Tania Cowling is one of the newer writers on the PeKu team, having celebrated her one year anniversary this past December. However, although she’s new to us, she isn’t new to the world of parenting and crafts. Tania shares her knowledge in these areas through her weekly articles on Holidays Helper and Your Parenting Info. Whether you’re looking for a craft to entertain the preschool set, some ideas for family parties, advice on infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, Tania is your resource.
I spoke with Tania to learn a little bit about her when she’s not behind the keyboard.
MPK: When you aren’t writing, what’s your favorite thing to do with your free time?
TC: Well, family is so dear to my heart that I try to spend as much time as possible with them. My husband just retired so we have TIME to do as we wish — day by day, moment to moment. Then I have three grown children, married and who have given us grandkids. It’s the perks of parenting all over again. So dinners, playdates, and good old-fashion fun fills my spare time.
MPK: As a former early childhood teacher, you write about parenting the preschool set. Do you have a favorite topic within the parenting genre?
TC: I have always been an “entertainment” specialist during my teaching days and coordinator of “Mommy and Me” classes. So, I would say doing special activities, such as making homemade musical instruments together, creative dramatics with props, and even food construction, has been a favorite part of my parenting genre. I have also written books on these topics. Remember play equals learning.
MPK: You also share crafting projects for that age group. Is it difficult to find/create crafts that don’t require solid fine motor skills?
TC: Working with children ages 6 and under can be a challenge when crafting, but my blog posts are geared for a parent to work with the child together. I always give instructions for the mom to challenge her youngsters with a particular skill, such as with scissors or painting. Fine motor skills are developed through practice and repetition. And, having fun while you work on skills doesn’t hurt!
MPK: Do you make the craft samples yourself, or do you have preschool “helpers” that create them?
TC: Not having young children around my house daily or even weekly is detrimental to my topic, so I do make many of the samples. But, when the preschool grandkids or friends are here visiting I put them to work. And, I can safely say — they really enjoy this task.
MPK: What fun fact would our readers be surprised to learn about you?
TC: Now that we are empty nesters, my husband and I enjoy our pets. We’ve adopted retired greyhounds, have taken in two stray cats, and even raise four backyard hens. There’s nothing better than finding fresh eggs delivered by pets for your breakfast.