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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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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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Fun Family Activities For Toddlers

Parents are busy people. But even if you are busy, this should not be an excuse not to set aside special time to hang with your toddler and family. Make every moment together count with these fun family activities for toddlers.

Hit The Beach

Who does not love spending time at the beach? Toddlers and the beach go hand-in-hand. There is so much your toddler and your family can do in the sand and in the water. Bring beach balls to kick around, sand pails, shovels and other sand toys for your little one to play with. Collect seashells. Build sand castles. Let him explore this beautiful environment (but be sure to stay close to your toddler at all times). Do not forget to pack beach-friendly snacks and drinks and most importantly, sunscreen.

Go On An Educational Outing

One of the most fun family activities for toddlers is going on a trip with the family. You do not have to take a plane to go to another country. Explore the city. Pack up the whole family in the car and visit a museum near you. Toddlers can learn so much from museums. Head to the zoo and watch your toddler’s (and your husband’s) eyes widen in amazement as he sees the colorful parrots. Most zoos have a petting station where children can touch or feed them and hold child-friendly animal shows which is a great opportunity for your little one to learn more about animals. Bring a stroller, some snacks, water and the camera.

Host A Sports Event

A family sports event is a great excuse to get everyone in the family to exercise while having loads of fun. Any sport will do, just modify it to your toddler’s needs to make it easier without taking the fun out for older family members. You can hold a Wiffle ball tournament, play bowling, basketball, soccer or kickball. Prepare prizes for your toddler and for each family member.

Cook Meals Together

Cooking is also considered as one of the most fun family activities for toddlers. Invite your whole crew to help you prepare a special dish for dinner. Give your little one his own apron and chef’s hat and ask him to wash the vegetables or stir ingredients together while the elders chop and fry. Eating the food everyone helped cook will be so much yummier and sweeter. Plus, it will be a delight to hear and laugh about how your toddler’s face was smeared with flour.

Hold A Movie Night

Watching movies is another great family activity to do with toddlers. Each week, hold a family movie night in your living room. Take turns choosing the film. Pop some corn, allow your toddler to drink a glass of juice or soda, dim down the lights and get cozy. You can even use decorations to set the mood. Afterwards, you can talk about the movie and point out the lessons of the movie.

Get Crafty

Do-it-yourself projects are an excellent bonding activity for the family. Cover the table, floors and walls with newspaper and invite the whole gang to unleash their inner Picasso. Some toddler-appropriate craft ideas include finger painting, homemade family photo book, sticky wall collages, personalized greeting cards and finger puppets.

Read Books

Grab a pile of children’s books and hold a family book reading session once a week. Take turns picking a book and reading. If your toddler still has difficulty reading words, help him by reading aloud together. Discuss it afterwards. Reading is a fun family activity for toddlers and is also very educational. It helps boost your toddler’s language skills, memory, imagination, critical-thinking and attention span.

These are just some of the most fun family activities for toddlers. There are still countless of ideas you can try and explore. While your toddler is still young, grab the chance to foster family ties as this will benefit him later in the life.

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Fun Birthday Party Themes For Toddlers

Toddlers love birthday parties and nothing is as special as planning your toddler’s big day. If you are searching for fun birthday party themes for toddlers, check out these suggestions.

Superhero Theme

One of the most fun and classic birthday party themes for toddlers is a superhero theme. Set the mood for the party with great decorations such as superhero posters, capes and masks. Cover the tables in blues and reds. Do not forget the balloons and confetti. Keep the menu simple with foods in bright colors and shapes. Order a cake with a picture of his favorite superhero or in the shape of a superhero. Entertain the little partygoers with fun games such as a superhero training camp, Mr. Freeze dance, spider walk or pass the kryptonite. Of course, dress your little boy in his favorite superhero costume and request all guests to dress as a superhero such as Superman, Spiderman, Green Lantern or Wonder Woman.

