IMPORTANCE OF A SCHEDULE AMONG INFANTS AND TODDLERS

Our lives as adults are filled with everyday routines that help keep us on schedule. Children also need to have predictable routines that have room for flexibility, especially infants and toddlers. 

Reasons why routines and schedules are important

  • Gives them a sense of security and stability.
  • Influences their social, emotional, and cognitive development.
  • Everyday routines can be used as teachable moments.
  • Know what is happening now and what comes next.
  • Know how to do an activity or task.
  • Engage in learning.

Young children gain an understanding of everyday events and procedures and learn what is expected of them. They can also help the child become more trusting of you as a caretaker. Children that have effective routines are more engaged with their environment and the people around them. You can use their everyday routines as opportunities to talk with your child and help them develop their communication skills.

Schedule – is the big picture and includes main activities that happen throughout the day.

Routines – the steps needed to complete each part of the schedule.

All families need some type of routine to establish normalcy. Children often fear the unknown, and change can be stressful for them. When you include meaningful and important elements into your family life, you are letting your child know what’s important.

Schedule and Routine Tips:

  • Keep it simple.
  • Break down one of your scheduled tasks into steps to create the routine.
  • Let your children help.
  • Review the schedule every morning and throughout the day.
  • Keep each day’s routine and schedule as similar as possible.
  • Be flexible.
  • Offer a choice in activities whenever possible. 

Example of Daily Routines:

 

The time to get ready in the morning.

– Mealtimes, bath times, nap times, and bedtimes.

– Housework, cooking, and cleaning schedules.

– Playtime, family time, and outdoor play.

Other Ways Your Child Will Benefit from A Schedule and Routine:

  1. Helps your child get on a schedule – Consistent routines will help your child and their’ body clocks’ with many day-to-day basics such as the ability to take naps and sleep well at night, ability to eat healthy and full meals, have regular bowel movements, have a healthy play and outdoor time, and a calm, relaxed behavior at ‘down times’ during the day.
  2. Bonds the family together – When your child knows what to expect and notices regular family activities, they begin to understand that family time is important.
  3. Establishes Expectations – When your child knows what is expected, they begin to complete tasks without issues.
  4. Creates a calmer household – The child will know what comes next; therefore, stress and anxiety are reduced.
  5. Gives your child confidence and independence – Rather than always having to tell your child what needs to happen, they will feel confident to go ahead and be in charge of themselves.
  6. Establishes healthy, constructive habits – Children who practice these skills will be able to manage their time better.
  7. Helps you remember important things – A routine helps you stay on track.
  8. Provides an opportunity for special’ daily routines’ – When you add something in like snuggling and reading, you are instilling special moments.

While there are many benefits to maintaining a routine, it is also important to remain flexible. Spontaneity and creativity are important factors in a child’s life. Every child is different, and you need to stay sensitive and adaptable to each child’s needs.

As time goes on, you will start to see what’s working and not working for the family. Remember, a routine is meant to help the family, not hinder it. Make sure it is healthy and positive for your child and other family members.

Routines and Parental Happiness

Routines help ease adults into parenthood. The early stages of becoming a parent can be overwhelming and sometimes put a strain on your marriage. Make sure to continue with your routine of a date night once a week or a special vacation spot. You can also incorporate a special ritual from your own childhood to bridge the transition from a couple to a family.

Routines provide the two key ingredients for learning: relationships and repetition. Make sure to enjoy these ‘ordinary’ moments with your child. If your child is having fun with you, they are learning too!

Do you love these ideas/activities and want more of them? You can have a box with age-appropriate activities that are developmentally correct and pediatric designed, shipped right to your door!

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Why Kids Use “Non-Words” And Tantrums? How To Teach Them To Use Their Emotions With Words?

We have all seen it, and most of us have experienced our children throwing tantrums and acting out! So why do children throw tantrums instead of just using their words?

Temper tantrums range from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath-holding. They are equally common in boys and girls and usually happen between the ages of 1-3. Every child is different, some have tantrums often, and some hardly ever have tantrums but just know that tantrums are a normal part of child development.

 Tantrums are how young children show that they are upset or frustrated.

Reasons Why A Child May Be Throwing A Tantrum:

  • The child may be tired, hungry, or uncomfortable.
  • They can’t get something that they want, like a toy.
  • They get frustrated because an adult can’t understand what they want.
  • The child wants to do it themselves but realizes they can’t.
  • The child gets told ‘no.’

 Toddlers can’t yet say what they want, feel, or need; a frustrating experience may cause a tantrum. Learning to deal with frustration is a skill that children gain over time.

Believe it or not, tantrums are an essential part of our child’s emotional health and well-being.

