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Pre-Schoolers Learning to Sew Dolls Clothes part 2

This post is a continuation of Pre-Schoolers Learning to Sew Dolls Clothes and can be adapted to other learning experiences.

This old No Non-cents Nanna knows when children are given the opportunity,along with the adults patience, they can do many things on the road to eventual independence.


sewing doll clothes 20150911_104845 (2)

4 year old proudly shows off doll clothes we sewed together.

What parts can a 4 year old ‘sew”?

  • Pick out the material and thread color.
  • Lay pieces of clothe on the doll to design the most beautiful dress in the whole world EVER!
  • Pick up the sewing machine bobbin off the floor when Nanna drops it.
  • Chose to make a skirt and top or a dress.
  • Choose to have the  doll wear  the leggings Nanna made from a sock even if Nanna  thinks- to her self – those legging  match the outfit too well.

Remember: this is the child’s project. It is NOT YOUR project to tell the child what to make… so, keep the choices to acceptable and safe limits.*


In image below you will see me stitching a running seam  The 4 year old decided we would sew a skirt with purple tulle. She wanted a “big fluffy skirt”.

Nanna showed how to gather on the sewing machine.

Nanna showed how to gather on the sewing machine.

Note the stitches then see the next image.

Note the stitches then see the next image.


How to make a Gather

Pull one thread to gather

  • When shown just a little a 4 year old can pull a thread to make the material “gather”.

I had ideas how to design this ball gown.

I expressed my opinion knowing it was good manners to ask, “Is that OK if we drape the material this way?”

It was a good thing I asked because the 4 year old envisioned the back being much much much longer…

..and that is OK because it is for her doll, not mine.

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A 4 year old can help make sticky Velcro stick to a homemade doll dress.


  • When teaching any child a new skill keep the KISS method in mind: Keep It Simple Sam!

There were very few seams in this gown.

I left the seams raw.

In the image above the 4 year old had picked the color of sticky Velcro to use to fasten the beautiful ball gown.she even helped both sides stick by pressing down hard then counting to 6 or 7 or 8…in any order she chose.


The best-est Princess Ball Gown EVER.

The best-est Princess Ball Gown EVER.

Her Monster High doll with missing arms was now a fairy princess!

“I sewed her Ball Gown all by myself!’

Yes, the 4 year old was learning to sew.


Check out this related link found at Kids Can Sew Official Website

Wiki-How also has a great resource to learn to sew.:

How to Teach a Child to Sew: 6 Steps (with Pictures …

I am Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna encouraging to to make good choices!


Now it is your turn: What do think?

How can you adapt this learning experience  to another project?


Note form No No-cents Nanna:

*Giving a few choices allows the child to they have some power and control over their environment. Allowing the child to make choices teaches not only skills for life but encourages good behavior.

There are times for safety sake we parents must firmly state, “This is NOT a choice,this time.”

There are valuable lessons to be learned from making choices as a child. Now, the adult may not chose to do things the same way because we already know the idea will fail. Let it fail with in safe boundaries. The child  will learn to make a different choice next time.

( I’m NOT saying to let the kids experience jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge or mixing ammonia and bleach. it would be stupid to not stop them.)

When my best friend from Junior High was quite grown up and a local judge we were confidentially discussing a situation concerning some one we both knew who blew an large inheritance on dumb stuff.

She said, ” Every one needs to make stupid choices with an allowance when they are 12. They will learn to manage theirs lives better than when the parents always tell then what to do.”


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What Can a 3 year old do in the Kitchen?

Before the COVID-19 health scare, many parents were sending their pre-kindergarten children to day-care so they could work. but, now many mom and dads are staying at home self-isolating with 3 and 4-year-old kids during the day they are asking, “What can a 3-year-old do in the kitchen with me to keep them out of mischief?”

A 3-year-old can do plenty in the kitchen to help out and can the 4, 5, 6…year old kids. The kitchen is the perfect place to not only eat but learn math, trading, science adn more.

The family kitchen is an important part of a child’s growth and development. In this post, I give you 8 ideas of what an even a young child of 3 and older CAN do to help in the kitchen.

When a child participates in tasks of daily living their self-esteem is encouraged to bloom.


  1. A child of 2 or even can pick out cherry tomatoes from a basket to put them into a serving bowl.

2. Another good place to start cooking with a 3-year-old is to let him/ her lay the cheese on bread. count the pieces of bread. Then count the pieces of cheese.

