August 18, 2008

Safe Kids — Make sure your kids get to school safely

Whether you’re a parent jumping enthusiastically for joy, or a kid moaning and groaning, there’s no getting around the fact that school is just around the corner. And as schools across the country kick into full swing, children will be filling the streets, sidewalks and parking lots as they get themselves to and from school.

When I was a kid, I had to walk … uphill … both ways, for most of my youth. And it snowed most days, too! Whether your student will be traveling by bus, car, bike or under foot power, there are numerous things to keep in mind to make sure each trip is a safe one.

Full story

July 29, 2007

3 Year Old Solves Rubik’s Cube in 114 seconds

This video is awesome. It is in chinese (I think), but the language doesn’t matter – Just watch the little girl solve the cube in under 2 minutes! Wow!

Yes, the girl is indeed very smart, but guess what – it takes a bit of parenting and a lot of patience for someone to sit with kids like this, and teach them a skill – no matter how rehearsed it might be.

Isn’t it that a lot of skills in this world are about how well rehearsed you are? How well you can hit that 18 footer, how many aces you can serve, how perfect your walk down the aisle is?

So, don’t discount things just because they are rehearsed. Practice does make a (wo)man perfect.

April 12, 2007

Where Do Kids Learn From?

Here’s a news item that just shocked me in more ways than one.

1. Where does a little child learn to throw a tantrum so violent?

2. In any other country, this child would’ve gotten a big beating either by her teacher, or her parents, or both. Is arresting this child a better way to “teach a lesson” to a 6 year old? By sending her to jail and by her having a police record for the rest of her life? Or would the child have been better off just getting a spanking? Sometimes I wonder what this world’s coming to, when I see terrorists and rapists and criminals going scott-free, and the police charging a 6-yr old who was scared of the intimidating police officers and hid under a table, with “attempt to resist arrest”!

Here’s the full story: Kindergartner Charged With Felony Tantrum

April 11, 2007

Parenting: Toddler gains by shadowing big sister

“Q: My son is 2 and his big sister is 6. He’s her little shadow, and in some ways that’s good: His vocabulary and other skills are great. But when they’re together he wants to do only what she does, and I wonder if he should be more independent.

A: We think your son is lucky to have his big sister to help him develop important experience and skills.”

Full story: Toddler gains by shadowing big sister

January 29, 2007

Educational Toys and Games

When we are looking for educational toys and games for our children, it is always helpful to know what children are like at the various stages of their development.

During infancy, nearly everything a baby can touch, taste, smell, see, hear or feel is a learning experience, but there really are very few educational toys and games for a child of this age, with the following exceptions: language ‘games’. Learning language, even from birth, is of extreme importance to your baby’s mental development and preparation for school. Talk to your baby!! If you name objects many times a day, these objects become his ‘educational toys and games’! Your baby is learning to associate a particular sound with the particular object, whether it is a toy, or baby’s feet during bath time, or your nose (and baby’s nose), and so forth.

You can also talk about activities throughout the day, every day. The repetition of words is key. Our babies recognize many words long before they can speak even a single word. How would your baby ever know to say “mama” or “dada” if you did not repeat these words hundreds of times?

I remember when my first-born learned the word for moon. There was a favorite soft book of his, with dozens of pictures that we would look at together, every day, saying the word of each object. When he was about 16 months, there was a full moon in a clear sky. We went out on the porch to enjoy the early evening, and he spotted the moon. His enthusiasm was immense, as he alternated his little feet in a fast dance, and pointed to the sky exclaiming, “Moon, moon, moon!!” This was the first time he had ever said the word.

As your baby gets older, educational toys and games are in abundance. Blocks, crayons, easy puzzles, hand puppets, stacking toys, mobiles, and so on, all help to develop motor skills, spatial awareness, recognition of various sounds, and language skills if baby has ‘talking’ company for some of the time when he is engaged in play. Of all the toys your pre-school child might have, their value will be enhanced dramatically by your participation in his play, with spoken words, words, words! Language skills are further increased by naming the surroundings, the travels from one room or one place to another, and so forth.

Educational toys and games are a big part of your child’s early years when they are fun! Babies and children are naturally curious, from the first few weeks of life. They are hungry to learn. But the keyword is “fun”. We should not try to teach letters and reading and math until a child is ready to learn, and this is generally not during the preschool years, even though there are some exceptions. Follow the child’s lead, and if she points to a magnetic letter on the refrigerator and says its name, we can applaud and share in her enthusiasm.

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Welcome To My Little Toys! My Little Toys offers products of the highest quality that will enable you to make your child’s world a delightful, stimulating, educational and safe environment. Please visit us often as our product catalog continues to include more toys for all age groups.

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