Tag Archives: play

It’s Not Fair

Nothing sets me on edge more than hearing one of my children bellow, “It’s NOT FAIR!”  That one sentence can turn me foul even when in the midst of a sun-shiny-birds-singin’ kind of day.

Lily thought it would be a good idea to whine it’s not fair when I asked her to pick up some of the ten thousand blankets she’d used to build a fort in the family room.

Frustrated,  I jumped into my now-overused diatribe on ‘fair’.  I threw out a few examples, including “Is it fair that your brother is cleaning the guinea pig cage and you aren’t helping him?”

It was going well until I threw in, “Is it fair that you’ve been playing all day and were out  on the swings while I made lunch, brought your dishes in, cleaned and put everything away?”

Lily had been quick to answer all the other questions with a ‘No, that’s not fair’ but here she took pause and looked a little bit confused, “Yeah, that’s fair.  That’s what parents do. Kids are only supposed to play.  Parents have to do all the other stuff.”

I think I have to revisit our chore chart…


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Filed under kids, Life, motherhood

Hugging Trees

I’ve been working on it for a long time now.  Searching.  Thinking.  Searching some more. Rethinking –  it’s been a long process.  But, I’ve done it; in a just a couple of weeks our new, more eco-friendly flash cards will be online!

Seven years ago, when I first started mocobabies, I offered a set of ten flash cards that were packaged in a clear cellophane envelope with a small homemade label across the bottom.  I still remember my first few sales, how exciting it was when someone said they’d love to carry them and more importantly when I got those first reorders.  My excitement quickly turned to rattling nerves as I  got to the point where I couldn’t keep up with my orders.  After some bumps and bruises trying to manufacture in North America, I eventually made the decision to have our expanded set of thirty-five cards made overseas.

However, when I recently sold out of our last shipment of cards, I decided I wanted to keep production closer to home; I wanted to reduce our footprint.  I’m happy to say that it’s been a much easier process than it was seven years ago.  There seems to have been a shift and small business is embraced rather than shooed away by local manufacturers and suppliers.  Years ago, I was repeatedly told that it wasn’t worth their time unless I was going to place a million dollar order.  This time around, companies have been helpful and more than willing to take the time to talk with me about my product.  It’s been wonderful to experience such a turnaround.

Long story short(ish), I’m really proud of our new cards and the path we’re forging for mocobabies.  Perhaps most importantly, I’m also working hard to buck the recent trend of skyrocketing prices; our cards will be greener, Canadian made and more affordable.  I’m pretty excited.

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Filed under Baby Signing, Being Green, Business

“…Play is Serious Learning…”

Signing with preverbal hearing children is fun.

It shouldn’t be stressful or  another to-do on your ever-growing list.  Signing should quickly become a natural part of your communication with baby, not a timed lesson or test of their memory or intelligence.

I love this quote from Mr. Rogers:

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.  ~Fred Rogers

His words hold true for baby sign language.  Signing with our hearing babies is about communication, not perfection, so congratulate them on any attempt to speak to you verbally or through sign.

Encourage, play and laugh with your kids.  I bet you’ll both end up learning something.

(Originally I used this picture just because, well, it’s a picture of Mr. Rogers with a gorilla but then found out  (I love Google) that this is Koko, the sign language gorilla. Pure awesome.)

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Filed under Baby Signing, kids

It’s all about fun

One of the first things we did when Lily began therapy almost two years ago was go right back to basics.  We filled her world with animal and silly sounds in an effort to encourage her to mimic or make a sound in return.  I pulled out every book we had that had animals in it, used our flash cards and searched for new books and games that would help us on our journey.  Truthfully, it was great for my already well-developed book obsession.

Lily has progressed beautifully through her therapy and can now make a whole farmload of animal sounds, yet I still find myself getting excited whenever I come across a book that would have helped her through the beginning months of therapy.  More excited still when the book also lends itself to baby sign language.

This morning, while working at a beautiful local baby store, I came across a book by DK Publishing, Inc., called Animal Talk.  It’s a large board book with lift up flaps for baby and it provides opportunities for being silly and making lots of noise.  It also compliments your adventures with baby sign language showing animals that are  included in the mocobabies’ flash card set (substituting ‘bird’ for parrot).

Our flash cards are a fun aid, helping you play and sign with baby but don’t forget to use your voice!  The wonderful thing about baby sign language is that you’re building their verbal vocabulary while giving them the opportunity to communicate back before they’re developmentally able to speak.

Looking at and reading books to baby is a great way to integrate sign and verbal language.

We didn’t create the flash cards, or any of our products, with the intent of making your baby smarter or to be used as a testing / memorization tool to prove how much your baby knows.  We designed them with fun in mind.  We manufactured them so you could play with and start a conversation with baby.

Use the animal cards to make animal sounds, say the word, sign the word, name them, make up stories about their wild adventures (I heard that Martha Pig recently slipped while dancing to her favourite song and fell into a huge mud puddle.  She wasn’t hurt but was more than a little embarrassed) and, most importantly, have fun.

Pull out a book like Animal Talk and play matching the cards to the animal on the page.

Fill their world with giggles, encouragement, verbal language and sign.  Having fun is the best way for baby to learn.


If you’re local to the Owen Sound, ON area, drop by Sweetpea Wholesome Baby where both our flash cards and Animal Talk are available.

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Filed under Books we're signing to, My Favourite Things