Wild Wild West Theme

The cowboy theme is another favorite amongst toddler boys. Decorate the place with little rodeo hats, bandanas, a toy lasso and brown ruffles. Do not forget to place a couple of toy horses to make it even more authentic. The children can dress in cowboy outfits and play stick horse race (use a mini broomstick as a substitute for real ponies) and watch them ride their steeds merrily around the room. If your budget permits, why not make a call and rent a pony so each toddler can take turns riding a pony. For the perfect giveaway, give the children sheriff’s badge stickers or a photo of them riding the pony.

Pirate Theme

Another great birthday party theme for toddlers is the pirate theme. Transform your yard into a pirate ship with decors like old wooden signs, red and black accents and flags. Give the little ones eye patches and plastic swords to get the complete feel. Play games such as pin the eye patch on a pirate, walk the plank and of course treasure hunting games to make the party more exciting. Do not forget to give each guest a small loot of chocolate covered gold coins as a party favor.

Tea Party Theme

If your little girl loves to dress up, turn her birthday into a tea party. Send out invites on scented, dainty looking paper and ask the guests to dress in their pretty dresses, hats and gloves. Turn your home into a dainty cafe by using a flowery tablecloth, garland archway and other pretty items in pastel colors. Serve lemonade in mini china tea cups and finger sandwiches and cupcakes on saucers. For the games, play tea bag toss, sugar cube relay or pin the cup on the saucer. Add beaded necklaces and doilies in the goody bags.

Princess Theme

Every girl dreams of becoming a princess, so why not treat your little one as one during her special day? Ask the guests to dress like royalty. Lay a red carpet to give the guests a grand entrance and hand out tiaras while welcoming the children. Beautify the room with a balloon archway. Adorn a chair with balloons and anything pink so your little princess can sit on her throne. Use princess themed plates, napkins and streamers. Party games such as pass the poison apple, musical chairs and kiss the frog are perfect for keeping everyone busy.

Water Theme

Most toddlers love being in the water and this theme is perfect for your toddler’s summer birthday. Set-up an inflatable backyard pool, turn on the sprinkler or fill a watering can and let the toddlers go wild splashing each other. Do not forget to bring out water guns, toy buckets and shovels for some water games.

The list of birthday themes for toddlers is endless. All you have to do is to be creative and you will have that memorable birthday party for your precious one.

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How To Limit TV Time For Kids

Children these days are so glued to the shows they are watching that they can sit in front of the television for hours on end. However, too much TV is never good for anyone, especially for a growing child. Parents can try some of these helpful tips on how to limit TV time for kids.

Create A Screen Time Schedule

Setting boundaries is one of the most effective techniques on how to limit TV time for kids. Set TV viewing at 1 hour per day. Allow your toddler to watch TV only after he has done all of his homework. This will keep your toddler from going straight to the television when he gets home from school. Let him watch a certain number of shows a day. Or, you can also impose the “no TV during school days” rule. Whatever schedule you set, make sure you stick to it and if it is time for your toddler to watch TV, let him watch without interruptions from you. Children respond well to rules and will obey more readily if they know what is expected of them and if parents are firm of their rules.

Provide Specific Programming

Watch particular programs instead of mindlessly channel surfing. Watching specific shows keeps your little one more focused and aware. Plus, he is more likely to turn off the TV once the show he is watching is over.

Remove Televisions From Rooms

Place the TV in one area of your house, such as the living room or family room. Get rid of the TV in your toddler’s bedroom or in your kitchen. Only have one television in your house, if everyone is okay with the idea. By taking away extra TV’s, you can better monitor the amount of time your little one spends in front of the TV and increase family time.

Cover The TV When Not In Use

Use the “out of sight, out of mind” technique. Store the television in a cabinet or place a blanket over it when no one is watching TV. If your toddler does not see it, he will be less likely to be drawn to it.

Set A Family Time Each Night

Set aside a few hours (at least 1 to 2 hours) for family time every night. Cook dinner together, eat together, talk about your day, play games, walk around the neighbourhood, take a ride somewhere or watch TV as a family. Make those hours just family time.

