Archive | February, 2017

Challenging Your Preschooler’s Mind

Think of your preschooler’s mind as a sponge, just waiting to expand as your child learns. While structured learning doesn’t start until Kindergarten, the years leading up to this are just as important for your child’s mental development. Neural pathways are still forming in the brain and the more you challenge your child intellectually right now, the more of these pathways in the brain will form – making it easier for him to learn for the rest of his life.

Now is the best time to introduce your child to learning. You have the chance to ensure that this is a positive experience for your child. Wouldn’t you want him to associate learning with something that is fun and exciting? By working with your child now you can make sure that learning new things becomes something he looks forward to and you can also create good study or learning habits right from the start. Not only will this help him throughout his school years, but you will be raising a person that’s inquisitive and curious about the world around him.

The next question is of course what can you do to challenge your preschoolers mind? Your everyday life is full of learning opportunities; you’ll just have to open your eyes to the endless possibilities. Start by reading to your child each day. Curl up on the couch together with a couple of good age-appropriate books and read them to your child. Stop from time to time and talk about the story, the characters within it and the illustrations in the book. Start with simple questions like what is this character’s name, or what happened to the girl in the story. As your child becomes used to engaging in the story this way, encourage him to form his own opinion about what is happening. Also ask him what he thinks will happen next and why.

Ask your child to help you prepare dinner or lunch. Count out ingredients together and have your child guess what you may be making with noodles, sauce and hamburger meat. Explain why ingredients change color or texture when you cook them. You can even introduce simple math by adding one apple to two other apples etc. Engage your child in conversations about what is going on in his life as you cook. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn about what happened at daycare or preschool or on a play date just by asking your child.

Take your child along on your weekly trip to the grocery store and quiz him on shapes and colors. You can also talk about the different fruits and vegetables in the produce section, where they grown and how you eat them. You can even talk about the different countries that a particular fruit is traditionally grown in, such as bananas come from South America, or kiwis from Australia and New Zealand.

Set some time aside each week to draw, color or make some sort of craft together. This doesn’t have to be anything too difficult. Even the simplest things like a few crayons and a piece of blank paper can turn into a lesson in color theory or into your child’s first writing lesson. Remember to keep it simple and fun. Draw a letter and ask your child to copy what you just did. Give lots of praise for the effort. Use alphabet cereal or noodles to spell your child’s name on a piece of construction paper.

We are surrounded by colors, shapes, numbers and letters. They are on cereal boxes, street signs and billboards. Just keep an eye out for them and use them to challenge your preschooler’s mind. Every day brings new learning opportunities for your child.

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Teaching Preschoolers to Read – 5 Steps to Literacy

Some children begin school reading, while others seem to have no idea what a book is or how to recognize letters of the alphabet. While Kindergarten is a great opportunity for young children to develop their reading skills, it is difficult for even the best teachers to give the children the kind of one-on-one time that parents can. Also, by the time children reach Kindergarten, their attitudes to reading are already ingrained. For children to grow up loving reading, books need to be a part of their lives almost from the day they are born. It is never too early to begin “teaching” children to read. This isn’t about “hot housing,” formal lessons, or gimmicky videos. The key to raising book lovers is making books a part of children’s lives. In other words, read! Read to your children from the day they are born, read yourself, point out words, talk to your children clearly, enunciating your syllables, take delight in language and in the pleasures of the written word, and the chances are that your children will naturally want to learn. The following five points are for parents whose children are around 4-5 years old and who want to prepare their children for reading at big school.

1. Read. Your child is never too old to be read to. Cuddle up, put on your corniest acting voice, and have fun together. And let your child see you reading for fun. Read signs, magazines, the back of cereal boxes, the TV guide, and of course, read good books.

2. Know your child. Children learn in different ways. Some children learn to read instinctively through whole word recognition. These children just slide from memorising and reciting the text to making the connection between the words they say and the words on the page. For a child like this, let them pretend to read as much as possible. Let them fill in missing words for you, “read” to parents and grandparents, and always have lots of books around. For most other children, you will probably need to do some phonics (teaching the sounds of words). There are many phonic resources on the market, but the best one I’ve found is a free website: http://www.starfall.com. It begins with letter sounds and builds up slowly with games, varied activities and printouts. You can do as much or as little as you and your child want, but since it is interactive, colorful and presented as play, you may find that even reluctant readers will be keen.

