Relax and be Commercial free

I’m excited to share that I have an article over at Relax magazine all about Savvy Summer Fun. There are lots of other great articles about parenting in this print and online magazine. Check out the old shoe activity……we all have one of those lying around.

With Summer it doesn’t tend to happen as much but Autumn isn’t far away and the dreaded Halloween/Christmas presents starts. How do we raising our kids in this commercialized world? Who are the CCFC? and how can limit the pester power?

Raising Playful Tots is an Internet radio or Podcast available 24hrs a day . Host: Melitsa Avila of Play Activities. Download each episode yourself visit each show notes to do this or have iTunes do this automatically for you.

Week 30th May 2010: Campaign for a commercialized free childhood ( CCFC) with Josh Golin. Josh is the associate director of the CCFC and shares some amazing facts, studies and inspiration to sharpen our awareness of Media and Marketing to your kids.

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We Play

We play in the kitchen.

Welcome to the drums section of a very loud concert ( Can you hear me shouting that!)

We Playor is it official taste tester of the new and improved LO sauce. Better than mummy’s with the secret ingredient?

We Play

or is it just fun to take things out of cupboards and off tables and line them up in a row?

I think it’s all three and more.

This post is part of Childhood 101 ” We Play”

We Play

“Come over and play at the Childhood 101 We Play link up” and see the others.

We Play….

Mentioned in the Raising Playful Tots Podcast

Raising Playful Tots is an Internet radio or Podcast available 24hrs a day . Host: Melitsa Avila of Play Activities. Download each episode yourself visit each show notes to do this or have iTunes do this automatically for you.

Week 25th April 2010: Positive Parents with Sue Atkins. Sue is a Parenting coach and Author of Raising Happy Children for Dummies about being a positive parent.

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Keep up to date with new show by signing up for the newsletter. When you sign up for the newsletter you get a free 11 page special report 10 ways to extend your child’s play. New show on Wednesday!

Discussion starters for young children

When you ask your child, ” How was your day?” We don’t always get the type of conversation we bargained on. This type of direct conversation certainly doesn’t seem to work with mine, for sure. However if we’re doing a side by side activity together or next to each other we seem to get a better result. Maybe it’s boys? ( Any girl mums care to comment?)

Don’t overlook the small stuff

We have quite a few magic paint books. You need just water and a paintbrush. The paint appears on the page. You do have to be careful not to overwet otherwise the colours will run. In general we’ve had a lot of beginner exploratory fun with paint books like this for the baby and toddler….even on an airplane. But that is a whole other story.

At one time we had so many of the books and the older boys grew out of it so I put them up. Now this last week I got them out for the baby/toddler to try some mark making fun.

Life got busy and the two older boys asked if they could do one after flipping through the book.

While I did some work on the table they both worked at their picture

Don’t always follow your instincts

My initial reaction was to say I’ll get the other paints out or you’re too old. But it was there and I was time pushed so hey. Why not!  It would be fun. My biggest concern was it would take  one minute to do because they have the fine motor skills and well for them it’s just easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Also the trend is to go higher and not lower. Was I dumbing down their learning by letting them do something so easy! OK so that’s the first 20 seconds of thought.

In my hesitation, they let me know they would handle it all. Getting the paintbrush, water cup, newspaper, scissors etc. Each brother backed up the other. “I’ll get the water because I’m bigger.” “I know where the newspaper is and I’ll put it away this time.”  Nothing wrong with their persuasive skills. I hope in 10 years time it is still there for their essays lol.:) I agreed on the fly.

I’m glad I did.

What happened?

I must admit I didn’t complete the work entirely that I was doing.

I did have interesting discussion for 20 minutes or so with my boys.

Each talked about the picture and things they painted seemed to trigger another story or something they had to tell me. Maybe it was the subject of one of them- a birthday party! I don’t know but all my misgivings about this simple paint activity slipped away. They talked about school, friends, and asked those way out questions you can only get from kids.

Photo books are another way to do this activity. There is a contest over at Raising Playful Tots with Books by Tara. I interviewed her about her photo books and had a chance to use these at home, thanks to Tara.

Dreaming with Rousseau (Mini Masters)

Dancing with Degas

These art books are also another great way to stimulate discussion and conversation.

Discussion and meaningful conversation happens in many ways in a family. I’m so happy to have found a few other discussion starters that work with my family.

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WW: One moment


For more Wordless Wednesday posts visit : Wordless Wednesday and 5 minutes for mom.

Find out more about this photo tomorrow with Tell me Thursday

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Raising Playful Tots is an Internet radio or Podcast available 24hrs a day . Host: Melitsa Avila of Play Activities. Download each episode yourself visit each show notes to do this or have iTunes do this automatically for you.

