Showing posts sorted by date for query sensory play. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query sensory play. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query sensory play. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query sensory play. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Summer Messy Play Activities for Preschoolers

Fun In The Sun - 6 Tips For Creating A Mud Kitchen For Your Kids


Kids love mud! And as dirty as they may get, it’s time to advocate messy play so they can learn new skills the fun way. The fastest and easiest way to encourage your kids to get outdoors is to build them a mud kitchen.They'll be tripping over each other to get outside

Building your own mud kitchen is a creative, cost-effective way of enabling messy play for your kids while saving money on an expensive play kitchen

You can build your mud kitchen in your own way, and in the end, your kids will have the perfect environment in which to get their hands dirty anytime.


This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience.


Summer Messy Play Activities for Preschoolers

Photo: Jelleke Vanooteghem/Unsplash


Six tips to create your own mud kitchen


  1. Use What You’ve Got

Poke around your garage and see what you can recycle to save money on your mud kitchen. You can use wood, recycled pallets, and old timber for the construction. Old cookware and bakeware, utensils, and decorations can also be used to finish out the kitchen,

Remember, the idea is to ignite your child’s imagination, so your DIY mud kitchen doesn’t need to resemble a brand-new toy kitchen set. 


  1. Stove Tops Add to The Fun

While it’s great to leave some things up to the imagination, it’s a good idea to make your play kitchen resemble a real kitchen by creating a stove top. You can paint the burners on a piece of timber or wood, and you can even add broken or thrifted appliances to your outdoor kitchen to enhance its appearance. You can also use good, old cardboard to create a play stove.


  1. Bake Mud Cakes

The fun part of having a mud kitchen is that your kids get to play with mud and get as dirty as they want. All you need to make mud cakes is some sand or soil and water. You can use old cookware and bake ware to contain them and shape them like cakes and cupcakes.

Parents can get involved by showing kids how to create funky-shaped cookies with cookie cutters and molds or add colored pasta to the mud for added texture. This kind of sensory play is an important part of childhood development, but above all, it’s a whole lot of fun.


Pistachio Pudding Play Dough


  1. Set the Table

A mud kitchen is a fun way to teach your child table manners. Guide your preschoolers through setting a table and laying out the dishes. Show them the way to arrange cutlery and allow your children to bring some garden leaves to create napkins for a rustic table setting.


  1. Add a Sink

Since you’ve introduced messy play to your preschoolers with colored pasta and mud cakes, it’s a good idea to take care of the cleanup. The most logical way to do this is to add a sink to your mud kitchen! To create your sink, use a silver or grey bucket and fill it with water or a big flower put with the bottom plugged works nicely too.

Add a hose in the bucket so that there’s an accessible faucet. This is a great way to teach children how to clean up after themselves. Add some dish washing liquid and a sponge so you can wash all the cookware the kids used before bringing it back into the house!


How to Make your own Dish Washing Soap


  1. Dress For The Occasion

Every chef needs a chef’s hat and apron, so make sure to get these for your child. They will love it! Plus, the apron will offer some protection from mud splatter while playing. Rubber boots are a good idea too. Preschool age kids and toddlers love to wear galoshes!


How to Make your own Chef Hat

 

Have fun with your kiddos and their mud kitchen. You may want to wear some rubber boots yourself! Encourage your children to enjoy free and imaginative play, and you can bet they’ll learn tons of kitchen tricks in the process. Pretend play is the best way to learn!


Recommended Reading:

Pretend Play and Play Date Ideas from Adventures of Kids Creative Chaos

Fun Books about Galoshes from Amazon




Healthy Family Advice

Can't We All Just Get Along?

The last few articles have been on the subject of mental health and the breakup of the family unit. As the family situation changes, so do the matters of family concern. Of course, how you deal with these changes affect the future mental health of your children, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. As mentioned in a previous article, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” My advice is this, self-care is a key element to a happy, healthy family, but be careful, don't over do it.

                                                  This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links.

healthy relationships how to get along self care  quote


If you’ve come off a long-term, unhealthy relationship, chances are you’ve been neglecting self-care. Self-care is key to your happiness. Newly separated or divorced individuals might choose to jump out into the dating scene. At first, it's exciting and new. If you've been in a bad situation, going out on dates and having fun can feel like self-care, but you need to be careful that all that good time fun having doesn’t lead to an even more unhealthy rebound relationship. Just like our children, we need to make healthy choices.

