The Growth and Giggles Blog

Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.

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Posted by on in Learning Games
Littles Learning On The Go     Here are two learning games that can be done while going about normal everyday tasks that will involve children age two or older in growing developmentally all while getting things done!   ORDER GAME Materials: Whatever the child and adult are doing at the time: cooking, washing dishes, getting a bath, etc. Procedure: Whatever your child is learning to do, break it down into easy steps. If, for example, your child is washing their hands then say, "Let's see, first I put water in the sink. Second, I wet my hands, ....and last...." Once the child has learned the order of the task, they love the next step of this game in which you try to fool them: "Let's see, first we dry our hands, right?" Lots of laughter is sure to ensue. An example:  If you are cooking eggs, you can ask: "What do I do first? I...
Growing Families: Avoiding Sibling Rivalry Working toward avoiding sibling rivalry is really teaching a life skill. As your family grows, there are ways to prepare older children for the arrival of the newest addition and to get them through the toddler years when baby becomes a little explorer. It is important to be truthful when preparing the older sibling for the arrival of a younger sibling. Try to avoid saying something that would be confusing like, "the baby will be so much fun to play with!" The baby won't be playing with anyone for a while. More helpful things to say might be, "We will need to be gentle with the baby's tiny little hands. I could use your help at bathtime. Would you like to wash her feet?" When baby comes, teach the older child how to hold the baby explaining how to support the head. Sit with them and read a story together.  The older...

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...

Posted by on in Character Training
Chores? Contributing to the Family Research that was done years ago came to show that cultures that allow children to participate in the normal activities of the home (e.g. tending to the goats, feeding the chickens) – that is, cultures that value the contribution of the children to the family – see a lot of success from these children in later years. They grow up to have a good work ethic, a higher sense of responsibility, hard-working practices, and a solid self-esteem. Chores may be a thing of the past in many homes today. There are modern conveniences that one might hope would render chores obsolete – or that’s what the sales people suggest. Or the parents simply need to get things done in the limited amount of time they have in their busy schedules. And let’s face it, some in our generation may resent being made to do chores in our...

Posted by on in Parenting
There are a number of helpful rhymes that Kirby, our resident expert, has come up with to aid us in remembering key concepts of child-rearing and development. We’ll be covering a few of them in the weeks ahead and will start off with this clever ditty:   After a recent move from the United Kingdom to the United States, my eight year old has taken to labeling herself as a “tomboy”. I’m not really sure what she means by it. I observe that she doesn’t enjoy sports as much as I did when I was a child. However, she has switched out her skirts for shorts or pants to fit in more with the culture around her. When does a stereotype become a type of who we are and what we do? When does a certain pattern of choices or certain actions begin to define our identity? These are important questions...
Getting Preschoolers to Cooperate: A Tiny Change for Big Results Do you have trouble getting your preschooler to cooperate? (That was a joke…of course you do—they’re preschoolers!) One simple change you can make--without much effort, without discussing parenting philosophy with your spouse, without brainstorming rewards or meting out punishments— can make a significant change in how cooperative your preschooler becomes. And don’t tell, but it will probably work on the adults in your life, too. Let me show you the idea, starting with a personal example. I grocery shop once a week, and I go with a detailed list, which usually doesn’t include ice cream. But every week, as I walk through the coffee and tea section, I know I am coming up on “the aisle of temptation.” At this point, I might say to myself, “Don’t go down the ice cream aisle!” At which point, I involuntarily start picturing cold, sweet, chocolatey goodness melting around my tongue. My other option...