3. Play. Word recognition games like “I Spy” using letters, finding road signs, letter memory, word and letter puzzles and even junior scrabble are all great ways of teaching , as are posters you can point to, friezes, and other bright resources.

4. Write. Writing helps children understand how letters build to words, words build to sentences and sentences to ideas and books. Write little notes to your children and then help them read them (I like to put notes in my children’s lunch boxes — keep them simple, with smiley faces or love hearts). Help children write a book by stapling pages together. Cut out and paste pictures onto a sheet of paper and then write about them. Have your children write a simple letter to a favourite relative and post it. There are lots of ways to play with writing.

5. Keep up the work. The year before starting school is the perfect time to begin teaching your child to read and if you have a short reading activity of the kind listed above every day, the chances are very good that they will start school with, at the very least, a readiness to begin reading. This is a wonderful head start to literacy, a love of reading, and a positive school experience.

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Birthday Party Activity Ideas for Preschoolers

Birthday parties for preschool age children can be challenging. Trying to plan activities and keep these small children entertained is not an easy feat.

Preschool age children are limited in what activities they can do. Harder games can be too much for them to understand. They also have shorter attention spans then older children, which is an important thing to keep in mind.

The key to planning birthday party activities for preschoolers is to keep the activities simple and to keep the children busy. It can help to always have some back up activities in case an activity does not work out. A good back up is a coloring table or a movie. These things are usually always a hit with preschoolers and can serve to occupy them if needed.

You should be sure to have all activities set up and ready to go before the party even starts. Make sure you have all the supplies ready to go so you do not have to leave the party to go get something.

Good activities for preschoolers are activities that do not require a lot of explanation. They should also be fun and allow the children to do it by themselves. Preschoolers tend to be very independent so choosing activities that require little parental involvement will be the best choice.

Some good examples of activities for a preschooler’s birthday party include blowing bubbles, face painting, bean bag toss and water balloons. You can also use other party games, but you may want to alter the rules or simply make up your own, less complicated rules.

You want to keep the activities flowing. You never want a time when everyone is just standing around. Preschoolers are not very patient and they like to stay busy, so if you are not keeping them busy they will definitely find something to keep themselves busy and that could spell trouble.

Depending on the number of children at the party, you may want to break them up into groups. This will help to keep everyone busy and minimize waiting time. You may also want to use your back up activity for children to do as they wait for their turn at an activity.

For activities, like blowing bubbles, you should be sure to buy enough so that everyone can blow bubbles at the same time. This will help to reduce arguments and allow everyone to participate.

Also keep in mind that messy activities, like blowing bubbles or playing with water balloons should be saved for the end of the party. You should also inform parents if you think a child may get wet or messy so they can bring an extra set of clothing should their child need to change.

Preschoolers are at an awkward age where they are wanting to act grown up, but their bodies and minds limit them. Birthday party activities for preschoolers should allow them to express their desire to be independent and grown up, but also take into consideration their limitations.

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Top 5 Toys For Your Preschooler

Preschoolers have an extensive range of toys available to choose from that include named toys such as Fifi or Bob the Builder to books and jigsaws. They are of an age where they enjoy playing independently and want to do things by themselves. It is important to allow children of this age to play by themselves but offer help when they become frustrated. This age is also a very important time for children to learn so ensure that you buy educational toys that will help your child new learn new skills as well as have fun.

1. Building Blocks

Building blocks are a very popular toy for children of this age range. Both boys and girls alike love creating buildings and other objects. Building blocks are great for helping hand and eye co-ordination as well as developing artistic skills. Blocks such as Mega Blocks and Lego are ideal for this age group and come in bright colours. These are extremely durable and will last many years.

2. Play Stores

Play stores are great for encouraging pretend play. Children love pretending to be grownups and copying everyday actions such as going to the supermarket and paying at a cash register. As well buying pretend supermarkets and cash registers, you can also buy play kitchens ands cleaning trolleys or washing machines. Both little girls and boys enjoy this type of play and it is very good for their creative imagination.

