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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Creating Memories

Many of us have heard the childhood lullaby "The Itsy Bitsy Spider."  In fact, it sounds a little something like this:

The itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
And the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again

I've often wondered why the itsy bits spider climbed up the spout again, but that is for a different blog on a different day.  

Recently, the kids and I visited our local library and we were excited to find arts and crafts were underway.  Representatives from were on hand to assist the children with a cute activity which turned egg cartons and pipe cleaners into itsy bitsy spiders.  

As I watched my little ones complete the guided tasks, I was struck by the importance of arts and crafts.  Not only were the children enhancing their creative abilities but they were also building memories.   

I personally happen to LOVE arts and crafts.  I think pouring oneself into an activity that produces a beautiful piece of art as an end result is peace in itself.  So it is only natural for me to engage our children (and any who visit our home) in some type of arts and crafts.  

The most recent craft created in our home was a vision book, where the kids cut out images from magazines to highlight items they would like to have sometime in the future.  They selected images of homes, vehicles, types of food as well as activities such as playing professional sports.   They were encouraged to share the contents of their books with each other and we displayed them proudly in our home for several weeks for visitors to view.  

They also made flowers to welcome their older sister home from college.  Tissue paper was carefully selected, folded and scented to give the appearance of a bouquet.  The vision books and flowers, like the itsy bitsy spiders they recently created, will contribute to loving  childhood memories.

Wikipedia describes memory as, 
"Among its other roles, memory functions to guide present behaviour and to predict future outcomes. Memory in childhood is qualitatively and quantitatively different from the memories formed and retrieved in late adolescence and the adult years."

I want to impact the memories upon which my children will draw in as many positive ways as possible.  Research shows that positive memories are directly linked to positive emotions and positive thinking.  An article appearing in the Harvard Health Publishing states "There is power in positive thinking. Positive emotions are linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being."

How awesome is it that creating itsy bits spiders will lead to a memory which will foster a greater well-being for my children!  With the amount of negativity that is prevalent in our world today, as parents we must be intentional about exposing our children to positive experiences and people, even if it is as simple as taking a trip to the library.  

Ask yourself, when was the last time you created something that allowed you to push pause on the busy demands of life?  When was the last time you created a positive memory?  Make it a point to take advantage of your creative side and create a long-lasting positive memory.  Trust me, your body will thank you for it!

Parents!  Are you looking for a creative activity to do with your children?  Check out this special activity provided for our readers by, a resource our family uses regularly. 


Make a Patterned Story

Kindergarten Reading & Writing Activities: Make a Patterned Story

What You Need:

  • Digital camera
  • Scissors
  • glue or tape
  • blank paper
  • stapler
  • pencil

What You Do:

  1. Choose a favorite patterned story (one with repeated text on each page) that your child has enjoyed reading in the past, such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, by Bill Martin, Jr. or the always popular Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. Re-read it with your child and invite her to join in. Be sure she is comfortable with the pattern of the story.
  2. Invite her to take the same pattern from the story, and replace some words to make it a new story. For example, try inserting family member’s names into the text. In a story like Brown Bear, it might sound like this: “Mommy, Mommy, what do you see?” Practice this out loud with her to see what fun ideas she can come up with.
  3. After she has an idea for her story, provide her with blank paper and a pencil, and invite her to begin writing her story. Encourage her not to worry too much about spelling, but to get the words down on paper. Continue in this manner, until she is satisfied that the text of the story is done.
  4. Now assist her in taking digital pictures of the family to match the text. Have fun! The whole family gets to be actors and play out each scene in order to help her get just the right photos! Print and crop the pictures as needed, and glue or tape them onto the pages.
  5. Finally, have her read her new version to a younger sibling, a relative, or a friend. Don't be surprised if her friend joins in on the reading fun, too!

Shatanese is a business owner and author of future books who resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their six children.  She enjoys walks on the beach and colorful sunrises.  Shatanese's goal is to find the extraordinary in every day moments.

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