The Benefits of Dress Up Play For Kids 

Do you remember when you were a kid how much you wished that you were someone else for a while? When your kids play, they dress up on so many occasions and attempts to be someone else that he really admires from the mighty king of a castle to a famous superhero. However, when you little kids dress up, you should ensure that they build both their vocabulary and their confidence. And this can easily be done, so read on as we dive further into it.

Why Dress-Up Play Is Smart

If you didn’t already know, you’re literally going to find a dedicated box of supplies for playing dress-up within any preschool classroom. And this is simply due to the fact that teachers know just how much imagination kids put into play. However, they are also facilitating a series of various emotional and academic muscles that aid with fundamental development.

If you’ve ever seen your daughter in her idea of scrubs examining her dolls and stuffed animals with a stethoscope, you can be sure that her mind is going a mile a minute as she performs the activities that were done on her at some point more than a dozen times. And it’s the same when his mind races as he imagines himself driving down a speedway, because just like her, he is also learning how to sit in a car, buckle up his seat belt and to also put the key into the ignition. We can even guarantee that your kid isn’t doing all of this in a silent manner when he’s playing dress-up.

Even when they pretend to be in fancy restaurants, they’re engaging in conversations about food, drinks and even cooking for those who are pretending to be the chef. And they even go on to order at their favourite table three. Even if she’s walking on the moon exploring and hunting for her favourite Martians, you can be she has a colander or rather her own space helmet on her little head; she’s even going to be searching for the perfect spot to land her rocket ship as well as the colours of the aliens and the desired rock that it hides behind. You’ll be happy to know that even when playtime is a lot quieter, their imagination is at work.

Role-playing with other kids go a long way since it encourages them to cooperate, socialize and even take turns. And when they get the chance to let their imaginations run free, they go on to become some of the best problem solvers at adulthood. And if you’ve asked why, well the simple answer is, their creative thinking grows with practice as they rescue dolls from bad guys and let themselves be the ultimate superhero.

How to Encourage Dress-Up Play

If you’re seeking to encourage more dress-up play, be sure to gather much more supplies and keep them all in a location that is easy to access check out these LED toys perfect for dressing up. And then you’re going to need to talk and enquire about what he or she would like to become when they are older. You can even ask about what they’d do if they were Dora the Explorer and ensure that you facilitate the environment for this fantasy to be acted upon. You can even dress up and play; however, preschool-age children wouldn’t ever need too much encouragement since that’s the perfect age at which creativeness kicks in.

Gather Your Garb

If you’re looking for the perfect costume, a store-bought is actually just perfect. And they’ll come in a series of their favorite characters such as Yo Gabba Gabba’s Plex along with the entire line of Disney Princess outfits. In no time your children will be acting, singing and even reading their favorite books.

However, your initial home is actually filled with so many items that do just the same. And they can easily be an old dress or pair of shoes. So, be sure to check your closet or even the thrift shop for the following items:

*Hats 

*Belts 

*Towels for making capes 

*Glasses with the lenses removed 

*Pocketbooks 

*Costume jewellry 

*Gloves 

*Shawls 

*Perfume bottles that are empty 

*Plastic colanders 

*Old bags or even small luggage’s 

*Scrubs 

*Aprons  

*Dance costumes 

In essence, the list is really never ending and it changes according to what you or your child prefers. So, go out and gather supplies and don’t forget to stash them together in an old trunk. And you can even keep it in their play room!

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Dear Holly: These are the Good Ole Days!

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

Something I keep reminding myself is, “These are the good ole days.”

With Mommy and I both working full-time jobs, plus living and working in the always busy and congested Nashville area, it can be the default to not “live in the moment.”

But I think it helps that I take so many pictures of our family and write letters to you and your brother, as it causes me to sort of bookmark each phase of your life; as well as helping me remember recent memories- like when we went to Lake Tahoe this past summer.

I refuse to be so busy that I forget that these truly are the good ole days!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: The Bittersweet Memories of the Younger Version of You from 5 Years Ago

8 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

This week I received a notification from Facebook, reminding what was going on in my life exactly 5 years ago.

