THE DECLINE OF PLAY IN PRESCHOOLERS — AND THE RISE IN SENSORY ISSUES




How our toddlers showed us that they’d reached key milestones.

One of the most fascinating things of parenting is watching your children learn and develop. From the moment they are placed in your arms their little minds are absorbing knowledge and information from the world around them. They’re always watching, always listening (even when you wish they weren’t!) and all the time, their minds are expanding. There’s no ‘off’ switch when it comes to toddler’s learning. From the minute they wake in the (very) early morning their brains are little sponges; soaking up whatever their environment has to offer.

How to Deal With the Never Ending Questions from Your Kids

We all know that children are naturally inquisitive. We also know their inquiry sometimes manifests itself in annoying ways or at inopportune times, “Are we there yet?” or “Is that lady having a baby?” being among the most common examples.

Our culture inundates us with examples of parents losing their cool with inquiring youngsters, from Al Bundy to Homer Simpson. In malls and grocery stores across the country, mothers and fathers are telling their little ones to stop asking, be quiet, or shut up.

How to Talk to Your Kids About Beach Safety

As early as possible, Leatherman says, elementary age kids “should learn what to do in the water, how to swim and how to float.” And as kids are getting comfortable in the water, parents can encourage them to think about safety at the beach. One place to start: what do kids themselves feel cautious about? Parents may be surprised to learn kids are feeling leery of sea creatures, or bothered by the sun, and take the opportunity to talk more about sharing the water with wildlife, or the importance of sunscreen—as well as getting across the absolute basics of beach safety: young kids shouldn’t go into deep water, and should always stay near their parents or a lifeguard.

Why parents should encourage their kids to read ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,’ according to a top psychologist

Apart from the facts that the “Harry Potter” series has reached more people than any other book series in history and inspired an entire generation to read, Adam Grant, a professor of management at Wharton and author of “Originals,” tells Business Insider that J.K. Rowling is perhaps the most influential person alive because of what her books teach kids: originality and morality.

5-INGREDIENT MAGICAL FUDGESICLES

These are so lusciously creamy, sinfully rich-tasting – the kind of thing you put in your mouth and kind of can’t believe what’s happening. Vegan, almost raw, and full of whole food ingredients, they are also downright filling!

5-Ingredient Vegan Magical Fudgesicles
Makes 4 cups / 1 Liter / 10 fudgesicles
Ingredients:
1) ½ cup / 75g unroasted, unsalted cashews
2) 1 14-oz can / 400ml full-fat coconut milk
3) 1 large, ripe avocado
4) 1 cup / 250g pitted, packed soft dates
5) ½ cup / 55g raw cacao powder (cocoa powder will also work)

Optional add-ins:
1) a few pinches sea salt
2) vanilla (seeds from 1 pod, powder, or extract)
3) a few drops of food-grade essential oils (peppermint, orange, almond etc.)
4) finely diced fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango etc.)
5) a pinch of cayenne pepper
6) espresso powder
7) finely chopped toasted nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios etc.)

Optional toppings:
1) melted raw chocolate (recipe here) or melted dark chocolate
2) cacao nibs
3) finely chopped toasted nuts (cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios etc.)
4) dried fruit (I used raspberry on the ones pictured)
5) citrus zest (lemon, orange, lime)

Directions:
1. Place cashews in lightly salted water and let soak for 4-8 hours (overnight is fine).

2. Drain the cashews and rinse well. Add to a blender (a high-speed blender is highly recommended) with the remaining ingredients (and any flavourings, if using) and blend on high until as smooth as possible. Add water only if necessary – you want to mixture to remain quite thick.

3. Spoon mixture in popsicle molds. Firmly knock the molds on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Insert a popsicle stick into each mold and place in the freezer until set – at least 6 hours. To remove popsicles, run the mold under hot water until you can easily pull a fudgesicle out.

4. If you want to decorate your fudgesicles, dip or drizzle them with melted chocolate and sprinkle with desired toppings. Eat immediately, or place back in the freezer to set until ready to enjoy.

10 Insights of Remarkable Parents from a Family Therapist

At any given time you’ll find four or more parenting books on my Amazon wish list, a few by my nightstand, and an email box chock full of insightful parenting theories and approaches.

Granted, child development is my career, but I speak with plenty of parents in my practice who find themselves in similar circumstances. With information around every corner and our culture projecting constant messages (many times contradictory) regarding how we should raise our kids, feeling like a confident and intentional parent can seem out of reach many days.

10 Simple Tips To Boost Your Toddler’s Memory

The first few years of a child’s life are crucial for their cognitive development, also known as the formative years, whereby neural connections are being made and the brain is “wired”. The first 3 years of life have been identified by neuroscientists and developmental psychologists as important for domains such as early language and joint attention. The brain has many functions and interestingly, studies have shown that “attention control” and “working memory” are two faculties that largely develop after birth. The ability to choose the right information to focus on, and thereafter retain it, is important for learning.