Practice being alone. I can’t emphasize this enough. Spend time alone. As much time as it takes for you to get over the pain. And as much time as you need to grow as a person. Learn from your mistakes and take care of yourself.  As I age, I see intelligent women jumping into relationships. Perhaps, they’ve been a stay-at-home mom. Maybe they’ve never held a full-time job. Some never had the chance to go to college. They’ve never managed their own finances. Often, they feel like they just can’t handle the responsibilities of taking care of themselves and their children. So, they go out on a man hunt. The goal is to find a better man than the last one. Some are looking for a man to meet their financial expectations, others are looking for companionship, and some are looking for a father figure for their children. Whatever the reason, they jump into a relationship too soon. Been there done that. 


Healthy Family


I got married while still in college. It was okay. Just okay. I wanted to be happy, but we were young and a lot was missing in the relationship. At that point in my life, the idea of a wedding was more important than the idea of a marriage. We were friends and companions struggling to find common ground, but something was always missing. Both of us had placed our focus on gaining knowledge and prepping for a career and little attention was given to intimacy. As starving college students, there was no money for fun things and then we jumped into buying a house, and then another house, and then it all just got way too overwhelming. There was simply no fun to be had.

Eventually, we talked to friends, family, and clergy. We attended counseling. It all pointed to the same thing, we just didn’t have the same goals or the same outlook on life. We ended the relationship in an amicable fashion. And that’s when my real troubles started. I briefly dated, but playing the field has never been my thing. Dating in your late 20’s is an experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Ugh. It’s a brave new world. With my thirtieth birthday looming over my head, I really wanted to settle down and start a family before it was too late. I had some great men to choose from, two were truly amazing with interesting careers. One was neither amazing, nor did he have a great career. He was lucky to hold down a job. But he had what I wanted. A little girl. My family doctor and the counselor both advised against any serious relationship or even dating after the first year of a breakup, but my biological clock was ticking. Tick tock. Having been told I likely could never have children, I jumped at the chance. 

However, that wasn’t the only thing. He was fun. Oh so fun! He loved to dance, hike, bike, play sports, cook, and clean. One day, he called me one of the “cools.” I had been feeling lost. I was never cool. I wanted to do all those things I felt I’d missed out on in high school and college. Except I didn’t. I was still that goody two shoes inside. His risky lifestyle stressed me out. We fought. Among other things, he drank. He was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive. It was like a dark movie from one of those cable tv channels for women. That was my first rebound.

After that, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pick myself up again. I had a lot of counseling. I saw a psychiatrist. I took various medications. Was I suicidal? Not really, but it seemed like life had gotten the best of me. I felt like a failure in every way imaginable. No kids, no career to speak of, and no real chance to recover from all the despair because, in my head, I was old. Oh, so old. I turned to online dating. It was uplifting to have so many men interested in dating me. It was also terrifying. That was the start of rebound number two. Not only did I not wait a year to date, in only a few short months I had moved in with a man and was pregnant. At the time, it seemed like he had everything I wanted. A good job, two kids, pets, a nice home. He was a widower and that (like the alcoholism before him) fulfilled my need for codependency. I had something to do, people to take care of, and dreams to fulfill. Except, we were less compatible than the previous rebound relationship. Shortly after my son was born, I became pregnant again.

Things weren’t ideal, but I always questioned myself. Why not? Maybe I was the problem. I should’ve been content. I was determined to make it work. I mean, after all, he wasn’t abusing me. He yelled a lot. It triggered old feelings from the previous relationship. I cried a lot. It made him mad. I cried more. It was an endless cycle. We barely knew each other. We met online. We were both lonely. As it came to be that he was my only friend for many years, we were really never friends. We both tried. The harder I tried, the more difficult it got. And now, there were kids involved. I didn’t want to break up the family unit. I didn’t want my kids to come from a broken home. Ugh, the damage I did to all of us by trying to stick this one out. We were the absolute opposite of compatible. I will spare you the gory details.

I had so many health issues. I spent months in bed, with nothing more to do than reflect on my past. I knew it had to end. But I was scared. Could I do it alone? Was I strong enough? I started stepping up my game, working harder from home, seeing various specialists and improving my health, and building credit. Once I knew what had to be done, I still wasn’t ready to do it. Things finally worked out in a way that made ending the relationship the most logical decision. It was difficult, but I didn’t need to seek counseling. I threw myself into my work, my writing, and the remodeling of my new house.

