Tag Archives: Childhood

Toys To Buy for Dramatic Play

Girls at Party Dramatic play is such an important part of how children learn.  They use  the information gained from real life situations and relive it through play.  Although it may seem insignificant to an adult, the fact is, it is important for the development of social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills.  As children are  having fun pretending to be a doctor, a mom, dad or dog etc.  they are using already acquired information and inputting into their pretend play.  All the materials they use enhance their imaginations.  Giving children a pretend kitchen set, drill set, cash register, shopping cart etc. allows them to act out scenarios from their life into their play.  As they age they enhance the enjoyment of the play by including other children and sharing ideas on what and how they want to do play.  By giving them age appropriate materials we are opening all kinds of  possibilities for learning and with the holiday season upon us, you should really think before you buy.  Be sure what you purchase is about the child not what you want the child to have.  There is no use purchasing a bunch of toys that never get used.  Be wise and remember every child has individual interests.  If your child loves playing house, get them a kitchen set or if they love shopping get them a shopping cart etc. and then watch them play.  It is amazing to watch.  Enjoy!

Any Questions Just Ask Mary’s Advice

Sometimes You Have to Put Down Your Cell Phone

Cell phones are an amazing tool and I do understand that many people cannot live without them but sometimes you just have to stop yourself.  You are missing great opportunities to connect with your child so you have got to put your phone away.  I don’t mean all the time but when you are with your child make those opportunities your priority.  The payoff is endless.                                               MP900202029[1]

I was at the vegetable market where the fruits and vegetables were fresh and the colours so vibrant that what I observed next disturbed me enough to bring it to your attention. It was what I consider a missed opportunity. A mom on her cell phone engaged in a conversation with someone while her son about 4 years old was walking beside her asking questions that she was not paying attention too.  When I saw that, I thought how unfortunate because, she had a perfect opportunity to teach him about the fruits and vegetables he was surrounded by, but she was busy on the phone.  We all want our children to learn, so catching those teachable moments when we pass on knowledge requires you to be available.  Don’t miss them as these moments are often when a child retains the most information.  What that mom could have taught her son if she had not been on the phone at the time, was endless.  He could have learned so much about fruits and vegetables, the colours, the smells, the textures, where they grew, how they grew, whether you eat them raw or cooked etc.  Do you see where I am going with this?  Time with your child is often busy with many distraction for both of you but, when it’s not, don’t pick that time to talk to someone else on the phone.  Stop yourself, because this is the perfect time to talk with your child and any phone calls can wait until later.

Any Questions Ask Mary’s Advice.

Becoming a Parent Lasts a Lifetime So Be Prepared

My interest with this blog is to open up a dialogue with people on everyday issues that arise in child rearing.    Children all go through specific well defined developmental stages and armed with specific strategies, guiding a child  through these stages will always give positive results.

As an introduction, I thought we should start with an analogy I use when teaching developmental psychology to Early Childhood Education Students, so here goes.  Comparing a child to a tree.  Okay, so that may sound silly, but lets see why that works.  If you plant a tree and want it to grow into a good strong tree with a root system that will stand the test of time, you need to plan.  Where do you start?


What do I need?  What kind do I want?  How big will it grow?  Will it be placed in a good location so that in 25 years it is not going to have to be removed due to poor planning?   What do I need to do to ensure it makes it through those first few years?  How much tending does it need?  What kind of tending needs to be ongoing?

Why would you need to Plan?

Well, who hasn’t seen a garden that has been meticulously maintained.  It is beautiful!  The more it is tended to, the stronger and less work  it needs to it become  an  established garden.  When a tree is watched and tended to it is usually uniform in shape, strong, healthy and able to weather any conditions.  These are the trees that last for years and years.

The results

By doing all the work early in the sapling’s life we can expect that things will happen to the tree that we cannot avoid, but we have known from the beginning that this may happen.   With all the variables that could cause problems for this tree,  our early nurturing and constant assistance makes it possible for the tree to still grow and be strong.

Start observing the trees in your neighborhood.  Look for the ones that are nurtured and compare them to the ones that were just planted with the expectation that they will grow with little or no work.  Look for the differences and what you will see is trees, lots of different trees. Some will be magnificent and some will be weak, but they will all end up full grown trees.  Which would you prefer?

Any Questions Ask Mary’s Advice