3. Art Based Utensils

Art based utensils are an essential buy for any preschooler in order to encourage their creative side. Children in this age range love playing with play dough, crayons and pencils. Paining and art encourages hand and eye co-ordination and youngsters of this age just love getting messy! This also helps them learn to hold a pen properly and how to cut using scissors.

4. Water Based Toys

Water based toys are a fun toy for young children to play with. These can be used in the bath or in the garden. Children will quite happily play with water for hours on end. They love scooping and pouring water from one toy to another. Some toys offer a squirting action so that they can squirt one another.

5. Jigsaws

Jigsaws encourage hand and eye co-ordination. These come as wooden or in big pieces for this age range. Many of the puzzles have lift out pieces with pictures underneath to help children of this age obtain object recognition skills, manual dexterity and shape matching skills.

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Ten Ways To Make Sure Your Child’s Toys Are Safe

The whole scenario behind the invention of toys is that they are to be enjoyed, but part of that enjoyment includes making sure the toys are safe for your children. There are 10 simple steps that you can take to ensure that your child enjoys his/her toys while taking the appropriate steps to make sure they are safe.

1. Follow the age recommendations on the package

This information is typically written in smaller print and is often located in a lower corner, or back, of the box.

2. If the toy contains small parts, consider your child’s behavior before purchasing

Even if he/she is in the age range recommended by the manufacturer, parents must consider whether or not their child behaves mature enough to handle the toy and it’s parts.

3. Never leave a child unattended when playing with a toy that features small parts

Even if you step away for a minute, that may be all that it would take for your child to decide to put the toy in his/her mouth. This can be very dangerous, so always provide as much supervision as possible while your child is playing with his/her toys and even more so if they feature any small parts. At the same time, never allow children to run with any toys that have sharp or protruding points.

4. Never allow the child to put toys in his/her mouth

If the child were to swallow any part of the toy, or accessories, the result could be tragic. If you see the child putting his/her toys in their mouth, remove them immediately while saying “no” in a firm voice. It is not necessary to take the toys away from the child, but they should be closely supervised.

5. Pay close attention to consumer safety department notices and product recalls

This information is very important because it provides updated information as to the safety of certain products, along with any that have been recently found to have defects. In the latter case, a product recall may be issued in order to avoid injuries. Never allow a child to play with toys that have been recalled or are not deemed to be safe.

6. Make sure that any drawing markers, paint or crayons that you purchase are non-toxic

On every product that has been tested and is proven to be non-toxic, the label will indicate any such findings. Look closely on the back of the packaging in search of this seal before buying these types of art accessories.

7. If a toy is painted, make sure that the paint is not coming off

This could be dangerous if the child were to put the toys in his/her mouth or if it were to get in their eyes, so be very mindful of chipping or peeling paint.

8. Make sure toys and dolls are flame retardant

This is very important for the obvious reasons and to protect the safety of your child.

9. Make sure that the toys are an authentic product and not a cheap imitation, which may indicate cheaper manufacturing

When shopping for toys, always make sure that you are getting what you pay for.

10. Monitor the message or rating that a toy or video game is promoting

These days, so many toys are promoting unhealthy messages or ideals. It is important to monitor the toys that your child enjoys in order to make sure that the influences they are getting are the best for their age.

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Learning Toys Stimulate Children

Parents that are wading through an ocean of toys for their children have an arduous task to find mind stimulating and mind creative ones. All parents want their children to develop to the highest degree possible. To do this parents want toys to help guide their children in the right direction from a “having fun” point of view so that the child wants to play with the toy. This means parents start doing this at a very young age for the child. This automatically starts the bonding between parent and child.

Research has shown learning through playing and having fun has proven to accelerate a child’s creativity and imagination. Learning toys foster imaginative play and allow children to explore social roles, situations. Learning toys that encourage this are more important today than ever before. Learning toys help to promote hand-eye coordination, problem solving skills and the wonders of how things work and grow. This provides a child the best of all worlds available from learning to fun entertainment.

Numerous times during a child’s growing years, they find themselves playing independently. This allows them the feeling of being in control of their learning… at their own pace. The feeling of accomplishment when they build something with their own hands when playing or using these type of learning toys gives them the confidence they can do anything.

Today’s learning toys have developed like everything else. Toys labeled “S.T.E.M” – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – allows and gives a child the ability to learn in a positive way sparking their interest in learning in these areas that other toys can’t and won’t do. These are the learning toys that parents want their children to have for a positive impact on their education. These are the toys that care givers and schools should have available for their children to interact with.

