Tag: kids

Why Play is Important in Child Development

Why Play is Important in Child Development

image001 Parents want to give the best opportunities to their children. Music lessons, language lessons, extra tutoring, after school learning programs, the list can go on and on. We all want to give our kids the advantages and opportunities to succeed and/or perhaps we didn’t have as children. All of those activities are wonderful opportunities. However, play sometimes gets a bad reputation as being frivolous. On the contrary, play is very important in child development! If you want to learn more, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a report about the importance of play in promoting healthy child development (read here). Play can reduce stress and anxiety for kids AND adults so make some time to get silly! The National Lekotek Center , a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, provides an array of services to improve the lives of children with special needs through the utilization of toys and play. They have 20 wonderful reasons to encourage play for ALL Children.

Top 20 Reasons to Encourage Play for ALL children

  1. Play advances many cognitive skills like learning to focus and paying attention to details.
  2. Play produces an active, alert, but non-stressed frame of mind that benefits a child greatly.
  3. Play opportunities help a child develop problem-solving, organizational and planning skills.
  4. Play promotes both long-term and short-term memory.
  5. Play stimulates language, negotiation and communication skills.
  6. Play teaches a child how the world works from gravity to how things move, float or fly.
  7. Play experiences allow a child to explore symbolic play, imitation and his own creativity.
  8. Play allows a child to build confidence, one trip down a slide or throw of a ball at a time.
  9. Play provides the feedback a child needs to develop self-knowledge and self-esteem.
  10. Play is an excellent way for a child to connect to nature and to explore its many facets.
  11. Active play can enhance a child’s mood, coping abilities and defuse emotionally charged events.
  12. Play teaches the cornerstones of relationship building, cooperation and compromise.
  13. Leadership along with group skills are learned through team or collective play.
  14. Active play promotes a healthy body for children and lowers their risk of obesity.
  15. Play promotes brain development through the use of both the body and mind.
  16. Play can teach a child the lessons of strengthening and balancing his body and coordinating his hands and eyes.
  17. Play stimulates resiliency by prompting the child to try again and learn patience towards self and others.
  18. Play fosters courage to swing higher and jump farther.
  19. Play teaches empathy by allowing a child to explore the role of both winner and loser.
  20. Play leads to engagement and enjoyment that provides a child with both physical and emotional release.

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10 Holiday Crafts To Do As a Family

10 Holiday Crafts To Do As a Family

Doing crafts around the holidays is as old a tradition as stuffing a Douglas Fir in your living room. Popcorn string tree garlands and cut out stars were all what most had to make the season festive, and even many gifts were hand-made. The hobby of craft projects has suddenly become stylish in the past few years, no doubt spurred on by the popularity of Pinterest and DIY blogs. And I think after decades of mass manufacturing and consumer culture, people are more charmed than ever by creative handiwork!

We’re jumping on the craft wagon and hunted the internet  to give you our favorite holiday crafts to do as a family.

 

Snowflake Table Runner

holiday crafts table runner

This project seems pretty fool-proof and will be a real conversation starter with your holiday guests! Use felt and cut out diamonds to arrange them into snowflakes. The How To even includes a template.

Source & How To

 

Animal Christmas Ornaments

holiday crafts animal ornaments

Turn your tree into a menagerie with repurposed plastic animal toys. Sometimes they have packs of these at dollar stores or look online to buy in bulk. Glittery gem toned paint turns the critters into unique holiday ornaments.

Source & How To

 

Poinsettia Garland from Recycled Bottles

holiday crafts Poinsettia plastic bottles

Can you believe these beautiful flowers were once water bottles? Any craft that recycles materials is a winner in our book!

Source & How To

 

Fabric Light Garland

holiday crafts fabric garland

Even younger kids can get in on the action with this simple yet statement making garland. Use a string of lights or even just a long ribbon and tie gorgeous strips of fabric. Try to keep a color theme or make a pattern for maximum impact.

Source & How To

 

Elf Holiday Card

holiday crafts card

Put the “elf” in selfie with these irresistible handmade greetings.  Have your kid draw an elf’s jacket, pants,  hat, shoes and hands on different colored construction paper. Cut out the pieces and glue on a card to make up the elf’s body. Draw additional elements like buttons and a shirt collar. Cut out the face from a front-facing photograph and paste it on the body.   The result may end up being pretty hilarious!

Source & How To

 

Button Holiday Card

holiday crafts button card

If you are going to send out hand made holiday cards this year, you are better off keeping it simple as you will likely have to make many. This design doesn’t take a lot of effort but the result is stunning. And buttons are easy on the wallet too!