10 Important Reasons Why Your Child’s Tantrum Is Actually A Good Thing: 

  • Better out than in When we cry, we are literally releasing stress from our bodies.
  • Crying may help your child learnafter they calm down again, they have cleared their mind after expressing their frustration and can learn something new.
  • Your child may sleep betterStress can cause a child not to be able to fall asleep and wake up from sleep. Crying and releasing that stress will allow your child to relax.
  • Saying ‘No’ is a good thingSaying no to your child sets boundaries, and they need those.
  • Your child will feel safe telling you how he feelsmost times; the tantrum is not because you said no; it’s them showing you how they feel about it.
  • Tantrums bring you closer togetherAfter the tantrum, hug them, show them they are loved.
  • Tantrums will help your child’s behavior in the long runHaving a tantrum helps your child release the feelings that can get in the way of his natural, cooperative self.
  • If the tantrum happens at home, it’s less likely to occur in publicwhen children are allowed to express their emotion fully, they will often choose to have their upsets at home.
  • Your child is doing something most of us have forgotten how to doThey cry to release their stress and anger, and as adults, we tend to avoid crying to ‘fit into’ society.
  • Tantrums are healing for you, tooStaying calm takes practice, but when we manage it, we are literally rewiring our brains to become calmer, more peaceful parents.

What Should You Do During A Tantrum?

 The most important thing to do during your child’s tantrum is to stay calm; if you get upset and angry, it will only make the situation worse. Everyone’s child needs different reactions, so know your child and what they need from you.

Sometimes it is best to ignore the tantrum! If you ignore it, they realize that they will not get your attention when they throw a fit.

After a tantrum, the most important thing is to praise your child for calming down and hug your child, reassure them that they are loved, no matter what.

 Helping Your Child Learn How to Express Their Feelings 

Young children have a hard time identifying how they are feeling and how to express those feelings appropriately. The first step is to help your child identify their own emotions and why they feel that way.

Here are 10 ways to help your child express their feelings:

 

  • Use Words or IllustrationsExplain the feeling to your child by using easy words they can understand. Using picture books is a great way to illustrate feelings.
  • Teach Your Child Sign LanguageThis gives them tools to express their wants and needs.
  • Help Them Find A SolutionTeach your child different ways to deal with feelings and allow them to come up with solutions.
  • Encourage with PraiseWhen you see your child positively expressing their feelings, always praise them.
  • PracticePractice strategies for expressing emotions by talking about feelings during daily life.
  • Name the FeelingHelp your child give their feelings labels.
  • Identify Feelings in Themselves and OtherDescribe emotions they see around them.
  • Accept Your Child’s Feelingsthey will feel like you understand them, and that will help them cooperate with you and make them feel better.
  • Listen to Your Child’s FeelingsThey need to feel like you care.
  • Talk About Others FeelingsWhen your child is upset about something that involved another child, talk about your child’s feelings, but also discuss how the other child may be feeling.

 

Children just want to feel loved and understood. Remember, when your child isn’t calm, your NUMBER #1 JOB IS TO STAY CALM!

 Do you love these ideas/activities and want more of them? You can have a box with age-appropriate activities that are developmentally correct and pediatric designed, shipped right to your door! Click the link below to get your box now!

 

 

Easter Eggs Activities and its developmental Importance for kids

Easter holds so many great activities for our children. What kid doesn’t love an Easter egg hunt? An Easter egg hunt is not just fun but a whole learning process. First, there’s finding the eggs, which works on your child’s gross motor and cognitive skills. Then decision making, planning, visual skills, and Picking the eggs up and putting them in the basket, which works on the child’s fine motor skills and coordination.

Here are some fun activities to do at Easter:

Color Scavenger Hunt

  • Use plastic-colored Easter eggs to encourage gross motor skills, visual perception, and learning colors. They will also be building cognitive skills and visual scanning.
  • You can assign a color to each child, and those are the eggs that they need to find.
  • You can use clues or a scavenger hunt for the older children.
  • The reward is they get to keep what is inside each of the eggs that they find.
    • Some tips for a successful Easter egg hunt for small children are:
      • Find a suitable space for the hunt, a small safe place.
      • Make sure to have baskets for each child.
      • Keep it simple.
      • Make sure all the children know the rules.
      • Keep things fair.

Easter egg hunts and/or scavenger hunts encourage physical activity. You can even involve math and have your little one practice counting all of the eggs they found. You can even put different sensory objects in some of the eggs for them to explore. Easter stickers are also a great item to put in the eggs.

 

Eggs and Bunny Art

  • This activity will be painting or coloring the eggs.
  • Have your child use markers, crayons, or paint to color the eggs for Easter.
  • Let them be creative and use their imagination. There is no right or wrong way.

Art promotes creativity, and that is extremely important for a child’s development. Holding the marker, crayon, or brush works on their fine motor skills. Art also helps children gain confidence and perseverance. Painting and coloring help develop visual-spatial skills. It will also help develop working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control.

Feed the Bunny

  • Use a box that is closed up and cut out a mouth for the bunny.
  • Give your child pom poms and have them feed the bunny through the mouth either with their hands or tweezers.

This activity will work a child’s pincer grasp when picking up the pompoms with their fingers or the tweezers. The ability to isolate the pointer finger and use a pincer grasp during fine motor play are important skills to prepare kids for a good pencil grasp.

This activity can also work on your child’s ability to cross the midline. Have them reach over to the left side to get the pompoms and then back to the right to feed the bunny. This is an important prerequisite to efficient reading, writing skills, and overall motor coordination.