These type of toys should be the first items considered/packed when a vacation is being planned. These learning toys will entertain and occupy the child while traveling to the destination. Also keep in mind the diversity of these type of toys as there are numerous of these that can be played with outside. These will provide hours of family fun and/or fun with the child’s friend(s). A child’s room filled with learning toys sets a strong education foundation that will give him/her an advantage in school. Brain growth at an early age is very important as it allows them to absorb the world around them which means they have jump a start in their school years to come.

Learning with the use of toys is great for children and their parents. This creates wonderful time spent together with parents and friends. The learning experience gives them a great advantage before life in school begins.

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Outdoor Play: A Great Way for Kids to Get Outside and Use Their Imagination

Summer is a wonderful time of year when children can enjoy lots of fresh air and outdoor play. There is certainly no shortage of excellent activities, toys and accessories to entertain and inspire children of all ages.

Some of the favorite activities among kids include; bubbles, inflatable bouncers and play sets, kites and wind spinners, outdoor furniture, playhouses and play tents, pools and water fun, and sandboxes and beach toys.

Bubbles are one of those outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by babies to adults. Blowing bubbles has never had quite so many options to choose from as it does today. There are plastic bubble lawn mowers, bubble catchers, bubble vision glasses, bubble wands, bubble lights, wands for small to super huge bubbles, no spill bubble buckets, monster bubble blowers, bubble blizzards (that blow nonstop bubbles) and bubble blowers available in popular fictional characters and a myriad of colors and styles. Blowing bubbles is an inexpensive way to have hours of outdoor fun.

One of the most exciting types of play for young children involves using the wide variety of inflatable bouncers and play sets on the market. Your backyard will be the center of activity if you set up one of these wonderful toys. Inflatable bouncers can be purchased in several different sizes from large (9 feet by 9 feet by 6 feet high) able to accommodate several children to small bouncers that only hold two children. Deluxe bouncers offer a fun and safe play environment with continuous air flow for safety and puncture resistant heavy gauge vinyl. There is a wide selection of designs such as castles, popular fictional character themes, inflatable fire engines, school buses, climbing walls, inflatable cars, inflatable play centers and playhouses. Several of the inflatable toys come with soft balls included for tossing, kicking and pushing around within the structure.

Kites, wind spinners and windsocks are a wonderful way for you and your child to interact and enjoy a lovely outdoor activity. The beautiful colors, designs and sizes available will surely be remembered for years to come. Kites can be purchased in an endless array of designs to include; airplanes with spinning propellers, helicopters, birds (flamingos and parrots), sharks, dolphins, butterflies, hummingbirds, fish, dragons, cellular box kites, dolphin kites, sailboats, cellular kites, diamond kites, parasail kites and tri-planes to only name a few. Wind spinners and windsocks come in as many designs as do the kites, in an assortment of fantastic colors and patterns.

Children can enjoy the same comfort that adults do when it comes to outdoor furniture. Whether it be having lunch at their favorite plastic or wooden picnic table or lounging back in their Adirondack chair, it’s always fun for them to be just like mom or dad. Other adorable pieces of children’s outdoor furniture can include; playhouses (complete with doorbell and motion detector), patio sets (with umbrella, table and chairs), fabric patio chairs, plastic mushroom tables, play lemonade stands, plastic mailboxes, plastic stone benches and folding armchairs.

Playhouses provide children with hours of imaginative and pretend play. There is nothing more special to a child than having their own little imaginary home to dream and role play in. Playhouses will often be a part of backyard outdoor toys in either plastic or wooden designs with climbers and swings. Some of the plastic playhouses are available with sounds such as doorbells, phones and motion detectors. Plastic playhouses can be purchased in pirate, cottage, log cabin, mushroom house and camper styles.

Similar to playhouses, play tents are usually made with nylon or plastic and also come in a wide variety of designs and styles. The biggest difference between the two is that play tents are usually much easier to assemble, disassemble and portable if needed. Play tents are available in tunnels (for crawling through), dome play tents, lady bug tents, tents with tunnel addition, school bus, fire engine, bulldozer, playhouses, camouflage tents, popular fictional character theme tents, four tunnels joined by tent in middle, tee pees and castle tents. Fabric parachutes can also be used as tents draped over objects in the home or used for throwing up toys with children in a circle.

