Tag: Child Development

Pro-Development Play That Every Child Should Experience

While play for play’s sake is undoubtedly important, we also want to make sure that our children are getting the kind of development that helps foster them and makes them more likely to grow up happy, competent, and successful. As such, you might be wondering which toys are most likely to help them as they grow up. The answer isn’t as simple as picking out one single best toy, however. Here, we’re going to look at a range of options, each of which might be able to help your child develop in the direction that you’re aiming.

Link – Pixabay License

 

Teething and grasping toys

If your child is teething, then offering them some ways to help them soothe their pain is going to offer both you and them a little respite. However, rather than simply getting a teether alone, or something solely for teething like a pacifier, you can get something that engages their teeth and their hands at the same time. Teething and grasping toys have been becoming a lot more popular over the past few years. So long as they’re lightweight enough, they’re highly versatile and can help children develop some fine motor skills. Many of them are also multicolored, meaning that they can also help with colour recognition. That way, you can offer your baby some peace for their sore mouth while also getting their brain working.

Books that sing or speak to them

While reading to your own child and singing to them is vitally important when they’re young infants, you should also consider giving them toys that make noises and speak to them. Things like interactive books with nursery rhymes or recordings of lullabies can help get them used to communication at a very young age. The more you engage a child’s social side at their youngest, the better they will be able to grow their communication skills over time, as well. Interactive story and singing books combine this need by giving them things to reach for and touch, which helps develop motor skills such as their spatial awareness.

Play water mats

Water is a very entertaining plaything for young children, indeed. For one, sensory play is greatly important to their development, as we’re going to take a closer look at later. However, for young children, one of the big benefits of an age-appropriate water mat is that it encourages the extremely important activity of tummy time. Tummy time helps physically develop your child so that they can start to sit up, walk, and crawl. Furthermore, tummy time improves their ability to move around using their own arms, motor development skills that will continue to be more crucial as they get older. A good water mat combines tummy time with sensory play while offering your child a safe environment to play with water.

Pic – Pixabay License

Kinetic sand

One of the most important parts of development at an early age is getting a good idea of your own senses. The better we develop these senses as youngsters, the more benefits it can have for us in later life. How we interact with different materials and objects with different properties as children helps us get a better idea of how different forces work on those objects. For instance, playing with kinetic sand can help us build nerve connections in the brain when we are younger and can encourage scientific thinking and problem-solving. One of the best ways to understand how the world works is to get hands-on with it, after all.

Board games

While it’s important to choose the age-appropriate examples for your children, and some children might not be old enough to have the attention span to sit down for them, board games are generally great for childhood development. They are one of the kids toys that helps teach them about structure and rules in the greatest depth. This can be something as simple as snakes and ladders for children who are just getting into school, or chess as they’re getting into their adolescent years. More complicated board games then go on to help teach them about problem-solving and creative thinking, which can help them excel in the school and beyond. They’re also a great way to teach healthy competition in a stress-free environment so that they’re better able to deal with it elsewhere.

Creative play

Whether it’s things like markers, crayons, non-toxic paints or otherwise, let’s not underestimate just how important it is that you encourage your child to be creative. From as young as one year old, they are going to love getting hands-on and seeing all the things they can draw, paint, and even build. Creative play has a range of both intellectual and physical benefits. Learning to draw, for instance, helps to develop mathematic abilities in children at a very young age by helping them see, learn, and create shapes, as well as seeing how sizes and sorting works. The motor skills that get built up through drawing can be incredibly important for their ongoing physical development, as well. Creating with a range of materials is best.

Pic – Pixabay License

Playing pretend

It might seem like playing pretend is nothing more than just a fun pastime, but the truth is that it has a great impact on a child’s ability to use their imagination to come up with creative ideas. Furthermore, playing with dolls and teddies also helps them develop their social skills. By interacting in different scenarios and relationships, it gets them thinking about how people act with one another, allowing them to better intuit social situations as time goes on. This can then help them better co-operate and compromise with their friends as they get into school. They will better understand social cues, different tones, and even improve their language development by talking to their own toys.

Building blocks

From toddlers to teenagers, there are different kinds of building blocks that incentivize learning more effectively than the vast majority of toys out there. Early age building blocks improve motor skills such as hand-eye coordination, ensuring that children learn how to reach out, place, and balance blocks so that they do not tip over. This exercise also stimulates their creative learning, getting them to think about and imagine how block placement will affect the overall structure. Of course, as they get older and the blocks can get more complex and create increasingly diverse and complicated objects, they get to thinking about long-term planning and improve their overall creative thinking. Playing with building blocks alongside your child also helps teach them how to share and how to take turns in play.

