I can’t believe I haven’t posted a picture of my favorite Halloween trick or treaters!!  Here they are!

I think this might be a dragon costume, but we called it a dinosaur because Owen hasn’t had much experience with dragons yet.  He was adorable.  I tried for a week to get him to say Trick or Treat – he usually will repeat most anything, but he would not.  I think he just had no idea what it meant.  Then right before he went out that evening we gave him an M & M (his first!) and told him if he said “Trick or Treat” he would get more candy!  He said it right away!!  At every door!!

It really made me think about how much we talk to kids, and how important it is to develop vocabulary and explain words and use visual and kinesthetic cues to help them understand!

We didn’t take Anna and Lily out – but they were adorable too – little ladybugs!  I put their little seats right by the door and invited several of their neighbors in to see how cute they looked.  Good thing I am such an objective grandmother.

This is Lily who likes to lie on her tummy!

This is Anna!  She’s not such a fan of lying on her tummy!

I keep encouraging tummy time because now that babies sleep on their backs a lot of them don’t like to be on their tummy, which is so important for developing strength in their neck, shoulders, arms, tummy, etc.  Some research is showing that a lot of children are entering school with really weak muscles – and it affects schoolwork a lot!  They speculate it begins in infancy – many babies spend so much time on their backs – sleeping, in car seats, in baby bouncers, etc.   Babies aren’t even lifted in and out of their equipment as much now that they go into the car seat inside the house – then it gets hooked into the car, secured into the grocery cart, or stroller, or restaurant seat.  When babies are lifted in an out they have to develop neck muscles to hold their head up and there is evidence that many babies are not as strong as in past generations.

The problem gets more serious as children spend so much time in front of TV or computers, etc. and less time on playgrounds or doing active physical play.  One of the best recommendations was to play wheelbarrow with kids – where you hold their feet and they walk on their hands – Owen is getting pretty good at it!  Kids need to have strong neck, shoulder and arm muscles to sustain all the writing activities – even sitting for periods of time requires core strength – we see a lot of kids slumped over at circle time or at their tables.  I keep encouraging my family to take Owen outside to climb and run and play.

This also is one of my concerns regarding how Kindergarten is changing.  Kids are not painting at the easel as much- which is great for arm strength, or dancing around, playing circle games, or out on the playground, or all the wonderful things that develop fine motor skills – finger painting, hole punching, lacing, cutting, tearing paper,  I could go on and on.  I totally understand the increased curriculum and mandates for Reader’s Workshop and Writer’s Workshop and DRA requirements and testing, etc. but we always have to keep in mind the whole child.  As Becky Bailey says in Conscious Discipline – The best exercise for the brain is exercise.

How did I get on this tangent?  Aren’t my Halloween pictures cute?

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