It truly feels like summer once everyone has gone for a swim. Pools offer wonderful relief from the hot weather and a refreshing way to have some fun. There are a mountain of pools and pool toys to choose from, whether it be a kiddie pool or a pool lounger there is no shortage of options. Above ground inflatable pools can be found in different sizes to accommodate the kids or the whole family. Kiddie pools are available in sunshade cover designs, popular character themes, different colors and activity pool styles. The pool toys you select will only add to the enjoyment with water guns and canons, kick boards, life-jackets, inflatable water wings, retrieval toys, rafts and loungers, inflatable sharks, tubes, inflatable basketball hoops, seat rings and beach balls to name a few.

Lastly, playing in the sand can provide both learning skills and entertainment for any child, whether it be in their backyard sandbox or at the beach. Building sandcastles and sand play is particularly helpful in teaching social skills (sharing, interacting and cooperation), cognitive skills (measuring sand and mapping out roads) and physical skills (pouring, dumping, pushing and gathering sand etc.). Sandbox kits can be purchased to set up or you can select from several designs such as; turtles, castles, water and sand tables, ladybug, dinosaur and frog sandboxes. Sandbox and beach accessories might include; wheelbarrows, pails of all sizes, rakes, shovels, molds and beach chairs.

Outdoor play is a great way for the kids to get out of the house and use their imaginations. All forms of outdoor activities easily promote well-being and physical development. Children love to play outdoors as it allows them the chance to freely explore their environment while developing muscle coordination, flexibility and motor skills while decreasing restlessness and stress. And don’t forget . . . always remember to put sunscreen on your child whenever they are outside.

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Pretend Play and Dress Up Encourages Imaginative Play

A child’s imagination is something to be encouraged and treasured. Young children learn many skills through imagination, from independent play, interactive play, language and cognitive skills to name a few. Pretend play and dress up are wonderful ways to allow your child to dream and act out all sorts of fun adventures.

There are a wide variety of excellent toys available to enhance their imaginative experiences some of which include; cooking and baking toys, dress-up costumes, gardening toys, housekeeping toys, money and banking sets, spy gadgetry toys, tools and puppets.

Your child probably watches you preparing and cooking meals everyday. There are many cooking and baking toys available that allow your child to have hours of entertainment. Some of the wonderful toys manufactured are; picnic baskets (complete with play bread, cheese, lettuce, hot dog and bun, ketchup, corn on the cob etc.), bakery sets, plastic food sets, a wide variety of tea pot sets, pots and pans, dinnerware sets (complete with plates, utensils, bowls and cups) and coffee sets. It’s easy for your child to set up their own little imaginary kitchen with ovens that actually bake cookies, working mini refrigerators, plastic refrigerators, microwaves, stoves, barbecue’s and toasters. Little shopping markets complete with plastic store items and cash registers can be purchased, along with gum ball machines and snow-cone machines, the list really is endless.

Dress up play is a favorite among all ages of children, whether it’s dressing up in dad’s baseball uniform or having fun with mom’s closet. There is a great variety of all sorts of different types of costumes, masks and accessories for children to select from. Costumes come in designs such as fireman and police uniforms, doctor and veterinarian uniforms, engineer suits, magic hats with cape and gloves, dresses, waitress outfits, cherubs, devils, witches, ballerina and popular character suits with capes and muscle chests to name a few. Great accessories such as crowns, tiara sets, ninja swords, light sabers, cowboy hats, purses complete with keys and cell phones, doctor and medical kits and magic kits can be found. Dress up play allows your child to use their imagination in a fun way through role play and acting out adventures.

For all the young outdoor landscaping enthusiasts there are wonderful gardening tools and accessories available. Little wheelbarrows are made in plastic and metal designs (tiny metal designs look and work as well as the adult counterparts), both helpful at removing dirt, weeds and gravel around the yard. Metal and plastic gardening pails, watering cans, mini gardening sets (complete with mini rake, shovel and trowels), gardening aprons, gardening totes with seeds (mini rake, shovel, trowel and pail), gardening rakes, shovels and gardening gloves can also be purchased. Other adorable gardening sets include planters, seeds and tiny fairy cottages ready for planting around.

Probably the only time your child will enjoy housekeeping is when they are young. Most children seem to love helping out mom or dad with cleaning and simple household chores. With this said you’ll find many housekeeping toys to keep your child busy and entertained for hours on end. Vacuums, cleaning sets (complete with broom, mops, gloves and pails), talking irons and ironing boards, working sewing machines and clothes washers are a few of the items to be found.

An encouraging and fun way to help children understand early on how money works is to have them play with money and banking toys and games. There are a variety of cash registers available complete with play money, fake credit cards, price scanners, price check microphones and readouts offering learning opportunities for several skills from motor skills, mathematical skills and cognitive skills.

Today there are more spy gadgetry toys available than ever before. There are spy listeners (allowing children to listen in on other rooms or to use as stethoscopes), detective sets, mini keyboard transmitters allowing children to send text messages to each other, spy goggles, motion detector sets with infrared sensors, spy cameras available in sunglasses or wristband styles (complete with real film) and walkie talkies. Spy pens come with a variety of options from activated motion alarms, flashlights and magnifying glasses. These toys not only offer hours of entertainment but toys such as the motion detectors and infrared sensors teach children basic electronic skills.

Kids love to do things around the house just like dad or mom, especially anything to do with tools. Complete tool sets for children are available with tool belts, tool chests and tool boxes. Any tool imaginable from saws, levels, planers, wrenches, screw drivers, drills and hammers can be found. Workshops (complete with bins to store tools) with work horses and work benches can provide the base for all your child’s building adventures. And for when your child ventures outdoors to do some work there are mini working wheelbarrows, weed trimmers, lawnmowers, rakes, shovels, hoes, chain saws (with sound effects) and leaf blowers to complete the job. Of course you’ll want to be sure they always wear their hard hat.

Lastly, another popular part of pretend play is the use of puppets. Puppets can be found in hand puppet, finger puppet, bath puppet, baby puppet, pop-up and marionette designs. Along with puppets there are puppets accessories and wonderful puppet theaters to add to the fun. There is no end to the available puppet designs from cartoon characters, fantasy (fairies, wizards), people and animals (aquatic, birds, bugs, dinosaurs, dogs, farm animals, fish and frogs to name only a few). You and your child can either make a puppet theater or purchase one of the many puppet theaters offered from tabletop theaters, floor standing, doorway and marionette theaters. Pop-up puppets are a fun way to play peek-a-boo with a child or hide and seek. Puppets are a great way to interact and have imaginative play with your child.

Imaginative play is an important part of play. Role playing and dress up allow children to experiment with the different roles of the people they observe. The toys and accessories that surround your child will let them identify with different characters and try out various domestic roles. Imaginary play helps children to adjust more easily to the challenges of our everyday world.

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A Complete Guide For Parents To Choose The Best Toys For Their Children

Do you remember how it was when you where a child? What was your main activity? Was it working? Of course not. Your main activity was playing. You had no concerns. You needed toys and your parents where supposed to provide you with them. They had to find toys you wouldn’t throw away and believe me, it wasn’t easy for them.

Now you are a parent and you are in the same situation as your parents years ago. You’re looking for toys that your child will like. That’s why you must know how to choose the right toys. My parents made one common mistake: they would buy me toys that they considered wonderful. But usually, when they would give me the toy, I would either consider it too girlish or too boring. It wasn’t fun for them to see how a toy they bought for me to play with would stay forgotten in my closet.

How to find out what’s the right toy for your child?

Just watch your child closely to determine his preferred activities, skills level, preferred band(s) and movie(s), and so on. Based on these observations you can get a clue on what types of toys your child would prefer. For instance, if your child loves the movie Lord of the Rings, I bet that he’ll also like Lord of the Rings toys…

Now don’t just go into the first toy shop and buy the first Lord of the Rings toy you find. Observations aren’t enough. There are some other very important factors you must consider. Adding them into the equation helps ensure you that your child will have lots of fun with the toy you’ll choose to buy for him.

Here are the factors you must consider when choosing toys for your child:

  • Child’s age – This is very important. If you buy toys too advanced for your child’s age, chances are that he might get injured. Toy manufacturers struggle to make their products as safe as possible, but if you don’t follow their recommendations, your child may suffer. On the other hand, if you buy toys made for children with age under that of your child, he will consider them too boring. The best thing is to choose toys designed precisely for your child’s age. Here are two articles that will help you choose toys for babies and toys for toddlers.
  • Child’s gender – This is exactly what I said above that my parents bought me toys that I considered to be girlish. I’m a boy, but the same is with girls too. Any detail that may make the toy look as for the other gender than that of your child will make the toy undesired.
  • Toys your child’s friends play with – When your child is playing with his friends, watch to find out if he manifests interest in any of his playmate’s toys. If he does, then it’s very likely that he would like to have a toy similar the one his friend has.
  • Sometimes, a child tells his parents what toy he likes or wants, thus saving them from a lot of hard work. But don’t count on this. Some children aren’t very keen to talk with parents unless they really want a certain toy.
  • Safety – This is the most important factor you must consider whenever you need to decide what toy you should buy for your child. Unfortunately, this is also the most overlooked one. Usually, parents forget to check if the toy they choose for their children are safe.
  • Is the toy educational? – It’s a good thing if the toys you choose for your child can help him develop new skills.

And please remember that the age difference between you and your child is of at least 20 years. The fact that you liked a toy when you were a child does not mean that your child will love it too. Children from different generations like different types of toys

Make sure you offer the toy to your child in the appropriate manner!

When you offer the toy to your child, don’t do it in a “Here’s your toy. Now go and play with it” manner. If you do it this way, that toy won’t mean a thing to your child. Rather, try to make a game. Hide the toy somewhere where the child can easily find it, and encourage him to look for it. Laugh with your child, search for it together… And when the he finds the toy, don’t just let him play by himself. Get involved in your child’s play. Make that the fun of a lifetime. A parent is a child’s first and best friend.

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The Montessori Method of Education Is the Perfect Way to Get Success for Children

A particular teaching method becomes a contributor to success of kids based on its pillars of learning. Today, we uncover the Montessori learning methods and understand how and why it is the perfect way to bring success to your kids:

An environment without competition

In the Montessori classroom there is no competition, because each child works according to their level and rhythm, and individually with their material. The child relates only to his previous work, and his progress does not compare with other children.

Mixed Ages

The Montessori classroom teaching offers kids the opportunity to choose discount Montessori learning material, that is, the materials present different levels of difficulty as you progress through their presentations.

The child learns as he or she is interested in taking it from one level of difficulty to another. The fact of having mixed ages in the same room allows younger children to have a series of graduated models to imitate, and that older children have the opportunity to reinforce their own knowledge by helping children.

Freedom

It is an essential element in an environment Montessori environment, for two main reasons: firstly, only in an atmosphere of freedom, the child may be disclosed. Since it is the duty of the educator to identify child development, contributing to it, one must have the opportunity to observe it in an environment that, as far as possible, is free and open. Second, if the child has within himself the pattern for his own development, this inner guide should be allowed to direct the growth of the child.

According to Maria Montessori, every child who is given freedom is at the mercy of their deviations and not at the command of their own will. He also believes that the freedom of children depends on the development of the previous construction of their personality, involving their independence, will and internal discipline.

Will

It is a stage where the child spontaneously begins to choose self-discipline as a way of life. Children make their own choice of material, to achieve their own liberation as a person. It is a state characterized by activity, being a starting point. In this period the child makes creative use of his abilities, accepting the responsibility of his own actions and subjecting himself to the limits of reality.

The internal formation of the will develops gradually through the adaptation to the limits of a chosen task. Maria Montessori observed that children, through the process of Normalization, acquired an inner peace and an order that was reflected externally in self-discipline and obedience to the rules implanted in a classroom in which they participated.

Normalization

While normalization is taking place in a child, rudeness and other similar unsociable deviations are disappearing and are being replaced by a social order that really works without the control and corrections of the adult leader being necessary. Thus, Dr. Montessori never equated good behavior with silence and immobility. He always pointed out that self-discipline must be acquired by them.

Montessori discovered that children had a natural impulse to work together, with cooperation and much harmony, without need or interest in rewards and punishments. Once free of the harmful influences of the environment, they operated in an orderly and disciplined manner.

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