Super smart strategy every child should master

Have you ever gone to find something like a book or a top and an hour later you’ve just reorganized the books or cleaned your closet? Maybe you found the missing item, maybe you didn’t.  You might not even remember now why you’re here but you do feel better about sorting through this particular mess.

Sorting helps us find things.

Sorting helps us notice things.

There is a purpose for sorting.

Like their parents not all children are good at sorting. But everyone has to know how to do it. Sorting is a lot more involved if we really think about it.

Empowering our children to succeed now and in the future with this super smart strategy that every child should master, even though it's hard for some :)

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3 tested ways to encourage Intrinsic Motivation at home

 

Bribing and rewards are forms of extrinsic motivation often used in families to get desired outcomes. It’s really easy to do, quick and just happens so many times.  It starts when they are babies and toddlers. Yet we know that children do so much better long term when they are intrinsically motivated.

Intrinsic motivation ideas for the home instead of all the bribes and rewards | play-activities.com

Why is extrinsic motivation our go to motivation as adults for our children ?

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3 Little known sleep facts that elementary and older children families often miss

Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman share the skinny on sleep in NurtureShock: New Thinking about children.

They collect in one place lots of the current science and sleep facts on different subjects. Often we as parents have a common sense notion about things based on us. But children are different they aren’t little adults.

Sleep is one of those things. We think that our sleep problems and the children’s sleep problems are the same. (They are not!)

The earlier we can set down patterns of good sleep habits the better it will be for our family flow and family atmosphere.

Little known sleep facts for our elementary and older children. |Play-Activities

Here are three highlights from the sleep chapter  [Read more…]

Gratitude, Courage, Adversity, Unity and Cooperation Character Conversation Cards

Here are 25 conversation task cards about Gratitude, Courage, Adversity, Unity and Cooperation Character Conversation Cards. They are designed to bring conversation between children and between families. It’s good for use during the 5 day week so can last a month giving a good amount of time for the conversations to develop.

Character Conversation Cards pink bundle.Gratitude, Courage, Adversity, Unity and Cooperation Character Conversation Cards

Gratitude, Courage, Adversity, Unity and Cooperation Character Conversation Cards

Choose these cards if:

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Overhauling reading when they read just one type of book

Getting the children to read is a step but getting them to read a range of books is another matter.  It’s been my fault. Once I raised a reader I think I just assumed with all these books around they would read a range of them.

I see they don’t.

I know it doesn’t happen to every reader but for some readers once they find an author or book series they can get stuck there. While I’m happy I have boys who read and love to read there’s definitely more to this reading journey than cul-de-sacs.

Pin and save for when  they get stuck reading one type of book. One way to change.

Although we read there’s more to explore just up and over the horizon. As their guide, I need to guide.

The care is to not switch them off to books by forcing them to read also not give the impression it’s wrong to read everything by an author or a series. I guess  it comes down to this: you can’t say you don’t like animal books if you’ve never read one. Once you’ve read an animal book now you can tell me why you don’t like that one.

Here’s one idea we’ve done as a family to try and bring some diversity into our range of books.

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Setting up email for kids: 5 things to teach at the beginning

It’s that time and you’re email address shopping for your child. We’ve had a family email account for a little while as a handy catch all for all the children. It’s been useful to not have to set up separate accounts and all the friends could get each child right there. It was a taste of what’s to come.

As they get older the children have more rights and responsibilities and an email address is earned because of all the responsibility that comes with. There are so many things to talk about never mind all the fear based stuff we all see as parents.

What we should know before setting up that first email address and the conversation we have with our children.

Before I sent off my son with a new email address after the technical wrangling behind the scenes I needed a checklist of things to talk about. Cool Mom Tech has an excellent 11 point list of things to teach your child before they get their first email account  that we followed. I’ve added 4 things to teach or have at the very beginning that we found useful, along with a three messages for us.

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When big changes impact the family- what do I do first?

It seems just when you have the family status quo you desire or you’ve got it to work something new comes in to throw a little chaos. Change is often hard in families because we all love routine so much, and rightly so.

But most parents will find themselves at a crossroads sometime in their parenting journey around work commitments and family time.

What happens if I go back to work part time or full time?

What happens if I go for that promotion or follow my passion?

….how will these impact my family is a question that many of us play over and over again in our minds.

Mastering that change?

As a way of getting unstuck and moving through to making a choice, I’m sharing three ways to negotiate this type of unsettling change so that you can make choices that fit your family.

When big changes impact the family- what do I do first?

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15 Questions to discuss around Digital Media with our children

Having conversations around media with our children is a really important part of growing up. We help to control, protect and teach in our homes but online, computers and mobile phones are three very different places.

I’ve talked about how we’ve tried to maintain a media diet and the revision of it. But just like the birds and the bees talk isn’t just a one time event- talking about digital media is something we want to be open regular, age appropriate and clear.

Good questions to start the conversations about digital media for elementary and middle schoolers. | Play-Activities.com [Read more…]

Why the chores in your family are not working and some solutions

We all like change but something about childhood and children mean we can get stuck in too many fixed routines. Don’t get me wrong, routines are good but there are somethings that would be better if we switched who was doing it.

Contributions are one of these things. If you call them chores see why we changed them to contributions in the first part of why your chores don’t work and how to change it. You can read the first part here.

Here are three more reasons why the chores or contributions are not working in your home and some ideas about how you can flip that.

Less frustration around chores for everyone if you don't fall into this problems. | play-activities.com

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Why your chores don’t work and how to change it

Most families like the idea of chores and have tried chores at sometime in their homes.  At some point chores breakdown and they just don’t work. Slowly they slip down the list of things to do and gradually get done again by the parents.

Chores are an opportunity for the family to work together without everyone doing the same thing. We are all parts of a bigger whole. As we work together our home, our attitudes, our relationships are better.

Here are 3 reasons why your chores don’t work and how to change it

We've tried lots of different chore systems and chore ideas until finally coming up with a way to handle chores in the family ( and it starts with changing the name of that word!) | Play-Activities.com

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