Turning the Page on 2020

I am so proud and excited to announce a special Story Spark Christmas Project. I hope you’ll  join me in helping make the holidays extra special by spreading peace, love, and books!

Our goal: to bring books and book-based learning opportunities into the homes of economically struggling families in our community in order to make this Christmas extra special.

Our mission: In creating Story Spark , our mission was to enrich the Amarillo, TX community by bringing together families, children, and caregivers through book-based enrichment [classes] that SPARK deeper bonds, curiosity, and a love of learning. While I am unable to hold classes during these times, we can still uphold our mission and support our community by helping get books and book-based learning opportunities into the homes of families who may be struggling with finances or overall family well-being. 

I believe that every child should grow up with QUALITY books and QUALITY play materials, loved items that stand the test of time and cultivate a life-long love of books, reading, and learning.

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Books open doors for our children. With Story Spark, I have always strived to help little learners and their families make the most of book interactions and literacy experiences. A book is a wondrous thing, but the way we pair books with everyday learning and play experiences is truly magical and life changing. When we interact meaningfully and dive further into books, they can spark not only joy and self-awareness, but also social skills, language and communication skills, problem solving, mathematical and scientific thinking, curiosity, empathy, and a love for art, music and so much more. 

My plea: Please join me in spreading the Story Spark experience to families in need this Christmas, by visiting our GoFundMe to donate today, spreading the word, and nominating any families who would benefit from the wondrous gift of books and going beyond books.

Donations will allow me to curate gift sets that include a quality book and materials for a related extension activity such as a quality toy, art supplies, science/math manipulatives, etc. Each gift set will cost approximately $20.

Our deadline: in order to allow time to select gifts that match individual families and deliver them by Christmas, we will be accepting donations until December 14th! 

Please help spread the word by sharing our GoFundMe link to at least one person.

Thank you so much for supporting Story Spark and our community! Let’s spread peace, love, and books together!

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Books that Celebrate our Darling Dads and Fatherhood

Isn’t June a crazy month, or is it just me? Weren’t we just celebrating our mommas and springtime? Now, BOOM, it’s June and summer!

If your children are school-age, there are a million end of year events. Then suddenly, you’re pulling your hair out trying to keep them busy. And entertained. And fed. You can’t seem to keep the fridge or pantry stocked quickly enough. The sun is up forever, so they are up forever! And, why is there so much more laundry? But, also don’t forget (even though your brain is sizzling), Father’s Day is around the corner! And the father figures in our lives definitely deserve being celebrated too! Continue reading Books that Celebrate our Darling Dads and Fatherhood

Books that Celebrate Mommas and Motherhood

On the first of May, I woke up and thought “Yay! It’s May!!! Oh! That means it’s almost Mother’s Day… Oh, no! Oh, yay!” My thoughts drifted.

First thought: What can I ever do for or give to my own mother that would come close to showing her how loved, admired, and appreciated she is… I mean aside from having my own kids, trying to raise them with similar values, and making sure they see/talk and share their cuteness with her regularly. (Best gift, ever, right?)

Continue reading Books that Celebrate Mommas and Motherhood

History of Preschool

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” ~ William Butler Yeats

For me, this quote perfectly sums up the rewards, importance, and purpose of a profession in education, especially one in early childhood.

Continue reading History of Preschool

We Like to Move It, Move It

I’m talking about moving our whole family across the country, for the second time in just over a year. And we don’t actually love it (I’m not THAT crazy!) but I think we have become pretty good at it.

A year ago, we moved from New Jersey/NYC to Miami with three under three (big brother was barely 2 years old and the twins were 4 months old) and two fur babies. That move seems like an age ago and like a total BREEZE compared to our most recent move from Miami to Texas! (That’s right, y’all! We’re back home!)

Continue reading We Like to Move It, Move It

Preschoolers: To enroll or not to enroll?

That is the question, at least for families with a stay-at-home parent. And it’s not a simple answer. Parenting hardly ever involves simple answers, beyond meeting the most basic needs. It will probably take me a few posts to say all I want to say, all that I think parents might want to know or hear, but here goes…

Continue reading Preschoolers: To enroll or not to enroll?

Part 3 of Worthwhile Toys for the Early Years

Remind me next time not to make such a big list, but seriously, all 15 of these play materials are worth the money and space because they lead to some rich and deep play that spans various ages, stages, and interests. So today, I will finally share more “totally-worth-the-space-and-money” play items on my list!

It’s been a good while, so first of all, yes, we are alive!!! Continue reading Part 3 of Worthwhile Toys for the Early Years

Rain, God, and Crocodiles

It was raining as we left our favorite museum. I had already postponed our departure once, hoping it would slow down. But after an extra half hour of play, the rain was proving stubborn, and the babies were extremely ready for a nap. Big boy begged to stay, but I could tell he was getting tired too. Miraculously, he was happily distracted by the challenge of helping me prepare for our run through the rain.

In case you were wondering, the preparation for and subsequent rainy mad dash with three little ones may look like this: Continue reading Rain, God, and Crocodiles

Part 2 of Worthwhile Toys for the Early Years

I shared the first part of this list 15 Worthwhile Toys for the Early Years a few weeks back, because the toy industry, children’s movies/TV and related products, Pottery Barn Kids, Target (both of which I LOVE!), educational products, etc. can be SO damn cute and manipulative, much like our little ones… and then bam! Or “CRUNCH!” Or “OW!” You’ve stepped on one of thousands of toys or supplies… no matter how much your munchkins actually help put them all away.

Continue reading Part 2 of Worthwhile Toys for the Early Years