I clearly remember it: We went as a family of 3 to Arrington Vineyards.

Your sister had not been born yet. Actually, you were just 3 years old- the same age as your sister is now.

We still lived in our town house on the outskirts of Nashville. (And we made a lot less money back then, too.)

But it was really good times. And I admit, part of thinking about those “simpler times” makes me feel a little said that you not that little boy anymore.

But at the same time, I appreciate the nearly 9 year-old boy you grown up to be.

It is definitely a bittersweet feeling!

Love,

Daddy

Kindness Matters: How to Talk to Your Kids About Being a Good Friend 

It’s important to remember that your children learn their most valuable skills from you. Here’s how to teach your child about being a good friend.

Friends are the family we choose. They help enrich our lives and support us through the trials and tribulations of daily life. However, being a good friend is something we need to learn.

So, how do you teach your kids about how to be a great friend? Here are some hints and activities to help you teach this valuable lesson.

Lead By Example

Kids are natural-born mimickers. Think about how many times you have heard them copy something you have said or done. So, why not use this to help you teach valuable lessons on friendships to your toddler.

Let them play nearby when you are having a friend over for a cup of coffee. Praise your friends in front of your children. Make sure they see you doing kind things for your friends.

This will set the stage for any little ones in your life to see the positive ways friends interact.

Read Books About Friendship

Not only is reading a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your child, but it can also help you teach them about being a good friend. Plus, there’s an almost never-ending supply of children’s books on friendship.

Here are some great choices:

1: Frog and Toad
These books show how friends who have very different personalities can work together and build each up other in positive ways. It also demonstrates the importance of sharing, listening, and being supportive.

2: George and Martha
A favorite of parents and youngsters alike, this book teaches kids about the importance of boundaries, why practical jokes aren’t always funny, and how sometimes the best times you can have with a friend is simply sitting around doing nothing.

3: Sparky
This charming story is about accepting friends for who they are and not trying to change them. It is about celebrating differences and loving your friends for who they are and not what you want them to be.

Talk To Them About What Makes A Good Friend

Having frank conversations with your preschooler about what makes a great friend is one way to make sure they really understand what that means. By highlighting that good friends share, listen to each other, use kind language, and remember important details about each other, you are explaining the traits your child can strive to develop.

Having clear examples like “doesn’t it feel nice when someone tells you ‘good job’?” or “thank you for sharing your toy with me. It makes me happy when you do that” can help children grasp these concepts.

You can also use holidays like the international day of friendship and even Valentine’s Day to teach them about celebrating friendship. This is a great chance to show them how days like this can remind us to let the people in our lives know how much they mean to us.

How To Make Friends

Making friends when you’re young can be easy for some children. They simply approach a peer and ask to be their friend. Other children may find it a bit more difficult.

One way to help timid kids is to role play meeting new people. By having it be part of make-believe time and turning it into a game, you are taking the pressure off your child and turning the idea of making friends into a fun activity.

Or get them to practice saying “hello” to other children. Then move on to asking them if they want to play. Once children start talking and play with each other, friendship grows quickly.

Demonstrate Kindness

We all know it is easier to be friends with someone who is kind. So, by teaching your children how to be kind and compassionate people you will help them to create lasting bonds with friends.

Get in the habit of saying please and thank you when you ask your child to do something for you. This will give them positive behaviors to model and help reinforce how to talk to people in a kind way.

Also, be sure to praise them when they remember their good manners. It is amazing how a simple “I really like it when you say (insert kind word here)” or “Thank you for remembering to (a kind word here)”. It makes me happy when you do that” can help to solidify how important kindness is to young children.

Talk About Emotions, Even the Negative Ones

Talking about different emotions, especially negative ones, can actually help kids create meaningful relationships. By acknowledging that everyone feels sad, angry, hurt, or frustrated helps to ensure your child understands this is a normal part of life.

