Beth Rosenbleeth is a Preschool Activity Blogger who lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and three sons. Read on to find out how the famous breakfast invitations came about and what activities to try on days when you’re feeling a little exhausted…
You are widely known as the creator of the breakfast invitation. For those who maybe haven’t heard of the concept, could you tell us more?
Shortly after having my second child, I was feeling overwhelmed.
The second my eyes opened, I was ON with a million requests. I needed to find a solution that would allow my boys to think creatively as I drank my hot tea, prepared breakfast, and woke up. Basically, I needed a minute.
TV wasn’t working, because turning it off left them drained and cranky. It was almost as if they had forgotten how to play. I wanted to save screen time for later in the day when we all needed to check out.
I bumped TV to 2 PM, and created Breakfast Invitations to help engage morning play.
Breakfast Invitations are simple setups that encourage hands on learning. I set an activity up for the boys and place it at their seat in the kitchen.
An easy go to is called, Find Your Name. Simply write your child’s name many times on a large sheet of paper. Next, write in a couple other family names. When your child comes to the kitchen, hand him a marker and ask him to find his name. This improves hand eye coordination, name recognition, and allows you to catch your breath.
Congratulations on recently reaching 100k followers on Instagram – I know from @everydayplayhacks that it can be hard to keep up with a large following. How do you try to maintain balance so that social media doesn’t take over?
My following is important to me, and is the reason why I have grown. They are the reason why I am fueled to think of new ideas that enable Days with Grey to continue thriving.
When taking the time to answer DM, or comment back on a post, I remind myself that the time on social media is well spent.
One trick that I have tried to implement is dedicating certain times of the day to social media. When the boys watch TV at 2, I can typically dedicate time to catch up and post for the day.
I do not update much on the weekends, which leaves my inbox a lot less full. I believe my followers are doing the same. When it is Sunday night, we all meet back up to set up Monday morning’s Breakfast Invitation.
Instagram or Pinterest? Which is your favourite and why?
Both! They are both such great platforms for different reasons. IG helps spark ideas, and Pinterest can help an idea come full circle. I use both daily.
What I love the most about your page is the use of everyday materials – followers don’t feel the need to go out and spend heaps of money on the latest ‘must have’ wooden toy. What 5 everyday items do you always keep for DIY play?
White paper roll
Water – Two of my boys can scoop and pour all day long
What are your ‘go to’ activities for days when you are exhausted?
The easiest sensory bin is using water, a small amount of dish soap (I use seventh generation) and a dab of food coloring. Fill the under the bed storage container about half way.
Add measuring cups, old items from the kitchen, and the kids are good to go.
This allows me to catch my breath, be outside (or indoors in the winter) and allows my boys to explore capacity, weight, measurement, and inquiry based learning.
Typically I will find David Grey on Pandora, crank up the music, and sit with them as they are self-entertained.
Is there a particular educator / educational style that influences the activities you create?
Hands-on learning can be linked to many educational styles. My personal philosophy is that I want children to be able to touch and move manipulatives to engage thinking. Children remember what they do.
Everyone has a favourite teacher. Who was yours?
Second grade I had Mrs. Ancona. I remember getting the “Class Cutie” award. That stuck with me. It wasn’t because I was happy to be called cute, but more so that I was acknowledged for a particular quality that I could claim as my own. I would have been just as happy with “addition star” or anything, really. At a young age it just helped me feel special. – Now a days I could see class cutie being looked negatively, but at the time, it was something I must have wanted to hear because I can still visualize that day.
Obviously, Instagram only shows us a snippet of people and their personalities. What three words would your friends use to describe you?
Finally, how can we find out more about Days with Grey?
@dayswithgrey on all social platforms