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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Learning to Ride a Tricycle Builds Skills

Watching your child grow and learn is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I was at my son’s school the other day watching him ride tricycles with his friends. After talking to a Mom who commented she had not thought to teach her child to ride, I realized that one skill that is often overlooked by first time parents is the ability to pedal and ride a bike. Pedaling is an important motor skill for young kids for a variety of reasons. It increases muscle strength, improves bi-lateral coordination, increases postural stability, and gives a child confidence in their physical abilities. Of course kids love it because it's fun and the sense of accomplishment they feel when they pedal for the first time is awesome for their self esteem.

The best way for young children to learn this skill is to start with a small toddler size push trike and then progress to a bigger tricycle as they grow. Quality preschools understand that when it comes to tricycles one size does not fit all. Having a variety of trikes in different sizes and styles is the best way to ensure that kids progress in a developmentally appropriate way. Although some toddlers don’t mind sitting on a trike that is too big and pushing with their feet, the pedals often get in their way. This might lead them to avoid trying to push it which could delay them mastering this important skill. Preschool programs should always have some push trikes without pedals so that the younger toddlers can feel a measure of success.
Once the push trike is mastered having a tricycle that is the right size is the next step. Just like children, trikes come in different sizes. When deciding on a preschool, parents should talk to the director make sure the school has a good assortment of products for children of different sizes and skills. One size does not fit all when it comes to rides on for learning and safety reasons. 

When a group of children ride their tricyles around the playground they are practicing steering skills, engaging in cooperative play, learning to coordinate their upper and lower body at the same time, increasing muscle tone and flexibility and getting a cardiovascular workout. Teachers love to see their students get lots of physical exercise because it is good for them and helps get the wiggles out. This of course makes learning easier because kids are more focused after physical activity. When parents see these playground games they see happy, confident children playing with their friends. Tricycles are well worth the investment. They bring a lifelong love of active play and memories for preschoolers that are priceless. 

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Biggies Stickies... Fun Decals and Wall Decor for the Whole Family!

We recently added a wonderful line of wall murals, wall stickers, & wall decals. Biggies Stickies which, while they sound a little strange, are a rather useful, innovative and reasonably priced decorating solution.  They certainly have “the Edge” because their products help out with tricky decorating dilemmas and save money.

If you have more than one kid, then you have more than one favorite theme. And if each child has their own room, they'll want to stamp their individuality on their respective rooms.  Biggies are great because as their tastes change, you'll be able to remove the decals without damaging walls. 

The best part about these wall murals, wall decals and Biggies Stickies  is they can be used as permanent or temporary decorations. This works out brilliantly for children because their passions and interests seem to change almost seasonally and that can painting and papering can get messy and expensive. Kids will love adding the different elements themselves or helping mom and dad with the larger stickers.

The stickers are great for desks, lockers, windows & mirrors. The decals are bigger and they look great on walls. My son choose the Biggies Planets Wall Stickies to create an impression of the sky and planets on his room ceiling. Now he can lie in bed, gaze up at the ceiling and imagine he was an astronaut!   He had a hard time selecting a wall mural because there was so much to choose from. He liked the Asteroid Belt Giant Wall Mural, the Earth Satellite Giant Wall Mural, the Hubble Repair Giant Wall Mural and the Moon Walk Giant Wall Mural. It was fun to watch talk about his favorites.