Balls of all size

Physical development is just as important a part of play as the mental side is. The sooner that you get your child involved in physical activity, the better. This applies to more than just fine motor skills like hand-eye coordination, as well. Getting up, running around, jumping, and the like are all going to help them physically develop so that it becomes easier to incorporate fitness into their lives as they get older. There is all manner of toys that can help with this, such as ride-on toys, tunnels, slides, and the like. However, one that combines the physical activity with the fine motor skills, both of which your child needs, are balls. No matter the size, so long as they are age-appropriate, balls can be some of the most beneficial toys for your child to play with.

Pic – Pixabay License

Early age computers

There is a lot of debate that goes on about just how much contact we should be letting our children have with technology and at what age they should be having that contact. There’s a good reason for this debate as well, as there’s increasing concern that technological addiction and the sedentary lifestyle it can involve is bad for the health of your child in a wide variety of ways. However, there is no denying that technology will play an increasingly large role in daily life and the working world as time goes on. Early learning computers can help children start getting used to this technology so that they take to it much more easily as they get older.

Other children

It’s not all about the toys. It’s important that you find the opportunity to have your child play with others. Many of the skills mentioned above, such as the ability to communicate, to read social cues, and to share while playing, aren’t going to be fully developed unless they’re tested out there in the field. Solo play and playing with family is important, but playing with new friends and other children will help your child get used to other relationships, as well. It’s recommended that you get them playing with other children before they get to school so that they can integrate and socialize more easily.

Of course, play and toys aren’t the only ways to foster the development of your child. Providing a safe and positive home that engages and encourages them is just as essential, but the examples above can at least help.

Advice for New Mommies From A Village

To all the first time mommies, welcome to the world of parenting! I am sure you have read tons of books and articles of what to expect when your bundle of joy arrives. You may have even heard the ups, downs and maybe even the ugly from family and friends. All of this information can be valuable and may assist you at some point. But please remember that every child, parent and situation is different so your desired results may differ. That is in all honesty!

So I decided to dedicate a piece with some new mommy advice for all you amazing new moms. First off, great job! You have brought life into this world and you are trying your very best to provide and love your baby with all that you have. You are doing one of the hardest jobs in the world where you don’t get financial compensation for, the hours are long, there are no designated break times, you don’t get recognition for a job well done and your little boss is very demanding! But the rewards are SO much more than all that. So now, seat back and breathe because you ROCK!

Hopefully I still have your attention and that you are intrigued with what comes next in my new mommy advice article. This time around I decided since it takes a village to raise a child, I would ask some amazing moms in my village on their advice to share with all of you.

The question I posed to them, was what advice would they give to new moms or what they wish they knew before becoming a mom and the results are in. The beauty of this advice is that it comes from women of all ages and at different stages of their life. Each one has had girls, boys and even twins so we have a great mix of advice. Enjoy!

My offset piece of advice is….Don’t be a hero. Accept help. Ask for help. Use your village to assist raising your child. You’ll want to do it all yourself, it’s a modern societal need to succeed without help. But you’ll need it. As much as you don’t want to admit it, you’ll need the help. Let them hold the baby so that you can shower, nap, or go to the grocery store alone! Accept the help. And use their help to do something gratifying for yourself. You deserve it.
Colleen, Mother of 3

Don’t worry if your child walks or talks after others. Every child develops in their own time. You cannot spoil a baby with love.
Karen, Mother of 3 & Grandmother of 5

Listen to your instincts. Do what you think is right for you and don’t worry about everybody else.
Debbie, Mother of 1

As mothers, we all have fears and doubts and we all want to do what’s best for our children. Nobody knows your baby better than you do, so trust your instincts. What worked for another mom and their baby might not for the both of you. But do network with other mothers as parenting is one of the toughest but most rewarding jobs you’ll ever experience. To hear what other mothers say, know that your feelings are the same as many, and share stories will help ground you and guide you in your new role called motherhood. It’s a job that keeps on giving, frequent routine changes, learning new things, and reaching new limits and expectations. It’s a journey that travels many paths and mysterious corners lay ahead. Just know to be flexible, and live it to the fullest, because it’s your journey with your baby, a story that cannot be rewritten, but one you will always cherish.
Amber, Mother of 2

My advice would be on breastfeeding. People say, “It’s the most natural thing in the world” but it’s actually very difficult at times. You will get frustrated, you will cry, the baby will cry and you will wonder if they are getting enough. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I bought a couple of sessions at a local breastfeeding clinic to get help and we stuck with it till she was 16 months (with some supplements and eventually baby food). Don’t give up, unless it just cannot be done. And then don’t feel guilty! Anyone who ever said, “don’t cry over spilled milk,” has obviously never pumped.
Michelle, Mother of 1

I wish I knew how wonderful baby bucket car seats were. We started off with a convertible one but now we have both. So convenient especially when he falls asleep in the car.