Week 28th March 2010: How to have a successful child at school….with Dr R. Golinkoff professor and multiple author including Einstein never used flashcards shares her experience of Play for social and emotional growth, negotiation and raising a successful child at school.

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WW: Sort it out!


For more Wordless Wednesday posts visit : Wordless Wednesday and 5 minutes for mom.

Find out more about this photo tomorrow with Tell me Thursday

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Raising Playful Tots is an Internet radio or Podcast available 24hrs a day . Host: Melitsa Avila of Play Activities. Download each episode yourself visit each show notes to do this or have iTunes do this automatically for you.

Week 28th Feb 2010: Large family play….with Meagan Francis of www.thehappiestmom.com shares her experience of managing a family of 5 and play. When you have a large family the way you play may change and the dynamics of play.

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Keep up to date with new show by signing up for the newsletter. When you sign up for the newsletter you get a free 11 page special report 10 ways to extend your child’s play. New show on Wednesday!

My first post……

Don’t forget to enter the book contest. Click here to go there now- Running Monday 15th February to Sunday 21st February 2010.

My first post on Play Activities took a very long time to compile. I was nervous and worried if anyone would read it and if anyone would make a comment.

That was in January 2007.

Want to see the post?  Simple steps that make kids curious about learning

While times change and our children get older play remains the same.  The aim of this blog is to document the play activities that I have done with my family. We have a lot of fun and mishaps, smiles and tantrums over play. But sticking at it when times are tough helps. During the time that I’ve been blogging I’ve had two more babies, hospital stays and change of work habits because of this, moved 4 times, lived on two different continents and three different countries. Life has sure been busy but during all this what has grounded us and kept us together as a family is that we play together.

Why this style of play?

There has always been a lot of very talented people who craft or have visually stunning pictures. I love those sites like everyone else. I want this site to keep it real for those of us that wish to play with our children and not feel the pressure to make everything look beautiful. They can and do . We try and have fun.

What do you do?

This is a one stop resource for all different types of play experience. The play activities email is a free weekly email of play activities that parents can do with their children using everyday material found in your home. You usually have to hand more things than you imagine that will easily be useful as a play activity. If you’re a regular blog reader you’ll love these activities. Sign up is free  ( Top right sidebar)

Recently I started a podcast where I interview people with a big heart for Early years play. Experts, authors and parents who follow the philosophy of Play Activities- engage and not entertain.

I’m often asked to provide printables. I try and include downloads if I have them or make them. Most of our play activities use materials we find around the home and are interactive. We don’t use many printables ourselves. My boys are avid artists and I love it. We use lots of sticker books, supplied by family, colouring books when we’re out and about.

The first of anything is really exciting. How do you keep play exciting for your kids?

Raising Playful Tots is an Internet radio or Podcast available 24hrs a day . Host: Melitsa Avila of Play Activities. Download each episode yourself visit each show notes to do this or have iTunes do this automatically for you.

Week 14th Feb 2010: Playing outdoors….with Caroline Webster of http://salisburydowns.wordpress.com shares the final part of her series on imaginative play activities for the little ones Outdoors. She gives away two copies of her book in an easy contest.

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Keep up to date with new show by signing up for the newsletter. When you sign up for the newsletter you get a free 11 page special report 10 ways to extend your child’s play. New show on Wednesday!

If you blog what was your first blog post……….post it in the comments section. You probably took the longest time writing it.

What was one of the first blogs you commented on?

Einstein never used flashcards contest

Thanks for the entries this contest is now closed

I have a few favourite books that I have out a lot ,read and comment about. I was talking to a friend the other week and we got to talking about how hard it is to find books that teach and are practical. As the conversation went on I knew I had to share my top favourite book Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn–and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

We were walking and talking.  As we got home I was happy to show the book but really couldn’t give up my dog eared copy. I was wondering if we could make a virtual parenting play list……..what books have you read that you feel every parent should read?

Since this is a blog about play books that are play related would be great but parenting books in general are fine.

Contest

  • What parenting book is your Top 3 must read list? It touched you in someway and you talk about it all the time or would recommend it?
  • Leave the book title ( and author if you know it) in the comments. If you can share a little bit about the book that would be great but optional.

For an additional entry

  • Tweet: @playactivities My must read parenting book ” add your title”

Contest is open to Canada, US and Europe. Is there an Amazon in Australia? Void where prohibited.

Contest is open today, Monday 15 February and closes Midnight Sunday 21st February 2010 MST.

Winner is chosen by random.org.

Winner is contacted via email left in the comments. It’s automatically captured once you enter it once in the second box. ( name, email, comment)

Winner must reply with postal address within 48hrs otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

Looking forward to your entries……………………..

(Disclosure: I will be buying and sending the book. )

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Raising Playful Tots is an Internet radio or Podcast available 24hrs a day . Host: Melitsa Avila of Play Activities. Download each episode yourself visit each show notes to do this or have iTunes do this automatically for you.

