Posts Tagged "developmental skills"

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 in Just the Girls | 0 comments

The Importance of Pretend Play Tea Parties

The Importance of Pretend Play Tea Parties

Did you have pretend play tea parties as a child? I have vague memories of playing tea party with my sister and stuffed animals and dolls, and I love watching my kids play! In Britain, you can wear fancy hats to High Tea. My kids aren’t big on hats, but my girls think it’s fun to wear their fancy hair accessories for tea time! The ALEX Tin Tea Set is the perfect size for little-girl tea parties – tiny enough to feel dainty and to double as doll dishes, but large enough to hold and pretend to drink exotic teas from. Raspberry is the preferred tea at our parties! Tea parties are excellent... Read Post

Posted on Aug 2, 2013 in Developmental Skills | 1 comment

Developing Fine Motor Skills Through Paper Crafting

Developing Fine Motor Skills Through Paper Crafting

My kids had a great time honing their fine motor skills with ALEX’s Tissue Paper Art craft kit! It comes with 6 self-stick patterns – two for each of my three “big” kids (aged 3, 5, and 7). I loved that it was something all of them could enjoy. Separating the tiny squares of tissue paper is one of the more demanding tasks; it is also self-correcting, since if you forget to separate the squares your little ball of scrunched-up paper is clearly too large. This activity is also great for kids to develop planning skills. My son learned after working on the wheels of his car that it would... Read Post

Posted on Jul 29, 2013 in Outdoor Play | 0 comments

Eight Parachute Games for Kids

Eight Parachute Games for Kids

Nothing beats a parachute party! It’s our favorite part of going to Gymboree or My Gym. So why not bring home the fun? ALEX’s Super Parachute Party is great outdoor play at a backyard BBQ with friends or birthday party, and is serious fun for the kids. It comes with small plastic balls that you can toss in the air and use to play different games. Here are eight parachute games the kids will have a blast playing: 1. Ball Poppers: Place the small plastic balls on top of the parachute. Have the kids hold the edges of the parachute and shake it up and down to make the balls bounce up... Read Post

Posted on Jul 26, 2013 in Developmental Skills | 0 comments

How to Make Learning to Write Fun

How to Make Learning to Write Fun

Learning to write can be a challenging and frustrating time for kids. Get away from pencils and paper and introduce new materials to make learning to write a fun experience that feels more like play than learning.  Engaging as many sensory systems as possible helps your child learn easier and faster! Here are some ideas to make learning to write more fun for you and your child: Use a variety of tactile materials:  Trace letters and copy words into various tactile media. Incorporating the tactile sense will facilitate your child’s learning and motivate him to participate in the learning... Read Post

Posted on Jul 23, 2013 in Pretend Play | 0 comments

Six Benefits of Free Play For Children

Six Benefits of Free Play For Children

Structured activities are important for building developmental skills in children. They teach children how to follow rules and routines, and provide growth opportunities for motor and social skills. However, between play dates, piano lessons and soccer practice, we sometimes overbook our kids and skimp on providing children time for free play. Creating a mix of free play and structured time helps kids build an array of skills and feel more balanced in their everyday lives. Soccer, piano, and play dates are important for development of gross motor skills, social emotional well-being, and peer... Read Post

Posted on Jul 11, 2013 in Developmental Skills | 0 comments

Get Kids Writing: 20 Writing Prompts for Kids

Get Kids Writing: 20 Writing Prompts for Kids

Creative writing is an important developmental skill for kids. It stretches their imagination, helps them practice grammar, and is the perfect way to keep their minds active during the summer break! Warm summer days and family vacations provide endless inspiration for journal entries. Have your child keep a daily journal throughout the summer, and not only will you keep their minds fresh and ready when school starts back up, but you will also create a summer keepsake full of memories and glimpses into your child’s heart and mind. Caitlyn has been jotting down her thoughts this summer in My... Read Post
Pretend Play with Dinosaurs

Pretend Play with Dinosaurs

Like most kids their age, my five-year-old and three-year-old adore dinosaurs! I think they enjoy the artistic license their extinction allows for! They can make their dinosaurs do absolutely anything, because – at the end of the day – there is a lot about dinosaurs that we just don’t know! They were thrilled to try out the new ALEX Toys 3D Dinoland! My five-year-old had no trouble following the instructions to build the dinosaurs: My three-year-old helped him find all the right pieces: They loved the 3D volcano, and spent some time playing just with it and the dinosaurs before building the... Read Post

Posted on May 31, 2013 in Pretend Play | 0 comments

Put on a Puppet Show!

Put on a Puppet Show!

Pretend play is important for kids. It encourages creativity and imagination, as well as critical developmental skills. At our house, I try to do my best to encourage creativity and imagination at every turn. We have a designated area for art and crafting with plenty of art supplies available to the kids at all times. I also try to incorporate creativity exercises into our home school lessons having the children write stories or put on plays. One of their favorite activities is creating a puppet show, a hit for children from preschool age to middle school. My oldest has gotten quite good at... Read Post

Posted on May 16, 2013 in Parenting | 0 comments

Teaching Preschoolers Good Hygiene

Teaching Preschoolers Good Hygiene

My youngest child just turned four years old, and has embarked on a new journey of independence. It’s been happening for quite some time, but I noticed an increase right around his birthday. All of a sudden, he doesn’t need my help doing all sorts of things that I normally do for him, the most notable being washing him up when he takes a bath and helping him brush his teeth. He is now convinced that as a four-year-old he is very capable of taking care of his own hygiene. There comes a time in every child’s life where they begin to take over their own hygiene responsibilities. I still... Read Post

Posted on May 14, 2013 in Activities For Tweens | 1 comment

The Benefits of Baking For Kids

The Benefits of Baking For Kids

My daughter recently found a new passion – baking cupcakes.  The benefits of children baking in the kitchen surprised me. I noticed that the process of figuring out a recipe and making it all by herself gave my daughter: -  a sense of accomplishment -  pride -  a new interest -  expanded problem solving skills It started when she discovered a free app for the iPad, Hello Cupcake!, from the popular book of the same name. In the Hello Cupcake app, there are twelve recipes with clear directions, perfect for children to follow. I really liked that the app used real photographs, not cartoonish... Read Post

Posted on May 6, 2013 in Babies | 0 comments

5 Ways Babies Learn with Building Blocks

5 Ways Babies Learn with Building Blocks

Sometimes the simplest toys are the most fun and educational. Classic wooden building blocks are no exception. But when we received our set of Maxville Blocks, we knew they were anything but ordinary. ALEX Toys took their wooden building blocks above and beyond the simple classics by using unique shapes, vibrant colors, and graphic patterns. These modern elements add to the fun and increase the opportunities for imaginative play and learning. While all of my kids (ranging in age from 8 months to 5 years) have loved playing with their ALEX Jr.  Maxville Blocks, I know that my littlest will... Read Post

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 in Developmental Skills | 0 comments

ALEX Jr. Stack Me Up is a Stack of Developmental Fun!

ALEX Jr. Stack Me Up is a Stack of Developmental Fun!

As my belly begins to expand (literally more and more every day!), I am steadily getting excited about bringing out the baby toys again.  So when I saw the Stack Me Up toy from ALEX Jr, it was love at first sight. Not only is it adorable, but it really is a great developmental toy!  While it is geared toward kids six months to one year of age, I believe that this toy is perfect to grow with your child during the first two years of life.  Younger children love the sensory elements while older kids love to explore the more imaginative side of the toy. Here are developmental skills that I... Read Post