Welcome to Our Baby and Child Blog!
Masters Degree Specializing in Early Childhood Education
Kindergarten Teacher, Early Childhood Presenter, and Mommy Extraordinaire
Hi and welcome to Cutie Pea’s Baby and Child Blog! We’re so happy to have you here. I’m Alana, and I’m Kristina, and this little corner of the internet is where we hope to share the joy we find in working with babies and children. Through this blog we plan to share the latest research on children’s learning, development, and overall well-being, along with some fun, simple ideas you can try at home with your little ones. We're also going to dive into things like nutrition, physical literacy, the environment and more. It's going to be a blast!
I am... a new mama to Mr. 6 months, wife, teacher in the YEG, really into dancing, a Canadian and a Dane, writing this between feedings and bath times.
I love... to travel, motherhood, children’s books, when my husband makes up funny songs, baby laughs (my peek-a-boo game is stronger than ever), delicious eats, creating and learning more.
I wish... I could sleep on planes.
A playful memory from my childhood... was when my siblings and I would dig big “wolf den” holes into the piles of snow along the driveway. We would pretend to be wolves foraging for food in the great wilderness of our front yard and had to hide from hunters (any car that drove past) by diving back into the dens as quickly as we could! The dens also had great snow furniture.
I am... an Early Years Teacher (I just did the math and I have been at it for almost 17 years!!), a Canadian currently living in Texas, a book nerd, and a wife, writing this after play filled days spent in my classroom.
I love... to travel, children’s books, a good messy art experience, days spent playing and creating in my classroom, tacos (thank you Texas!), photography, learning, and creating!
I wish... I could draw (although, if you asked any of the children in my class, they would tell you I am the “best draw-er” they have ever seen)!
A playful memory from my childhood... were the hours spent outside playing without an adult in sight! We had a cottage on a lake, where trails became our own little roadways and we made discoveries like “Frog Land”, a grassy open area and a place we called our own. There was nothing like climbing, getting dirty, and exploring. Squealing and a good run was a guarantee, when we actually saw a frog!
There's something else you need to know about us... we’re passionate about the Early Years!
We met through our teaching careers in Edmonton and bonded over our shared passion for early childhood education. When Alana moved to Texas almost 4 years ago, we talked about starting a blog together, and look at that, it’s finally happening! Thanks to the community and resource Cutie Pea is wanting to create.
We hope that by following along with us words like, Messy Play, Risky Play, Loose Parts, Outdoor Learning, Process Art, Reggio Emilia and, many, many more, will leave you inspired to try some of our ideas with the little ones in your lives. While play and how young children learn are often on our minds, we believe in the development of the whole child and plan to discuss a variety of topics relevant to promoting the healthy growth of young children.
Hands-on, playful experiences that focus on the connection between adult and child are some of the best learning experiences we can provide. When considering the highest quality early childhood programs, they all have something in common; a belief that children learn best through social experiences that allow them to explore and create in meaningful ways.
One of our favourite learning theorists, Lev Vygotsky is almost always mentioned in the research supporting this approach to the early years. Vygotsky tells us, that children learn best when they can co-construct their learning within a social context. Young children thrive when they are active participants in their learning, gently led by an adult who follows their interests and lead. Decades of research, and our own classroom experiences, tell us that when we take a play-based approach to early learning, young children feel empowered and learning becomes natural and authentic.
It is through play that children not only develop their communication, fine motor, gross motor, cognitive and social skills, but how they learn to interact with the world around them.
With that in mind, follow along as we play, explore, create and support your child’s healthy growth! Thank you for taking the time to be a part of the Cutie Pea community!
Alana & Kristina