The Importance of Play

For kids, play is some of the most important work they can be doing each and every day. It is through play that kids develop intrinsic motivation, make sense of the world, increase their ability to persist, among many other benefits.

Consider two children who sit down to complete a puzzle. To begin, they have to agree on which puzzle to complete and then create a plan of how they will assemble it together. They have to negotiate the physical space, share the pieces, and make a plan to connect what they have completed individually. As they work on the puzzle itself, they will problem solve to find the right piece, and have to think critically to make sure they turn the piece in the right direction. From there, they will need to persist and find motivation from within to complete the puzzle. There is a lot happening in this one activity, and although it can be a lot of fun, there is so much learning occurring simultaneously.

Over school vacations, on weekends, after school, and throughout the summer, find ways to play! The skills your child will gain are incredible and remember there are so many ways to turn every day activities into a game.  Below are a couple of simple and fun game from the book, “A Moving Child is a Learning Child: How the body teaches the brain to think,” by Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy.

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And, don’t forget, play is also good for adults! Below is an article from Edutopia, which is geared toward teachers, but I think it has good advice for us all.

Summer Professional Development: Play!

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Videos to help with everyday issues…

For those of you with children in grades K or 1 (and maybe grade 2), Sesame Street continues to create amazing videos to help with everyday issues. My personal opinion is that when kids watch the show in its entirety, they can miss the important messages being shared. However, when you sit with your child and watch just one segment and take the time to discuss its meaning, I think they are an excellent resource.

Here are a few of my favorites (so far!)….

“The Waiting Game”  – Have your child try to figure out all the different strategies Cookie Monster uses to wait!

“Patience” – Try to notice when when Zac and Elmo take deep breaths to help them remain patient.

“Stubborn” – You may want to pair this video with Patience. They do a great job showing what Stubborn is, but they don’t demonstrate how to then be flexible.

 

Technology Questions

The list of benefits for adults and children to use technology in today’s world is lengthy, but equally long are the questions and concerns raised when children have access. The Fox Hill Tech Team created a page with an abundance of resources to answer your questions. Parent and Family Resources

Please feel free to take a look and see what might benefit your child. And, if you have further questions, reach out to Jenn Scheffer

Burlington Public Schools Parent University October 21, 2017

Parent University will be held Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 8:00 am – 12:45 pm. I will be there presenting, “How to Help Your Child When They Have Big Emotions: This workshop will give an overview of the Zones of Regulation curriculum and the concept of Size of the Problem, which comes from the Social Thinking curriculum. Both provide a great foundation to put language to your child’s feelings. From there, we will explore different coping strategies that may benefit your child in different situations. ”

There are many other excellent presentations being offered at this event, including a keynote address by Jon Mattleman who will be speaking about, “The Secret Lives of Teens.” I hope to see many of you all there!

 

How is your morning routine looking so far?

The beginning of the school year is always a chaotic time as we try to jump back into a regular routine. A routine that may have taken 20 minutes in May could be taking twice as long in September. Here are some tips to help get your routine back on track…

Get as many things together the night before as possible!

  • Have your child put their backpack by the door with their school folder inside. (If possible, place their snack inside of the backpack too!)
  • Help your child pick out their outfit for the next day and lay it out.

Think about the morning and adjust your child’s wake up time based on what they need to have happen to be ready for the day. If your child can roll out of bed, get dressed, eat some breakfast and brush their teeth in 15 minutes, then let them sleep. If your child needs some time to eat breakfast while zoning out to a short cartoon, wake them up 20 or 30 minutes earlier than when you want them to start really getting ready.

Personalize the routine and look for one that sets everyone up for a great day!

 

 

Blog-post Suggestion: “13 Powerful Phrases to Help Calm an Anxious Child”

For those of you supporting a child with worries and anxiety, you are most likely already well aware that there are certain things one might do or say to help your child manage their worries and other things one could do or say that might push them further into Fight, Flight or Freeze mode. The article posted below shares some really great options of what could be said to your child when those worries start to creep inside their head.

Please note that some of the options are better used when you have some time (i.e. after dinner), and others could be used when the bus will be arriving in 5 minutes.

“Can you draw it?” is a great choice when a worry has been reoccurring and you have some time to discuss it at a calm time with your child.

“Let’s change the ending,” or “Which calming strategy do you want to use,” might be a great option when time is of the essence and you have already had conversations during quieter times and have come up with a plan.

Take a look and see which ones you think could be useful for your family and give them a try.

13 Powerful Phrases Proven to Help an Anxious Child Calm Down