Mother’s Day, Sensory Play, & an ECE Conference – Friday Five

Mother's Day

Mother's Day Big Smile

Welcome to another round of “Hannah’s Weekly Update That Hasn’t Happened In a Month”. I’m trying hard to simplify my life and not push too hard in any direction unless it’s necessary, and for me this has meant not posting as much as I wish I had to time do. Remember those times when I posted every day for a month (or multiple months)? At the time it was no problem, but now I can’t imagine keeping up with that. So much richness to life, and I don’t want to be out of balance with where my time is spent.

That being said, I’m pumped to tell you all about my five favourite memories from this past week. I’m going to try to keep it all very short, because most of these deserve an entire post of their own. So sit back, relax, grab a cup of coffee, stop sitting on your feet (anyone else have this problem? I just can’t not sit all tucked up and feel comfortable), and enjoy some of my most precious recent memories.

The #ECEBC2016 Conference

I haven’t spent much time in professional development since my little babe was born and we made the move to our smaller community of Salt Spring Island. Because of this, I was especially excited to spend two days engulfed in the world of early learning professionals (and two nights with a bed to myself was a nice touch, too). I learned so much and was reminded, re-energized, and re-passionated (just let me make up some words, okay?). To be honest, I spent much of the two days trying not to burst out in tears of emotion listening to and sharing with these other passionate educators who raised some incredibly important thoughts on what can and is happening in our work with children.

I won’t say too much, because I have enough material and inspiration to write several posts breaking off from this, but know that I had an amazing time and have not in any way lost my passion for learning alongside children in the time I’ve been out of it doing “the mommy thing”. You might think motherhood wouldn’t be too far off from what I do as an ECE, and yes, there are some awesome overlaps, but it really has amazed me how compartmentalized I seem to be when it comes to my role as a mom and my role as an Early Childhood Educator. Looking at the possibility of returning to work with my toddler coming, too, is challenging me to find a more effective way of blending (and also separating) these two roles.

Stay tuned for more to come on what I got out of this conference. Sign up here for my newsletter and follow on Facebook or Twitter to make sure you’re in the loop when I get these following posts up.

Seaplane Ride

A photo posted by Hannah Spray (@hanspray) on

Coming home from the conference I decided to try my luck at a standby flight with the seaplanes. It worked out brilliantly and I ended up home at least 4 hours earlier than if I had gone the route of busses and ferries. The view is spectacular up there in those tiny planes above the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf Islands, and if it were cheaper this is the only way I would ever want to travel.

Kiddie Pool

A photo posted by Hannah Spray (@hanspray) on

It’s been hot out this Spring. Spookily hot, being that it’s only the beginning of May and we’re already on high fire watch here, and everyone is coming together to support the displaced Albertans who have had flames push them out of their homes. To keep cool, we’ve drug out the kiddie pool and Little Miss Ziggity has been absolutely delighted to splash around in it, alone and with her friends. Watching her and her little buddy last night, I was filled with happiness to see how much enjoyment those little girls were getting from playing together in the pool. It reminded me of my own childhood and how those summer days splashing with my sister were a highlight.

Sensory Play

A photo posted by Hannah Spray (@hanspray) on

The ECEBC Conference hosted a variety of vendors to peruse, so I stocked up on a few things that I’ve been antsy to try with the little ones I care for. I grabbed Water Beads, Kinetic Sand, Yoga Pretzel cards, pipettes, absorbent paper (like coffee filter material), and some books. Along with the freebies, it was quite the collection of awesomeness that I was thrilled to bring home and share with my daughter. With this wealth of materials to provoke us to play, we’ve been enjoying a lot of sensory play this past week. Those Water Beadsand the Kinetic Sand(FYI: those are affiliate links to check those out on Amazon if you’re interested) are freaking awesome (my husband and I can’t even stop playing with them on our own), and it got me thinking of other ways to offer more sensory experiences for Z.

A photo posted by Hannah Spray (@hanspray) on

One of the highly enjoyable things we’ve found is that, by laying out this giant and super soft “fluffy” blanket, we can make footprints or handprints and feel the sensation of the blanket by walking over it. An easy, instant, simple sensory experience that was a hit with the little one and inspired a lot of great movement.

Mother’s Day

A photo posted by Hannah Spray (@hanspray) on

This Mother’s Day certainly felt different than the last Mother’s Day. With Z so much more aware and capable, I got my first taste of being honoured for being her mama this year. I enjoyed receiving several “Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!”s throughout the day, and my darling little bug was delighted to present me with some cards she had made for me and a picture of the two of us on our Colombian adventure this past fall, that my hubby had ordered printed on a wood plaque (it’s the picture above). I came home earlier than I needed to from Vancouver, specifically to be able to spend some quality time with my little love, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure, I get wanting time to yourself for Mother’s Day, but all I wanted this time was to be with my family and snuggle the crumbs out of the little person who has made me a mom.

So that’s my five. What are your favourite memories of the week? How was your Mother’s Day? Comment below, or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tell me all about what you’ve been up to. I love to see where our different journeys are winding. Oh, and if you’re not already receiving the weekly update so you don’t miss what’s been posted here, I’d really love it if you sign up here.

Now, what memories will the new week bring?

Disclosure: Remember those links to the awesome sensory materials that take you to Amazon so you can check them out for yourself? Those are affiliate links and if you make a purchase through one of those, I will make a very small commission on the what you buy. It doesn’t cost you any more, and it gives me the opportunity to make a little bit of income that helps go to running this blog. You can check out my full disclosure policy here.

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