Toys for Kids: It Pays to Keep it Simple…

I was watching the boys play some time back and I realised that we adults like to complicate things when they can be so simple. Example 1 We wanted to make Aristotle’s pretend play more enjoyable so we bought him toy food for his play cooking:   It turns out that all he really neededContinue reading “Toys for Kids: It Pays to Keep it Simple…”

Good Old Fashioned Games

Aristotle’s school is doing a theme on toys – specifically: old-fashioned toys. You know… the kind we used to play when we were kids. So we’ve been playing a few “new” oldies ourselves… We’ve moved off Dinosaur Chess and onto a real chessboard: We chose a magnetic set so we could take it along with us, or “pause theContinue reading “Good Old Fashioned Games”

Activities: Fun in the Snow at Lake Mountain

While we were planning out trip to Melbourne, one of Aristotle’s requests was to see snow. After seeing so many references to it on the idiot box, he was just itching to see what it was like in real life. So we planned a trip to Lake Mountain – the nearest mountain to Melbourne withContinue reading “Activities: Fun in the Snow at Lake Mountain”

The Power of Play: Why Playing is Important for Healthy Child Development

The Importance of Play “It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.” – Leo F. Buscaglia Play is an essential part of growing up but many parents are losing sight on its importance as they succumbContinue reading “The Power of Play: Why Playing is Important for Healthy Child Development”

The Inverse Relationship between Screen Time and Creative Play

We’ve been really busy lately moving house and I’d gotten very lax with screen time. I figured that I could restore the balance again once we were done with all the moving and in the meantime, there would be relative peace and harmony while all the tedious stuff was happening… …and then Aristotle did somethingContinue reading “The Inverse Relationship between Screen Time and Creative Play”

Early Childhood Education: Children can Learn Anything Through “Play”

There is a constant conflict between early childhood educators and advocators who believe that children should only be playing, and not being “forced to learn” things. There is a fine line between the two because it is clear that children are learning even while playing. So where is the line? I think psychologist Gordon NeufeldContinue reading “Early Childhood Education: Children can Learn Anything Through “Play””

The True Value of Play in Child Development

Ever since I read Nurture Shock and the successful results of the Tools of the Mind program in schools, I’ve been an advocate for Vygotsky’s principles on the importance of imaginary play. At home, I encourage Gavin’s active imagination and even participate in his pretend picnics and camping trips. A recent article from the ChronicleContinue reading “The True Value of Play in Child Development”

Introducing Critterland

Critterland is a new children’s wonderland that has opened at The Heritage Village near the Mine’s Shopping Complex.  Partially open, Critterland will have five captivating worlds for your child to play in.  Currently, they have a multi-level, state-of-the-art jungle gym containing the Lava Room (volcano sponge balls), the Slippery Slides (3 storey slides), and theContinue reading “Introducing Critterland”

Toddler Development: Parallel Play?

According to developmental milestone charts, toddlers aged 3 generally engage in parallel play.  Well, I’d like to question this one because last year my friend and I witnessed Gavin (2 years 10 months) and his godbrother, D, (2 years) collaborating to get a toy that was placed out of their reach.  The two of themContinue reading “Toddler Development: Parallel Play?”

The Things That Toddlers Get Up To…

Since he was very little, Gavin has had this strange fascination for hiding his toys.  He will stuff them in between cushions, down the side of his bed, and into all sorts of nooks and crannies where his toy might fit into.  I thought he had outgrown this habit because it hasn’t happened for a while.Continue reading “The Things That Toddlers Get Up To…”