Easter Activities to Involve the Entire Family

– Egg and Spoon Race – This is an old-fashioned outdoor game where you each have a spoon with an egg resting on it. You all race to a certain spot and see who can make it there first without dropping their egg.

– Read Easter books together as a family. Reading is so good for children and helps them with bonding, listening skills, cognitive and language development, expanded vocabulary, attention span, creativity, and social and emotional development.

– Easter symbolizes rebirth, so plant some flowers, plants, or trees together. Children love to help, and you can teach them about the planting process, feeding and nurturing what you plant, and how it grows.

– You can decorate a tree with Easter eggs for Spring.

– You can teach your child about the importance of giving. Have them help make, decorate, and fill an Easter basket. Then bring it to a neighbor, friend, or family member.

– Make the Easter meal together as a family. Let the children help because they love to feel like they accomplished something and helped mom and dad.

– If the weather permits, be outside! Everyone benefits from getting some sunshine and breathing in the fresh air. It is also very beneficial for children to explore the outdoors and nature.

Holidays bring families together, and family time is incredibly important for raising a healthy and secure child. Children learn from what they see, so show them what it means to be there for each other and truly with each other. It is a time when your children learn how to deal with all kinds of life situations, and they learn invaluable lessons.

 

So, don’t forget to stock up on some plastic Easter eggs, candy, small gifts/toys, and anything else you might need for Easter. Most of all just have fun!!

 

Do you love these ideas/activities and want more of them? You can have a box with age appropriate activities, that are developmentally correct and pediatric designed, shipped right to your door! Click the link below to get your box now!

Baby Sign Language

You might hate seeing your baby wailing, and you have no idea why. Is he hungry? Tired? Too hot? You could just wait until your baby learns to speak, but the reality is that you could be waiting for a word or two from seven months to a year. The good news? There’s a considerable way to start communicating with your baby at an earlier age(6months). It’s called baby sign language, and it could provide the tools you’ve been looking for to avoid frustration and keep a parent-baby bonding strong.

Why is baby sign language important?

It’s Fun!

There are many reasons for introducing your baby to baby signing. From the moment you see your baby repeat their first sign, you’ll be impressed and happy. Babies love signing because it gives them a meaning to connect with you more often and convey many different feelings. The best part is that there are a hundred daily chances to teach signs!

Making Words Visual 

Unlike a spoken word, a sign can be held static for a baby to imitate. Signs give meaning to words that would otherwise be too abstract for your baby to comprehend until they were much older. For example, the word wind does not refer to something your baby can see, but using an iconic gesture makes the subject instantly understood.

More Independent

Studies show that your baby feels confident in his ability to tell you what he wants, when he wants it, it gives him a greater sense of independence. Because he has a greater understanding of his environment, and because he has another of learning, associating, and understanding, he will feel freer to explore. You are providing a “scaffolding” for your baby’s learning experiences, whereby your baby makes new discoveries knowing you there for support and encouragement. If he needs help along the way, he easily able to ask for it.

Building knowledge

Your baby is able to take charge of his own education by indicating to you with a simple gesture just what it is he would like to know more about. He will also become very skillful at extracting further information from you! Baby sign language is a useful tool for assisting your baby in his development of concepts. Babies learn to form thoughts by their experiences and are continually refining their ideas and understanding. Infants start with “the big picture” and work from there. For example, when a baby first encounters a creature with four legs, tail, and fur, and is told it is a cat, suddenly every animal that loosely resembles a cat falls into the same category. This is because cat is the only word they may have learned to date to identify an animal.

Research has shown that child sign language may give a typically developing child a way to communicate months earlier, achieve better speech recognition skills over the first 3 years than those who only depend on vocal communication. This may help ease frustration between the ages of 6 months and 2 years — when children begin to know what they need, want, and feel, but don’t necessarily have the verbal skills to express themselves. Children who have developmental delays may also benefit from this. 

Keep in mind that it’s important to continue talking to your child as you teach baby sign language. Spoken communication is an essential part of your child’s speech development.

References:

Geers AE, Mitchell CM, Warner-Czyz A, Wang NY, Eisenberg LS; CDaCI Investigative Team. Early Sign Language Exposure and Cochlear Implantation Benefits. Pediatrics. 2017;140(1):e20163489. doi:10.1542/peds.2016-3489

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28759398/

MacDonald K, LaMarr T, Corina D, Marchman VA, Fernald A. Real-time lexical comprehension in young children learning American Sign Language. Dev Sci. 2018;21(6):e12672. doi:10.1111/desc.12672

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6191391/

Goodwyn SW. (2000). Impact of symbolic gesturing on early language development.
link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1006653828895

Hoecker JL. (2016). Is baby sign language worthwhile?
mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/expert-answers/baby-sign-language/faq-20057980

Importance of Sensory System & Ideas about tactile activities for infants and toddlers

TThe sensory system is an integral part of the human body. We touch, smell, hear, balance and much more to regulate ourselves into the world. Yes, I repeat sensory systems help us to “Regulate” ourselves into the world.

