Thursday, June 26, 2008

Staying Cool After Playing Outside

Remember what your parents preached to you oh, so long ago? Your mom would be standing in the kitchen, hands on her hips telling you to pick one: inside or out. But what that really meant was you were going outside because you didnt choose quick enough. Nowadays, children love their video games, the television, and the newest technology. But we are lacking in the go-outside-and-play department. What happened to taking a stick and a garden hose and turning them in to a world of pirates and sea creatures? Or if you are one to continuously push your children to playing outside, take note of this spiffy device: the Kids Outdoor Table with Umbrella by KidKraft.

Once your kiddies get a look at this awesome picnic table, they will want to have their lunches outside. While they are outside munching on their meal, bring out a few crafts to get their hands on. It will keep them outside in the nice warm sun and so what if you had to bribe them in a way? They are outside, right? Enjoy the weather and once you are done, hang their artwork on the refrigerator so they can be proud of the work they have done.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Perfect Book Display

Books are wonderful items, especially for the growing minds of our children. Reading provides a pleasurable experience in to the childs imagination, but more importantly its a great learning tool every time a word is read. This Single Sided Canvas Book Display will hold your little dears treasured books in a wonderfully organized fashion. I personally love my books, and want to keep them near and easily accessible all the time, and this book display is perfect for that very thing.

Keep the world of stories available to your children, and let them pick up a book on their own. I love the idea of children reading and growing and learning. It is a precious gift that you should openly provide for them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stretch Their Thinking

My mother is absolutely fascinated by puzzles. She always has at least two 1,000-piece puzzles going at any given time. She will sit there for hours methodically working the parts of the picture in to place and have it finished that day. Whereas I can sit there for hours and put two pieces together to create a blob of an indecipherable image. Go figure. I was always more focused on playing and being rambunctious and could not contain my eager excitement for adventure long enough to focus on a puzzle where all the pieces looked the same to me. Yet, I wonder what would have happened had my mother found a way to make me more interested in them.

Imagination and creativity are prevailing tools for a childs growth. Puzzles are an excellent facet to showing your child how to tap in to their inventiveness. While they are learning to be ambitious and empathetic in other ways, they can learn problem solving, and how to strategize. Marlene Barron, head of West Side Montessori School in New York, did a study on children and the influence of puzzles. She found that when small children were given 100-300 piece puzzles, they were able to share strategies and finish the puzzles. They were inventive in discovering their strategies and were surprisingly concentrated on the task.

Playing with puzzles will help your child learn concentration and focus. It adds to the very round world of creativity. Equip your child with abilities. Arm them with the knowledge they are so very capable of acquiring.

Just Imagine

As a child, my imagination ran with the wind. While my grandmother was using all her might to pry my brother's fingers from the television remote and send him outside to play, I was begging her to let me stay out and play longer. Having a bicycle and a swing set at my disposal, I stretched the idea of make-believe and pretend to its limits. One minute I was a princess in her castle ordering her servants around, then next I was using my bike, neighboring driveways, and sidewalks to pretend I was a bus driver dropping off kids and picking them up to take them to school. Your imagination is quite the nifty instrument, but one in which only you can access.

Imagination and creativity enhances the simple, yet powerful, skills you have. Problem solving, empathy, and ambition are the most important tools a person could acquire. At a Harvard commencement last week, JK Rowling received an honorary degree. When she gave her speech, she spoke of the importance and influence of the imagination. "Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation," Rowling said. "In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity; it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared." Think about how the world would be and what special items of technology we would be without had someone not been creative enough to consider the possibility.

I am sure that you have heard that showing your child how to be creative is important. But have you really considered the impact of other peoples creativity? The whole wheel idea was pretty sweet, dont you think? Your child has all the potential in the world to tap in to those crevices and invent something great. Yet, even if that doesnt happen for them, it is no loss at all. Your child still benefits by being ambitious and having drive. So when you are sitting in the doctors office, be thankful that the doctors and nurses, who are taking care of you, know how to empathize and problem solve.