Nurture Her Nature Contributers

Top DIY Toy Ideas for Kids

By Nancy Shaw

Your baby is actually taking off now, and as you chase the small one down the road, you may miss the golden days when she only studied her legs. Active is a good word to describe children at this age, and they prefer any game or toy that lets them throw their entire selves into it, such as swings, balls, and small climbing sets. (more…)

On or Off: It’s Sister Love Either Way

By Kathy Cummins

My granddaughters fight. They make each other cry. Still learning social skills at ages four and nearly two, they grab each other’s toys when they feel they have the greater right to them. They yell, shove each other, and occasionally throw punches. A few days ago, however, I observed an unexpected display of sister love between them that caused my thinking about their fighting to change so profoundly that I practically felt the neurons in my brain shift. (more…)

Spotlight: Blooming on a Budget

Iblogbutton_zpsb6ee8b3cn the land of motherhood, companions are hard to come by. Making friends is much more challenging than in previous years, mostly due to the limited time you have to spend in social settings. But, we also now live in an age that allows us to be social online, which is exactly where we meet our new companion, Angela, from Blooming on a Budget. Angela is a single mom and nothing short of a rock star. Between work, raising two kids, and blogging, she is one busy lady, but even with all the bustle, she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her blog highlights useful resources for single moms, including tips for financial stability, recipes, and home maintenance. She believes (and rightly so) you don’t need a man to get things done and life doesn’t need to be overwhelming.

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The Year We Had an Elf

by Elizabeth Stasny

These days almost everyone with young children knows about The Elf on the Shelf, but in 2008 when my younger daughter, Margaret, was nine years old and in fourth grade, elves were a fairly new phenomenon. Margaret came home from school one day in early November all excited – her friend Emma had an elf that was staying with her until Christmas and Kate was asking for one too. Could she please, please, please ask Santa to let an elf stay with her until Christmas?

The year we had an elf 1What? I’d never heard of such a thing. I emailed Emma’s mother asking what all this business about elves was. I didn’t like what I heard. You sent away for a little stuffed toy elf (for an outrageous amount of money, plus shipping and handling), the elf stayed a toy during the day while everyone was awake but came alive at night and did mischievous things around the house. Some suggestions were that the elf would watch DVDs, which he would leave around on the floor along with spilled popcorn that he had popped. Or he might go “fishing” for goldfish crackers in the sink, again making a mess. At that moment I was not all that happy with Emma’s mother for getting an elf for Emma. I didn’t have time to clean up messes around an elf-free house; I certainly didn’t have time to make and then clean up messes from a Christmas elf!

But it was hard to resist Margaret’s begging, and her written plea to Santa:

Dear Santa,
May I please have an Elf? I would really like one!
Lots of Love,
Margaret
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When Doing Your Job Breaks Your Heart

by Elizabeth Stasny

Going to collegeLater this morning, I have to take Rebecca to move into her dorm room. The car is packed with her stuff. She has been preparing for the move all summer — buying XL twin bed sheets, bedspread, new computer, books, clothes (after all, she wore a uniform to school until now), and more. On Monday night, we had a dry run — she insisted that we pack everything into the car to make sure it would fit. After a bit of consolidating, we fit it all into the Honda Civic. It really is going to happen — Rebecca will be leaving for college. (more…)