Need more explanation? Let me give you a few simple but important examples of our own lives:

  • I cannot stand on my feet steady for more than 60 seconds with eyes closed. I do need my eyes to see my surroundings and so I open my eye or I touch the nearby wall. That is Vision sense.
  • I cannot tolerate vacuum cleaner noise or I have to keep my hands on my ears when a train is passing a few meters away. That is – Auditory sense.
  • I cannot hold ice cube for more than 10 seconds in the palm of my hands. So I throw it on the floor or just eat that! (lol) That is Tactile (touch) sense.
  • I like to go to the gym to workout another wise I cannot get good night sleep. That is – Proprioceptive sense.

And if we adults feel these sensory issues- have you thought about kids? Yeah? From my long experience in the field of Pediatric Occupational Therapy and being a mom I may suggest that Kids’ sensory systems are crucial and developing during the early years. They struggle with the understanding of all these differences and they are learning through experiences but as they do not have “all” experience and solutions to problems- they start throwing Tantrums. We call it tantrums but they are telling us to move away from that noxious stimuli and when we don’t understand their language – they start crying, hitting, screaming, and much more that comes under the category of a tantrum.

Some kids feel uncomfortable as soon as their parents take them to a restaurant and then, they suddenly start crying. As soon as an adult takes them out of the restaurant door, the kid is calm. There can be various reasons for that. For example, the child may be over stimulative to smell sense – as we all know restaurants do not cook only one dish but many and every platter has a different smell. We are ‘used to’ these mixed smells but not tiny noses. If they can manage that somehow, the other uncomfortable stimuli can be lights and sounds in restaurants. Some restaurants have a variety of ceiling lights or blinkers and much more to attract customers but tiny eyes are just not used to those visual entries. Same for music or people talking loudly in restaurants and that may disturb a child’s auditory system.

So only one change of environment (home to a restaurant) may cause a variety of sensory experiences for a child. It is good to explore with your child and that is how they get experience but it is similarly important to be ready for some unknown tantrum and handle with the extra calm response as we know, they are going through a LOT. Just calm the child and then slowly introduce them to a novice environment is always a better option.

There are a variety of sensory activities that kids love and feel regulated while doing so. Some just love water and the other just loves sand. Every kid is different and so as their preferences. and that is okay!! We do have choices. correct?

I am sharing some fun sensory activity ideas to help a toddler regulate in a home environment and they are good to keep a child busy and improve his/her attention from 1 to 10 minutes. Each activity mainly focuses on different aspects of Tactile (touch) sense, Vision, Auditory, Proprioceptive, and balance mechanisms.

  • Cutting Noodles
  • Ball Pit for Tummy timers
  • Blue Water Wash
  • Wood-chips Exploration
  • Bean-Box fun
  • Rice Bin 
  • Hand painting for all 
  • Sensory bag
  • Texture Games for infants
  • Home made edible snow
  • Sand Box
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1. Cutting Noodles

Noodles are long. Noodles are sticky. And then you add colors to those noodles! Wow. That will create a perfect combination of practicing sensory, fine motor, visual motor, and attention skills. My daughter chose to cut those noodles with her recently learned cutting-skills. And that was a great fun-time in our backyard. I also hid some small animal toys into noodles to add a surprise element.

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2. Ball Pit fun for Tummy Timers

Tummy time is an integral need during the early months. How about making it fun? Provide tummy time in a ball pit. These sensory balls provide infants a variety of stimulations on the whole body and colors provide great engagement into the task.

3. Blue Water Wash

Ocean! who doesn’t like it? I made this ocean with blue food color and water and added a big of bath soap to it. She chose to give shower her animals into this amazing ocean.

Children begin by loving their parents, as they grow older, sometimes they forgive them

– Paul Tournier
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4. Wood chips exploration

Outdoor exploration in the surroundings. Woodchips and sand together are nice to explore. Sometimes it has safety concerns lined up with that about getting splinters though kids somehow love to touch wood chips. Keep an eye while doing this activity for safety purposes but outdoor exploration is just another fun to develop sensory regulation among kids

5. Bean Box Fun

Bean box is a great tool for sensory play. All we have to do is pour different beans available in the home-pantry into a box, add their favorite toys (small Disney toys, tiny dinosaurs, small cars or animals) and ask them to find them!

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6. Rice bin

Rice grains are great textures just as beans. Coloring rice grains with food color makes it attractive to play and provides sand like texture.

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7. Hand Painting for all

Hand-painting is favorite among toddlers. They just love seeing their hands painted with different colors and making impressions on papers or different surfaces brings the joy of doing something great by themselves. I used safe washable paints and provided some papers and let her explore the lines of her hands by imprinting by herself.

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8. Sensory Bag

Sensory bags are nice to develop a variety of acting skills. This one particularly is made up of hair gel+blue food color inside a ziplock bag. I added some glitters to make it more attractive. We used it to develop pre-writing skills, scribbles, drawing different shapes, and much more. We used feet and hands both to explore this sensory bag. The cherry on the top: My daughter spent 15 straight minutes while playing with this sensory bag! (yes only moms know how bing that jackpot time is! )

9. Texture games for infants

Textures important. Infants explore everything through touch and oral exploration. They start sensing about the size, shape, and other materialistic properties through “touch”. I cut dishwashing sponge into straight lines and made it available for her so she can grasp (cylindrical grasp) and feel.

