Welcome to Joyful Tots!
I’m Amanda, and I am a stay-at-home mom to my sweet baby girl, Becca. I never knew how much love my heart could hold until I met our daughter on a cool, Halloween afternoon. Fall is my FAVORITE time of year, so it was perfect that I had a little pumpkin baby! I am married to the most amazing husband, Brad, and we live in southern South Dakota.
I began blogging in June of 2016 at Barefoot Becca. After realizing I was spending way too much time writing, promoting, photographing, and keeping up with social media, I made the decision to change my focus. I had so much mom guilt over my sweet girl playing by herself most of the day. She was becoming so much more interested in learning, and I was shocked at how much she was changing everyday. I wanted to be able to interact with and teach her, without being completely distracted by my blog. So, I decided to put her first, create fun and engaging lessons that we could do together, and let the blog be a product of that time we were spending with one another. So, here we are!
Joyful Tots Philosophy
Having a degree in special education, I strongly believe that each and every child can learn, no matter what stage they are at in life. It’s not about making the child sit through a half hour story time, behaving perfectly and listening the entire time. That’s just not reality. It’s about finding the way YOUR child learns best and developing activities to support that learning style!
My philosophy behind Joyful Tots is that the most important learning tools for a toddler are interaction and play. Seriously! Babies learn so much from observation and exploration. So, there is nothing wrong with letting them spend the majority of their day playing with their toys, reading their books, or even having some screen time. They are learning!
However, I have learned that my baby seems to act out the most when she becomes bored, which can happen if I don’t change up the pace a bit throughout the day. So, I am using this space to develop and share fun, interactive, and educational activities that are appropriate for babies and toddlers. These activities will align with standards used by schools to assess readiness for Kindergarten.
Even though Becca is not of preschool age yet, I don’t live under a rock. I know how outrageously expensive a good preschool can be! It is my goal here to provide resources and ideas that will give your child a great learning experience, while not breaking bank.
As a strong Christian family, it is also important for us to raise our daughter knowing Jesus. So, you will find that many of the weekly units include fun Christian songs or books that have teachable lessons. Although Becca is not quite old enough to grasp the “lesson” part, it is never too early to expose her to it! I am blown away each and every day by how much she already soaks in and mimics! Exposure and repetition go such a long way with kiddos this age.
Thank you so much for following along with me on this journey! I can’t wait to hear about your experiences with your little ones!