Tag Archives: Learning

What’s your story?

We all have a story.  If you’re alive you have a story.  You may never have thought about it before but you have one.  You might even think your story is pretty boring but you’d be surprised.

A couple of years ago.  I was asked to speak at a woman’s retreat at our church.  They had been asking me for a couple of years and I always put them off saying I really didn’t have anything to say.  I couldn’t imagine doing a whole retreat.  I didn’t have that much information to impart.  I’m not a Bible-teacher, I’m not a scholar, I’m not a renowned speaker.  I agreed to pray about it and let them know.  Prior to that I realized that I enjoy doing training for my teachers at school.  I researched some fun ways to teach certain subjects to the teachers and I really enjoyed doing it.  And I got some feedback that it was a fun day of learning.  So, why was I able to do it?  I think it was because the subject matter was something I know about.  I work with children everyday and have worked with them for over 20 years and I know my craft.  As I was thinking about that, I thought about the women’s retreat and I thought about what I would say to the women.  My Pastor at the time was talking about how we all had a story to tell about our life and that we should share it with others.  Also, the marketers that I work with also talk about telling your story to your clientele so they get to know you.  And I thought that I could probably tell my story.  The story of my life, of my spiritual journey to know Jesus as my personal Savior and how that decision has impacted my life’s journey.

Well, long story short…I did it.  I spoke an entire weekend, Friday night, Saturday 3 sessions.  It was amazing!  I was able to tell about my life’s story and people genuinely listened and, I think, enjoyed it.

We all have a story to tell.  We just have to be inspired to tell it.  What I realized is that when you tell your story to others, you open yourself up to more intimacy with that person.  A connection happens.  You don’t have to tell all the details of your life and what you want to keep private you keep private.  But, allowing yourself to share with another person is liberating.  It has the power to change your life!  Really!  Don’t take my word for it, share your story with someone and watch what happens.

Give it a try!


Imagination In A Box – by Lala Patrick


    Now that Christmas is over, the children are having time to play with their electronic toys, dolls, and all the presents that were given.  They are so fun to receive and play with.  Walking in a toy store or a toy section of a store can be overwhelming and the wish list can get quite long before Christmas.  Christmas day is exciting to finally see what is in the wrapped gifts.  And now the children are getting time after Christmas to play with what they received.

After the excitement is over and the toys get old, some parents hear from their children the dreaded words “I’m bored.”  Our hearts sink.

This past Christmas, I was watching some of our smaller cousins while the adults were having their gift exchange. Our extended family plays a gift exchange where we are able to pick a gift that has already been opened and then the turn goes around where you can “steal” a gift someone has and once you have had it 3 times it is yours to keep.   One of the gifts was an empty paper towel roll that had money in it and we laughed that someone wanted an empty paper towel roll.

The little cousins quickly took hold of that paper towel roll and created an hour of fun.  They pretended it was a horn, a telescope, a musical instrument by tapping it on the ground, they made their arm disappear, and it was a golf club hitting a ball and they learned how to make an incline plane that their car could roll down and out.  All the adults smiled and enjoyed watching them using their imagination and one commented that it was the best toy given.

Watching my small cousins took me back to when I was growing up and when my mom would get a boxed package in the mail or a new appliance that came in a huge box.  All the children would want to  claim the box.  We would make it into a fort, a car or whatever our hearts desired.  My brother even made himself into a “box turtle” by cutting a hole in it and sticking his head out and carrying it on his back.  We would have hours of fun with our imagination.

Imaginary play is such important part of growing up.  It is a part of brain development and it gives the children the ability to have stories that they will be able to first talk about, then eventually write and then read.  For example, a child may be interested in space and planets and will create a pretend rocket and take a spacewalk on the moon.   He or she can write about the space walk in pictures or words and then they can share their book with their peers.

Imaginary play also allows the children to take risks. When he or she builds the space ship, they have to decide how it will look, where the door and windows will be. They will design what their rocket ship will look like.  Confident, positive risk takers are the children that can make decisions without always looking for approval from teachers and peers.

Imaginary play has many more developmental benefits such as allowing them to problem solve with their peers, and encourages role playing and language development.  It is even a part of a child’s gross and fine motor development.   So next time a box comes your way, remember “the sky is the limit” when it comes to the imagination of a child.

Let children create!

Green Play-doh with can and accessory toy (Pla...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve talked once before about how important it was to have art in the classroom and at home.  Here’s a great article with some Facts about what creative art can accomplish in your child.


  • Stimulates and develops the imagination and critical thinking, and refines cognitive and creative skills.


  • Has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries.


  • Strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.


  • Develops a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, and goal-setting—skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond.


  • Teaches children life skills such as developing an informed perception; articulating a vision; learning to solve problems and make decisions; building self-confidence and self-discipline; developing the ability to imagine what might be; and accepting responsibility to complete tasks from start to finish.


  • Nurtures important values, including team-building skills; respecting alternative viewpoints; and appreciating and being aware of different cultures and traditions.


  • Plays a central role in cognitive, motor, language, and social-emotional development.


  • Motivates and engages children in learning, stimulates memory, facilitates understanding, enhances symbolic communication, promotes relationships, and provides an avenue for building competence.


  • Provides a natural source of learning. Child development specialists note that play is the business of young children; play is the way children promote and enhance their development. The arts are a most natural vehicle for play.

So, get out there and buy some play-doh, markers, crayons, paper, tape, glue, glitter and other art mediums for your children.  You never know what skill you might be helping to re-enforce.  But be informed that when you do you WILL be helping your child to get along better in the world in which we live and after all, isn’t that our job as parents and educators.


See you around Target!