10. Home made edible snow

Snow is fun for all but we don’t get snow all the time. How about making one? I made this snow from corn starch to all-purpose flour and added food color (yellow) and very very little water. Boom! it’s ready. I hid tiny straws inside to help my daughter develop a pinch grip and visual-motor exploration. (I did this edible and safe texture play with her when she was 7 months old.)

11. Sand Box

Sandboxes or sand tables are fun parts of sensory play. They help to develop imagination skill when a child starts making castles, or any other construction from their amazing imagination. Live your Dreams is what this activity is all about. Sand is a great texture to develop tactile regulation. Sand gets cold in cold temperatures (during the mornings and late afternoons) and it gets warmer during the afternoons when the Sun is up high in the sky. So this activity not just provides touch sense but also temperature sense too and its fun playing around different temperatures.

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So! Are you ready to start your Sensory Fun? I hope you will have lots of fun and learn. Cio!

Cooking with Kids

A A recent survey by Uncle Ben’s Beginners noticed that 90% of parents believe it’s important for their children to cook. Still, only 1/3 actually cook with their children on a weekly basis. Parents said that they would cook with their children more frequently if:

  • They had more time.
  • Their children were more interested.
  • They had better gastronomic skills.
  • It hadn’t made such a mess.

I’m going to be the first to admit that cooking with kids, may sound more hassle than it is worth. It takes much more cleanliness and patience than cooking on your own, but did you know that having your child to cook with you is important for their development? Ultimately yes, it might sound a little odd, but the fact is that it benefits your child at several levels from building an outstanding personality to improving visual and bilateral coordination -the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time in a controlled and organized manner-, cognitive and sensory skills (proprioception – lifting heavy pans, hot and cold sensations), etc. 

Here we will list several cooking activities that your kid can do showing the benefits of each activity:

Baking a Cake

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One of the most important points that you should consider to get your kids involved and interested in preparing recipes and baking is to let them play a role in the process. Instead of asking children to just watch the preparation of a cake recipe, give them something to do! Of course, parents should offer children age-appropriate activities when making a cake recipe. Letting Older kids participate and do more than younger ones is an excellent point to mention, but they can all play a role in making the cake. Putting together a cake recipe with children allows them to learn more about baking and cooking while creating entertainment for everyone to enjoy.

It can be any type of cake, let your child choose! When you start baking, you first need to get all the right ingredients and tools out together, this improves your child’s language by increasing vocabulary, recognizing tools, and linking the usage of them with the shape and color also enhances memory. Kids also have to follow directions, which enhances receptive language skills. While baking, also you should explain each step and have your child describe what they are doing for even greater language development. 

For more advanced learning, have them predict what will happen next or guess what the next ingredient would be.

Making cookies

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As they say, there’s never enough family time; sometimes, weekends reschedule a normal day-to-day routine. This gives you time to be with your kids and gives you a good chance to plan meals, look for recipes, and share some fun ideas about cooking delicious desserts. Simple choices, such as chocolate cookies!

Who doesn’t love cookies? Making chocolate cookies has many benefits for your child. Mixing the ingredients, rolling the dough and using cookie cutters are all great ways to enhance a child’s fine motor strength, control, bilateral coordination, in-hand manipulation, grasp patterns, fine motor control and coordination, separation of the two sides of the hand, and hand dominance. These are skills needed to develop academic skills such as writing, cutting, and coloring.

Fruit and cheese kabobs

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Safety is an essential thing to keep in mind when it comes to allowing children of any age to enter the kitchen. Ensure that the guidelines on food safety are fully understood and applied diligently. Posting a checklist or chart of kitchen safety tips in the kitchen is the right way to help younger kids remember them. For example, they should know how to wash their hands thoroughly before cooking. Hold your long hair pulled back and try to avoid loose clothes.

Fruit and cheese kabobs are healthy and easy snacks, and preparing it is so much fun! Let your child help you cut the fruits using safe knives. This will improve their skills and help them focus on keeping their fingers safe. Also, since fruits are full of different colors and each fruit has a different name, this will increase your child’s vocabulary. It can be a family activity that brings everyone together and creates a bonding experience.

Who doesn’t love cookies? Making chocolate cookies has many benefits for your child. Mixing the ingredients, rolling the dough and using cookie cutters are all great ways to enhance a child’s fine motor strength, control, bilateral coordination, in-hand manipulation, grasp patterns, fine motor control and coordination, separation of the two sides of the hand, and hand dominance. These are skills needed to develop academic skills such as writing, cutting, and coloring.

Adding spices and other ingredients

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Encourage your child to help you prepare different recipes, either by reading the recipe, which helps enhance reading comprehension or add the ingredients which increase focus and attention.

Children learn by touching, tasting, feeling, smelling, listening, and visual senses. You might not find a better idea than preparing a dinner dish with your kids, using different distinguishable spices to have all these learning and improvement methods for your kid at once!

By days, your kids will know how to distinguish different things using their senses, which will gradually make them smarter!

