The earliest play that toddlers do together is parallel play. However, it can be overlooked, and adults may think the children are not even noticing each other. In fact, parallel play is a very important first step in toddler social interactions. As the toddler begins to notice peers, she also starts to imitate them. Before you know it, your toddler will progress to more play together with other children. Parallel is the start. Read More Here at Highlights
Summertime is in full swing and that affords more time for being outside. That is great news if you have a young child. Depending on where you live and what you enjoy, there are many ways for young children to be active outdoors, and they absolutely thrive outside the house. Toddlers are naturally curious and active explorers, moving and touching and running and jumping. It is how they learn. Balance and coordination are growing rapidly in these early years and outdoor movement, on a variety of surfaces and slopes, at different heights, and varying motions all contribute to this development.
Earlier this summer I wrote about my concerns regarding children spending so much time in organized activities. As a follow up, this newsletter is about free play outside. Many parents contacted me to express relief at not being the only one with a child who protested camp or afternoon activities, or refused to go to gym class, or sat on the sidelines of activities. Others reported feeling comforted that their decision to keep summer and afterschool time uncommitted was fine, even if it went against the trends in their community. [Read more…]
Spring is finally upon us and we are stepping outside and spending more time outdoors with our children. But then just as soon as the weather turns warm, we’re confronted with a common dilemma for many families: Should I sign my little one up for sports programs and lessons? Most recently the parent of a 4-year old asked,
“My son is very social and loves to be outside. He runs around a lot so I try to find ways to get him out of the house, especially on the weekends. We signed him up for soccer on Saturdays. His best little buddy goes so I figured he’d enjoy it. But all he does is watch. He refuses to participate. I ask him later if he likes soccer and he says he does. Sometimes he does not want to go, though. Do I take him out of it? I worry he will learn it is okay to quit things. Or is he just too young (even though the other children enjoy it)?” [Read more…]
We all love to laugh, but did you know that laughter & joy are good for toddlers? They learn more when they laugh. Parents do better with humor, too.
Read about ways to add humor to your day, getting dressed or out the door. This is one of my 15 Seeds of Success in the final chapter of my book, too: Have Humor.
Children need time to play outdoors, to experience nature and be outside. I have three children who spent much of their days in their early years being outside. They still pend much of their out of school time in the parks and outdoors with each other and friends. That is where children learn about their bodies and what they can do. It is how they learn what risks they can take and how to keep themselves safe (yes, the less adults interfere, the more children develop the ability to stay out of harm’s way). They use their imaginations, make decisions and cooperate with friends as they play. In this piece, Angela Hanscom of TimberNook argues that the decline in outdoor play is actually harming our children. I agree. What do you think? Leave a comment below or on Facebook. [Read more…]