After years of thinking about it, deep down, I knew if I were ever to have another relationship again, I’d have to be strong. I’d have to take care of myself first, I’d need a break. I wrote down the pros and cons of dating. Months passed. I thought about what I wanted. What I needed, who I wanted and why. I realized I didn’t need a man to be happy. But I wanted that companionship that had eluded me for most of my life.


Why it's okay to Need a Man


It was always the same set of traits that had always led me to the same conclusion. But, I didn’t want to make the wrong choice with the right choice. So, naively, I  attempted to play the field again, but I didn’t date. I just talked. I talked to several old friends and acquaintances. This time no online dating, no strangers. I weaned them all out. I settled on one for an attempt at dating. We talked for weeks before meeting in person. I knew him from high school. He seemed to fit the criteria. But low and behold, it was a mistake. A big mistake, but one I wanted to cling to because I was sad and lonely. I had basically given up. I was about to turn fifty. There was no more time for mistakes. If I thought dating in my late twenties was hard - whoa. In your fifties, it’s a whole new frontier. Casual dating wasn’t an option for me. 

I took a few weeks to get myself together. I pulled out my list again, and this time, I realized what I always needed had always been there. Sometimes, you just need a friend.


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24 Best Educational Toys To Gift Your Kids This Year

Gift Guide: 24 Cool Toys for Kids


As a parent, one of the biggest dilemmas for every birthday and holiday season, is what gifts to buy for your kids. Recently, it's become a trend to give kids gadgets, but always giving the gift of technology is proving detrimental for your kids well-being of our future adults. Instead, why not invest in something that's both educational and enjoyable. This way, your children will develop and grow into well balanced adults and still have fun along their childhood journey.



This post contains Amazon affiliate links.








For More Help
Buying presents for infants and toddlers is even more difficult than for older children. Luckily, there are many websites and blogs to guide you with gift ideas and recommendations. Snugbaby is one such helpful blog. From reviews about the best strollers for your young ones to life-saving advice for new struggling parents, Snugbaby.net has it all. So, be sure to check it out for more helpful gift reviews and advice on parenting little ones.



0-1 year olds Educational Toy Gift Ideas

Melissa and Doug Shape-Sorting Set
This classic toy is a popular educational toy for kids and comes in a variety of themes. See the farm sorting set pictured above, It gives a basic introduction to shapes and colors, as well as, problem solving skills and manual dexterity.  Kids have to insert the blocks into the correct shape.






VTech Musical Rhymes Book
This colorful book with baby-friendly pages engages your toddlers with nursery rhymes while providing a fun way to learn the rhymes.


Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears with Matching Sorting Cups
Another simple game, it's an excellent way of teaching colors and simple math skills. Here, toddlers learn to put the bear in the matching colored cup. They also have to count the number of bears available to fill each cup, which makes it a helpful lesson in mathematics.



Download our counting math activity printable to use with this game.


VTech Sit to Stand Learning Walker
This popular toy encourages 9-month-olds to walk while engaging them with colorful activities and sound, thus developing their sensory skills and coordination.


1-3 years (Toddlers)




Learning Resources Alphabet Island Game
Using the classic ABC rhyme doesn’t have to be the only way to teach kids the alphabet. Make learning fun for your toddlers while they go treasure hunting for the alphabet.




Learning Resources Fine Motor Hedgehog
The spikes on the hedgehog are color-coded and easy to grip, making it a great game for kids to play to  enhance motor skills, color coordination, and sorting abilities.

LeapFrog Scribble and Write Tablet
What a great way to introduce letters and numbers before your kids start preschool. Kids trace the letter or number using the tracing tool without the need for writing with crayons or pencils.

The Learning Journey: Match It! Spelling
Visual learning is a great method to teach kids. Linking words with images helps children learn more quickly. Moreover, the puzzle nature of the game also develops kid’s dexterity.








VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
This game is a great way to introduce an active toddler to sports. The Smart Shots Sports Center comes with a net and two balls. It teaches counting by scoring hoops for points and also teaches shapes, songs, and simple words.






ehome Toddler Musical Instrument
People of all age groups enjoy music, kids are no different. This set contains various musical instruments, so parents don't have to worry about which instrument to buy. Encourage your kids to try out playing the different instruments. Who knows, you may have the next Michael Jackson in your house. These also make a great gift for Easter baskets!


