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. 

Exploring Life & Business with Keltse Bilbao of Big and Tiny

 

By Voyage LA.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Keltse Bilbao.

Hi Keltse, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Originally from Spain, I’ve lived in many countries and cities around the globe. Besides traveling and meeting new people and cultures, my passion is to create new concepts and bringing them to life. I’m a mom, wife, friend and a serial entrepreneur. As far as my business, Big and Tiny was born in 2018 out of my own need as a mother and entrepreneur to balance my professional and family life. As you might already know, 43% of women leave their jobs when they have a child. To me, the desire of being part of my daughters’ first years made me reconsider devoting my time to my work and my career, which didn’t feel right since I love what I do. This frustration inspired me to came up with a new concept of flexible and participatory childcare + education model that allows parents to focus on their careers or passions while being close to their kids. My goal was to build a mindfully designed space for like-minded parents and their kids and to create a supportive and inspiring community.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
We definitely faced many struggles since we opened our Santa Monica studio 2.5 years ago. Since we were introducing a relatively new business model, we struggled with the on-demand hourly service due to the kid/teacher ratio. We decided to move into a members only model to avoid being under or overstaffed. It goes without saying that every stage of this pandemic has brought on new challenges. We asked ourselves: “Do we stay open?” “How do we pivot?” “What can we do for the families that need us?” We put memberships on hold and went through the heartbreaking process of temporarily letting staff go. We started recording online classes for our community from our empty studio. After a few months, we introduced in-home services and hired back our wonderful staff – in fact, we doubled our team! We trained and retrained and with all our dedication and work, we are so proud we are still here, serving our community.

We’ve been impressed with Big and Tiny, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Big and Tiny is the first “play-working” leading the global movement of balancing work and family. We provide an integrated service of top-notch childcare through our expert educators and an inspiring co-working space so parents can focus on their professional career without compromising their family life. At Big and Tiny, we provide a variety of educational programs for children 0- 6 years old. Our mission is to provide a safe space for kids to cultivate their creativity, explore with autonomy and build relationships.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
One of the most beautiful things that this adventure has taught me is how a community can come together and become a family. What has gotten us through difficult times is the love and gratefulness we’ve received from our amazing community. It makes my day to hear their stories and know that we’re part of them.

Pricing:

  • Monthly memberships starting at $615/month

Contact Info:

  • Address: Santa Monica Studio 1731 Ocean Park blvd Santa Monica CA 90405 Y.310-392-0113 Silver Lake Studio 2624 W sunset Blvd Los Angeles CA 90026 West Hollywood at Second Home 1730 N St Andrews Place Los Angeles, CA 90028
  • Email: Info@bigandtiny.com
  • Website: www.bigandtiny.com
  • Instagram: Bigandtinyspace
  • Facebook: Bigandtinyspace

Team Spotlight – Mr Anthony

Mr Anthony has been in the Big and Tiny family since the very beginning. He was one of our first educators when we opened our Santa Monica location in 2018. He’s also a regular fixture on Big and Tiny’s Youtube channel and IGTV with Zoom classes, arts & crafts videos and more!

What’s your favorite thing about working at Big and Tiny?
My favorite thing about working at Big and Tiny is watching little ones grow from diapers/babbling to walking and saying their first words. And as they grow parents watch with tears of joy in their eyes. 

What are your passions and hobbies?
My hobbies are making people laugh/smile, writing poetry, learning/exploring different cultures, dancing, traveling, and making kids become their best free selves! 

You were doing all the Zoom Classes over lockdown, what was the biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge over zoom classes during lockdown was keeping everyone’s attention, children and adults alike. I overcame this by keeping my energy high and having everyone engaged verbally and physically. I would have my kiddos introduce their favorite toys and talk about it to their friends. I would also play games that had them interact within their surroundings like a scavenger hunt – find something red in your room and bring it to the camera or instructional physical songs that had everyone get up and dance! 

I would  also engage the parents by asking them questions and also making jokes that would make them laugh, after all they were in the zoom each day too! 