Use TV As A Reward

Another tip on how to limit TV time for kids is by using television as an incentive. Allow your little one to watch TV for doing household chores, studying, having good grades or for good behaviour. Not only will this help your toddler do the things he has to do but it also gives your toddler a healthier outlook towards television, instead of thinking that the TV is just a regular part of life.

Encourage Other Activities

There are plenty of worthwhile alternatives toddlers can do aside from watching television. Have your toddler join a sports team or a dancing class. Encourage him to play outside, draw or paint. Play board games, hide and seek or tag. Help your toddler finish a jigsaw puzzle. Read books together. Share stories. Let him tag along whenever you run errands. Plan a day trip during the weekend.

Mind Your Own TV Time

Of course, these tips will not be effective unless you monitor your own TV time. Keep in mind that toddlers love to imitate their parents, hence, it is very important that you lead by example. If your little one sees you sitting on the couch all day watching TV shows, then no wonder your toddler spends most of his time in front of the television.

Reducing your toddler’s TV time can be a challenge. But if you are firm and consistent, all your efforts will definitely pay off in the long run.

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Children and Computers – Advantages and Disadvantages

Technology is so powerful that even the very young get hooked on it. Children and computers make a good team. But, it is important for parents to know the advantages and disadvantages of computers to children.

The Advantages

Educational Value

Academic growth is one the best advantages of computers to children According to a research, toddlers who use computers gain more learning which result to better development as compared to children who do not use computers. Clicking on icons teaches cause and effect. Teaching a toddler how to e-mail can improve his writing skills while searching the internet exposes a toddler to various resources which helps expand a child’s knowledge.

Boosts Motor Skills

Using a mouse and pressing keys gives your toddler’s chubby hands the same type of exercise he gets from drawing or coloring. These movements also improve hand-eye coordination that will pay off in the years to come as your toddler learns to tie his shoes, use scissors or throw a ball.

Hones Performance of Toddlers With Special Needs

Toddlers with special needs can greatly benefit from computers. There are a lot of activities and lessons designed for children with special needs you can find online. With these learning materials, a toddler with special needs is able to execute tasks he cannot normally do. In addition, since they are found online, it can be accessed by the toddler at his convenience unlike a special needs teacher.

Source of Entertainment

Another advantage of computers to children is entertainment value. Toddlers can spend a couple of minutes playing games online. There are a lot of child-friendly websites your toddler can visit to play games. Most of these websites are educational so a toddler can learn the ABC’s, numbers, shapes, words and other basic concepts he has to learn for preschool.

The Disadvantages

Limits Interaction With People

The main disadvantage of computers to children is that it limits social interaction. A toddler needs to interact with people, especially kids his age to hone his social skills and learn empathy.

Too Much Stimulation

Bold colors, loud sounds, flashing lights and continuous action can overwhelm a toddler. This can make a toddler irritable after a computer session and give him a hard time focusing on quieter activities such as reading.

Impedes Physical Development

Too much sedentary time is not only bad for your toddler’s posture but it also limits him from moving. Physical play is essential to toddler growth as it helps build strong muscles. Computers rob off a toddler’s chance to figure out how to stack blocks to construct a building or shovel sand into a bucket – hands-on activities that can help a toddler discover the world around him.

Vision Problems

A toddler who spends too much time staring at a computer is at risk of having childhood computer vision syndrome. Children are prone to this because computers require motor skills from eyes that are still underdeveloped.

In this modern time, computers are undoubtedly a part of a toddler’s development. While computers are beneficial to children, too much exposure can cause harm. Thus, it is important for parents to guide their children so they know how to balance cyberworld and real world.

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Sports For Toddlers – Tips For Introducing Your Toddler To Sports

Sports for toddlers is a form of recreation that helps them learn and hone their development at the same time. Introducing your toddler to sports is one of the best ways for him to try out and discover new things. Here are a few tips to get your toddler to love sports.

