Lail is a winner of Top 25 Creative Moms - 2013

Where do you discover new kid-friendly crafts?

Crafting is all about having fun. Therefore, it is very important that a child enjoys the craft he/she is creating. I find kid friendly craft inspiration through playful exploration. A recent activity, a book, a holiday, nature and a child’s interest is what prompts me to discover something that turns into a playful exploration and in turn becomes a craft project. Sometimes, if I am trying to teach something, I may associate a craft with it, which helps a child have a lasting memory and makes the learning process fun.

Then, off course, there’s this thing called the internet that I browse through time to time to find an idea and add my own spin to it to customize to the child’s need.

What's one creative product you would recommend to all moms?

Knowledge and interest are essential elements of creativity. Therefore, in my humble opinion, there cannot be just one product that will flourish creativity for all kids. Parents’ involvement is crucial in a child’s life to instill and find where a child’s true interest lies.

For mom’s with toddlers, pre-schoolers, I would recommend looking around the house to see what can be re-purposed/up cycled. Other products to offer would be crayons, paints, papers, pompoms, buttons, felt, small bells, harmonica, etc. anything those are not too expensive.

As a child grows and shows keen interest on a particular area, parents play an important role to motivate and inspire. Feed and cultivate the interest by providing them whatever needed to flourish the creativity.

How do you encourage your child to explore their creativity?

Creativity has physical, intellectual, and social dimensions, which considerably vary from age to age. My daughter just turned 18 months. As she is exploring the world around her, I stimulate her five senses by offering varieties as she looks (around her, different books), listens(different types, language of music), touches(soft, hard, rough), smells(flowers) and tastes (savory, sweet, pureed, chunky, spicy) both indoor and outdoor.
These days, she likes mimicking and I let her do that. For example, if I am making breakfast, I let her mix pancake dough or something similar for few minutes, or give her some beet juice or turmeric mixed with water to paint on a paper.

As she grows, I want to continue to stimulate her physically, intellectually and socially so that she gain the knowledge appropriate for her age and has a healthy curiosity. A healthy curiosity or interest is an essential element of creativity.

What are you most looking forward to as a mom in 2013? Please include a link to a picture if it's relevant.

Lail Hossain

My daughter is 17 months and as she grows I am looking forward to playing more, introducing crafts and painting to her to help her tune fine and gross motor skills.
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What helps you stay organized? Whether it's a special coupon binder, calendar app or color-coded closet, we want to know all the little tricks and products that help keep your life organized. Please share a photo if you have one.

Lail Hossain

Staying organized is an ongoing process. It cannot be achieved in a day. Being a working mom of a toddler and a husband who travels 100%, life can be chaotic in a heartbeat. I take extra 5-10 minutes every night to tackle a small organizing task so that nothing becomes a huge burden down the road. As a family, we stay organized by making sure we are cleaning up any messes we create immediately. I started training my 18 months old very early about what goes on the trash, where her toys need to be at the end of the day and helping her clean up any clutters that she creates. I also create lists; be it a shopping list or a todo list through out the week so that nothing skips my mind. For social get togethers, daughter activities, doctor appointments, etc. we use calendar apps to ensure a work meeting or something else is not going to conflict the schedule. Staying organized is not a one time task. Someone cannot organize a closet, or a binder once and not strive to keep it up on a timely fashion. Also, there is not a cookie cutter solution for all. Each individual and family will need to work together to find out what works for them and their family. http://www.withaspin.com/2013/01/24/repurpose-hangers-to-organize-bangles-and-bracelets/ http://www.withaspin.com/2013/01/17/the-conversation-continues-cleaning-up-after-herself/
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What's your favorite food to make or eat on St. Patrick's Day? Do you have a tried and true Irish recipe? Please share a link to your recipe, with a photo.

Lail Hossain

Not an Irish recipe but a nutrient rich, antioxidant filled Kale Pesto. Good on sandwiches and makes great pizza sauce base for a green pizza..
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What's the single most precious memento you have from your children's infancy that's not a photo? Please incude a link to a picture if you're willing to share!

Lail Hossain

Oh, there are so many...there's the hospital bracelet, locks of hair, outfits she wore at various firsts! My daughter is only 18 months and I plan to create a box for each year and hand it over to her on her 18th birthday. It may sound a bit silly, but I treasure the evolution of her diaper sizes. I have one of each diaper sizes she wore. Though she is still a small person, it's fascinating to see how much she has grown in a year and half compared to when she was born.
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What's your favorite kid-friendly sandwich that serves well in a lunchbox, too? Please provide a link to a recipe with a picture if you have one.

Lail Hossain

This potato filling works wonder with bread as well as tortillas. You don't necessarily have to make the sandwich an artistic piece, it will taste as good in a regular shape and form :)
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What are your favorite kid-friendly picnic eats? Please share a link to your recipe and picture if you have one.

Lail Hossain

These no cook, easy to make, creamy, smooth, all natural truffles are delighting for both children and adults. After you pop the first one in your mouth, it is hard to stop. The truffles store well in the refrigetor for 2+ weeks making them a great make ahead treat for picnics.
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What's your go-to potluck recipe? Please share a link to the recipe and photo if you have one.

Lail Hossain

I have a few depending on the occasion and type of food I need to take to a potluck - Grilled eggplant orzo - http://withaspin.com/2013/01/03/happy-2013-and-a-fresh-and-healthy-grilled-eggplant-orzo/ Colorful Summer Salad - https://withaspin.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/colorful-salad/ Easy Breezy Fresh Fruit Pie - http://www.withaspin.com/2013/03/25/fesh-fruit-pie/ How do I share photos?
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Can you suggest a fun summer activity like berry picking that helps kids learn where food comes from? Please link to a picture we can use if you have one.

Lail Hossain

I take my almost 2 year old to the fish market to show her live fish on water.
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If you reuse the brightly-colored plastic tops from baby food pouches (also called "crushers") for play or other activities, let us know how you use them! Please share a photo we can publish if you have one.

Lail Hossain

I've used them to teach my toddler colors, matching few of same color. She loves those tops
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