond a much easier experience. For parents who worry about having a symbiotic connection to their child that makes it hard to move on with key factors in life – such as attending school in early years – the ability to have both parents there to offer support actually reduces tension.

Now, with one parent not being tethered to the child whilst the other parent is less visible, it is much easier for both parents and children to have a more comfortable, less dependent relationship.

These factors matter a great deal when it comes to raising a child. Paternity leave is a huge part of helping ensure there is a strong support structure at home. Your job and career matters, but as a new parent you have just started the biggest, most rewarding job of your life!! Why miss out on those special beginning months of your new, unforgettable experience as a parent? Take paternity leave if you can!

Make a 2021 intention frame

Set your 2021 intentions by framing your wishes and hanging them in your bedroom – don’t by shy, wish as much as you want!

MATERIALS 

Popsicle sticks
Glue
Paint
Buttons
Yarn
A photo of your intentions and wishes

STEP BY STEP 

Decorate your popsicle stick in anyway you like! Be creative!

Once the glitter/paint is dry, stick each popsicle stick to each other, over and under.

Add jewels or any other decoration as desired.

Choose an image or a photo of what you wish to demonstrate next year. We chose circle time with friends and my favorite teacher – but you can pick anything you wish for: a new puppy, more playdates or more time in nature.

Finally attach ribbon or string for hanging.

Make your own snow globe!

Who doesn’t love a snow globe? Creating your own truly is the gift that keeps on giving!

MATERIALS 

A mason jar
Epoxy glue
Glycerin Glitter
A figurine of your choosing
Distilled water

STEP BY STEP 

Glue the figurine to the inside lid of the mason jar using the epoxy glue. Let it dry.

Fill the mason jar with distilled water (almost to the top).

Add glitter to distilled water.

Add two healthy pours of glycerin.

When the lid is dry screw on to the top of the jar.

Give it a shake and watch it snow!

Make your own polar bear with funky hair!

Use what nature gives you to fashion your own polar bears! See below to find out more.

MATERIALS 

1 Paper plate
White flowers or petals: hydrangeas, carnations or other
Black market pen
Elmer non toxic glue
White paint
Scrap paper

STEP BY STEP 

Cut and add some ears to the back of the plate. You can use glue or tape.
Draw on a face with a sweet polar bear smile.
Glue leaves or flowers across the forehead to make a crown.

Make your own Penguin

How cute are these?
Why not get creative and add colored beards, hats and hair to create a whole family for adorable little pebble penguins.

MATERIALS 

A rock
A cotton ball
Orange construction paper
Googly eyes
Glue
Scissors

STEP BY STEP 

Cut out a diamond shape and two triangles from the orange construction paper. Set them aside.

Glue the cotton ball three quarters of the way down the rock.

Glue the googly eyes above the cotton ball.

Fold the diamond in half and glue above the cotton ball.

Add the orange triangles underneath the cotton ball as feet. Set aside to dry.

Once dry your penguin is ready for play! We’d love to see what you make! 

Make your own Winter Ornament

Need more ornaments around the house? Who doesn’t!?
Check out our youtube video and follow the step by step below to guide you through this delightful winter project.

MATERIALS 

White craft glue 
15 to 20 pieces of wagon-wheel pasta (mixture of large and small) per ornament White acrylic paint 
Paintbrush 
String or ribbon 

Optional: 
Glitter 
Adhesive-backed rhinestones

STEP BY STEP 

1 – Glue your popsicle together in the shape of a snowflake. Paint white and let dry. 

2 – Glue each pasta edge together directly onto the popsicle sticks. Paint white and let dry. 

3 – Add your string or ribbon so you can hang it from a window or a tree! 

4 – For extra Christmas cheer, mix glue with water (one-to-one ratio), paint onto pasta snowflake, then sprinkle with glitter. Let dry. Attach rhinestones to a few points on snowflake. 

Make your own Holiday Calendar

We love this holiday calendar inspired by Wundertuetchen. Check out our youtube video and follow the step by step below to guide you through this delightful project.

MATERIALS
Tiny kraft paper bags (easily available online)
Twine
Markers
A long stick
Sticks or brown pipe cleaners for antlers
A hole punch
Scissors
Poms

Bonus materials:
-Pine or holly
-Glue gun or tacky glue

Fold back the corners of the kraft bags.
Draw eyes on the kraft bags and glue on a pom for the nose.
Label each of the bags with a day of the month counting down to your celebrated holiday.
Punch a hole in the top of the bag.
Cut varying lengths of twine and tie to each of the bags. Now tie the twine on the long stick.
Glue the pine or holly to the ends of the stick for some extra festive cheer.

Now it’s time to fill the bags with stickers, chocolates, jokes or positive affirmations! Happy crafting!

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