Introduce Different Sports

Let your toddler try as many sports as he can. Encourage your little one to try soccer, basketball, swimming, tennis, figure skating, etc. Do not worry if your toddler does not show much interest in them. Just experiment with different sports. He will find his niche sooner or later.

Follow Your Toddler’s Lead

Another way to introduce sports to your toddler is to figure out where your toddler’s interests lie. Does he enjoy being in the water? Does he like to play games involving speed, strength and energy? Does he prefer activities involving less physical contact? The key here is to observe, not assume. By watching your toddler closely, you will get a clue on the kind of sport your little one is most likely to enjoy.

Start At Home

Do not immediately enroll your toddler in a program once you find out where his interests lie. Instead, play a game or two of his favorite sport in your yard. Most toddlers favour practicing at home and it will give your toddler a chance to explore his decision and decide if the sport is something he will truly enjoy doing. This is also a perfect time to motivate your toddler in sports.

Choose A Good Sports Program

Sign up your toddler for summer camps, clinics, classes or workshops. These programs have trained individuals who can help hone your toddler’s interests. Plus, your toddler will be able to interact with children who share the same interests as his which is also beneficial for his social development. Take time to observe various programs so you and your child will know what to expect and if the teaching style is excellent.

Expose Your Toddler

Aside from enrolling in programs and playing at home, watch games on TV or if possible, watch it live and explain to him what is going on. A crowded, cheerful stadium is a good way to convince your toddler that sports are awesome. Visit sport shops and point out the gears he might have to use in his sport. Read books (e.g. Pete The Cat: Play Ball!) and magazines (e.g. Sports Illustrated for Kids) about sports with him.

Get Involved

Children love doing things with their parents. Go swimming or bowling during the weekends. Ride your bicycles around the neighbourhood every afternoon. Attend your toddler’s practices so you can see him score a goal.

Praise Not Criticize

Every parent wants their children to succeed. However, keep your criticisms in check. Offer advice but do not be too hard on your toddler. Never belittle him and make comparisons. Give him a high five, a kiss, a hug and say “You did good, honey! I am so proud of you.” whether he loses or wins a game. The goal is to see him happy.

Most importantly, treat your toddler as a child, not an athlete who should focus on getting a college scholarship. Once you keep that in mind, you will not have any trouble getting your toddler to enjoy sports.

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Toddler Games – Eight Best Applications For Preschoolers

Toddler games are an important part of a toddler’s development. With today’s modernity, more and more toddlers are using iPhones and iPads to play games. To make sure they are learning while having fun, download these popular applications designed for preschoolers.

Wheels On The Bus

Wheels On The Bus is based on an interactive nursery rhyme song designed to provide preschoolers hours of creative fun. It is available in 5 different languages. Your toddler can read the lyrics while touching various objects on the screen to open bus doors, make whooshing sounds by touching the windshield wipers, turn the wheels, pop bubbles and even make a dog bark. Your toddler can also change the settings to hear the instrumental version. He can choose from cello, kazoo, piano and violin. There is even a recording feature which will truly delight your little karaoke master.

Preschool Music

This application will help unleash the musician in toddlers. It features a virtual keyboard with 4 musical activities – an underwater percussion, rhythm game, compose a tune that is narrated by a jolly parrot and a silly group of parrots that sing music in the round.

Preschool Adventure

From the developers of Preschool Music, Preschool Adventure also has the same colorful and simple graphics but focuses on educational games. Your little one can learn basic shapes, count to ten and match colors. This application also includes a game that will teach your toddler animal sounds and noises. It has tons of bright, expertly drawn characters that will surely entertain your toddler for hours on end.

Etch A Sketch

Etch A Sketch is a classic toy you might have played with as a youngster. Your preschooler can now create works of art virtually. He can use his finger or use the knobs to draw, change colors using the paint palette, shake to erase and even save drawings and import photos. Plus, it has various games and puzzles that will challenge your preschooler’s drawing skills.

