Monday, November 27, 2006

Good Night's Sleep

In order for children to pay optimum attention and be at their best, they need to be able to get a good night's sleep. Many behavior problems that don't stem from a chemical imbalance can be treated effectively through diet changes and adequate sleep.

Many parents let their children stay up late then let them eat sugary coated cereals for breakfast and by noon their kids are distracted and crashing from the sugar high they had at breakfast. This creates a vicious cycle for your child.

First of all, make their bedroom a pleasant and relaxing place to sleep. Get rid of the clutter. Teach your kids the old adage,"A place for everything and everything in its place". You'll be amazed at how much more centered your kids can be by just knowing where everything in their room is. Add shelves and storage bin racks if you need to.

Next, make sure that your child's mattress is comfortable. Their bed should be a place they look forward to laying their head every night, not a place where they wake up sore and uncomfortable from an over-used mattress or too soft mattress.

If it's time to update your child's bed, let them in on the decision making. If you're upgrading from a crib to a "big boy bed" for your son, consider a fun bed shaped like a fire truck. For your little princess, a pink bed shaped like it came straight from Lady Guenivere's boudoir. There are also traditional toddler beds and even bunk beds. If your child frequently has friends over for sleepovers, a bunk bed may be a great option.

Much of your child's attitude during the day will stem from the type of rest he is getting at night, make sure your child is sleeping well every night so he can be at his very best!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Encourage Artistic Expression

The colder days of winter are approaching and it won't be ideal weather for your children to go outside and play every single day. They will need some indoor activities as well.

Many parents are now limiting the amount of time that their kids can spend playing video games, watching television or online. If you want to keep your kids both occupied and doing something that will help them use their imaginations and offer limitless hours of fun - let your kids explore art.

All it takes is an Art Table & Chair Set and your kids will have the perfect place to explore putting their ideas into full color on paper. The top of the table should be made durable and be easy to clean as little artists can be a messy. Many art tables come with paper rolls that can be replenished and it lets the young artist do and re-do as many artworks as they like with a simple tug on the paper roll.

A great option for young artists that won't be a mess at all is the crayola watercolors that only appear on the special paper. The child dips the brush into the special colors and then onto the paper - if there is a drip or the child decides to "test" their brush elsewhere - like on your newly painted walls - the paint won't adhere.

Clay is also fun for kids. If you want to keep the clay your kids play with free of industrial chemicals, you can make your own out of flour and salt and they'll have a blast sculpting all types of things for hours.

Encourage your children to express themselves through art, they'll grow their imaginations by leaps and bounds!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Learning Through Pretend Play

A common complaint that many parents have for finding toys for their children is so many toys do not encourage pretend play. Many toys manufactured today run so efficiently the child winds up sitting back and watching the toy play.

Pretend play is a marvelous way for children to learn on their own or with groups of other children. This encourages not only learning skills through play but also cooperation and being respectful of what other people think. Taking turns and valuable social skills are developed through pretend play.

Playing with things that children see adults do frequently, like shopping for groceries is a fun way to learn about food, shopping and other daily activities that people do. Children can pretend play that they are workers and customers in a grocery store and have a million different creative scenarios that they play out. Young budding actors can pretend they are on a game show where they have to shop 'til they drop or they can be purchasing things for their own cooking show.

For the young restaurant owner on your midst, Doug and Melissa have designed a fun sushi set. This sushi set is made from wood with no sharp edges and even comes in its own wooden box with a realistic sushi menu on the back for an authentic touch. As the rolls are cut they make chopping noises and kids can have hours of fun creating their own imaginative sushi dishes. They can also learn lessons about why hands are washed before food is prepared and the importance of being clean when cooking and cleaning up.

Pretend play is a marvelous way for children to work together or just have fun on their own. Either way, the only limit is the imagination of the child.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pyramid of Play - Keeps Kids from Getting Bored

If you need an activity toy for your busy waiting area, consider adding the Pyramid of Play to your lobby. The Pyramid of Play is actually five toys in one. The Caterpillar Pathfinder has multiple slots to arrange various caterpillar parts. Marble Run is a fun section where children can race each other to see which marble makes the best time. Ladybug Counter is a wonderful way to sharpen math skills and counting basics. Gear Fun on yet another side of the pyramid teaches children to plan ahead arrange gears to make the entire side move with just the turn of one gear piece. Busy Rollercoaster will keep children occupied for hours of fun. 

This toy encourages group play, cooperation and imaginative play. The size is just right for sitting kneeling children. Kids can race trying to see who can finish lacing and tying, arranging the caterpillars through the mazes or make a gear design the fastest. These will all be activities to keep them busy for hours.

Having a toy around to keep the kiddos entertained when they get tired of waiting for the doctor will go a long way into keeping them from getting bored and cranky. Plus waiting room toys like this help with hand eye coordination and social interaction with peers.