It's always fascinating to watch small children pretend to be doing the same thing we adults do. A young child will happily pick up the television remote, hold it to their ear and hold a happy, but meaningless, conversation with some imaginary voice. Similarly, if given a cloth, most young children will happily start cleaning, as again, it - what they see us adults do. In fact, watching the way children mimic us can be quite revealing about our habits. Children are programmed to mimic. From the day they are born, or even before, a child's brain is wired with a range of instructions and basic patterns of behaviour, the vast majority of which are to encourage the child to watch, observe, learn and copy. This is how they learn about the world around them, the myriad range of objects within the world with which they will be required to interact, and their own part in the world as an individual. Even as adults, most of us learn better by being shown how to do something, and then copying it as closely as we can - it's a human way of developing and improving.
What makes a party. Make sure to include these 5 ingredients to ensure a great children's birthday party. 1. Food Food brings people together. Whether it is birthday, wedding, funeral or graduation, one thing is for sure... there will be food! Serving food at a Children's birthday party does not have to be extravagant. The less complex the meal, the more enjoyable. Preparing traditional hot dogs and hamburgers is safe, easy and liked among all ages. The only other things you have to remember is, potato chips, condiments, a fresh veggie tray, and some disposable plates. Don't forget the birthday cake. I recommend making your own with the birthday child. Don't stress about the cooking experience, the directions are on the box. 2. Music There is a simple solution to music at your child's birthday party. If you don't already have an ipod go get one. While you are there, pick-up an ipod dock that will play music through small speakers. These are perfect for backyard and indoor use.
Last month a reader asked if I'd be willing to write about kids swearing. I must admit the request took me off guard initially, but I think it's a great topic to consider from a thinking angle. Hitting the OFF button is one thing. Getting your kids to appreciate how destructive non-stop swearing is-to the power of language, to communication, and to personal and work relationships-is another thing all together. My advice is to keep this conversation going for awhile. Stopping the Habit In many respects, nixing the swearing at home is one of the easier tasks. You can do this by 1) never swearing around your kids and 2) providing some disincentive to your child. "Fining" kids coins or treats on the spot works best. Don't let it escalate into a big "I'm-disappointed-in-you" thing at the end of the day. In fact, fine yourself too when you slip up. It helps your kids see swearing as a bad habit that's hard for anyone to break. The Swearing Culture You've heard the story: the more you hang around people who swear, the more you swear yourself.
Here is a suggestion for you to consider: an old cardboard box is the best value for money when it comes to toys. You could be picky and point out that a cardboard box doesn't cost anything, and therefore can't provide any value for money since you haven't spent any on it, but I'm going to ignore that and continue with the hypothesis that you are better off buying your child a cardboard box than you are the thing which was inside it. Throw yourself backwards to your child hood days, and try to remember the enthusiasm with which you greeted a new cardboard box. Can you recall the excitement? Can you remember why? It was that tingle which started at the back of your neck as you anticipated the worlds which would be created within that space. You didn't quite know what it was going to become -perhaps a plane, or a spaceship or a train that would whisk you off to exotic locations. Or perhaps it would be a castle from which you could defend your crown as you ruled the land before you. Cardboard boxes often become ships, allowing the child to sail off, pushing away the land and humdrum of everyday life and setting sail on a voyage of discovery, alone, with no map, and nothing to do but discover the rest of the world.
There can be no doubt at all of the importance to almost every child of teddy bears. Whether it is actually a bear, or some other creature, real or imaginary, every child needs some sort of private confidant that they know will always be there for him or here. They don't judge, they don't say 'no', they don't argue back and they love you just as you are. Every child knows that at the end of the day, when they go to bed, their teddy bear will be waiting for them, right there by their side, and that when he or she wakes in the morning, their teddy bear will be the first one to greet them. We probably all have our own favourite teddy bears from our childhood, fondly remembered, and in many cases, secretly still tucked away somewhere in a dark corner. It seems that these inanimate creatures can form such a strong and important part of our childhood life that even as adults they can bring out the softer side. What is it about teddy bears and their related creature counterparts which makes them so popular, and so vital it would seem to a happy childhood?