  • In this image, we are making grilled cheese. Soften the butter for your child to spread on the bread.
  • This may be a good time to talk about the concept of  “more and less”.
  • Let the child work at a comfortably low table their height.



3. A 3-year-old can mix muffins. So can a 17-year-old.

  • It is not crucial to have the batter fluffy or all the lumps out.
  • While I often bake from scratch, I make an exception with those easy packaged mixes for the little ones to start.
  • The most important part of learning is the order of the process with concepts as first, next, last.


4. A 3-year-old can learn to grease a baking pan. with butter…lots and lots of butter..then more butter…

..and that’s OK.

  • The world will not come to an end nor your cholesterol raise THAT much to matter with this small baking dish.


  • A 3-year-old can pour the muffin batter into a baking dish.

OOPS! So what if some batter spills?

  • A 3 year-year-old is capable of wiping up the spill. Be sure to let your child know that most cooks in the kitchen do spills sometimes, too.
  • If a pre-k child can clean up a spill fairly well, just think about what a 12-year-old CAN do, too.


5. While we are waiting for muffins to bake a 3-year-old can learn how to cream butter.

In this image, she has added some orange essential oil t the butter.

20150310_1314016. With the fresh-baked muffin bread only taking 12 to 14 minutes the process of waiting bearable.

Use a timer to time the 14 minutes or so.

In a minute or 2 announce that there will only 12 minutes let…10 minutes left…3 minutes left to keep baking..

7. Enjoy the aroma together.

8. Now eat the food together!

  • See the smile on her face as she butters her muffin bread?


When you do things with your child in the kitchen you know what the child is safely doing.


I am Malika Bourne the No  Non-cents Nanna saying Make Good Choices!


Related resources:

Teach Your Kids to Cook: 5 Tips to Get You Started – Parents

How to teach cooking to kids. – Kids Cooking Activities

Now, it’s your turn…

What are some more of the many things a 3-year-old can do in the kitchen?

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Rules 9 thru 15 to Help Us All Feel Happy and Safe

As your family adjusts to the new normal of staying home from school due to COVID-19 precautions now is a good time to not only talk about house rules that keep everyone safe but, to write them on paper to post for quick reminders.

Why have RULES?

“Rules help us all feel more safe and secure when we know what is expected of us”,  says Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna.


Rules help us all feel more safe and secure when we know what is expected. No Non-cents Nanna

With a new schedule and family routine or new babysitter may be a newly unemployed parent. During this health scare of COVID-19 the new baby sitter might be Dad or the oldest sibling while the other parent is doing essential work on the front lines.

As head of holds, we adults are all feeling unsure of the future and our children will feel our uncertainty. children will react in unpleasant ways to changes of routine and lack of structure that school days have provided.

It is our job as parents or hired caregivers to assure children that we will do everything in our power to keep them safe. with this said, children will need encouragement to also be “helpers” by cooperating with necessary changes to the new normal way of life.

Children need structure. With the new home-school for social distancing the lack of structure they knew at school will be unsettling for any child.

He/ she will need to have rules written out on paper as well.

f you happen to be that new baby sitter, now is the time to make up your rules similar to mine. Keep reading No Non-cents Nanna has to say about discipline and baby sitters.

Rules 9 through 15 are repurposed from one of my archived blogs.

Rules helps every one to feel happy safe. When we write the rules all know what to expect or each other’s behavior. No Non-cents Nanna

Rule #13: Never Eat Yellow Snow

Rules help kids to feel safe. Rule #13 according to No Non-cents Nanna, “Never eat yellow snow.”


Updated 4/1/2020 for COVID-19 New Normal – thank you for your patience as this update is a work in progress to help you adjust to staying home from school


  • Rules are meant to help us focus on making the right choices.
  • Rules do not have to all mean or scary.
  • Adding some absurd things will lighten the mood.

In my original post, I gave silly examples to show if you are the new babysitter you will have rules prepared that you expect to be followed for safety. The kids can focus on the fact that you can still be enjoyable to come to their home to care for them while parents are out.


Rules 9 through 15 are repurposed from one of my archived blogs.


9. Do NOT shrink when taking a bath.

10. Always sit quietly, chewing carefully when eating porcupines with sugar on it.

11. “Please” and “thank you”, the magical words, must be used wisely.

