elevating child care

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...

My Baby Can’t Sit

Hi Janet, Just wanted to share a little story with you: I have a 7 month old son. Since I discovered Madga Gerber’s philosophy through your website he has never been in a Bumbo, Jolly Jumper, ‘seated activity centre’, or any other such device which would place him in a position he couldn’t get into himself, or which would restrict his freedom. A few days ago I was with some new friends who both have...

The Glorious Freedom of a Capable Child

My favorite part of blogging are the stories parents and caregivers share with me from all over the world. While the details are always slightly different, the stories usually begin with a common experience: feeling dissatisfied, frustrated or unsuccessful, they sought answers. And just like me way back when, they didn’t really know what they were looking for – just something that felt right. They somehow...

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...

The Power Of Play Therapy (And 4 Ways To Encourage It)

The most illuminating example of therapeutic play I’ve heard was one that infant expert Magda Gerber shared. She had been asked to visit a child care center, and while touring the infant playroom with the center director she noticed one of the children holding a spoon and placing the tip at the opening of a baby doll’s bottom. The director also noticed, and she corrected the boy, “No, that goes in the...

RIE Parenting – A Respectful Debate

Infant expert Magda Gerber never shied away from controversy.  She knew that her child care approach was an uncommon one, often misinterpreted. In fact, she invited conflicting opinions, would even inquire, “What do you disagree with?” She’d then argue her point of view with spirited enthusiasm, a gleam in her eyes and (always) respect for her challenger. I was reminded of Magda’s appreciation of a good...

Creative Toys Engage Babies

A recent question from a parent about infant toys and play gave me an idea. Shana, the mother of a 9 month old, expressed concern that her boy’s occupation with books and “cruising” might not be “enough”, and asked if I could give “examples of what happens in your classes with this age group.” So, I made this video tour of our play space at RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers), where...

4 Reasons To Ditch Academic Preschools

I’m still scratching my head that I actually witnessed this…  Years ago, I was investigating preschools for my first child and made a scheduled visit to one of the most popular schools in the neighborhood, chosen by parents I consider to be intelligent and thoughtful.  As I entered the classroom and discreetly sat on the floor behind about fifteen 3-4 year olds, a teacher stood at a chalkboard to present a...

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