Ashley Hunter is a mom, teacher, and community supporter who loves who she is and where she lives.

Ashley Hunter

Ashley Hunter

It is important to me that I spend quality time with my kids. Of course, as any parent can attest to, this is much easier said than done. It’s hot outside, and most days, I don’t want to sit outside and play soccer with my kids.

Sometimes, I’m so tired from working and housekeeping, that I have no energy to even read a book. When I do spend time with them on activities, sometimes they are short lived; I have too many “easy” or “boring” activities.

Still, making time to learn and play with the children is so important for their mental and emotional growth and well-being. Fortunately, there are other moms out there who feel the exact same way and have made things a little easier for moms with no imagination.

I remember reading many blogs and websites trying to find activities to do with my little 6-month-old firstborn son. He has always been active both physically and mentally, so I found that when he focuses on something he is interested in or is challenged in some way, he releases a lot of energy.

I went on Pinterest and found sensory bottles, activities, crafts and learning activities I could do with him, but it became difficult to search for these things between naps just so that he could spend five minutes on an activity and be done. It turns out I was not alone; even moms with much older kids felt the same.

That’s how I found “Hands On As We Grow.” It started with one mom who created a website full of activities with photos and instructions on how to do activities with basic home craft items. I finally found some activities that my little baby would focus on and have fun with.

From there, it bloomed into a full-on website with a yearly membership that included monthly, themed activity plans with shopping lists so that you can prepare your month of activities in advance. In addition, I gained access to the Facebook support/accountability group, and am able to share and learn from other moms who are doing the same exact activities, except with their own modifications.

This was perfect for my two-child household who not only have completely different needs, but somehow seem offended when I offer what seems like a “baby activity.”

For us, this has turned into a time where, not only do they learn basic math, reading and pre-writing skills, but we have fun doing it with shaving cream, pom poms, chalk and anything else we have lying around the house.

Every day, my kids look forward to their “learning time.” Sometimes, we don’t make it, or we completely skip out on the school stuff and play a fun game, or stick some popsicle sticks inside a bottle, and that’s alright too. The point is, we’re making memories, spending quality time, and yes, getting some learning out of it most of the time.

Ashley Hunter is a mom, teacher, and community supporter who loves who she is and where she lives. If you have ideas that you would like to share with Hunter, you may email suggestions to hunter.ashleyk@gmail.com.

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