Monday, July 25, 2011

Imagination Walk

One of my favorite activities is going on an imagination walk.  You and your kids can go where ever you want although I try to go places where I can really get them moving.  Some examples of imagination walk activities are flying through the clouds, big jumps over a stream, swimming in the ocean, climbing a mountain, or quickly ducking when a dragon flies over head.  We’ve pretended to go for a ride in a magic bubble and had a magician turn us into frogs and we had to hop from lily pad to lily pad until we reached the other side of the pond then were turned back into humans.  We take turns deciding where to go and what we see on our walks.  The best thing about it is you can do it for as little or as long as you want, there’s no set up or clean up, and it’s always different and always new.

Although you are having fun with your child you are also teaching important skills.  Make sure you challenge both their imaginations and their bodies.  This article decscribes how imagination plays an important role in a child’s cognitive growth.  One great quote was "fantasy play is correlated with other positive attributes. In preschool children, for example, those who have imaginary friends are more creative, have greater social understanding and are better at taking the perspective of others."  They are also developing gross motor skills through all the physical activity in your adventures.  This is just one example of the importance of play in a child’s education.

Where  will your imagination take you and your child?

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Learning Link Review and Giveaway

I truly believe things come into your life exactly when you need them and I feel it is true with this review.  My son has vision problems and we have been through endless testing and treatments.  One of the treatments he needed was eye therapy.  This therapy was not only for his eyes but also helped his brain function better through brain retraining.  His doctor felt his brain did not function normally due to the problems with his eyes.  Now this therapy was not covered by insurance and cost $250 for a half an hour once per week.  I took the option of sharing the thirty minute therapy session with another child and only had to pay $125 per week.  This added up to $6,500 for one year of sessions.  That’s a lot on a preschool teacher’s salary but I noticed such a difference in not only his academics but his behavior as well.  My credit cards were maxed out and I had existed on peanut butter and jelly for a year but what mom wouldn’t sacrifice for her child especially when she sees such great results?
Fast forward three years and I’m a stay at home mom.  I love being home but there is no extra money.  The bills are still getting paid but I have every penny accounted for every week.  Imagine my shock and horror when my son’s doctor tells me he needs to do another year of eye therapy.  Where was I going to get that kind of money, especially in this economy? 
This is where the miracle happens.  I get an email from Judy Hanning asking me if I’d like to review a product that would help my son excel in school.  Hmmm, a review for my blog that lets me use a product for free that will help my son excel in school?  Um YES!  I accepted and looked at some information on the learning institute website.  One thing that made me fall in love with the product right away was when I came across their page on learning difference.  This is something that I think so many kids struggle with in our school systems today and it breaks my heart.  These are the kids that excelled in my preschool class because I was a firm believer in teaching that would benefit every different kind of learner.  I have parents who come up to me who’s kids are in middle school and tell me that their child learned more in my class than any other.  It’s a great compliment but at the same time it’s sad that a child who is a tactile learner will most likely struggle throughout his school career.
Then I opened the product and started using it with my son.  Imagine my surprise when I found that most of the exercises were the ones he did in his eye/ brain therapy that cost me $125 per week and cost most parents $250 per week!   This program is only $600 for a 12 month online program and only $840 for a year of videos.  You can help your child retrain their brain for a savings of $5,660 to $5,900!  I have been happily working with my son for approximately three hours a week.  I am doing this over the summer and can’t wait to report the results when he goes back to school!
For any parent who has a struggling learner please go check out this website:
Here is the best part that I am so excited to share with you!  They have offered to generously donate one year of online access to their learning program as a giveaway (value $600)!  All you have to do is follow the instructions below:
Mandatory Entry Instructions:
1.       You must follow Less Than Perfect Parents blog
2.       You must go to the one of the following learning link website pages and leave a comment below about one thing you learned there.  There’s a lot of interesting information!
3.       Make sure you leave your email address in your comment because that’s how I’ll be contacting you!
For extra entries (optional):
1.       Go to, “like” the page with your personal profile and leave a comment.
2.       Go to, like the page with your personal profile and leave a comment.
3.       Tweet (once per day): I just entered a giveaway to help my child excel in school! Hosted by @HarpInstitute @LTPParents and @JudyHanning 

For every extra entry make sure you leave a comment below!  The more comments the better your chances of winning.

You can sign up until noon EST on 7/26/2011.  I’ll send the winner an email within 24 hours.
*Judging: Less Than Perfect Parents will choose a winner based on a random drawing of comments below.
*Winner has 72 hours to claim prize.
Good luck everyone!


Flower Craft

I like easy crafts for two reasons.  First, if the craft is easy I know I'll actually do it with my child instead of putting it off until I have time or have all of the supplies together.  Second, if it's easy the child actually does it themselves instead of the parent doing all of the work.  That way the child gets the benefit of the activity instead of the parent.  This craft strengthens fine motor skills through cutting and tracing.