When I was young I had a tree house at the bottom of the garden. It had two small rooms, a little table and stool, and a window at both the front and the back. I used to love that tree house, and made it my den, eating meals there, playing games, and watching out of the back window at the road which ran along the back of the garden, watching people who didn't know I was there. To me, that tree house was my own little private world. Today there is a very wide range of playhouses and tree houses for children, either ready assembled or requiring some basic assembly. These playhouses are usually ground based, or raised on their own feet, and come in an amazing range of styles. There are play houses that have two stories, multiple rooms windows and doors, and even a veranda at the front. To all intents and purposes, these play houses are miniature houses, and not bad little places to live. With a little furniture, which is also readily available, children can really go to town making these places their own little homes.
What was your favourite toy when you were young? Mine was a bucket of bricks. Those plastic bricks with the bumps on the top that let you click them together and build whatever your imagination let you. I used to have one great box of these bricks and used to build everything from houses to spaceships, from robots to car parks for my toy cars, and every day would be an opportunity to break down yesterday's creation and start a new one all over. As I grew older, I used to be given box sets of bricks that were designed for a specific purpose. The picture on the front, and the instructions, showed you how to use all the special bricks included to create a single structure. I used to build it once, and then throw all the bricks into the bucket and use them within other projects. I remember my parents up in arms at the very idea that this special, and very expensive, box set should be hurled in with the ordinary bricks. But to me as a child, they were all just bricks, and the real fun wasn't in following instructions, it was in creating my own, imagining an idea and forging it into reality through patience, trial and error, and several collapsed attempts due to bad planning or weak foundations.
At last, the moment that kids have been anticipating for months has finally come and gone. All over the country kids have been planning what they'll do, what to write on their lists and what treats will be in store for them at the end of it all. No, I'm not talking about summer holidays, Christmas, or birthday parties: I'm talking about study plans, revision lists, and awards for achievement. It's none other than that period dreaded by many and welcomed by few! Yes... it's SAT's! Not that I'm trying to undermine it of course. After all, even eleven-year-olds know that to undermine the importance of SAT's is strictly forbidden, especially at a time when it's regarded as a criminal offence to do less than one hour of study per evening, or to go to bed after 9pm. Despite the build-up that's been going on for months, the stress levels that have affected my daughter, and, in turn, the rest of the household, and despite my daughter's constant aspirations to obtain continually improving test results;
Okay, so you are a teenager and you want to make some money for change and you don't want to work at McDonalds for eight dollars an hour. No problem, because I am going to show you some quick cash methods without resorting to a job such as mowing the neighborhoods lawn or babysitting (because that is hard work right? Ha ha) An easy way for teens to make money is to teach old people how to use the computer. What you do is you print out a simple flyer such as "How to use your computer to surf the Internet and watch video. Personal tutor only $10 an hour! " Print out the ad, and then go to the area of your town where old people live, such as the community retirement home center or at the laundry mat and those poster ads everywhere. Another good place to advertise is the grocery store. Sit back and wait for phone calls. The reason being, old people have plenty of free time (and money) and they don't really know how to use computers -- so it is your chance to help them and make money going at it.
Summer is a great time to finally squeeze in all of those activities that you don't have a chance to do during the school year. Here are 25 fun, cheap, and easy ideas for keeping your kids busy until the school bell rings again in the fall. 1. Map out all of the different parks in your county and hit each one (on a different day) with a picnic lunch. 2. Teach the kids some jump rope rhymes from your own childhood. 3. Find a new trail to hike. 4. Plan a scavenger hunt. All you need to do is list 20 or so items that are frequently found in nature. Then distribute the list to each of the kids. The first person or team to find everything and bring them back wins a small prize. 5. Tour a local factory or museum. 6. Take the kids to a scenic area with a set of watercolors and ask them to paint what they see. 7. Visit a local botanical garden. 8. Call your local public library to ask if they are sponsoring any reading contests or special story times. 9. Get a group of friends together and take the kids to the nearest water park or amusement park.