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    about me

    Joy Cendrowski, MOT, OTR/L

    "Play is the highest form of research"

    -Albert Einstein

    Ever have a day when dry shampoo was your best friend and mac & cheese passed for a food group? Been there! And yet, even on the days when we feel like we're just not measuring up as a mom and have zero energy left to nurture, we want our kids to continue to learn and grow and THRIVE!

    We want to limit screen time but struggle to find other things that will engage our children (and allow us to just have one minute to throw in a load of laundry or work on that business proposal!). It can take so much energy to plan hands on creative experiences, but we know that it's crucial to developmental. After all, kids learn best when they are engaging all of their senses. Most craft sites present projects that require time consuming prep and a PhD in Craftology in order to complete an activity. NOT HERE. I want this to be doable! I pledge: I will not produce crafts on this blog that are beautiful to look at but that no one will ever make. These projects are for doing, not just observing while adults do the heavy lifting!

    My biggest joy in life has been being mom to 2 amazing boys, now young men. And when I look back over their childhood, I think to myself "Wow, you were an amazing mom! You deserve some sort of parade or something to honor all of your outstanding achievements!" HA! Of course I don't think that (most moms don't) Instead, I beat myself up about all of the ways that I failed and didn't do the things that I really wanted to do with them. Time just gets away from you, and life is hectic. More often my thoughts about their childhood are "Well, I hope the therapy bills aren't too high." (Truth) With time does come a little bit of wisdom, though, and I have figured out a way to at least help busy moms whittle out a little time to do some of the more important things, like crafting memories with your family.

    As a pediatric occupational therapist, I talk with parents every week who are concerned that their kids will not be ready for kindergarten or whose kids are struggling in school in other ways. So, I started this blog to try to answer some of those questions. (And now that my own kids are practically grown I actually have some free moments in the day...Yes, some day you will get that much needed rest too 🙂

    Here you will find simple and seasonal craft ideas, with my OT tips for promoting much needed skill needed for success in school (and life), included in each post. Even better, each craft is completed using items from the same master list of basic craft supplies which are economical and easily stored in one bag (or box, cupboard, cart, whatever suits your fancy). Keep your bag stocked with the recommended basics, just like a pantry. Check out the "Fill Your Bag" page for the list of supplies you will need. A lot of them you probably already have on hand. Let me do all of the leg work and take the hassle out of setting up an invitation to play. If you prefer, use the Amazon links to make it even easier to gather your items (How did we all survive before there was PRIME?)

    Here are a few personal tidbits you should know about me... *I am a Broadway fanatic that has never seen a show on Broadway *I spend every day with other people's preschoolers, which is both rewarding and exhausting *My almost grown children are both very creative and artistic in their own ways (ask me about it, and I will talk your ear off all day!) *I get my creative genes from my dad, and my gift of gab from my mom (thanks, folks!!!) *Even if I do work out every day, I promise that you will never have to watch! *My husband is the sexiest man on the planet...nough said! *Some of my favorite people are my pets (Zelda, Link, and Pudding) *It is my dream to buy a fixer upper and restore it to beauty (some day) *I have never successfully applied eye liner (I guess there's always tomorrow)

    It does my heart good to see the projects here made by the hands of children. Use the contact page to send me pics of finished projects, your unique creations from the supplies in the bag, and stories of your family fun. With your permission, it will be included in our gallery here and on my Instagram feed (with credit given). I can't wait to see all of your creativity!!! Thank you for letting me be a part of your parenting journey!

    P.S.-If you are a fellow OT, a Sunday School teacher, grandparent or an educator, you are home too! I know how much you have on your plate every day. So, let me take something away by helping with your lesson prep. These simple crafts are designed to make your life easier and come with great tips for promoting learning and obtainment of much needed developmental skills. You can even search by the skill you want to work on. I'm here to help!

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