Archive for the 'Parenting' Category

How Books Help Us Slow Down

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Books Help Us Slow Down

“Hurry up…”

“Eat dinner quick and then get ready for…”

“We don’t have time to…”

Have you uttered any of these phrases recently to your kids? It seems the fast-paced world we live in is only getting faster.

Each year a country is chosen to pick a theme for International Children’s Book Day. The 2019 theme, chosen by Lithuania, is “Books Help Us Slow Down.” Slowing down isn’t just a problem in the United States. People around the world are struggling with information overload, haste and rush.

Finding ways to slow down is more important now than ever.   (more…)

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Bird Books For Kids: Reading Takes Flight

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

bird books for kids

One of the first signs of springtime is waking to the chirping and songs of the cardinals and robins outside the window. What a delight! In honor of these springtime fliers, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite bird books for kids.

We think they are the perfect way to help your child’s imagination and reading take flight. (more…)

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To All The Moms: You Are Enough

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

I remember my first Mother’s Day.

Our son had just turned six months old and I was barely coming out of the fog of those early newborn months. Months of sleepless nights, feeding woes and constant fear I was doing it all wrong. The nagging feeling that I was clearly not prepared for motherhood.

No one told me it was going to be this hard. No one told me my heart could hold this much love.

It was at this first Mother’s Day that I really began to understand the huge responsibility that came with the title “Mom,” and at the same time the tremendous gift I had been given. (more…)

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May Baskets: Last-Minute Ideas to Create with Kids

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

May baskets

April showers bring… May baskets.

Somehow April has zoomed by and it’s May 1 again.

I’m not sure if it’s because we’re all busy enjoying the activities that come with the spring weather or just consumed with fighting our pollen allergies, but somehow this date sneaks up on me every single year.

And every year, I am reminded of May’s coming with the beautiful, thoughtful May baskets that arrive on my porch. (more…)

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Five Ways to Celebrate National Superhero Day

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

National Superhero Day

On April 28th, we celebrate National Superhero Day by honoring all superheroes, both real and fictional. It’s a day to celebrate those who serve and protect, while fighting evil.

Did you dream of being a superhero when you were little? Perhaps you played a make-believe hero with costumes or action figures. I have many memories of playing with my She-Ra castle.  (more…)

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How Rhymes Prepare Kids for Schooltime

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Rhymes Prepare Kids

As a child, I remember learning several nursery rhymes and likely annoying my family as I would recite them over and over and over. Rhymes such as:

Baa, baa black sheep, have you any wool?

Row, row, row your boat, Gently down the stream.

Hickory dickory dock, The mouse ran up the clock.

As an adult, I can recite these same rhymes just as quickly as I did when I was a child. I still sing a few of them to my kids at bedtime because I love them so much.

I didn’t realize at the time those beloved nursery rhymes were also preparing me to read. Research shows children who are familiar with rhymes have an easier time learning to read when they enter school. (more…)

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Birth Order Theory: My Kids Fit the Mold

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

birth order

“My kid is so Type A. Total firstborn.”

“He’s so sensitive. Such a middle child.”

“She’s the baby of the family, so that explains it.”

If you’re a parent or a sibling, you’ve probably heard or said a few of these phrases referring to birth order.

First presented by psychiatrist Alfred Adler (1870-1937), the Birth Order theory examines the relationship between birth order and personality. (more…)

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The Shape of Your Story

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Did you know that many of the world’s greatest stories aren’t really all that original?

Revered author Willa Cather once said “There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never been told before.” (Wait, what? You’ve never heard of Willa Cather?! Oh, well, you must not have grown up in Nebraska…)

Like Cather, famed American author Kurt Vonnegut believed stories shared a handful of ‘shapes.’ He gave a wonderful lecture about the “simple shape of stories,” where he gives us story-shapes that we keep telling over-and-over-and-over again. (more…)

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How to Create an Organized Reading Space for Kids

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

reading space for kids

Red ones. Blue ones. Old ones. New ones. Our house is overflowing with kids’ books.

We decided to consult professional organizer Kacie Ferrazzo, owner of Get Organized Omaha, for some tips on creating an organized reading space for kids.

Ferrazzo specializes in home decluttering and enjoys working with her clients to help them get control of their home and create a more joyful, simplified personal space.

We’re hoping a more organized space will make those old books seem new again and reignite a love of reading.

(more…)

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Grandparenting From Afar

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Grandparenting from Afar

*This article was written by Jerri Haussler, mother of Phil Haussler, MarbleSpark co-founder.*

When my two children were small, Dear Abby printed a letter in her well-respected advice column that I carried in my billfold for many years.

The gist of her advice for raising successful kids was to give them roots and give them wings.

I tried to follow that advice by encouraging my daughter and son to explore worldly adventures, as well as family connections.  At the time, I didn’t realize that would mean my grandchildren would never live close-by.  (more…)

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