Source & How To

 

Personalized Mugs

holiday crafts mug

I’m of the opinion that you can never have too many mugs! To make this handmade gift, buy inexpensive white mugs at IKEA and use sharpies or those glue paint pens to decorate the mug with your holiday themed doodles. This is another good one for grade school kids.

Source & How To

 

Chocolate Mouse Ornament

holiday crafts chocolate mouse

“Not a creature was stirring….”

I can’t get enough of this ingenious use of Hershey’s kisses. You don’t even need instructions to make this; it looks so easy. One thing I’d add is a little pink pom pom for a nose!

Source & How To

 

Snow Globes

holiday crafts snow globe

Yes! Another amazing use for mason jars! Kids will get a big kick out of making their own snow globe and picking the items to include in the scene. I also saw an awesome idea on My Sweet Greens for presenting a gift card. Glue the (plastic!) gift card to the lid and fill the jar with water, tiny ornaments and sparkly confetti to make a snow globe card holder! Sure beats an envelope.

Source & How To

 

Pine Cone Characters

holiday crafts pine cones

The little guys in the picture require an advanced level of crafting but you don’t have to be a pro to decorate pine cones! Collect pipe cleaners, little pom poms, glitter, yarn, buttons and felt and bust out the glue gun! How adorable are these little skiers?! I think their heads are ping pong balls.

Source & How To

 

Happy Crafting!

Batkid Saves San Francisco

Batkid Saves San Francisco

Make-a-Wish Foundation Transforms San Francisco into Gotham City. Hearts melt, lives saved!

Today San Francisco has been transformed into an elaborate Make-A-Wish Foundation Adventure for an awesome kid named Miles, who has been successfully battling Leukemia at just five years old.  His wish? To save Gotham City! Have no fear, Batkid is here! Below are some truly heart warming and exciting photos from Batkid’s adventures though our city. You’re a hero to all of us, Miles!

 

Make a Wish Foundation Batkid SF

Donate to Make a Wish

Batkid’s day of fighting crime

Bat Mobile Batkid SF

Batkid Takes off in Batmobile after being called by Police! There’s an issue with the Cable Car on Nob Hill!

 

Batkid SF rescue

Oh no! A Damsel is in Distress  she seems to be tied to a mysterious bomb on the cable cars! Will Batkid arrive in time?

batkid Powell Street

Phew- Here come’s Batkid!

savingdamsel

Focused and determined, he calmly dismantles the bomb tied to the victim!

Batkid Damsel in Distress

An emotional thanks and Batkid saves the Damsel! (We are officially crying over here too.)

riddler batkid

But the moment of peace was fleeting. Soon after he saves the lady, Batkid receives word that all these shenanigans are the product of the Riddler, and now he is off to the Financial District to rob a bank!

batkid and robin

Batkid fortunately has the help of his trusty sidekick Robin (played by his younger brother)!

batkid sf robbery

Batkid zooms to the financial district and into the Bank to stop the robbery.

riddlerhandcufffed

Batkid apprehends Riddler!

riddler behind bars Batkid

And throws him in the slammer!

batkid lunch

After successfully locking up the Riddler, Batkid hears a loud grumble. He looks around and hears it again…why, it’s his stomach! “Time for a lunch break,” he declares (hey,  superheroes gotta eat too!) and takes off to Union Square to grab lunch.  While enjoying his meal, he hears the shrill cry of our beloved San Francisco Giants mascot, Lou Seal.

batkid over sf

He looks out the window and sees an all too familiar faced Penguin. And he has captured Lou Seal! Batman leaps from his seat. The chase to rescue Lou Seal is on!

penguin seal car

Penguin flees with Lou Seal. They’re headed to AT&T Park!

seal batting cage bat kid

Oh now what is Penguin going to do with Lou Seal tied up in the batting cages?!

Batkid at AT&T Park

Thankfully Batkid was close behind and was able to capture Penguin with the helps of the police officers!

Batkid hugging Giants Mascot

After a congratulatory hug,  it’s announced to Batkid over the big screen that he has earned the Key to San Francisco! Or is it Gotham? No matter, just pass the tissue box please!

Batkid in batmobile

Batkid on his way to City Hall! Crowds flock to the grand building where he will be commemorated for his bold actions!

batkid at sf city hall

Batkid with Mayor Ed Le receiving the Key to the City!

key

 Thank you Batkid for protecting our beloved city! Please donate to Make a Wish Foundation to help hundreds of kids like Miles achieve their dreams.

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