You have recently been recording Big and Tiny’s arts and crafts videos! What fun! What is your favorite activity to do with kids?
My favorite activity to do with my kids are sing-alongs! I love to sing in a circle, hear the kiddos sing with joy, and perform the song with hand gestures and dancing!

What life lesson have you learnt from working with little ones?
A life lesson I learned working with little ones is definitely taking a step back and enjoying life unraveling in front of us. Kids have the immaculate ability to live in the presence, pouring water from one glass to another is magical. Life is magical, as adults we tend to forget and lose sight of the magic. 

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Team Spotlight – Miss Monica

Monica joined the Big and Tiny in Summer 2020 but it feels she’s been in the family forever! She looks after the  pre-school group at our Santa Monica location. Read on to learn more about Monica!

Describe yourself in two sentences.
I think I would describe myself as gregarious, hard-working, and passionate. I take pride in my ability to cultivate and nurture my personal and professional relationships, and I always try to put my best efforts toward taking care of the people and things that are important to me. 

What brings you the most joy about working with children?
What a difficult question! There are so many beautiful and exciting aspects about working with little ones. I would have to say that the one thing that brings me the greatest pleasure is having the opportunity to witness a child develop any kind of new understanding. This could be anything from grasping a challenging educational concept,  acquiring new social/interpersonal skills, or even accomplishing the seemingly simple task of learning how to tie their own shoes. In a child’s eyes, every new accomplishment, big or small, means the world to them. They are in a state of constant learning and development, and it is an absolute joy for me to witness it.

What is the biggest challenge about working with children?
While working with children is (in my opinion) the best opportunity one could receive, it certainly has its challenges. One of the most heartbreaking things to witness is when a child internalizes a mistake or perceived failure as a personal shortcoming. When they begin to believe that because they can’t accomplish something that is seemingly easy for others to accomplish, or if a classmate tells them that they don’t want to be their friend anymore, it can feel like the end of the whole world to them. So, my fellow educators and I always do our best to help them understand that no matter what, they are wonderful, capable human beings that are cherished and loved without a doubt. 

Describe your day at Big and Tiny?
Each day is always so different from the last, so it’s always a constant surprise! Typically, my day will begin with me greeting my wonderful coworkers. We always make sure to check in and see how everyone is feeling. Next, I begin to prepare for the day by getting materials ready for class. Afterwards, I get to greet my little ones and their families, which is my favorite part of the day! They are (usually) so excited and happy to see everyone and tell us what’s on their minds. Next, we begin our day with circle time, which consists of songs, books, games, and/or movement activities based on our theme of the week. Later, we enjoy a snack and some free play before we move onto literacy or math. Afterwards, we do some cool and totally messy sensory activities before lunch. To be honest, the mess is half of the fun. Later on, we do some art, games, and reading. Lastly, we end our day in Tinyland playing silly games, listening to music, making art, or doing whatever crazy fun we decide to get into that day!

What is your favorite activity to do? And what’s your favorite song?
My absolute favorite activity that I’ve done with my kids so far would have to be our gratitude tree. Before Thanksgiving break, we sat around our “tree” in Tinyland and took turns telling the class about one person or thing that we were grateful for. We would then write down what they shared on a leaf and the children would tape their leaves onto our tree. It was such a pleasure listening to the little ones really get the chance reflect and share what they value the most. Other times it was just plain funny to watch them soul-search until they finally decided that they were most grateful for roller coasters or something silly! We added to our gratitude tree every day since the beginning of November, and it was such a joy to watch our tree grow with each passing day. 

What’s your life motto?
I’m not sure I would say that I have a life motto, but one quote that I hold dear to my heart is:
 “The two most important days of our lives are the day we were born and the day we find out why.” – Mark Twain 
I am fortunate enough to have discovered my purpose in life. I know in my heart that I am supposed to work with children in some capacity for the rest of my life. It brings me the utmost pride, joy, and a great sense of accomplishment to be able to do so.

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