Playtime Matters: Are Some Kinds Of Play Better Than Others?

Put the Play Back Into Playtime

“Get back in the game, buddy!” calls out a dedicated dad when he sees his 4-year old athlete poking twigs in the ground to make a stick house.

Hmmm.   Two kinds of play here.  Soccer and imaginary twig towns.

Remember “Just Playing?”

Today’s young children certainly play more soccer and t-ball.  They jump on bouncers, flap parachutes and scarves together, and clamber through ballpits in “play places.”  Our children master video games created just for them and many maneuver a smart phone better than adults!  There are fewer twig towns out there these days.

Playing in hay bale houses - interesting!
Playing in hay bale houses – interesting!

 

Do children play the same way today as we did when we were kids? [ more ]

Children Can Practice Calming Down By “Shakin’ It Up”

Stubborn Refusals and Temper Tantrums Wear Everyone Out

Sometimes children’s emotional storms and “cheerful to tearful” in 10 seconds flat can tire adults out.   A tantrum over putting on boots?  Wailing when a tower piece won’t fit or sobbing over who was “there first”?  It becomes exhausting and frustrating for everyone when children struggle with anger, disappointment, and other “big” feelings.

From an adult perspective, we think, “Really? All this drama over putting on boots?  Just put the boots ON!”

Some Children Need to Learn HOW to Calm Down

These struggles look a lot like  intentional defiance.  However, some children are more emotional by nature than others.  And some children need more help learning how to handle big feelings.  In the words of one sweet child, “Sometimes when I’m in the middle of a mad, I just can’t get out.”

Good news!  Adults can help children master this important life skill.  The fieriest four year old can learn to manage her feelings and think before acting.  The fiercest five year old can derail a rising temper and choose to stay calm. [ more ]

Snowflakes Young Children Can Make for Sandy Hook

Although young children don’t benefit knowing the details of Sandy Hook, they can still be involved in acts of kindness.  Making snowflakes to create a winter wonderland is a simple gesture that will welcome Sandy Hook children to their new school.   Deadline is Jan. 12.  Mail snowflakes to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514.

 

Coping with the Sadness of the Sandy Hook Shooting

How to Help Children Deal with the Sandy Hook Tragedy

As the awful news from Sandy Hook surfaced, most adults immediately began asking “How should we help children cope?”  It is a terrible irony that as we learned about the murder of children, most of us immediately thought about how to protect our children.

What Is Best for Young Children

At AcornDreams, we focus on supporting young children.  Experts agree; children younger than 7 should be told as little as possible about an event like this.  They are too young to understand and process the information.

Shield young children from news coverage, avoid detailed discussions in their presence, and answer questions they ask with carefully considered answers.  If young children are fearful, acknowledge that it is scary.  Remind young children that they are safe right now. [ more ]

Teaching Children the Gift of Giving, Not Getting

It’s Never Too Early to Show Children the Joys of Giving

The “Gimme” Attitude

What gifts can young children give?

Lots of people love to talk about children being spoiled today, being raised with a sense of entitlement. Usually, we’re talking about other people’s spoiled children but not always.

Did Socrates have specific children in mind when he observed: “The children now love luxury…have bad manners, contempt for authority…disrespect to their elders….” ?

During the busy month of December, many caring adults work very hard to create special traditions and choose perfect gifts that will delight children – who will then appreciate and remember warm holiday experiences. You know, we’re making memories! It’s a lot of work.

What Really Makes Children Happy

How frustrating and disappointing when instead of sweet gratitude and general contentedness, children instead look around for ANOTHER present or are cranky or get overstimulated by our memory-making activities. [ more ]

Talk about teaching by example!

We’re proud to know and work with Program Director Gail Nachimson and the educators of the Jawonio Preschool in New City, New York.  Following Hurricane Sandy, they have opened their doors to families who need a warm, dry and safe place to go with their children.  Hang in there, our thoughts are with you.

We’re About Building Strong Children

We’re interested in helping children grow up healthy and strong.

Growing strong kids  can be hard these days.  The right tools make any job easier.  AcornDreams.com offers resources, support, and information for helping children grow up strong, healthy, and ready to flourish.

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National Picnic Month!

July is National Picnic Month. Planning a picnic with children involves brainstorming and making choices – great skills for life!  What sandwich?  Which fruit will travel well?  What toys should we bring? Even a picnic in the back yard or in another room is fun for children. Pack water and hand sanitizer– you’re good to go.