Wait Until 8th…

I certainly understand the desire to know where our children are and to help keep them safe. With today’s technology, many parents opt to get their child a cell phone to be able to reach them in case of an emergency. What I often wonder is why those cell phones are expensive and full of state of the art features? Technology is great but it is also extremely powerful and not something young brains can fully understand how to use properly, without adult supervision. I suggest considering the option of keeping your child as low tech as possible for as long as possible. And, if you feel as though your child needs a cell phone, then I strongly suggest one that works as just that; a phone. If we were all able to call and text by clicking abc, abc, to type a word, then certainly the next generation can do it, as well. And, if you are looking for support and other parents who think similarly, check out this site!

Wait Until 8th


Save the Date – October 17, 2018

The BEF announces our 2018 Fall Education In Action community presentation, sponsored by Lahey Health and partnered with the Marshall Simonds Middle School PTO.

We are excited to bring, Keeping Children Safe & Secure Online: A Project Safe Childhood Presentation for Parents by the United States Attorney’s Office.

The presentation will include Being Safe and Secure Online, Social Media 101, Digital Footprint, Gaming, Sexting and Cyberbullying, Sextortion and Internet Predators.

The presentation will take place in the auditorium at the Marshall Simonds Middle School from 7-8:30pm on Wednesday, October 17th. This presentation is intended for parents and guardians of children of all ages and is free to the public.


Keep Your Kids Safe Online!

The Importance of Play (Part II)

As a continuation to my previous post, I thought it would be helpful to share other resources that demonstrate how you can continue to incorporate play into your day to day routines and activities. Again, the more what we do with our children is based around play, the more they will be interested in taking part. This is particularly important to consider simply so you have more fun and giggles in your home but also important to consider if there is a routine or time of day that continues to be a struggle. Is there a way to re-structure that event and turn it into a game? If, yes, give it a try because the results will be evident for your child and for you.

© National Association for the Education of Young Children

This webpage is a great starting point. They have many different ideas of how to add more play into your day. I particularly enjoyed this article on play-doh. It shares the benefits of playing with playdoh, as well as some useful props to help with the play that you probably already have around your home. Playdough Power


Why This Toy? Is another great article on the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s website. It is possible there is no end to the things that children want and ask for? This is a great article about questions you can ask yourself and maybe even ask your child before you buy that next toy. They also list some examples of toys they believe will inspire creative thinking, self-expression, movement, and learning.


Learning Through Play This is another great website that explains the importance of play and, also, shares ideas how to expand your thinking around what is play. I particularly enjoyed their idea of using a spoon to examine thoughts and ideas about reflections. This would be a great way to have your child help set the table and have fun while doing so.


ABC’s of Movement This blog shares a list of fun activities you can do with your child from A to Z. This includes ideas, like, Animal Yoga, Getting Dressed as a game, and Number recognition. You will certainly be able to find something fun to try with the help of this site.


20 Fun Indoor Games And, finally, here is a list of games that can be played on one of our many cold, rainy or snowy New England days. It says these games are for preschool aged children, but I found that almost all of these activities would be great for elementary aged students, as well. I haven’t met an elementary aged child who would not love to build a fort, play a board game or see a magic trick. Hope you find something you like on here!


And, finally, I would like to remind you that play is also good for adults. We all have a million things to do, and, I would say that playing should be right at the top of that list each and every day!


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.



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!

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