I have believed for many years that the family is the cornerstone of society. I believe that learning starts at day 1, and that meaningful relationships are what matter most! My goal for Real. Meaningful. Family. is to present information for parents, and learning activities for children, that are real, meaningful, and for the family. To accomplish this goal I have two main parts to this blog. The first is a comprehensive plan of developmentally appropriate activities for parents and caregivers to do on a daily basis with their toddlers and preschoolers. The second is a plan to provide summaries of current, quality research about parenting, child development, and family.

Several years ago I started to make a plan of activities for my own kids. I believed with my experience working with young children and a Ph d. in an early childhood field, I could create what I was looking for. Now, after 4 years of creating and using this with my children, I’m excited to be able to share these activities with you! This activity plan includes fun activities in areas like art, fine motor, problem solving, early science & math, and cooking & baking. I knew that these types of activities would open up amazing opportunities for communication development, fine motor skills, social and emotional development, problem solving skills, and sensory experiences. More importantly though, provide a great opportunity to spend a set time each day with your children. I found early on that life gets so busy. Without a plan for myself I easily got sidetracked by vacuuming or the laundry- things that don’t matter in the long run! When I have something planned to do with my kids they become my priority. It has definitely been a labor of love and resulted in so many meaningful moments. I sincerely hope you and your children enjoy these activities as much as we have!

The second part that is coming soon is a place for me to discuss relevant and quality research that deals with the family. Early on in my grad school experience it became apparent to me that the real research, the ‘stuff’ that researchers themselves rely on, oftentimes doesn’t get down to the most important people: the parents!  It has been my goal since then to fix that! In addition to not being informed by quality research, we are bombarded by opinions. While opinions and personal experience are important, very little of what we hear is quality, research-based information. I want you- the parent- to know what current research is telling us and how to apply it in your daily life.



Dr. Emily’s Story

In 2012, I graduated with my PhD in Human Development and Family Studies, a field that fits my interests perfectly. From a very young age I was in love with children and the function of child development. For much of my teen years, I was babysitting kids or working in the church nursery in between … Continue reading Dr. Emily’s Story

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