Turning on/off utensils

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Countertops, tools, and utensils should be cleaned properly before use. It is particularly important for your children to understand the consequences of eating food that has gone bad or cooking with contaminated utensils. Showing them how to use oven mitts, potholders, and cooling rack for hot items, in order to avoid accidents, all things should be well away from the edges of tables and countertops. To prepare for any emergency situations, post an emergency contact sheet and a first responder at an easily accessible location. Children will know how to use a fire extinguisher and how to escape if there’s a fire.

 Asking your child to turn on/off utensils such as dough maker switch will enhance their fine motor skills, sequencing, and attention. It will also make them feel good about themselves and that they have helped you.

Cooking cold meals for independent eating habits

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Your child can become ready to cook his own Mac and Cheese or PB & J sandwiches. Since cooking is a skill that is needed to be an independent adult. Kids can learn early on how to make their own sandwich, pour milk, or heat something in the microwave. Older kids can learn to cook meals for themselves and the family. This will allow them to be more independent and responsible individuals and boost self-confidence because when a child is able to successfully complete a recipe and make a meal, they will feel a sense of pride and confidence. In addition, as kids cook more, their level of independence increases, which in turn boosts their level of self-confidence and self-esteem. Cooking also teaches kids various safety lessons such as not to touch a hot stove or how to use a knife correctly.

 Asking your child to turn on/off utensils such as dough maker switch will enhance their fine motor skills, sequencing, and attention. It will also make them feel good about themselves and that they have helped you.

Clean-up chores

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Nobody likes chores that much, but if your child gets used to doing chores from a young age, it will make it easier for them when they get older. You can ask your child to help you with different chores such as cleaning the dishes, unloading the dishwasher, cleaning the table, and a lot more. This will make your kid more responsible and help teach teamwork.

There is so much more. You can really help your child develop different skills that are important throughout life.

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Children begin by loving their parents, as they grow older, sometimes they forgive them

– Paul Tournier

Finally, beside healthier central nervous system development, a beautiful and charismatic personality building, allowing children to help bake a cake or participate in making a dinner dish gives them an opportunity to learn more about the food they eat and general nutritional information. No doubt also that the time spent with the family strengthens relation bonding and puts you nearer to your kid’s hearts. They also get a chance to enjoy eating something they helped prepare for! your kids learn about making a cake, buying ingredients, and cleaning up the mess. In addition, in each baking project, they will become more used to the way things work in the kitchen. Unfortunately, many children are ignorant of how to prepare the simplest meals for themselves. Alternatively, your young children who have an opportunity to help make meals in the kitchen are more capable of making dishes for themselves as they get older. The cake baking project and other cooking projects give the kids a tremendous sense of accomplishment and confidence to try out more cooking projects. 

So are you ready for all that fun? Next time you cook a meal or bake a cake, let your kids help!

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

MMothers day is here and yes, this time Teachers won’t send home mother’s day surprise crafts. Sad but its always good to appreciate what you do by yourself. Correct? So this mother’s day, Moms have to do that surprise craft activity for themselves because tradition is always a tradition, and as I mentioned before there is nothing wrong with gifting to yourself. I always gift myself a book or flowers or Spa-treatment to feel good about being so awesome just like you are. Mommies are just the best. 🙂

Why am I so enthusiastic about Mother’s day? Just because I am a mom? No. The real reason is…Because I value my mom just like you do. I am so much grateful for what she has done her whole life and still doing to make me who I am today. When I needed a push to run a mile longer than my actual ability – She pushed me. When I needed that warm hug after losing a singing competition – She hugged me and at the same time pushed me to work hard for the next time. When I wanted to follow my dreams and needed those powerful wings – She gave hers too. When I needed someone to listen to my pregnancy tantrums – She was right there. And now when I am working on my business and need that extra comfort about ‘someone needs to listen to me!’ (another stressful tantrum by me to my mom), she is listening. And sometimes I just don’t talk and keep mum; no word comes out of my mouth when she is on Facetime with me – She is still there to share that silence.

So yes, being enthusiastic for Mother’s day is a must day to celebrate even though we value mothers every single day. It’s nothing wrong to show that extra love on such a day. Though we are past that mom-daughter gifting days, all she advises is to make myself more available to my kid and So here I am with some mom-child craft ideas that you can do with your little one as a team.

Research suggests that if you do crafts and creating art with your kids together, not by instruction-mommy but as an active participant, it increases and strengthens the bonding between you two and also improves a child’s child’s psychological health. Moms are natural Mom, cook, teacher, parent, guide, psychologist, caretaker, trainer, and comfortable pillow to the child.

So here are some activities that I did to celebrate my Mother’s day to increase the bond, learn new (children teach you many things every day), and became a little better version of me.

Lets start!

1. Baking

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Baking is a fun activity to share with a little one. It focuses on attention, social skills, turn-taking, fine motor, gross motor (sitting and balance, or standing), hand manipulations, visual motor, hand-eye coordination, organization and planning skills, memory, creative thinking skills, perception, sequencing skills and much more!

Children crate better bond with their parents if they participate in household chores as family altogether.

– Anonymous

2. Q tip Art

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Get a paper and some of your (mom’s) favorite colors. And start painting! This is a great activity to improve attention, and sitting span as this activity needs kid to paint within the borders and that needs a great amount of focus.

