This was a great idea on my mom’s behalf. Iza has a fantastic game on her iPad which uses matching shapes, and she has really enjoyed it. She thought to make it analog so it was more tactile on with fun, sparkly shapes. She did this during Zai’s birth so Iza would have a special new toy.
Iza has these terrific blocks from Melissa & Doug that fit into a wooden box. It is a Montessori activity that she uses in her classroom as well, so she is very used to the shapes. We used these as the template for making the shapes so they were both familiar and easy for her to pick up.
Lay them out on a white piece of paper and trace. For every shape create 2 tracings so you will have a duplicate. Add in a paper clip on 4 sides to a stack of colorful paper. We recommend doing no more than 3 pieces of paper at a time to ensure it stays in place.
Create two piles of shapes and put one set in an envelope.
Note:Don’t screw this step up or your kid will go nuts looking for the missing piece!
Lay out all the shapes on a 18″ x 24″ board. Pick a material that is thick enough to not be flimsy, but light weight enough to be manageable for carrying around. If you a have an older kid you could go up a size to 24″ x 36″.
Here’s what the board looks like laid out. We just glued everything down with a silicone and then it was ready to go. In hindsight it would have been fun to add her name to the top like “Iza’s Matching Game” or something that made her feel like it belonged to her, but she really loved it.
How to Play:
1st level– Just match the shapes. Lay the shapes from the bag over the shapes on the board. We recommend keeping the shapes in the bag until they are placed on the board.
There is a moment in life where you realize you just can’t do it all well. I am in that moment and transitioning rapidly towards a more mommy-focused era.
And work has been very slow over the last year. Lots of industry problems in the food field, and Kurt is in the process of building up his body of work. So there has been a natural progression that has taken over in the last year and it is wonderfully scary and fully of intrigue. We all know it will work out in the end, but we are currently in the growing pains of the unknown.
I am retooling all of it… carefully.
Iza – Managing her schedule so I still have adequate time for me
Work – Targeted, effective connections for profit, not fun
Family – Less traveling, more time just here
Friends – Poignant, supportive relationships
Life – Playing with Iza, creating projects which support her educational development
Food – 1 big enjoyment meal a week and the rest simple, healthy meals
It has been an interesting experience to move away from my typical day to day communication with my work colleagues and clients, focusing on day to day life. I wouldn’t say that I am more relaxed, yet, but I am beginning to live the Ra’Co Life. (That’s a lot of “life’s” in one sentence).
I know that I will only have the captive audience of my children for the first few years and then they will be off running around the universe with their own plan in mind. Already I can see this with Iza as she soars into her own social network at her school. She is less interested in and less available to me when she is home; she is tired, has her own agenda and plays contentedly without my prompts. So, these next few years are crucial to the development of myself, Kurt’s and my children’s familial foundation. What’s a 5 year commitment in comparison to the remaining 60?
Of course this has not been an immediate transition. Some of my preparation for this was done over the course of the past 3 years… starting with closing TILT and going into consulting, and most recently in our permanent move to Antigua, Guatemala. It seems as though finally things are falling into place and we are able to just breathe a little into our current position. Kurt is finally in the studio more regularly, Iza is in school, my work commitments have slowed, we are set up to execute on Ra’Co / Shop for Gluten Free and we are nearing the end of growing a new little Brand.
It is kind of exciting: we are set up and ready to execute.
There are a lot of great advice columns out there on this transition out of work and into life, although I haven’t really felt compelled to read many. In someways I feel like Kurt and I are writing our own book on this since we are creating as we go.
One of my favorites has been from Care.com where they help you to establish the mindset of your own Cottage Industry business of raising children; Your Kids, Inc. I think that is pretty clever and exacting for what should be a maintained frame of mind when you leave the work force.
And if you are choosing to keep your job, Parenting.com has a bunch of articles on creating a live-work balance with children.
Mywifequitherjob.com is one of the better free mini courses you can subscribe too and they have a pretty good blog with some interesting information. It has been helpful in the development of Ra’Co and Shop for Gluten Free.
Recently there have been a number of companies start to go into a formula of unlimited maternity / paternity leave, offering their employees the right to exercise their own level of balance with their families (Google.com and Netflix are two of the biggest and most well documented).
For me, I look at this transition as a chance to reinvent. Beyond being a parent, I have always wanted to write full time, work on my patterns and to build a portfolio of excellent Gluten Free recipes. This now gives me a chance to slow down and refocus my talents where it really counts.
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