The Growth and Giggles Blog

Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.

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Parenting

Thoughts and reflections on being a parent--the struggles, the joys, and the inner game of parenting.

Posted by on in Parenting
Travelling with Littles Travelling with children can be a special time, even on a road trip! The kids have the potential to triple their vocabulary on a week-long car trip if that's what is chosen to work on. Relationships among family members can improve with interactive car games. Whether infant, toddler, or early elementary, littles can have fun and leap ahead in cognitive development and fine motor skills while en route to your holiday destination. While technology is a very handy tool to have when travelling, make sure your children are not on their devices the whole travel time. Pack a backpack/travel bag per child that they may fill with their travel treasures. Elementary age children can usually make independent choices on what to leave and what is important to bring. This may include dolls (with add-ins of ribbons, pieces of fabric, etc.) that would be useful for making up stories so be sure...
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Posted by on in Parenting
Magic Listening Mist Materials:      Spray Bottle (the more whimsical, the better) Water + drop of mint oil or mouthwash   Anytime children need to be focused and giving attention one can whip out some Magic Listening Mist! This is a simple tool, easy to make, and very easy to apply. As used by some kindergarten teachers, spraying a little scented mist into the air at the appropriate time can be a way of triggering little imaginations and therefore producing more attention. Beware of overuse or use when not needed as some of the magic slips away under these circumstances. However, when instructions are being given for the next task at hand, this little item can be very useful. Notice the scent added to the water? We often do things with the other senses while leaving out smell. It is very powerful and another gateway to the brain! The aroma of mint can...
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Looking for ways to involve your children in the holiday festivities? The holidays can give family a wonderful opportunity to share the deeper meaning behind these celebrations, whether it’s the birth of Christ at Christmas or the miracle of the light at Hanukkah. Hopefully the activities we introduce you to today can help get your kids to think beyond what they are receiving and get to a better perspective: this is a time to give gifts of love, which is a huge part of many holiday traditions. Act It Out Act out the story of the holiday using a set of unbreakable figurines such as a nativity set or menorah. Make sure every child has a part to play. One of the adults can read the story while the others act it out. This can be as long or short as you deem necessary depending on the age and attention span of the children. It is important that the children be involved...
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Posted by on in Parenting
Happy Fingers at the Holidays Anyone else having trouble getting your toddlers to not touch holiday breakables, power cords, Christmas trees and the like? Small children (under 3 years old) don’t know their own strength. And they often drop things. But, as we all know, if such things break they could cut them. This becomes a safety issue. How can we protect our wee ones? Here are some very practical suggestions. The first step is to move things up beyond the reach of the child. This changes when a crawler becomes a walker, who then becomes a climber. So get things out of reach and keep them out of reach. Second, if you can’t get the item up higher, try blocking it with something else such as furniture. It needs to be something big enough that the breakable item is out of sight. It is important to note that children who have reached full object permanence...
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Teaching a tired and hungry child is like trying to get a toad to smile. Depending on our personality and energy level, we parents often stack the calendar to run the errands all at once. However, with young children in tow this can backfire and have knock-on effects. (Though remember, all children are different.) Their mood can change as quickly as a faucet turns on or off. A meltdown often comes without warning. Sometimes, though, there are tell-tale signs in their body language. The key is to stop before they crash, and the key to that is to know your child. Know when your child’s energy is gone, or nearly gone. Some children’s metabolism may need a regular snack to keep them going. It is highly recommended to have some healthy snacks on hand wherever you go. When you are aware of your child’s needs, you will be able to pull out some raisins or pretzels in the car, or some cheese or “fairy sandwiches” at...
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