elevating child care

Play Space Inspiration

Observing our children’s self-directed play helps us to understand them, become more empathetic and attuned, and it is the key to finding more joy in day-to-day parenting. These benefits (and more) are the reason I’ve shared so many play-inspired posts and videos. Most have focused on the parent’s role in nurturing child-directed play and the invaluable learning that happens when we do. I’ve shared specific...

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...

The Surprisingly Positive Results of Respectful Parenting – 5 RIE Baby Basics

“We not only respect babies, we demonstrate our respect every time we interact with them. Respecting a child means treating even the youngest infant as a unique human being, not as an object.”                                                                 – Magda Gerber There are parents who believe children should earn our respect by respecting us first, but these parents...

Baby-Led Adventures – 5 Reasons Babies Need To Lead

Babies are born adventurers. If we give them our full attention and a completely safe, reasonably interesting place in which they are free to move, they’re on their way. Even the youngest infant can lead us on play adventures if we watch closely and use our imagination, because long before a baby has motor abilities, the wheels are turning. He’s seeing, hearing, feeling and thinking. He’s never “just lying...

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...

Infant Play – Great Minds At Work (Captured On Video!)

I’ve observed hundreds of babies over seventeen years and am comfortable that I have some insight into their worlds, but I still feel a little awkward when I describe ‘infant play’ to others.  I sense the person thinking, “Oh yeah, right, infants playing.” But, actually, from the time a baby is weeks, even days old, she can begin the joyful habit of inner-directed play. And when we learn to recognize,...

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