3-5 years (Preschool)


Magnetic Drawing Board Mini Travel Doodle
There's nothing wrong or right when it comes to art. This is the basic concept behind this old, yet popular toy. Give your kid free reign over the board and let the pen do the rest. It's fun for trips with family too!





Learning Resources Pretend and Play Doctor Kit
Playing doctors is still just as popular as ever. The doctor kit is a great gift for aspiring doctors and it's also a great way to teach kids to be kind, helpful, and patient.

ThinkFun Zingo Bingo Board Game
This award-winning game is a fun family activity. Essentially bingo with tiles that have labeled images, it teaches kids word-picture association, and it's also a great way to teach preschoolers new words.

Ideal My First Magic Set
Magic is always fascinating to kids, and what better way to teach your kids confidence, social skills, and self-discipline than using this fun magic game? The 25 tricks in this set, which comes with props, instructions, and online videos, make a great Christmas gift for children.

Back To Nature Outdoor Toy Set
For little explorers, this set includes a flashlight, binoculars, compass, and a magnifying glass. Make the game more fun by making a map and preparing a treasure and set your kids out treasure hunting. Can you imagine a memorable childhood play experience?


5-12 years (Elementary School)


Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Exploration Kit
Does your kid love tinkering around with electronics? This is the perfect gift for engineers in the making. The color-coded circuit components come with a guide and after they have mastered the basics, watch your kids build their own circuits!





Melissa and Doug Fashion Design Activity Kit
Science isn't the only subject of educational toys. Let your child's creative side flourish with this attractive fashion design kit that contains fashion plates, pencils, and crayons.







Scientific Explorer Mind Blowing Science Kit
This kit is equipped with 11 fun activities that will entertain your little ones’ inquisitive minds. Build curiosity for new things and a love of science with this science experiment kit that's easy to clean and will quickly become your kid’s next favorite toy.







Grow ‘n’ Glow Terrarium
A unique toy that even adults have fun playing, is this gardening terrarium game. Kids plant the Chia seeds in the terrarium. The kit also comes with glow in the dark stickers and resin figurines to decorate.

IQ Builder Building Toy Set
This building toy set, featuring various shapes and sizes, challenges your kids to expand their creative boundaries in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Equipped with a storage box, this must-have STEM toy, barely takes any space in your room. 

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Logic Game
Develop strategic thinking skills with this innovative game. It uses blocks arranged in different ways to  creatively work around the effect of gravity. The difficulty level increases as the game gets more complex.

Scharkspark Telescope For Kids
This birthday, gift your kids something out of this world. This wonderful telescope helps kids realize the beauty of our vast universe. Introduce your kids to the amazing world of star-gazing and also teach them to take care of their toys with this real working scientific instrument.

National Geographic Break Open Geodes
For the little James Huttons and Florence Bascoms who love scavenging and exploring, this amazing geology set is the perfect gift. Watch your kids squeal in delight when they discover beautiful gems after breaking open the included rocks.






Thames and Kosmos Candy Chemistry Kit
Inspire your kids love of chemistry with this fun game that rewards kids with handmade sweet treats. Sweets and science have truly undeniable chemistry together, a match made in heaven.


Summary
Parents spend a lot of money and time trying to give their kids the best gifts. From toys to education, parents try not to compromise anything for the sake of their children. However, the best gift that parents can give their children are good values and a strong support system. Always encourage your children to try new things on their own and give their best effort. Eventually, your little one will grow to guide you on the journey of life, instead of the other way around. 

Good luck on your journey of parenthood; you'll need it!



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How To Prepare Your Child For A Standardized Test

So, It's Time for a Standardized Test...

Standardized tests are a common strategy applied to gauge a student’s learning capability and the school’s or teacher’s performance. There is a common misconception about standardized tests among parents that these tests are designed to evaluate school performance and don’t necessarily judge students' abilities. 
However, standardized tests are an important part of a student's academic life. In some cases, standardized tests are essential for grade promotion, graduation, or even securing a driving license. As a parent, it is your duty to prepare your children for this test, so they can deliver their best.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

How To Prepare Your Child For A Standardized Test
How To Prepare Your Child For A Standardized Testing: Relaxing the day before is always a good idea!

What Is a Standardized Test?
A standardized test is a testing system that is based on a standard approach. In standardized tests, the question is the same for everyone, the duration of the test is the same for everyone, and even the evaluation process of answers remains the same for every student. 
Independent school entrance examination (ISSE), California achievement test (CAT), Secondary School Admission Test  (SSAT), Preliminary scholastic aptitude test (PSAT), and General Educational Development test (GED) are some commonly-known standardized tests.

