elevating child care

Enchanting Child-Inspired Pumpkin Carving

I’m thinking about launching a campaign similar to Nike’s using their slug line, but instead of Just Do It, I’d advocate Just ‘Let Kids’ Do It. Letting kids do it whenever possible, when they want to, opens the door to self-expression and encourages creativity, originality, and innovation. Letting kids do it might sound simple and obvious, but it can actually be quite challenging because as...

Miracles That Happen When We Turn Off TV

Many parents choose not to limit TV use, and that’s okay. But if the amount of time your children spend sitting in front of a screen isn’t sitting well with you, or you’re concerned about the research showing TV’s impact on attention span and other foundational learning skills, the eye-opening experiences described below might give you the impetus and encouragement you need to make a change. Chelsey’s...

Help, My Toddler Can’t Play Without Me!

“The inability to play independently inevitably increases the child’s sense of dependence on the adult. Conversely, independent activity allows him to experience autonomy.”  – Éva Kálló and Györgyi Balog, The Origins of Free Play I often hear from parents concerned about their child’s inability to play alone. They perceive their child as either extra-needy, too “attached” or too social, or just...

Will You Let Your Children Play?

“Letting our children play” sounds easy and so obvious, doesn’t it? We all know play should be encouraged, because it’s essential for healthy development: physical, cognitive, psychological and, most imperatively, the development of extended potty breaks for parents. Yet many of us find it surprisingly difficult to refrain from interrupting or interfering when our children play. This might be because: We...

Secrets To Magical Kids’ Parties

Over the past twenty-one years, my husband and I have thrown dozens of kid parties for our three children. While a few of these celebrations were just okay, the majority were memorable. Some were even magical. Here are the important lessons we’ve learned along the way: It’s all about involvement I can totally understand the desire to throw a big bash and invite every adult friend in our address book to celebrate...

7 Gifts That Encourage Child-Directed Play

In case you haven’t noticed, play is hot. Once taken for granted as a universal childhood right, in the last decades aggressive marketers of early learning products and a focus on standardized testing have horned in on this valuable developmental time in a child’s life. But lately it seems our collective appreciation for child-directed play has never been stronger, and there could be no better news for our...

I’m No Fan of Timers

“Kids seem to have all the time in the world—but adults don’t. Even with an established routine, time is an abstract concept, especially to young children, so you can hardly expect them to share your sense of urgency. The solution: Get a timer. The bigger the numbers and the louder the ding, the better!”         – Nanny Stella, Nickelodeon Parents Connect  If you use a timer, I know what...

Stop Entertaining Your Toddler (In 3 Steps)

“How can I get my 2.5 year old son to be more independent? He is my sidekick, my errand running buddy, and we thoroughly enjoy each other’s company.  That being said, he seems incapable of doing anything without me right by his side, and honestly, it can get a bit frustrating. Am I asking too much of him at his stage of development?” I keep getting on his level and telling him that Mama needs to get some...

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