Before baby arrived, we prepared some food and stocked up on cans of soup, frozen veggies, and fruit for smoothies which was a life saver. Some of our family and friends brought us meals, groceries and gift cards which were very much appreciated! The best present for new parents (and Starbucks!)

I didn’t realize how many diapers a newborn baby goes through, especially a boy! Ask for different sizes of diapers for shower gifts or gift cards are great!
Kailey, Mother of 1

If you go on vacation and leave your baby with the grandparents, provide them with a sleep schedule. This will help when you return as it will keep them on a normal sleep routine.
Julie, Mother of 1

I wish I had the knowledge of how to deal with a premature baby as my son was born prematurely and was very underweight. He stayed in an incubator in the ICU for five days and it was difficult to leave him there. I was unable to hold him for the first 2 days of his life and he had to be tube feed. There wasn’t a lot of information when I had my son 24 years ago and I wish I had the information as it would have helped me cope and better understand. It would have also taken away a lot of stress that I was feeling. The first month of having him home was difficult. For instance, it would take him 1 hour to drink 2oz of formula and for a new mom that is hard to see. My advice is to access and get the information that you need to help you. There is so much available and don’t feel ashamed to get it as it can help you.
Linda, Mother of 3

My advice would be to not listen to everyone as all moms are all different and to do what you think is best for your child and no way is the wrong way. It’s your way and no one can say it’s wrong. In the end, you’re the mom and you do what you feel is right for your child.
Jennifer, Mother of 2

Everyone will always try and prepare you and give you all their baby advice. Here are my top three: When your baby first comes home, just do what feels right, you will surprise yourself on how your natural mommy instincts take flight; Your capacity to love will grow bigger, not just for your new little one but also with everyone around you. Being a mom makes you be the best you and you will want to share that with others; and lastly, chores can wait….take a nap! I had this vision in my head of always wanting to be caught up with laundry, dishes, cleaning, groceries, etc. and you know I never did get my super mom award so just take it easy, rest when you can. Not all the time though of course.
Carla, Mother of 1

Follow your instinct. If you don’t feel is right, then go with what you feel. You will get over inundated with advice, but you know your child best. Follow that intuition.
Katie, Mother of 2

What I wished I would have done was to nap when my baby napped. Also to have trusted my gut instinct as a mom’s instinct is usually right and not to worry so much. My advice is to not worry about house work and it will get done when it gets done.
Norma, Mother of 1

Asking for help doesn’t make you less of a mom, trust me, it takes a village to raise a child (and that saying rings true 6.5 years later). Life’s new change has brought so many new (and unknown) obstacles and we need to remember we don’t need to overcome them all on our own. Reach out to those who have experience for advice, support, etc.

Don’t be afraid to lean on daddy for support. Or ask grandma, aunty or uncle to tag in once in a while (if and when possible).

Not many people are fortunate to have family close by, so connect with other mommies in your community. Make your community your family.

It really does take a village.
Marissa, Mother of 1

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus on enjoying your kids, rather than worrying about what they’re wearing, their haircuts or whether their food is always perfectly nutritious. 2. If you show your kids that you trust them, they’ll learn to trust themselves and make responsible choices. 3. Don’t suppress their creativity and autonomy. Get out of their way and let them try scary stuff. That’s how they learn. 4. Talk to them about absolutely everything. Don’t protect them, because it’s better if they learn about death, sex, etc through you than their friends.
Karin, Mother of 3 (includes 1 set of twin girls & 1 boy)

You need patience in abundance. It’s ok to make mistakes, it does not make you a bad mother. I think that’s one of the biggest things. We are all, secretly, judging ourselves and other moms. And not always in a bad way. You got your kids in swimming and ballet, well then I probably should do the same. Or, you see how a parent reacted to a situation and you think it was awesome and you want to adopt the same thing with your child. I guess the one thing I can say is that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes as parents. It’s totally ok. As long as you wake up the next morning, new day, to try it again. We learn by practicing.
Susie, Mother of 2

Hope you enjoyed this piece full of inspiring advice from some inspirational women in my village of awesome.

At the end of the day, continue to do what you feel is best for your child. No one could ever really write a book about your particular child but you sure can! Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga