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Music in Schools

Music in Schools

Children benefit from music in schools. There is a compelling amount of research connecting music to higher order brain function, among other positive outcomes, as outlined below. With this in mind, you may want to lobby for more music in your child’s school. It is equally important to access programs that are now in place, [...]

Valentines Activities to Increase Fine Motor Skills

Valentines Activities to Increase Fine Motor Skills

I. Valentine Hearts Fine Motor Lacing Supplies: Colored Felt (red, white and black) Fabric Scissors Googly Eyes Yarn Masking Tape Hot Glue Gun Directions (For one child): – Fold felt in half and cut out half of a heart. – Cut out three hearts of various sizes in each of the three colors. – Fold [...]

Social Maturity

Social Maturity

Do you ever wonder why some preteens and teens seem so immature, making bad choices in their daily lives? And there will always be the child that seems to “have it together” even in those turbulent years. There are many things that garners confidence in a child, but the one we will discuss today is [...]

Restless Snowy Days

Restless Snowy Days

As we push into the end of January, it seems likely that at least a bit more snow is going to come our way. Snow days do not have to be restless mornings and afternoons spent locked indoors. There are many different and fun ways to pass the hours. Whether you’re a parent staying home [...]

Cold Winter Days and Gross Motor Development

Cold Winter Days and Gross Motor Development

When snowy and cold winter days invade our world, we are forced to stay indoors way too often. As parents, grandparents and caregivers, these are days we most dread. Children grow new behaviors as a supplement for exercise and outdoor activities. Not only are they bored, their brains are not getting the benefits that exercise [...]

Puzzles for Christmas

Puzzles for Christmas

“Puzzles for Christmas” should be a chant heard around the world. Every child should wake up Christmas morning to find puzzles under the tree. In fact, my children would have been disappointed if Santa had not left puzzles under their tree, which he did each year until they left home. You might ask why puzzles [...]

Santa

Santa

Should you teach your child to believe in Santa? Nickelodeon Parents Connect asked in a poll, “Do you let your kids believe in Santa Claus?” 65% answered, “Of course! It’s a magical part of childhood. What’s the harm?” 13% answered, “No. I think Christmas should be about Jesus, not Santa.” 10% answered, “Yes, although I’m [...]

Holidays and Traditions

Holidays and Traditions

With the holiday season beginning, I thought it would be timely to repeat an earlier article about the importance of establishing family traditions. What are family traditions and why are they so important in a child’s life? Family traditions are rituals or routines with meaning. They are repetitive, create a sense of belonging, and children [...]

Black Friday and Children

Black Friday and Children

With Black Friday a few days away, I felt it was a good time to share an earlier article on purchasing appropriate toys. When selecting toys for your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, etc., there are a few things to keep in mind. Before buying consider these questions. Is the toy age appropriate? Always consider the [...]

Physical Readiness for School

Physical Readiness for School

Concerns about physical readiness for school are growing. Teachers and occupational therapists say an increasing number of children are entering school without fine motor skills. They are showing up for kindergarten without the fine motor skills needed to grip large crayons, hold their paper to color, or cut and glue shapes. It is estimated that [...]

Tips for a Safe Halloween

Tips for a Safe Halloween

Tips for a safe Halloween from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). ALL DRESSED UP: Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater [...]

Expanding Cognitive Ability Through Art

Expanding Cognitive Ability Through Art

Creative art is a great way to expand your child’s cognitive ability through development of problem solving skills. What line to draw, colors to use, what should the tree look like, should I make animals, the list goes on and on. The brain is exercised. Ideas are created. Thoughts are linked to create more ideas. [...]

Learning Through Movement

Learning Through Movement

Children learn through movement, yet, more often than not, we tell them to sit still and be quiet while learning new material. Many children are capable of learning visually and auditorially without movement, but some are not. When we get new information, it has to be stored for future retrieval. If a child’s memory storage [...]

Keeping Friends

Keeping Friends

Making and keeping friends requires skills that you should help your child develop. Friendships are necessary for your child to be happy and content in their world, thus teaching and encouraging these skills is important for parents and caregivers. Helping your child make and keep friends, is well worth the energy put into it. Children [...]

Developing Friendships

Developing Friendships

School would be a lonely place without friends and every child needs to cultivate friendships. Self-esteem is an important factor in establishing friendships. Children also gravitate toward peers who are self-sufficient (independent). Young children do not establish friendships, and until the age of three, play parallel to other children. At three, cooperatively play begins to [...]

School Transitions pt. 2

School Transitions pt. 2

Starting back to school can bring social stress to your child. New class-mates mean new friends. Your child internalizes this and is anxious, no matter what age. We all, to some degree, like “the known” vs. “the unknown” in our lives. This is human nature. Some children have harder times with transitions to new situations [...]

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