3. Color the catterpillar

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Provide yourself and your toddler different colors and draw a caterpillar on a paper. And the next step is to paint catterpillar in different colors!

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4. Color the Flower

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Gift Mommy a flower! while going to flower-store is tough these days, we thought to make flower art at home only.

5. Mom and kids yoga

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Mom needs her exercise time and so kids too. Yoga is the best exercise form for kids to maintain their flexibility and improve overall physical health. We sometimes do yoga together and sometimes I do my exercises and she does hers. There are great kids yoga programs available on the web with fabulous videos. I am a no-screen time parent though I do this for yoga time as sometimes I know my limitations and a few things only experts can teach. 🙂

6. Good Cause Activities

As we all know, shelter-in-place time is tough. Appreciating those who truly are HEROES is important. So we did this task to tribute health care and Essential workers. A joint venture of mother and child to develop good-values is a great gift to one’s family during the mother’s day time. As these workers still work to provide you groceries, boxes, mails, keep your health safe, make your life easier, and hustle free. So yes developing values through craft during Mother’s day time is an awesome present for those Moms who leave their families behind and just WORK for the community and the world. 🙂

7. Dancing together

Dance therapy is so important to relieve all stress. Whether you dance on baby shark or you dance on mom’s songs. It’s important to be happy! Try that out today!

8. Story time with mom

Read stories to your little one. Reading has all the benefits. And that could be the best mother’s day gift to yourself. Investing time in kid now will give ripe fruits in the future.

10. Learn with mom!

Learning is fun and we can make it more fun by involving ourselves with our kids during educational activities. I tried to identify letter M by making a puzzle of letters on the chalk-board. Then I asked her to find letter M as her name starts with letter M. It was easy and no-mess by doing this activity on the chalkboard. It provided learning, education, fine and gross motor functions, visual tracking, figure-ground perception, pencil-grip development while gripping the chalk, problem-solving, and much more.

I hope you have an exceptional Mother’s day! Have fun with your child on this day.

Wishing you a very happy and awesome Mother’s Day, Dear moms!

The importance of age-appropriate activities in toddler’s learning and development

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”.

That’s where parents come in. Because Play is an activity where children show their remarkable ability for exploration, imagination, and decision making. Playing gives your toddlers a chance to express their feelings and practice managing them.

The type of play children are engaged, and their purposes are changed throughout childhood thus each age period has a level of appropriate activities needed for healthy development that parents should pay attention to. 

Did you know that Age-appropriate activities have many benefits for your children’s physical&psychosocial health, wellbeing and cognitive development?

A recent study has shown that appropriate playing activity for children aged 1-3 years is vital for their healthy neurological development, including overall gross motor development, self-help skills, and auditory perception. The study has emphasized on your vital role here to provide and facilitate these activities for your children as a parent.

You may have realized that you don’t even have to struggle to make children play or provide motivation. That is because children seem to have a natural urge to play, and playing brings pleasure and interest to them, meaning that it can be maintained with and without external rewards. 

How do age-appropriate activities support your child's development and learning?

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1. Healthier Neural&Physical development

Physical activities promote healthy growth and development at various levels, such as:

  • Developing stronger bones

  • Developing gross and fine motor skills

  • Building strength, endurance.

  • Improving balance and coordination

  • Improving posture

  • Improving concentration

  • Improving sleep

  • Developing a healthy cardiovascular system

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However, inadequate physical activity can bring young children many health issues. Lack of exercise may lead to weight gain or excess body fat, high blood pressure, bone health problems, and cardiovascular disease. Active children usually have fewer chronic health problems, are less likely to get sick, and are at a significantly lower risk of developing diseases or illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression.




2.Social and emotional development

The cornerstone of success at school and in life is a successful social-emotional development. For example, playing with peers provides young children the opportunity to develop basic communication, Recognize familiar people, Use his imagination and Start to understand emotions and improve fairness and empathy as they learn to play with other children.

Your Kids will begin to gain an awareness of other people’s attitudes, speech, emotional expression, and behavior during the infant/toddler years. Such development includes a child’s understanding of what to expect from others, how to participate in back-and-forth social exchanges, and which social protocols are to be used with which social situations are to occur.

Associative Play usually begins at this age(2-3 years), so your child will begin looking for other kids. It’s crucial at this stage to give your child plenty of opportunities to spend time with peers.

Also, you need to know that your child always learns best from you, so try to point out different feelings (happy, sad, frightened) while watching tv or telling a story. It will allow your child to be more aware of his or her own feelings as well as those of others. Also, children may begin to display empathy by offering hugs and kisses when needed.

3.Recognition of Ability

The developing sense of your children’s’ self-efficacy includes an emerging understanding that they can make things happen and have special abilities. Self-efficiency is related to a sense of competence that has been identified as a basic human need. The improvement of children’s sense of self-efficacy can be seen in Play or exploratory actions when they act on an object to achieve a result. They pat a musical toy, for example, to make the sounds come out. Older infants can demonstrate recognition of their abilities by “I” statements, such as “I did it” or “I’m good at drawing.”

