What are your kids doing this Summer? For many of us Summer time with the kids is a time to enjoy the outdoors, the sunshine and if you're lucky the ocean.
As much as kids love Summer holidays, keeping them busy can be a real chore! Activities in nature, especially when done socially with their friends, family or teachers, don’t just keep restless kids busy or entertained. They also offer great developmental benefits that will help them academically and socially.
For as long as I can remember, playing video games has been way of connecting and spending time with my family.
I vividly remember when my big brother got the original Nintendo with Duck Hunt. We were in our cozy family den with my brother and sister, so excited to try it out. And he finally let me try it too! Guess what - I wasn’t very good at it, but I loved watching my brother play.
It’s been the longest week ever. You’ve been texting your best friend all week about just relaxing on Friday, watching that new Netflix show you’ve been dying to see and eating your favorite takeout. After your commute home, you change into yoga pants and get settled onto the couch. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. You open up the door and see your best friend.
Inside: 3 quick tips to connect with your family during a meal time. Even if you can't get together and connect during the week, the weekend is a great time to try this too!
It’s been a typical busy Wednesday after school. You’ve been helping with homework, driving your kids to dance and karate, and then taking a few minutes to make a quick Target run.
You’re finally all sitting down for dinner, but sometimes it’s hard to connect and chat. “How was school today?” gets you a one word answer. That’s not helpful. So what are some ways you can connect with each other during dinner?
“I’ve extended multiple offers to help but it seems to fall on deaf ears.”
“My son has real struggles with his homework every night. I don’t want to bother his teacher. I know she’s busy. But do I wait until parent-teacher conferences to say something about his troubles?”
“My daughter has come home crying that her teacher has been mean to her. I can’t get more information out of her. And I worry that if I bring it up with the teacher, he might take it on my daughter. What do I do?”
Inside: A guest post from Greg Heilers at education.com with a writing activity that is also a good way to meet new people and potentially start a new friendship.
Whether they know it or not, fourth graders are natural authors. They’ve got lots to say, even if it happens to come with fearless spelling sometimes. And every time they create a sentence, whether it’s for a card, letter, shopping list, or complaint to you, they’re expanding their reading and writing skills.
Inside: a list of social skills, both external (interacting with others) and internal (your inner thoughts & feelings) with playful ways to practice them.
Recently I went to a symposium on play where Stuart Brown, author of Play: How it Shapes the Mind, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul, was speaking. I took off my mom yoga pants and put on real ones, drove to the symposium and sat down at a table. I pretended that I'm not an introvert and started talking to my neighbor. After I gave her my 30 second description of Encourage Play, she said “that sounds great but what does that really mean?”
Inside: A simple and fun game you can play with your kids to practice making decisions. You can play it at home, in restaurants, car rides or while waiting.
It’s Sunday and it’s my meal planning time for the week. I sit at the kitchen table, sip my coffee, and ask myself “what should we have for dinner this week?” Often, I ask my family for input, but let’s be honest, I get a lot of “pizza!” and “pasta!” answers from my children :-)
Inside: An interview with Missy Benson from Playworld, talking about the importance of outdoor play and inclusive play, and the new PlayForm 7 in the Boston area.
“Oh. my. Goodness!!!” my daughter shrieked with excitement. My son’s eyes widened and he took off running toward the playful chaos of the playground.
Inside: 10 fun and enjoyable social skills group activities designed to help kids learn through play. Perfect for social skills group centers or for groups at school.
What kid has ever wanted to attend a social skills group? I’ve never heard a kid say “Yes, please sign me up for a group where you point out how awkward I am and then make me talk about it.”