Welcome to my blog!  Who is Nana K?


This blog is in memory of my mother.  She loved children.  She had 4 children of her own, 10 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren. She was a Grandma Ruth to hundreds more.  My mom was in the children’s church ministry for more than 20 years.  She had an in-home daycare for over 20 years.  She volunteered as a foster grandparent at a public school Pre-K program for the last 6 years of her life.  She never missed work.  She volunteered 5 days a week for 6 hours each day reading to children, teaching them their ABC’s, and teaching them to cut with scissors.  And we all know that takes patience! My love for teaching children comes from my mom.  I lost my mom to cancer in December 2013.  She will forever be in my heart, and I am so blessed to have been her daughter.  You will find some of her ideas for loving, enjoying, and playing with children on this blog along with some passed down easy tips that will make you smile and wonder why you never thought of that.



I am the baby of the family.  I have one brother and two sisters.  I was labeled as the “whiner” by my brother, but I like to think I was  just passionate about what I wanted.  I am still very passionate about what I believe in most – teaching children through play.


I married my high school sweetheart almost 33 years ago.  Being married for that long can be summed up very easily.  Marriage is a work in progress.  Someone has to compromise.  Someone has to be strong.  Someone has to be humorous. Someone has to be compassionate.  Someone has to be empathetic. Someone has to be courageous.  Someone has to be hopeful. And it only works when you take turns doing all of the above.  Raising a child with special needs for the past 22 years has made us both realize that we aren’t perfect parents or perfect spouses.  We just know that everyday is a new challenge, and it works best when we share the roles of being strong, compassionate, patient, humorous, empathetic, courageous, and hopeful.


Family BlogI have 3 beautiful, unique children (2 girls and 1 boy) who are adults now.  As I type this, 2 are in their 20’s and one has crossed into the 30’s. I was a SHM (stay-at-home-mom) for the first 11 years and had an in-home daycare for 7 of those years.  I returned to college to finish my teaching degree and started teaching when my youngest was 4.  Being a teacher was always my dream.  My youngest daughter has Down SyndromeType I DiabetesCeliac Disease, and a few other medical issues.  I try not to keep count of it all because she has taught me so many life lessons about courage, determination, and being happy with the life you have been given.  I often compare my life to a roller coaster ride.  I know the meaning of words like P.T (physical therapy), O.T. (occupational therapy), SLP (speech language pathology), sensory processing disorder, IFSP’s, IEP’s, 504’s, health plans, bolus adjustments, Hemoglobin A1C, gluten free food, gifted education, learning disabilities, and inclusive education through my journey as a mother.  You will find tips, activities, ideas, and hopefully inspiration if you are navigating this same road.


I have 3 grandsons born in 2011 (H), 2013 (D), 2014 (G) and one granddaughter (M) born in 2014.  They are my reason for writing this blog. It’s my journal for them.  I want them to have great memories of our time together. Being a Nana K has to be one of the highlights of my life.  My mom always told me that being a grandma was the greatest thing in the world.  I was 14 when my sister had her first baby – the first grandchild.  I didn’t particularly enjoy hearing that being a grandma was better than being a mom.  After all, I WAS HER baby. I think the jealous monster set in. But I get it now.  You love your grandchildren twice as much because they have part of your own children in their little bodies.  Being a Nana K is a gift.  I get to see it all from a different perspective. I’ve raised my children. I am more relaxed.  I realize time flies by quickly, so I don’t worry about the small things.  I enjoy the small moments.  As a result, this blog will be filled with many ideas for lovinglearningplaying, and instilling creativity into the lives of your little ones.  If you are a grandparent, you will find fun, easy ways to make special memories with your own grandchildren.  If you are a mom or dad, I hope to ease your concerns and help you find ways to make being a parent of an ever-changing child a little bit easier.  You CAN build your own small moments. Yes I just set myself up for a tall order there.  We can do it together.


PicMonkey CollageI teach children. I taught in the public school system for over 16 years.  I have experience teaching PreK, Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade.  My teaching style is very hands-on, inquiry-based, with lots of singing, sensory, and movement mixed in. I believe in the power of “differentiation” which means providing each child with what they need to thrive academically.  I also believe in teaching the “whole child.”  Play is definitely a child’s work.

Learn Play Nana K Teacher Friends
I teach teachers.  I am an education consultant and work with teachers all over the United States and Canada at conferences and schools.  My passion is to help teachers use developmentally appropriate practices during these standard-based times.  If you are a teacher, you will find ideas and activities to teach children literacy, math, and science through hands-on play, games, art, and music.


I have a BSED in Early Childhood Education, a MSED in Special Education, and am a National Board Certified Teacher (2002, 2011).


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