4.Cognitive development

when your child plays individually and with others, their cognitive skills, such as thinking, remembering, learning, and paying attention, are developed. Children develop the following cognitive skills through Play:

  • problem-solving
  •  the power of imagination and creativity
  •  concepts such as shapes, colors, measurement, counting and letter recognition
  •  strengths, such as concentration, persistence, and resilience.


Another recent research has stated that engaging your children in physical activity and establishing good sleep hygiene are essential to support learning, indicating a critical need for your hand to build supportive environments and community resources to facilitate children’s optimized learning. In turn, better learning outcomes predict better chances to secure work and develop careers that will lead to improved family environments for future generations.


After discussing the importance of activities for your children, and the vital role of these age-appropriate activities for healthy development at various levels, we are sure that you are now wondering how you could find these trustable and science-based activities, well, no need to worry here is specifically what you are looking for! OTPark Box can take care of all the importance listed above and even more!

By a subscription, OTPark Box will provide you a monthly box with appropriate activities for your kids! 

OTPark Box brings a wide variety of developmentally appropriate, expertly designed activities straight to your home. Each box is thoughtfully designed by a pediatric occupational therapist who has had a vast array of experiences working with children of all ages and developmental levels over the past 8 years.


Subscribe to OTPark Box for detailed tasks and activities that will focus on your child’s gross motor and fine motor skills; Cognitive Skills, handwriting development, ideas, and tasks focused on activities of daily living skills such as brushing teeth, dressing, etc.; visual-motor; and social skills related tasks –All in one box, in addition to daily routines, family time, and joyful learning.

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References:

Jirout J, LoCasale-Crouch J, Turnbull K, et al. How Lifestyle Factors Affect Cognitive and Executive Function and the Ability to Learn in Children. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1953. Published 2019 Aug 20. doi:10.3390/nu11081953 / https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723730/

Silva Batista MA, Almeida Honório SA, Jones GW, Matos Serrano JJ, Duarte Petrica JM. The influence of extra-curricular physical activities in the development of coordination in pre-school children [published online ahead of print, 2017 May 31]. Minerva Pediatr. 2017;10.23736/S0026-4946.17.04981-7. doi:10.23736/S0026-4946.17.04981-7/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28565901/

Pakarinen A, Hautala L, Hamari L, et al. The Association between the Preference for Active Play and Neurological Development in Toddlers: A Register-Based Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(7):2525. Published 2020 Apr 7. doi:10.3390/ijerph17072525/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7178213/




Working Mom? Some tips about work-Kid Balance

Let’s just be honest – working moms have two full time jobs.  Motherhood is a full-time job in and of itself.  24/7 in fact. Moms are full time cuddlers, full time listeners and full time finders of lost things.  On top of that, we working moms have our “real jobs.”  They require us to take a shower, change out of pajamas and actually talk to grown-ups.  Some days things run flawlessly and some days we can’t believe we signed up for this. 

At OT Park we know that sometimes it feels like you’re doing both things half way.  We know that sometimes you wish you could just focus on work and other days you wish you could just curl up in your pajamas and watch Daniel Tiger with your toddler all day.  And we know that almost all the time, it feels like there’s not enough of you to go around.  But take heart, mama.  You’re not alone.  What’s more, we’re sure you’re doing a fantastic job.  

At OT Park we get it.  We’re working moms too. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best tips to keep everything running smoothly (and help you keep your sanity to boot!). 

Working Mom

Leave work at work:

We know it’s hard.  Reminders ding, e-mails pop up, clients call.  But when you can, do your best to leave work at work.  Give it you’re all while you’re there and then check out.  If you’re able, silence your phone or even put it on airplane mode when you get home.  Disconnecting from work is hard, but it’s good for you and it’s good for your family.  And trust us when we say that taking a break will make you a better employee when it’s time to reconnect. 

Decide What's worth your Time:

Working moms are the queens of wearing all the hats.  We do dishes, plan meals, make sure everyone has a clean outfit for school in the morning.  But there comes a time when you have to decide what’s really worth your time.  If you’re anything like us you have two priorities:  your family and your job.  After that, most things are optional and that’s okay.  Every meal doesn’t have to be Pinterest worthy, every outfit doesn’t have to be front page ready.  Let your priorities run your life and let the other things go.  

Have a plan for family time:

mom playing with kids

When you finally get home from work it can be overwhelming to decide what to do.  Dirty dishes call from the sink, a pile of laundry taunts you from the stairs and your toddler hangs on your leg calling “mommy, mommy, mommy!”  If you head home with a plan you’ll feel in control.  At OT Park we’re here to help.  That’s why we’ve created OT Park box.  Each OT Park box includes ready to go activities to do with your child.  Walk in the door, put down your bag and pick up OT Park box.  No prep required.  With OT Park box it’s easy to walk in the door and jump straight into quality time with your little one.  

Its "ok" to put yourself first:

Not all days are same. Some days you need to push yourself beyond boundaries and put yourself first before everything else, and when I say everything else, that means EVERYTHING ELSE including kids. NO mommy-guild should hurt you for your 30 minutes relaxing massages. Its okay to be first in the family to run the family. If mom is happy, family is happy. If mom is healthy, the family is healthy. 

And last but not the list, have fun!