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Behind the Scenes: When We Think of Color

When We Think of Color Book Image for Toddlers

Sometimes it's nice getting to be in charge of what products we decide to make. I was so excited about the idea for When We Think of Color for both storieChild and for me personally.

On the personal side, I'm an Aunt to four children, two of whom two and under. My primary concern is ensuring that they remember me from visit to visit, learn my name and decide that I'm their favorite Aunt. #totallysefish :).

You see, there are three girls in my family, but my oldest sister is the only one with children so far. So my youngest sister and I have an extremely friendly rivalry going as to who will be the favorite Aunt. She’s an organic farmer and so has tons of fun things for them to do when they come to visit, I’ve got to compete anyway I can. Lol

Of course, the kids are the beneficiaries of this ongoing joke as we look for ways to one-up each other. So when our team came up with the idea for this book, I was stoked! #AuntElizabethwins.... at least for today. :)

When We Think of Color is an amazing way for my little nieces to learn their colors, while they learn to identify various family members faces.

Every page uses the same format, so the repetition helps the child learn. Here’s an example: “When Aunt Elizabeth thinks of the color brown, she thinks of your beautiful big brown eyes and she can’t wait to see you again soon.”

Then the color yellow might be: “When Daddy thinks of yellow, he thinks of how bright the sun shown the morning you were born, and how your smile shines even brighter!”

The great part about how we’ve laid out the text is that the second part of that sentence is a fill in the blank, so it’s all up to you how you want to answer the question. You can always borrow ideas from the sample books on our website, or make up anything that comes to mind.

Each page also has a photo spot. So I can put a photo of me with my niece on the page about Brown, etc.

Overall, I love the book as a way to connect families across distances and to help children learn. Our product page articulates all the great things kids can learn, but I wanted to tell you the ways I like to use this book. #AuntWarsAreOn : )

How to Encourage Your Foster Child to Open Up

How to Encourage Your Foster Child to Open Up

Imagine bouncing from home to home every few months. If the thought of switching roommates every few months doesn't sound fun to you, you can understand that moving from home to home is challenging for many foster children. Since it is such a grueling experience, many foster children develop a tough exterior. As a result, it can seem hard to connect with them. However, as an adult who longs to make sure your foster child feels safe and loved, you know that it's your job to create an environment that's conducive to that. Consider the following tips for encouraging your foster child to open up.

Encourage Them to Write About Their Experiences

Keeping a journal is one of the most encouraging forms of personal expression. It allows you to take your emotions and put them on the page. Give your foster child a journal. Make sure that they know that it's a safe space for them to release their emotions. Let them know that you won't read it without their permission. Sometimes, a child just needs to be able to write out his or her thoughts without talking.

Related: TinyBuddha.com

Find Common Ground 

Take time to get to know your foster child's likes and dislikes. If there's a specific TV show or activity that they enjoy, find ways to enjoy it together. This common ground can promote a sense of familiarity and community and help you bond with each other.

Be Warm and Inviting With Your Communication

If you've ever been in a family counseling session, you know that there's so much that goes into communicating with others. You have to take your tone, body language, and intonation into account. If your facial expression doesn't match what you're saying, it can easily cause the other person to feel a sense of distrust toward you. That is why it's important to consider those factors when you're communicating with your foster child. When the child can rely on you to be warm and inviting with your communication, they will be more likely to feel at ease.

Related: PerpetualFostering.co.uk

Listen in Order to Understand

Foster children go through so much. As a result, they might have a different vantage point and perspective than you. You may be able to go through a file folder to see what they've experienced in their past; however, you don't really know the impact of what they’ve gone through has had on their life and mental state. With this knowledge, it's best to listen in order to understand. Do your best to avoid judgment. At their core, everyone wants to feel loved. When a person is heard and understood, they feel loved and accepted. Brace yourself for what you have the potential to hear. Listen in order to understand fully, and don't interrupt them as they work to get their point across.

Show Empathy

Empathy involves the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes to understand where they're coming from. Develop a habit of showing empathy by regularly expressing a sense of compassion and understanding for where your foster child is coming from. When you're able to cultivate a tradition of empathy, your foster child is more likely to open up in time.

Related: FosterFocusMag.com

You can actively show empathy by asking simple questions. Ask your foster child how their day went at school and listen for the answer. If they talk about a challenging experience, listen for the reason why it hurt them. Express sympathy for the fact that they had to experience that pain. Find out if there's anything that you can do to relieve their pain and make their day better. That is empathy, love, and concern in action.

Invite Them to Be Creative With You

There are so many activities that you can enjoy that will spark the creative genius within your foster child. Cooking, candle making, painting classes, or making a book together are a few fun activities you two can participate in together. Find out what type of creative activities they would like to try, and then make time to do those activities together.

Give the child an opportunity to express themselves and create their own space by giving them creative control over their room.

Related: AllStorageOnline.com

Understand that opening up is a process, and relationships take time to develop. Do your best to come outside of yourself and think of your foster child’s needs first. When you implement these six tips and exercise patience, you'll be able to create an environment that's safe and welcoming to your new foster child.

Storie Child believes in promoting the relationship between parents and children by creating stories that can be shared together for years to come! Take a look through our products and start building a personalized and memorable book for your loved ones today!

It Can Wait

    Nap time is my productive time. Not today, though: I abandoned my bulging to-do lists, my creative and professional projects. After my daughter fell asleep mid-nurse, I didn’t hoist her sleeping body into the crib. I laid there, too. Read my book, drifted into sleep.

   I did what all moms are supposed to do in the early days. Sleep when baby sleeps. When Tallulah was a newborn, I often took that advice—but things were different then. Sleep consumed most of her day, leaving a whole day patched with moments to write, clean, and marvel over my baby’s perfection. She was still, carried along to each task. Now, we run constantly. To errands, to the washer and dryer in the basement, to follow the trail of discarded toys. Naps are when my mind gets into the sprint—filling in scenes of my novel, completing other writerly jobs, sometimes crafting an essay or two. There isn’t time to sleep. Of course, health and basic biology disagree with that notion. They forced me to find time. And that time was today.  

   This week seems to be where I hit that wall...which is disappointing. I love being able to do it all—to be the super mom who perfectly balances play and education in an enriched environment, to be the prolific literary superstar, to be a responsible and clean citizen. But, sometimes we need to slow down. To listen to those voices in our joints, in our brains. Nobody can do it all constantly. And when I was defying biology, forcing myself to sludge through projects and to-dos, I was irritable and not producing much in the way of quality. I was finding myself falling asleep while putting Tallulah to bed. Waking up at 2:00am, realizing beans were still cooking on the crockpot for the next day.

   What happened after that impromptu nap? Well, first I panicked. Then I grew angry—at myself and at time. That list wasn’t marked off. Projects were abandoned. Dishes were in the sink. But, then I rolled over to where Tallulah was splayed out with her legs bent like a frog’s. Her soft fingers grazed my arm. I watched her breathe and let my productivity go static. It’s only one day. One nap. I don’t have to do it all today.