I received a PDF version to review of Mawson the Bear’s new book, Dreamy Days and Random Naps. Do you think picture books are only for children’s literature? Mawson has gifted parents with some! Curious about this author? Mawson is a big-hearted, soul-searching Writer-Bear of little books with lots of heart. His books are stuffed with moments of happiness for frazzled grown-ups. Mawson and his friends write about and highlight the simple joys of Life. In addition to Dreamy Days and Random Naps he’s written It’s a Bright World to Feel Lost In and She Ran Away from Love.
Read Dreamy Days and Random Naps and find important Life lessons revealed in a gentle yet PLAYful way. You know how busy parents are. One, much needed, Life lesson highlighted: It’s important to slow-down and take time for yourself.
I call them the 3 Rs. You might think, being a teacher, my 3 Rs would be reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic, but no! The 3 Rs I’m talking about right now are:
Rest, Relaxation and Rejuvenation!
So here’s my recommendation, which is reinforced in Dreamy Days and Random Naps: Give yourself permission to indulge in self-care. Truthfully, I really have an ulterior motive here. My goal is for parents (to continue) to be on their game for their children! Any parent knows parenting is a demanding, all-consuming yet incredibly, rewarding job. To do it effectively you need to be firing on all cylinders. That won’t happen if you’re depleted from constant stress.
In addition to the health benefits for you, modeling resting and relaxing so your body, mind and spirit rejuvenates is good for your children. Children experience stress in normal times—and these are far from normal.
The mini-stories that make up the book are great prompts to take a moment—like in a nap—to release your mind and…
Ponder, Muse, Wonder!
I also appreciated the way the messages are delivered. There’s a tenderness to Dreamy Days and Random Naps. Another aspect of the book that tugged at my heart was the whimsical images on chapter title pages. I think they’d be perfect artwork to use for 3R motivation! We can all use reminders to be more kind with ourselves as well as kind to others.
I continuously see potential learning activities in everything around me. Reading Dreamy Days and Random Naps was no exception. In fact, one of the chapter title pages was my inspiration for the following activity. When you’re reading keep an eye out for Mawson making a cuppa while visiting with his friend Samantha. Having tea is a fabulous way to relax because…
“Doing nothing is respectable at tea.” ~Sasaki Sanmi
Plus having a tea party is a fabulous idea for PLAY-based learning!
Enrich the PLAY: Tea Time!
“Come let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.” ~Chaim Potok
-Ideally (4) or (5) china tea cups and saucers—if they’re heirlooms or you’re not comfortable using them, plastic cups/plates will do
-(4) or (5) dessert plates/small plates
-tin of biscuits
-plastic table cloth
-Teddy Bears, 2 or 3
● Prepare tea
—–Find opportunities for your kiddo to help, but obviously when there’s a hot stove and/or hot water involved that’s adult work only
● Cover teapot with cozy and pour milk into creamer; set on tray
● Spread table cloth on floor or table
● ASK your kiddo:
—–How many are having tea today?
——-Start by noting:
—–You and I are so that’s 1, 2 …. Are any bears joining today? Let’s count on from 2
● Have your kiddo seat the teddy bears at the table or on the floor
● Let your kiddo set out plates for the bears plus extra ones for you and themselves
● Continue having your kiddo set up tea by placing the napkins, cups and saucer out
● Bring out tray with teapot and creamer; pour tea into cups (just yours and your kiddos, pretend for the bears)
● Add milk into tea for flavor and/or to help cool
● Pass biscuit tin around
What was learned?
Well many things actually! For starters your kiddo is:
—–1 Getting an understanding of one-to-one correspondence when they are putting out the tea setting
—–2 Practicing counting and gaining an understanding of numbers/quantity
—–3 Seeing science in action with the tea kettle.
———-There’re changes in state of matter; the matter being water. As water boils it changes from liquid to gas
—–4 Witnessing color and flavor being extracted from solid tea leaves during steeping
—–5 Having many social skills developed. For example:
———● Working on etiquette
———● Developing patience; learning how take turns
———● Understanding what it means to be a host/guest
———● Practicing how to talk conversationally
These aren’t things people just do automatically; they need to be learned. But it can be learned in a FUN way!
So another recommendation:
After a wonderful, afternoon tea–maybe after your kiddo’s down for their nap…..
Get yourself cozy and comfortable for a good reading of Dreamy Days and Random Naps. Then channel your inner teddy bear (and maybe snuggle a teddy bear) while you surrender yourself into dreamland!
“Refresh the soul in the tranquility of simple joys and innocent dreams.” ~Mawson
Yours in PLAY!
*Chamomile tea isn’t really a tea. It’s made from dried fruits, flowers, spices or herbs. Conventionally it’s called an herbal tea. Chamomile tea is considered safe for children to drink unless they’re allergic to ragweed. But if you have any questions or concerns always check with your medical provider first before serving!