Why Standardized Tests Are Used?
A standardized test is a tool applied to evaluate the effectiveness of institutional practice.  It provides a uniform platform to measure the performance of schools and students. A standardized test can gather information about the state education system, a school program, or the performance of a single student. It helps to determine a student's strengths or weaknesses and to certify their ability.

Different Methods of Standardized Test
Standardized tests are designed to evaluate the aptitude of a student. Unlike the regular tests that measure the subject-specific knowledge, the standardized test evaluates creativity, verbal ability, abstract reasoning, and mechanical ability. There are different methods of standardized methods. The most common methods adopted by schools are true or false questions, multiple-choice questions, and essay questions.

What Should Your Child Bring to a Standardized Test?
There are different rules for different tests. If students are allowed a calculator, you should check whether the model is approved by the authority. If your calculator is not approved then you should check out a smart site with good reviews for buying another model of calculator. Pen, Pencils, watch, water, and other essentials should be with your child while attending a standardized test.

How Do You Prepare Your Child For Standardized Tests?
Parents can play an important role in preparing a child for a standardized test. There are a number of ways that you can take an active role in your child’s preparation for a test. Let’s read on to know more about them.

Know About the Test
Usually, teachers notify parents before a standardized test. You should know the purpose of the test and whether the result will affect your child or the school. Also, make sure you know the exact schedule of the test and whether you need to prepare your child for the test.
Communicate With Your Child
Communicate with your child about the test. Try to find out if he/she is prepared for it. If there is any area or subject that they are less than confident about, try to solve the issues with them. If necessary, go through the previous mistakes and review them. Practicing more will boost their confidence.
Build a Positive Mindset
A positive mindset can make a huge difference in test performance. As a parent, you should try to build up your child’s confidence. Try to convey the message that you are 100% confident about them. No matter how the result is, you would be glad if they try their best.
Go Through the Test Instructions
Review the test instructions with your child. Make clear how much time will be provided and how many questions are to be answered. Try to convey the importance of that particular test to your kid; it will instill a ‘can do’ attitude within them. Tell them they should try to answer all the questions, even if they are unsure about the answer, as it will build their confidence and critical thinking skills.
Follow a Healthy Routine
A good night's sleep can have a huge impact on test performance. Try to get your child to bed early so that she can be relaxed on the test day. Most of the time, students' bad performance on a test can be tied back to the reason they lacked a good sleep the night before. Also, follow healthy eating habits that will ensure your child’s physical well being.
Build a Relaxing Atmosphere on Test Day
On the test day, stay cheerful and relaxed. Make some nutritious breakfast that will provide stamina throughout the test. Avoid foods that can cause any digestive issues to your child. Overall, follow a regular routine that your child follows for any regular test. Give some words of encouragement to them, so they feel confident.
Debrief After the Test
After the test, go through the parts that were tough for your child. Talk to your child about how they feel about the test. Try to get an insight into how they dealt with the problems they faced. It will help them process her own strategies and do better the next time.

How to Deal With Pre Test Anxiety
Some students develop anxiety over facing a test. Needless to say, extreme anxiety should be treated so that it can't have any negative effect on the test. If your children feel anxious about the test, then you have to put things in perspective for them. Tell them no matter how they perform, you will be proud of them just for braving the test.
On a final note, while standardized tests are not high stake tests, they can have an impact on your child’s studies. So prepare for the tests on a regular basis by checking your child's homework and their study progress. Be an active part of their academic life, so she feels encouraged. Your involvement in their studies can make a big difference to both their academic performance and personal growth.

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What is a Standardized Test? How do you Prepare your Child?
What is a Standardized Test? How do you Prepare your Child?


What are the Benefits of Outdoor Play?

Playing Outside Improves Mood


This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Have you noticed a change in your children when they're playing outside? Sure, they may complain that they're tired or that it's too hot or even that they're bored. However, outdoor play benefits kids in many ways. Once children have built the coping and social skills needed to interact in an outside play environment, the benefits of outdoor play far outweigh their complaints! What are the benefits to outdoor play? Keep reading to learn some tips on how to keep your kids happy outdoors.


What are the Benefits of Outdoor Play?
What are the benefits of outdoor play?


Be Prepared. 