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox

Monkey Preschool Lunchbox is an excellent way to introduce your toddler to colors, letters, numbers, shapes, counting and puzzle solving and matching. It has 6 different activities that is led by a cute monkey. Your preschooler can help the monkey stuff the lunchbox with fruit by solving the games. Once several activities have been completed, your toddler can select a cartoon sticker and tack it on a personalized virtual board.

First Words Sampler

In this game, your toddler is given a picture, the word illustrating the picture and jumbled letters. Your preschooler has to drag the letters to its corresponding place. This application teaches your toddler spelling, sounds, pronunciation and recognition.

Teach Me: Kindergarten

Teach Me: Kindergarten has 4 age-appropriate topics – addition, subtraction, sight words and spelling. You can choose subjects, difficulty levels and even pick a specific question. It is very easy so your toddler can play without asking for help. Your toddler can earn a coin for every 3 correct answers which can be used to purchase stickers to place in sticker scenes or to purchase fish to create a virtual aquarium.

Math Magic

Make Math easy and fun for your preschooler with this game. Math Magic introduces basic math concepts. It features a friendly voice that gently prompts preschoolers towards the correct answers and says “You can do it!” to encourage toddlers when they get the answer wrong. You can also set a timer to challenge your toddler and you receive a colored star for every 5 successful answers.

With these educational applications, your preschooler can spend plenty of time with your phone or tablet without feeling guilty about letting your toddler use them.

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Fun Summer Activities For Children

Sunny days, fresh air and children. They go naturally together. Keep your toddler active with this list of fun summer activities for children.

Water Play

The summer heat can drain your toddler’s energy. So why not enjoy a splash and recharge. From sprinklers to pools to water tables, there are plenty of ways to keep your little one entertained with water. Summertime is also the perfect time to teach your toddler how to swim. Water play provides your toddler an opportunity to stimulate his senses, experiment and of course, provide endless laughter and fun.

Organize A Picnic

A picnic is always great for toddlers. On a bright, sunny Saturday, invite your relatives or your friends for a picnic. Ask your toddler to assist you in preparing the food. He can help you make yummy finger foods such as small sandwiches, biscuits, sliced fruits and vegetables and trail mix. Do not forget to pack some juice and water. Grab a blanket and head to the park. Once lunch is over, your toddler and his peers can play tag or hide and seek and when they are exhausted from running, they can just lie in the grass and gaze at the sky.

Start A Collection

Satiate your toddler’s thirst for adventure by going on an expedition. Go around your backyard, neighbourhood or town and let him look for interesting items he can collect – leaves, bugs, rocks, rubber stamps, etc. This activity promotes a fun way to expose your toddler to different things which helps broaden his knowledge.

Go Fishing

This classic hobby is a fun way to boost the bond between dads and toddlers. Bring fishing rods, bobbers, worms (as bait) and rubber gloves. Since the goal for your toddler’s first fishing trip is to catch a fish, pick a location where bites will be easy to come such as creeks, rivers, lakes or a small farm pond. Talk about anything under the sun to keep your toddler from feeling bored while waiting. When he catches a fish, hold it for him and show him the fins and explain how the fish uses them to swim. Teach him to catch and release. Or if you bring fish home, have him bring only what he can eat and release the rest. Do not forget to praise your toddler for a job well done.

Visit A Zoo

Children love animals. The best way to expose your toddler with different species aside from cats and dogs is to go on a day trip to a zoo near you. Stick to a petting zoo so your little one can see animals up close and interact with them. Ask him to trumpet like an elephant, name the colors of the parrot or hold the lamb.

Learn Something New

Now is the best time to enroll your toddler in a class he is interested in. Most community parks offer an array of free and inexpensive activities such as arts and crafts workshop, dance, soccer, tennis and swimming lessons.

Grow A Garden

Give your toddler gardening tools and some fruits, vegetables or herbs to plant. Ask him to water, talk or sing to his plant every day. This is a great way to keep him busy at home. Plus, he will get a kick out of seeing the fruit of his labor.

Summertime is one of the most anticipated seasons of toddlers. These activities will surely keep toddlers busy and happy while stimulating the mind at the same time.

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