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Play Blog

It’s time to open up those windows, do a little spring cleaning, and get outdoors! Sometimes it’s easier for our kids (and us) to stay snuggled up on the couch and put in Frozen for the 10th time of the day than get the kids motivated to go outside. After being indoors for so many months, we forget how great being outdoors can make us feel! Being outside reduces stress, provides a reset for our brains and gives us a healthy dose of Vitamin D. We have some great outdoor activities that will help your kids trade in the glow of the screen for the light of the sun!
Some of the simplest, fastest, and easy brain-boosting games are commonly referred to as Brainteasers. Brainteasers can be simple or very complicated, but often fun! Brainteasers strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving skills, build lateral thinking and new perspectives, improve cognitive skills like memory and processing speed, and trigger teamwork and communication. 
Learning this fall looks different for many families. Some returning to school and others Homeschooling or doing In Home Learning for the first time. If you're doing the later, we know this can be a lot. We're here to help!
Everything is starting to come together. Your child is starting to connect the learning. The learning may be getting harder, but who says it can’t be fun? Have an international night. What part of the world are they studying in History or Geography. Explore what the culture is like there, do they dress differently, try learning some of that language and cook an international meal together. As our kids become more self-sufficient, and schedules can get busy, consider having a family game night each week to connect and have fun.
Do the phrases, “I can’t” or “boring” ring through the home of your 3rd or 4th grader? This age group is becoming self-aware, looking to please friends and others. This age group likes having some control. It may be time to offer more choices to allow them to feel more empowered. Is the shower the battle? The choice might be shower tonight or in the morning? Our children are showing us now how they learn best, are they hands on learners or do better over a book?  Use their interests as a learning advantage.  
With lots of families staying at home and parents working from home looking for things for their kids to do, we decided to release a few of them for FREE on our website. We're excited to release this fun coloring book for young kids called World of Animals. With over 40 illustrations of fun animals in the Safari, Woodland, Jungle, Dessert, Farm, Rain Forest and more, this free printable pdf coloring book will keep your kids entertained for hours.
Many 1st and 2nd graders are working on mastering their gross motor skills with increased coordination. They are able to reason a bit more effectively. This age group’s vocabulary is exploding and they can more easily use words to connect with people and build friendships. We can help our child by talking and learning about what friendships are, what it means to be a good friend and how a friend might act. Look at encouraging social interactions or (virtual) play-dates with peers that  are within groups you may already be a part of such as, homeschool groups,  before/after school daycare or programming, religious affiliations, summer camps, neighborhoods, nearby parks or sports teams.
Since every child learns and thinks differently and every home and family is unique; we’ve got a few tips for successful learning at home. Not all of these may work, or may even be doable, and that’s okay! It’s always great to have more tools in your toolbox than you may need, so you’ve always got a back up. 
The Kindergarten age child can be full of boundless energy. They are running, jumping, skipping non-stop. Kindergarten age children are eager to please and might want to show off what they have made or see. Encourage your child to tell you more about their creation, ask open ended questions like, what is this (door) for, or why did you choose a certain color. Kindergarten age children might love telling jokes. Make it an evening practice to tell a joke of the day at breakfast or around the dinner table. 
In the blink of an eye, our little toddler has grown into a  3-5 year old going on 13, they don’t call them a threenager for nothing. Copying adults, learning to problem solve and engage in pretend play. The Pre-K child is a sponge and ready to explore. At this age, children learn best when they are having fun. Everything might be a game, from cleaning up to finding what is solid and what is a liquid in the house. Learning through fun helps your Pre-K child start building learning concepts. 
Learning from home can be challenging alone, without the curveballs that might creep in for families with children that are differently abled.  When children have special needs or challenges; it can be very frustrating and present an entirely new and unique journey that tests our family, routines and supports. Sometimes we might need a little bit more than the basic tips. Parents, you are not alone, you’ve got this.! If your toolbox of tips and tricks are running low, we’ve gathered a few tips from parents and teachers to help. 
A kid’s imagination knows no bounds. They can sit at a table with a simple piece of paper and think of a thousand ways to bring it life. They can roll it up as a telescope and venture around on their own personal safari, stalking the pets and the parents that roam their at-home ‘jungle.’ They can tighten that roll of paper just a little more at the end and turn it into a sword, going so far as to become the living embodiment of Blackbeard himself… The possibilities are truly endless!

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