12. “When/then” will be strictly enforced by the babysitter with smiles from all involved,

13. NEVER eat yellow snow. ( If you have a child that claims you have  no rules…ask them about rule #13.)

14. Must help the babysitter sing transition chants. (She can’t carry a tune in a bucket.)

15. Beds are made for sweet dreams. Tell the babysitter 2 happy thoughts before dream time.


When a rule is broken THEN there is a CONSEQUENCE!

  • Have a list of consequences should the RULES of the Babysitter ever be broken.
  • Following the parent’s rules of the house is not ever a choice to not follow.
  • Remember that the babysitter’s job never includes PUNISHMENT.
  • Discipline actually means TO TEACH to inflict pain.
  • Time-out comes with a warning first and is not a punishment.
  • Time-out is simply taking time out to fix the problem before continuing with the game. Apply one minute per year of age.

Consequences of not listening:


Listening to the Mom, Dad, Grandma, older sibling, baby sitter for safety is NOT a choice.

I encourage a baby sitter to firmly state when needed, ” This is NOT a choice. I want you to be safe.” then re-direct to another activity. This is a skill that does take practice.

Examples of silly consequences to lighten the mood.

But, use sparingly. We don’t want to encourage not-listening. These are only examples. Let your children help make up silly rules.

  • Pretend child is 97 1/2 years old when they are in time out. ( A minute per year = 97 minutes. in time out.Yikes. Better to act one’s age.)
  • Go to bed 13 minutes early.
  • Brush your teeth 33 times instead of one.
  • Play the silent games all by yourself for 7 minutes.
  • Listen to the baby sitter sing off-key for 129 minutes.
  • Do 12 jumping jacks.
  • Flex and relax your muscles for 9 minutes.
  • Deep breathe in and out 21 times. ( Deep breathing like La Maz for childbirth really does work for kids to get behavior re-directed..)

Odd numbers and physical tasks appeal to kids.



  • Be sure to adapt your safety rules that are age-appropriate.
  • Keep in mind that you do not want to overstimulate a child before bedtime.
  • Be pleasant and have fun. (Keeps ’em on their mannerly toes. Remember”manners help others  to feel more comfortable around us.”)
  • Consequences should never let a child get out of doing what is safe. Consequences should never be so fun that they encourage breaking the safety rules parents have set…
  • Have little rewards in your babysitting bag. (I have  a post for that, too.)

Please note: Malika Bourne, author of No Non-cents Nanna blogs, is also the founder/ owner of No Non-cents Nanna blog and Heart Felt Play on Facebook.

Dozens of the Best Resources for Kids Busy Bags

Remember WHEN they follow Through THEN they get the reward.

(Example WHEN you get all the little cars in the box THEN I will teach you that silly song to sing or give you a piggyback ride to go brush your teeth)

Starting to Learn Finger Plays with Felt Shapes.

More Good Reasons to Do Finger Plays with Kids


Felt Dinosuars are Alive and Well: Finger Plays and Games



5 Learning Experiences Children Get from Playing Dress-up

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10 Silly Ice Breakers for Effective Communication with Kids

Getting to know someone can make even grown ups feel uncomfortable.

Kids feel nervous too when meeting some like a new baby sitter. No Non-cents Nanna shares 10 silly icebreakers to help you make kids feel more comfortable.

Keep reading for links to busy bag ideas from No Non-cents Nanna

Effective communication with kids can be fun! 10 silly icebreakers from No Non-cents Nanna Love it when you share-Go directly to post to pin and leave a comment for persimssion. Copy right Malika Bourne


Feel free to share more silly phrases.

  • When we set effective boundaries those around us know what is expected of us.
  • Busy Bags for kids are helpful tools for baby sitters to carry in the Baby Sitters Bag of Tricks.

Dozens of the Best Resources for Kids Busy Bags

8 No Non-cents Nanna Rules for Babysitters

Rules 9 thru 15 to Help Us All Feel Happy and Safe




My rule about social sharing to to always follow the copyright laws by getting persmission from the copyright owner and always crediting the source.

The pharases I shared above have been around quite awhile with no known copyright owner. I created the image on My ScrapNook , so please be respectful fo the copright by giving credit to this source.

I love it when you share but, don’t be a silly goose: Let the copy right owner know first.



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