Week 7th Feb 2010: There are no mistakes in Art! Help! You want to try Art but oh not really…. MaryLea of  pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com shares her inspirational art ideas for the little ones and shares some practical ways to try Art suitable for all levels and stages. Listen to the show .

Keep up to date with new show by signing up for the newsletter. When you sign up for the newsletter you get a free 11 page special report 10 ways to extend your child’s play. New show on Wednesday!

Friday play finds

It’s Friday!

I’ve got the virtual chocolate

Photo: http://www.sweetnothingschocolateco.com/

I tasted these last week at the local Baby expo…..delicious.

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Here are some on my tweets from this past week I’ve enjoyed around parenting and play.

They made me think, smile ,cry and take action. Hope they inspire you too. Interesting articles and blogs I have found this week via Twitter or my Reader.

If you tweet let me know your ID in the comments.

  • NAEYC  Inventing Music Play Centers: http://bit.ly/74Dpwl (Young Children article) #musicmonday #naeyc #ece
  • #FF #parenting podcasters who leave you thinking and smiling @parentingunplug @vickyandjencom@annie_fox
  • commercialfree New Kaiser Family Foundation study finds children spend more than 7.5 hrs per day with media. http://bit.ly/7eX2VP
  • Join @ajpassey in celebrating winter with great prizes, music, crafts, activities and more! http://bit.ly/7gzKWw
  • activekidsclub New post by AKC : Let there be color http://bit.ly/5nfSuz #playoutdoors #play #family #kids

Raising Playful Tots is an Internet radio or Podcast available 24hrs a day . Host: Melitsa Avila of Play Activities. Download each episode yourself visit each show notes to do this or have iTunes do this automatically for you.

Week 24th Jan 2010: Dawn @paintermommy, multiple business owner and mother of 4 little ones shares how she fits it all in and finds time for play.

Crayon and paint

My preschooler likes to paint.

I’m not very artistic even though I love visiting Pink and Green mama for inspiration with art. I’m trying to find different ways to encourage this creative side and not allow my lack of paint creativity hinder my children’s obvious enjoyment of using paint. Usually they have an unstrucutred art activity. Here’s the paint choices. Which do you want? Here are the paper choices- which do you want? Choose 3 -5 sheets. Then they go wild for a while.

Today I worked together with the preschooler on this piece. It’s a joint effort. I think it is pretty obvious where I helped and what he did. 🙂

We experimented with a picture and crayons today then washed it all with watered down paint.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
………….. The cat sat on the mat:)

What we achieved today: Creative moment…calming time….focus…..concentration…achievement and a big smile.

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Raising Playful Tots is an Internet radio or Podcast available 24hrs a day . Host: Melitsa Avila of Play Activities. Download each episode yourself visit each show notes to do this or have iTunes do this automatically for you.

Week 17th Jan 2010: We revisit evaluating play and how it helps to make us the type of parent we want to be by having manageable and realistic goals for our children’s play life. Two new play articles in the news that will have an impact on our play and a family game we enjoy. Keep up to date with new show by signing up for the newsletter. When you sign up for the newsletter you get a free 11 page special report 10 ways to extend your child’s play.

Play community

Being a mother at home can be a very lonely experience.

Partly I started this blog as a way of reaching out to other mums who felt the same way about play and partly because I was away from home in a foreign land and was experiencing complete culture shock. There as so many similarities between the British and the American culture but there are quite a few distinctions too. That and I was living in rural Italy really shock my world.

I loved the community I experienced online with forums and blog posts that I could relate to. I could see I wasn’t alone in my despair and could celebrate my successes however small or insignificant. For the last 3 years I have been blogging here and sharing what I do as a parent to encourage play like we remember. I’m not perfect but I’m happy to pick myself up, dust myself off and try again.

Much of that has to do with the community I feel around me. I love to visit my local momslikeme forum. I get to meet local mums for playdates and have adult conversation. Nothing feels better than sharing what’s going on with you, listening to what’s going on with them and hearing other peoples take on things.  I have learnt so much and feel like I’m a better person for it. We all have so many valuable things to share especially about play and I like the back and forth discussion you get in a community.

So I started our very own community. A place where we can talk about play. The community is called Raising Playful Tots. I have the widget on the podcast site. I have a lot of opportunities to talk to you but I would love to hear what you have to say. Moving around as we do as a military family has really made me want to engage in community because my community changes every few years.

Playing by yourself is no fun so why not come on over and say hi, ask that question and hang out. I’d love to just chat. I have questions too so am hoping you can help. I’m hoping we can chat more about some of the blog posts and podcasts , past and present, share our thoughts, network and play. To join this community use this link to go to  theblogfrog.

Amber Passey of Because Babies Grow Up shares her thoughts on child development, physical, cognitive and language development.

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