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Pretending . . .

Pretend play can be powerful because reality can be suspended. By suspending reality, children can level the playing field and even feel that they have the advantage. After all, though children can be very wise and insightful at times, there are some real frustrations that go along with being a child, namely being younger, smaller, …Continue reading

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Play and anxiety . . .

Challenges are typically preceded by feelings of anxiety. If anxious feelings are managed well, then anxiety can serve as a useful emotion because mastering age-appropriate anxiety and its accompanying challenges is an incentive for learning new skills. Mastering age-appropriate anxiety is possible when a child’s abilities are put to the test without the child feeling …Continue reading

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Downtime . . .

Downtime is important for the healthy growth and development of your child. Your child’s brain needs breaks in order to process the incoming flood of new information. Being idle allows the brain to take what it already knows and then think, reflect, and change. Idle time allows the circuitry to develop. Unstructured free time is …Continue reading

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Sharing by example . . .

Play complements love and work. Play is a critical piece in the complex dynamic of healthy physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development at all ages. When play, love, and work are all involved, learning and development are the most effective. One of the best ways to encourage our children to play and develop lifelong habits of …Continue reading

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Toys, TV, and movies . . .

Great toys are the playthings that invite children to create with a full range of expression. Most toys from the store, often marketed through and based on movies and TV programs, have a “script” that suggests children do one thing over and over again. Children do need and love repetition, but every child also needs …Continue reading

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Teaching concentration and focus . . .

Playing on the floor with your child is a wonderful way to enhance your child’s attention span. Attention requires practice, and practice will occur naturally during “floor time” for a child who has been blessed with the ability to concentrate and focus. Floor time can also help a child who is easily distracted. During floor …Continue reading

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Movement and learning . . .

As scientists learn more about how the brain works, they find extensive links between movement and learning. No wonder kids move so much! For example, some research has revealed that gesturing and pantomiming speed up the process of learning to talk. They also stimulate intellectual development, enhance self-esteem, and strengthen the bond between parent and …Continue reading

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The age of reason . . .

Children develop their ability to reason at different chronological ages. Some children arrive at the age of reason when they turn four while others are seven or eight years old before they have reasoning powers. It makes sense then to instruct children accordingly. For example, asking a young child to follow simple rules, such as …Continue reading

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Storytelling . . .

Telling stories is one playful way to help children address important themes in their lives, particularly those that children might prefer not to talk about. Discharging powerful feelings connected to memories and experiences is important, though, so residual feelings are not left to bubble up later in life. Stress over family changes and other fears …Continue reading

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Transformation and play . . .

When kids play, they are not just having fun. Play allows kids to try out new ways of being, behaving, thinking, and feeling. When kids play, they are allowed to break out of established patterns and experiment with being a new self with new ways of interacting with the world. Even as adults, it is …Continue reading

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