Friday Finds {10.08.2012}

Car race track

The hardest time is the gap between saying, “Go find something to do!” and them finding something to do. I don’t know about you but I’m so tempted to talk more and direct them.

We try and have unstructured downtime everyday. Not just  now, some random filling in time but planned to give a decent length of time to allow for creating ( and putting away or to the side).

This fine creation happened this week. I love the creativity of using the Fiddlestixand he played for a long while refining and building his racetrack.

I too had to find something to do and it worked. I said nothing.



Friday Finds is the place to unwind, grab yourself a comfy chair and reflect on your past week then plan for the upcoming one. With a little something to make you think, for them to do and for us to listen or watch……. We are putting ideas into action. Challenging ourselves to do a little differently. Be inspired.

Link up your posts  that fit one of these categories.

Enjoy your weekend!

Goodness for the mind: Raising Successful Children ::

Activities for the body: Over and Out!: 2 Great Obstacle Courses ::

Goodness for the eyes and ears: Why Duct Tape Parenting? What’s in a Name :: Parenting on Track

This week on Raising Playful Tots podcast::  Back to school for 5 year olds and under

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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.

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!

Your baby can play

You may recognize the title is similar to a popular reading program for babies… Your baby can read Yes I did say baby and reading in the same sentence. Just like makeup and 5 year olds ; limos for young girls parties; cropped tops for tweens…things are getting pushed down.

I’ve been really saddened recently with the amount of people interested in spending large sums of money to teach their babies how to read through rote and repetition. I don’t think babies should or need to be reading at all.  It’s not right or developmentally appropriate for them to be not playing. When you take them from their blocks or investigations to sit in front of a screen that’s what you do take them away from playing. I feel I need to say it, it’s alright! your baby can play. It’s how they learn.

It is tempting and you may feel like everyone is doing it but they are not.

Authors of Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn–and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less explain how to make the best of your time with your child, they show how to practice their own three “R’s”

Reflect: Stop and ask if a formal, structured activity is right for your child and whether you’re reducing the time that she could spend learning through play.

Resist: Just say no to stuffing your child with information and do so knowing that the research in this book [Einstein Never Used Flashcards] backs you up.

Recenter: Reassure yourself that you made the right choices, because growing up should be full of play , not work.

What can you do?

  • Not buy into the myth that faster is better.
  • Don’t believe that we have to make every single moment count otherwise we’re failures. Moments do count but let our children lead their lives.
  • We aren’t the only ones to teach our kids. By providing high quality experiences we can but only hope to enrich their lives and not predict their place in society.
  • Know that children are not empty vessels that we have been charged with filling as quickly and fully as possible but instead let them use their innate abilities to discover, learn and experiment as well.

Don’t get me wrong. Some children are ready faster than others. Great! But the majority are not. It is important not to squander our time with our children but planning each and every moment. It isn’t healthy. There must be down and unstructured time. It’s in these idle times real learning happens. They get to put into practice what they’ve learnt and are thinking. We can learn from other forms of media but be age appropriate and realistic. Don’t always believe the hype. Marketing with a pinch of science doesn’t equal a good play experience. Messages are often inflated. Yes, if we let them discover and learn everything this would not be a good practice but the prevailing attitude we receive is that if we push our agenda onto our kids they will succeed. 1+1=2. This type of thinking does not account for variations in personality, age, gender, race or economic status.

How do we do these things here?

Give babies and toddlers wooden spoons, cotton reels, lemons to play with. Construct a treasure basket where they can really learn through play.

Change your thinking from perfect pictures, perfect activities or perfect crafts to emphasizing the process over the end product. This is what creates a love of learning and not a need for perfection. Failure is good it leads to improvement. We want them to love the process to do it again and not feel like they have no part in the process but merely imitating what we want. We want to encourage creativity.

Allow time for pretend play so kids can work through the complex emotional world we live in. We fill their heads with ABCs as early as possible and keep adding to the academics. Playing in the Wendy house, constructing a fort, serving lunch in your restaurant are all necessary play activities to go alongside the academics. It’s where language is learnt. It’s where they work out troubles one teddy to another. It’s where they work through problems.

Read and learn what makes for a great foundation from the source. Try The Hurried Child-25th Anniversary Edition

So before you reach for that expensive DVD set that promises you lots of sitting down drilling your wriggly 2 year old. I hope you’ll consider using that program in light of wider reading and not just the jacket sleeve. That you’ll consider activities and actions I’ve already outlined. That you’ll keep the 3 R’s in mind and make wise decisions for your family.

What do you and your two year old do?

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Use your imagination

Play activities come in all shapes and sizes.

This is a guest post from Tammy Lessick. She’s a mother and someone I’m very glad I’ve met via Twitter. Tammy speaks from the heart.

I am a WAHM of two. I have a five year old girl and a nine year old boy. My son is nonverbal and diagnosed with Autism. Both of my children love doing activities that involve the whole family. Whether it is hiking at the park or sitting at the table with one of our Story Time Felts sets.

My son doesn’t like board games, and he doesn’t like to play with toys. Doing activities, as a family, indoors is limited for us. We have the following choices: painting, felt sets, watching movies and cleaning. My son loves being outside, so most of our family activities involve the outdoors. The park is our favorite place. There are the paddle boats, playground, and hiking trails.

I love the hiking trails because they are both fun and educational. My children learn how to navigate the trails by following the marks on the trees. They learn about different plants and animals. It is also great exercise and the only exercise my son actually gets, except for roller skating.

On the days when we are stuck indoors because of the weather, it is either independent play for my daughter or one of the family activities I listed above. My son will sit and watch movies all day if we let him. I love to take out one of our felt sets and play with my children. I have my own sets for my business and my children have a couple of their own too.

My daughter loves putting the different pieces on the board and telling stories. My son loves to “talk” to me while putting his pieces on the board. He has a dinosaur and an ocean set. We discuss the different animals and he explains to me why he has placed them in certain spots on the board. My daughter loves creating gardens and picnics with my farm set, and she loves telling stories with her “Cottage Classic” and “The Little Engine that Could” set.

It is important that a child is able to be creative. Creativity enhances learning and independence later in life. A child with special needs may require creativity on the parent’s side to bring out that child’s creativity. My daughter has an amazing imagination, while my son needs one-on-one interaction to help bring his out. I have found that the two important things to remember are to gear your activities towards your children’s interests, and to be involved in their activities. These two things are especially important when your children are young.

Follow her on Twitter: @taless

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