Saturday, May 21, 2016

How Sensory Play Helps Early Childhood Development


Sensory play is an important part of early childhood development. It lets children explore and learn about their world through what they do best – play. 

As much as children love sensory play – parents can often dread it. Sensory play can be messy and a daunting task for adults to keep up with. So the key is to approach sensory play with the right mind-set. First, it is important to remember that children learn best when they can actually touch, see, smell, taste, hear, and manipulate the materials in their world.

As children scoop up seeds or rice or other small items and fill up a container, they are discovering how much that container can hold before it overflows. Sensory play promotes special awareness, mathematical thinking, and scientific exploration and discovery.

Sometimes sensory play is simply a great way for children to relieve their stress. Sensory play can be very soothing and relaxing to a young child. It is also a great way to foster fine motor development. Rolling and cutting up play dough or scooping and pouring water and beans all involve eye -hand coordination and fine motor control. In the process of playing with these materials, children are building the skills and strengths they will need for handwriting and other more formal educational processes down the road.

Sensory Play Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

Babies may be limited by their mobility and dexterity, but not their ability to interact with the world. Babies can enjoy the feeling of water in a pool or bath, take in the movement of wind on a walk, and respond to the sounds of music. As babies become toddlers, they’ll want to feel a variety of materials, scoop and sort small objects, and experiment with the properties of cause and effect.

Water Scooping:
Playing with water is a favorite activity for babies. Fill a large, shallow bowl with water and provide your upright baby with simple scooping tools for open-ended exploration.

Bean Bowl Exploration:
Fill a large bowl or shallow tub with water jelly beads. Or try using things you already have in your cupboard such as dry beans, rice, sand, or wheat berries. Babies will enjoy sifting these materials through fingers, picking them up, and pouring them out. Use your best judgement and pay close attention when introducing young children to small objects.

Tearing and Feeling Wet Paper:

The simple ingredients of paper, water, and a large tub make this engaging activity fun for your child and easy for you.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Hoppi Box Turns 1 Giveaway!

Hoppi Box is turning one! We're celebrating by giving away this prize pack from a few of our friends. Enter below for your chance to win:

1. Special Travel Edition Hoppi Box

2. Moby Bamboo Wrap (in winner's choice of color).

3. "Celebrate Our 50 States" flashcards from Bright Eyed Baby.

4. Bijou Teething Necklace & Bracelet from Maya & May by Moby

5.  Set of NumNum GOOtensils

6. Bundle of Joy Blanket from To the Market.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 Things You Should Know About Your Toddler


You might have come across parenting and self help books that promise to guide you on raising sweet beautiful children. Well, they may not always work. Every child is unique and there can be no one rules for all. Here is a list of 5 things that you must know about your toddler. These are not guides or rules but are philosophies about toddlers that will help you understand your child better and work your way around him/her. 


           1. It’s all about power – As parents we take all the decisions about what our
              child eats, wears, does or where he goes. So what does a child do? They try
              to control the food they will actually eat, their clothes, what they’ll say, when
              they’ll sleep etc. And these are the areas where parents have the most trouble
              with their kids. During this stage they are learning to take decisions, so let
              them have control wherever possible. Give them a few options (not many),
              so they feel in control. If you try to battle it out, your child will continue the
              battle with greater force. 

2. They need to fall so that they know how to get back up – We want to
              give a perfect world to our children, protect them from every fall, bruise and
              failure. But, to move forward they must make mistakes and learn from, them.
              Help your toddlers get over their failures and learn to face adversity and be
              flexible, for that is what they’ll need later in life.

          3. Toddlers are the happiest when they feel secure - A little recognition
              can go a long way. Help them through adversity, encourage them with a “you
              can handle it”, help them understand what they are feeling by giving a label
              to the emotion. 

          4. They have no sense of time -That is simply because their brains are still
              developing and cannot understand the concept of time yet. They will only
              understand what you tell them to do “now”. The best way to manage this
              is to tell them the order in which things need to be done. First we do this,
              then this and then this. 

         5. Challenging behavior is just a part of learning to communicate and  
             become independent. Your child's curiosity, persistence and stubbornness may
             make you crazy, but these are the traits that will help them thrive in the future.
             By expressing their likes and dislikes and asserting themselves, they are gaining
             self confidence and learning how to be independent.