Friday, January 28, 2011

Sit-Down Games

Buy yourself some couch time with these easy games
By Melody Warnick 

You need a breather after chasing your child for hours -- but what if she's still raring to go? Buy yourself some couch time with these easy games:
Follow the leader. No marching required! Just have your child imitate upper-body movements, like clapping hands or waving arms. When she gets the hang of it, have her mimic a series of claps, waves, knee slaps, shoulder shrugs, and head nods.
Scavenger hunt. Draw pictures of household objects, like a cup, a hairbrush, and a pillow, then time your kid as she searches for the real things.
Sound off. Do your best impression of an animal ("Woof!") and ask your toddler to guess what you are. Once she gets it right, let her copy your sound, then move on to another animal.
Ball game. Sit on opposite ends of the sofa, then roll a ball between you, naming a new color each time one of you gets the ball. Let your kid chase after it if it falls.
Stick together. Draw a shape on a sticky note and have your child attach it to something that has that shape, like a plate for a circle or a book for a rectangle.
Sock it to me. Hold open an empty laundry bag while your child tries to score baskets using rolled-up socks. Gradually change the size of the bag's opening from large to small to keep the game interesting.
Don't wake the giant. Pretend to sleep while letting your toddler try to steal your blanket without "waking" you. Shift around and snore to build suspense, then roll over with a roar and tickle her silly. The only challenge? Not actually falling asleep.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Importance of Children Being Active

It's easy to see why kids these days are often too involved with watching television, playing video games or playing on the computer. It's what many of the adults in their lives do as well.
The problem is that children need to engage in active play as a part of their development. It helps build physical, social, intellectual and emotional skills. 
It's easy to tell yourself that you're doing well by your child to give access to educational television programs and computer games. There's even some truth to that at appropriate ages. But these cannot take the place of what is learned and accomplished with active play. It's a different kind of learning than what is done on a screen.
Active play builds both large and small motor skills, for example. There's a lot of skill that goes into something eventually as simple as catching a gently tossed ball. Just think how difficult it is for a toddler to play catch at first. But eventually the skill is learned and balls are caught.

Active play also allows children to increase their agility, coordination, balance and overall physical fitness.

7 reasons why you should prioritize children being active -
  1. Activity increases self-confidence and self-belief, an extremely important part of development that will cultivate friendships and leadership qualities
  2. Activity will enhance concentration for learning and understanding new challenges - it keeps the brain fresh
  3. Activity burns body fats for energy, keeping your child fitter and leaner
  4. Activity over a sustained period will develop passions and interests that help maintain a balanced lifestyle for today and into the future
  5. Activity will lessen the chance of health-related disease such as diabetes and skin conditions
  6. Activity with parents will strengthen the bond between child and parent
  7. Activity with parents will help develop a healthy relationship around behavioral patterns and in turn develop a happier, healthier child

If you are not sure what kind of activities to do check out this great article.