When you take your kids to an outdoor play space or local park, be sure to be prepared. Bring a cooler with bottles of water for hydration, cool, healthy snacks like carrots and cucumbers, and go ahead and throw in a treat for when they've depleted all of their energy. 

You may also want to bring a change of clothes, a non-toxic bug repellent, a blanket for resting, hats or sunglasses to shade them from the sun, and a first aid kit. Whatever you can do to insure the happiness of your children and counteract any excuses they may have for not wanting to play, only increases your chances for success.

If you're forgetful and always seem to forget the essentials, keep a park preparedness kit in your car. We never leave the house without folding chairs, a vinyl table cloth, and an umbrella packed in the trunk. If you leave a mini cooler in the trunk, it's always waiting there to be filled. You can simply stop at any convenience or grocery store along the way.


Benefits of Playing Outside


Best Places for Outdoor Play

No matter where you choose to incorporate outdoor play, it's beneficial to your child. Simply being outdoors in the sunshine can boost your child's immune system because the sun gives us vitamin D which is essential to health and happiness. Dr. Clare McCarthy shares some benefits of outdoor play over at Harvard Health. Even if you have a tiny yard, be sure to create a space for your child to get in some daily outdoor play. If they like to color or finger paint, set up a table for crafting outdoors.


Water is the most fun element of sensory play.

A well designed play structure will keep your kids busy for an hour or two. You may not be familiar with the brand name Landscape Structures, but I'll bet you've seen one or two. These playground structures aren't just for swinging and sliding, they're set up with all kinds of ways to get kids moving and to encourage sensory play.





When you give children the freedom to play and discover on their own, they build self-confidence to explore more things on their own. They want to see what else they can discover without mom or dad. So, sit back and relax while the kids explore the outdoor environment and find new ways to have fun.


Hello, over there! This megaphone encourages interaction with others.


Landscape Structures playgrounds are designed to welcome children of all ages and abilities. This play equipment has all kinds of sensory elements and play activities that encourage kids to work together making it easier for them to socialize with others. These playgrounds also encourage exercise, but don't worry, your kids will have so much fun playing on the equipment they won't even know they're exercising!


Sneaky playground equipment encourages exercise.

Sensory play aids in the learning process. Children who play outdoors have more access to sensory elements as the five senses are involved in nearly every aspect of outdoor play. They hear other children laughing, birds chirping, and bugs buzzing. They feel the wind on their face and the grass on their feet. They can even taste the outdoors when berry picking or licking their salty lips.


Practicing on the bars builds upper body strength and self-confidence. 

These poles encourage learning to balance.

What will you do when it's raining? Rain is the best sensory activity! Grab an umbrella and some rain boots and slosh through some puddles with your kiddos! Reach up to the sky and savor the raindrops as they splash on your face. Show your children that rain is fun, don't discourage it. Rain even smells good! These days, most parks use rubber mulch. If storms do force you to stay inside for awhile, don't worry about the playground being wet. Be a good parent and take the first trip down the slide to dry it off for those finicky little ones.

Encourage social interaction with other kids, but don't force it. Kids are smart, they know what you're trying to do. If they're moody, they'll fight you every step of the way. Also, simply knowing that you want them to interact with other kids can make the feel self-conscious. They may feel too shy to talk to another child when they know that you're anxious for it to happen. Pretend to keep busy reading a book or returning a text. Don't get too caught up though, those little eyes are always watching you. Sometimes, they want you to watch them and know that you're proud of them. Always be ready with a thumb's up!

A simple way to encourage socialization is to point out a favorite character on another child's clothing. "Hey, look he's wearing a dinosaur shirt. Don't you love it!" Your child may not respond, that's okay. Don't push them. You've given them something to talk about. You've made a connection with another child. Sit back and watch what happens. Socializing may start out awkward. If you have a backward child, trying to force it will certainly backfire. Learn to be happy with a nod or a smile. The rest will come with time.


Playing Outside Improves Mood
Outdoor play improves mood.


Some benefits of outdoor play.
Sleepy kids!


As an exhausted parent, one of the best benefits of getting in a lot of outdoor play time with the kids is that you'll get to enjoy some down time when the kids take naps. Even if they are past nap taking, they'll probably stay quiet for the car ride home! Be careful not to let little ones get too over tired. Often, an over tied preschooler will have trouble sleeping through the night. They need just enough exertion for a good night's sleep. And no one wants an over tired toddler...


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Learn more about Landscape Structures Playgrounds

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