The Growth and Giggles Blog

Ideas for helping parents and their preschoolers.

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Posted by on in Cognitive Development
Three Rules for Development Have you given up on your New Year's resolution already? Here are three rules for you and your children as you attempt growth and development together.   Rule 1: Break it down into doable steps. The Montessori model is an excellent example of this.  For example, in teaching a sport in which you hit something with an instrument in your hand -- baseball, racket sports, paddle sports, etc. -- there are steps.  The same rule applies to adults who are trying to break a habit. Break it down into doable steps. Want to lose weight? Figure out various steps, each of which can be done.    Rule 2: Start easy. We don't start teaching the alphabet by giving the child all 26 letters at once. Teach one letter, celebrate, move on. In learning matching games, start with one pair. Increase.  Note: We all need encouragement, no matter what age. The experience...

Posted by on in Physical Development
Balance Boosting Bonanza   In an earlier article on gross motor development, we focused on the upper body as the development stages go from the head down (and the core outward). Today, we would like to revisit gross motor early intervention with a focus on strengthening balance. This is a task that can easily be accomplished in the small moments of daily routine such as while waiting - give the child the challenge to stand on one foot, switch feet, put arms out to the side to help them balance, etc.   We have touched on this topic before in the blog so we'll put some links as well as some additional ideas here for you: put a long piece of yarn on the rug making straight lines, then curvy lines along with more ideas listed under pretend balance beams using large steps and small steps (more difficult) have the child make their own design (spiral?) from...
Crab Walk, Arches (Bridges), and Backbends Kids like moving their bodies! Here are three fun activities that build flexibility, balance, strength, and coordination. Safety Tip: Remember, do not force yourself (or children) to flex farther than is comfortable, with a slight pulling feeling in the muscles. Hold the stretch, then gently stretch a bit further. Never force a stretch. Crab walk: Have children sit with their knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of them, feet apart. Next show them how to place their hands down by their sides, but slightly behind their backs. Then, they can raise their hips off the floor. Now they can walk forward, backward, and sideways, pretending to be crabs. Arches: Have the children lie on their backs. Help them place their hands on either side of their head beside their ears. Their fingers point back toward their shoulders. Help them place their feet flat on the floor near...