Orange construction paper
Yellow construction paper
Green construction paper
Picture of your child’s face

Step 1: Trace a circle around the picture of your child’s face and cut it out. 

Step 2: Cut a slightly larger circle out of the orange construction paper.

Step 3: Cut flower leaves out of the yellow construction paper

Step 4: Cut a stem and leaf out of the green construction paper.

Step 5: Glue the picture on the orange circle.

Step 6: Glue the yellow leave around the back of the orange circle

Step 7: Glue the stem and leaves to the flower head.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Review: The Key to Rondo

Leo is a ten year old boy who is entrusted with his great aunts music box.  He gets this important responsibility because he is quiet, cautious and always follows the rules.  This particular music box comes with three important ones: Wind the box three times only. Never shut the box when the music is playing. Never move the box before the music stops.  Although Leo would never break these rules his unconventional cousin Mimi will.  The two reluctantly embark on a magical adventure and become unlikely heroes in a storybook world.

This book joins two children as they learn about loyalty, courage, friendship, and the importance of family.  Each child finds their inner strength and figures out how to cure their loneliness.  I liked this book because it shows the usefulness of following rules and the consequences when you don’t.  However it also shows the value of thinking for yourself and not always listening to what others tell you.  These are two opposite but worthwhile views that are really hard to balance in life.  I also liked that the main characters didn’t fit the typical gender stereotypes that are thrust on children.  Leo is a more timid, careful, and practical child while Mimi is headstrong, wild, and takes charge.  I think it’s good for kids to see that these characteristics can fit a boy or a girl.

I would recommend this book for kids aged 7 to 1o.  Some parts seem as if they’ll be scary, nothing scary ever happens.  It is a fantasy book with talking animals and various familiar nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters.  Many times it has the feeling of “Alice in Wonderland” where things are not of this world and a little out of control.  I enjoyed it but kids who like certainty and order may not.  Otherwise it was a wonderful book!

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Monday, July 4, 2011

What to Wear to a Wedding

Sometimes planning an outfit for a wedding can be confusing.  There are four basic kinds of weddings: black tie, black tie optional, cocktail attire, and casual.  Remember that the wedding is about the bride and the groom.  You should be dressed in a way that shows respect to them but also let’s them be the center of attention.  This is their day and you should be supporting them not stealing the show.  Here are a few guidelines for each type of wedding.

Black Tie-
This is a formal event where ladies must wear floor length gowns and darker colors, especially if the event is at night.  You should not be showing a lot of skin or wear anything that makes you stand out.  If you are going to a black tie event where you don't know anyone and are nervous about what to wear it if better to err on the side of caution.  This dress is one color with no patterns and simple lines.  It covers the chest and shoulders yet is classic, elegant, and understated.  The stud earrings, one bracelet, and elegant heels complete the look.  I would suggest getting you hair professionally done in a simple up do. You will look sophisticated and sexy all at the same time.
Tadshi Grecian Gown
Nadri Lace Stud Earrings-$35
Nadri Crystal Bangle Bracelet-$65

Black Tie Optional-This is somewhere between black tie and cocktail attire.  This means guests can dress formally but that it is not required.  Even though it is not required that does not mean you should dress casually.  You can wear a floor length gown in a brighter color and simple patterns or a cocktail dress.  You should not go anymore informal than a colorful cocktail dress.  I would still recommend heels but dressy flats would also be appropriate.  If you aren't sure stick with the black tie options above.  It's better to show your hosts too much respect rather than not enough.  A great rule of thumb is if you want color then keep your dress floor length and if you want a shorter dress than keep the color darker.  Here are two options:
JS Collections Illusion Bodice Satin-$148
Jessica Howard Dress-$61.99 SALE!

Cocktail Attire-Cocktail attire is less formal but still means that the guests should be stylish and elegant.  A woman should wear an elegant cocktail dress with heels and an evening bag.  The dress can be as short as slightly above the knee and can be a variety of colors, especially if it's a day wedding.  The options in this category are wide but here are a few choices:
Yellow A Line Chiffon Dress-$117
Emerald Green Cocktail Dress-$59.99

Tea Length ConvertibleDress-$298
Dasha by Ralph Lauren-$179.99 SALE!

Casual-Casual does not mean casual as in jeans and a T-shirt.  You are still going to a wedding.  A woman can wear a cotton dress, skirt with a nice top or slacks.  There are a lot of choices but you must still remember you are there to celebrate someone's most important day and no one should have their attention called to you or be offended by what you are wearing.

Ralph Lauren Sweater Dress-$345
Silk Wrap Dress-$159.99 SALE!

Tessi Sateen Skirt-$69.99 SALE!
Dara Lace Skirt-$179

Alexine Houndstooth Pant-$755
Chrissy Bi-Stretch Pants-$598
 Some of these models look pretty intense so I would just copy their clothes and resist copying their expressions!  Just show up with a big smile!

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