Posts Tagged "pretend play"

Posted on May 17, 2014 in Activities For Big Kids | 0 comments

Top Secret Spy Activity For Kids: Mystery Scavenger Hunt

Top Secret Spy Activity For Kids: Mystery Scavenger Hunt

My eight-year-old son is really into spy, detective, undercover agent type stuff. He thinks it’s pretty cool to look for clues, and solve mysteries.  So recently, with some help from ALEX Toys and their Super Sleuth Kit, I put together an exciting mystery scavenger hunt for him. His mission was to explore the crime scene, gather his subjects, decipher the clues, and catch the culprit! The kit includes items for fingerprinting, super cool rear view mirror glasses, a magnifying glass, and flashlight, as well as information on a variety of codes. Beforehand, I created the crime scene, and the... Read Post

Posted on Sep 19, 2013 in Pretend Play | 0 comments

It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of… apple juice! Ahoy there – did you know that September 19th is International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day? I don’t know about you, but I love just about any excuse to dress up and act goofy with my kids. And that is just what we did! ALEX has some awesome pirate-themed pretend play toys, like the Pirate Tent Play Set, which is perfect for pretend pirate fun! It comes packed flat and takes only a minute to set up. It is large enough for multiple kids and one [not fully grown-up] adult, and comes with a carrying case so you can pack it up easily and take it along to... Read Post

Posted on Aug 28, 2013 in Back To School | 0 comments

Tips for a Smooth Back to School Transition

Tips for a Smooth Back to School Transition

The new school year is quickly approaching, if it hasn’t started already in your state. With a new school year comes a time of adjustment, even for home schoolers like us. Adjusting to a new schedule, a new level of work, a new teacher, etc., can be difficult for both kids and parents. Here are three of my most tried and true tips for preparing your children (and yourself) for a smooth back to school transition: 1. Schedule: Our biggest adjustment every year has to do with our schedule. The lazy days of summer suddenly disappear and it feels like we’re instantly running at full throttle! One... Read Post

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 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
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 Jun 17, 2013 in Pretend Play | 0 comments

Why I Don’t Let My Kids Have Play Dates (mostly)

Why I Don’t Let My Kids Have Play Dates (mostly)

School ended yesterday. The kids are tired. I’m tired. The house is trashed –piles of half-used workbooks, graded papers, winter clothes to be put away – seem to have overtaken it. But that’s not the reason I said my 8 and 11-year olds can’t have play dates today. There are two big reasons I’m not letting my kids have play dates. At least not for a while and not as often as they’d like. My goals are that: 1. My girls play together and maintain a strong bond of friendship. 2. My girls get bored –bored enough to spark their creativity, inventiveness, and outside-of-the-box... 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 23, 2013 in Pretend Play | 0 comments

Pretend Play: Fun Kitchen Learning

Pretend Play: Fun Kitchen Learning

We recently traded our large plastic play kitchen in for this adorable wooden play kitchen. We paired it with a play cooking set and baking set for lots of pretend play.  My husband is thrilled with the smaller footprint, and my kids adore it! They actually use it a lot more than the larger one. My three-year-old sits at it for hours, baking to her heart’s content, and my seven-year-old uses it with her eighteen-inch dolls – it is the perfect size for them, too! Here are a few ways we love playing with this kitchen: Imaginary Baking. Putting pots on the stove, pans in the oven, and stirring.... Read Post

Posted on Apr 10, 2013 in Pretend Play | 0 comments

6 Ways to Pretend Play Birthday All Year Round

6 Ways to Pretend Play Birthday All Year Round

If your kids are like mine, their birthday is their favorite day of the year. In fact, my kids make elaborate plans for crafts, parties, and gifts months and months before the actual birthday date. All of which are subject to change at any moment. Birthdays are the best. So, I just go with it. We pretend play birthday all the time. We sing Happy Birthday in the car to them, to me, to all our relatives, to our pets, to our toys. We play birthday party, too. And do you know what? It’s great to play birthday because while you’re playing, you’re sneaking in lots of learning opportunities. Here... Read Post

Posted on Apr 1, 2013 in Parenting | 0 comments

Tips for Encouraging Creativity in Kids

Tips for Encouraging Creativity in Kids

Creative thinking is so important for a child’s development, therefore encouraging it is a core feature in my parenting strategy. Creativity has more benefits than I can count, but here are few, and also some tips on how you can build it into your daily lives. Benefits to Stimulating Creativity: Encourages self-expression – drawing, and engaging in other creative pursuits, gives kids a voice. I have learned a lot from and about my children by listening in as they create. Builds fine motor skills – many creative pastimes help children develop the fine motor movements that are important... Read Post