Plus, when they are able to discuss these feelings in a positive and productive way, instead of acting out, they are learning how to be more empathetic and loving toward others. It turns out having emotional self-control helps us to identify emotions in others and put ourselves in their shoes, an important skill when it comes to forming friendships.

It also helps with problem-solving skills. When children are able to identify negative emotions, they are able to narrow down why they are feeling that way and figure out how to overcome it.

This is useful when it comes to conflict resolution in relationships. They are able to speak up for themselves when something goes wrong or they are hurt instead of lashing out and making the situation worse.

Being A Good Friend

These are just a few tips on how to teach your child about being a good friend. There are plenty of other great resources from books to websites to television shows available to help you.

For more great parenting guides, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.

Learn What You Can Do with Pumpkin Carving Leftovers 

We’ll all soon be carving pumpkins at this time of year. However, when the scary faces are made and the jack-o-lantern sits on the windowsill – what can we do with the innards of the pumpkin? Well, here are some solutions:

1) Pumpkin Pie:

Once you carve something silly or scary into a pumpkin, you shouldn’t let the innards go to waste. Why not make your very own pumpkin puree? You can bake a homemade pumpkin pie using it. Pumpkin has a nutty flavor that pairs well with nutmeg and cinnamon for a delicious aroma lingering around your home. Get the details on Foodal.com for the most incredible puree

2) Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Toasted pumpkin seeds are a tasty and healthy snack full of fiber and nutrition. This is why you were advised not to toss them when you carve out a pumpkin.

To make your seeds truly crispy, just clean them all out of the flesh before boiling them for about 10 minutes. Spread them out over a baking tray before drizzling them with oil and sprinkling them with salt. Bake them for 10 minutes at 175F, but stir them occasionally to be sure they do not burn.

If you’re not keen on actually eating them yourself, remember that birds love them. Clean the seeds out of your pumpkin flesh before letting them dry out on a flat surface. Then just lay them out for your birds outside. Just make sure you don’t season them.

You might even choose to keep a few of the seeds to the side so you can plant them when the temperatures start warming back up. Read more about what it takes to grow an edible garden of your own.

3) Pumpkin Soup:

Making a nice batch of some pumpkin soup for your fridge or freezer means you have something handy later on a busy day, and it might just be the most efficient use for your carved pumpkin.

4) Pumpkin-Infused Vegetable Stock:

If you use both the seeds and flesh from your pumpkin, you might be wondering what to do with those stringy insides that you might just typically compost. Try adding them to other various veggie scraps which accumulate in your fridge so you can make a flavorful veggie stock. It’s a great way to use wrinkly carrots and onion ends. You might even freeze a lot of it for use later on in the winter.

Dear Holly: Just Add Straws, a Tongue Depressor, and a Liquid Medicine Dispenser to Play-Doh for an Easy Hour Long Activity

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

After watching you brother accidentally yet successfully make creepy tapeworms to fight each other, you decided you wanted to join in on the fun.

You asked me for toothpicks like I gave your brother. I let you have two, but I decided that orange straws to match your orange Play-Doh might be more interesting to you. A few minutes later, I threw in a liquid medicine dispenser as well as a tongue depressor.

For a 3 year-old girl, this perfectly challenged you for an hour. You had so much fun figuring out the many ways you could incorporate the Play-Doh accordingly.

I will have to remember this simply yet engaging activity for next weekend too!

Daddy

Dear Jack: Making Creepy Tapeworms Out of Play-Doh, Then Making Them Fight

8 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

As I was cleaning the bathrooms Saturday afternoon, I noticed that you grabbed several toothpicks as you were working on a Play-Doh project at the kitchen table.

Eventually, the commentary began:

“Hey Daddy, look! This snake totally just bit the other one but the the other snake stabbed him with the spikes on his back…”

I was happy to see your creativity in action. But I did have to point out that they reminded me more of tape worms. Once I showed you a picture of them on my phone, you easily agreed that you had indeed been unknowingly making and fight giant tapeworms.

Maybe that was better, actually- since tapeworms are arguably creepier than snakes.

Love,

Daddy