Promoting play

The effects of screen time on your kid’s brain (and how to avoid them!)

Screen time for kids is a big issue right now! Everywhere you go, children are exposed to phones and TVs. There are even tablets marketed exclusively to children!

If you’re a parent who tries to avoid screen time for your kids, you know how exhausting it can get. TVs are everywhere you go: restaurants (why?!), Target, even some children’s clothing stores. And if you visit friends or family who keep their tv on all the time out of habit, it can be even more difficult to control exposure to screens.

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Toys that encourage free play for kids

magnatiles

Early childhood is such a critical period. And it seems everybody who sells toys wants to tell you how their product will help your child learn. So what should you choose?

Toys billed as educational, like those that say letters and numbers, initially seem to be a great choice. After all, they’re teaching your kids to read!

Or is there something potentially dangerous going on with these talking toys? Learn more about the roll of toys in a child’s life, and how interactive toys affect early childhood development! (more…)

Easy Valentine’s Day crafts for kids

little boy dressed for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is in just a few weeks! My kids love making “art-crafts,” so I thought I’d discuss some ways to allow kids to be creative while celebrating.

Let me be up-front: These ideas aren’t meant to be Pinterest-worthy, beautiful masterpieces. The goal of these ideas isn’t necessarily a perfect looking keepsake for Grandma. This is more about allowing kids to have fun and to learn through doing (and maybe to keep them occupied for a few minutes so you can get something done or simply have a break!). I’m a big believer that it’s better for kids to do crafts on their own terms than for me to hover and make sure that everything is perfectly in place, so if that means that a googly eye is glued kinda wonky, so be it. I want my children to take pride in their own work!

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How to give your kids a growth mindset

learning through play

You probably want your kids to be smart. Not only that, but you want them to love learning! The best way to promote this trait is something called a growth mindset.

So what is a growth mindset, and how to we give it to our kids?

More to the point, what do we often do that squashes our child’s love of learning, and how can we avoid these behaviors? Learn more about promoting a growth mindset in your kids in this post! (more…)