“I’m boooored!” Those two words that make parents cringe. After summer camps, dance lessons, kung fu practice, day trips, and play dates, the last thing we expect to hear from our kids is “What do I do now?”
Boredom is inevitable. But boredom is also a good thing! This might sound funny coming from a toy store, but boredom is just as important as play is for kids.
“Being bored is a way to make children more self-reliant.” -Lyn Fry
As adults we sometimes (unconsciously) shield children from being bored by packing in their summer with camps and activities. However, psychologists and child development specialists warn against over-scheduling your child’s time. “I think children need to learn to be bored in order to motivate themselves to get things done,” says Lyn Fry, a child psychologist, in this Quartz article. “Being bored is a way to make children more self-reliant.” Giving kids the time and space to be bored and unoccupied motivates them to come up with a solution, get creative, discover their interests, and learn something new. Continue reading
Reading, writing, and…rolling? When we approach teaching children literacy, we usually don’t think of rolling around as something educational. However, when it comes to literacy skills, movement is a key element. In fact there are multiple links between movement and literacy, and some great benefits, too (which we’re sharing below).
Adrienne King, M.S. Ed., who teaches our Book Bop! and Baby ASL classes at the Dancing Bear, shared with us that there are many ways to learn and communicate, such as writing, hearing, or seeing something. But movement is an especially important way for children to learn. “Adding movement to literacy activities keeps children motivated to read and learn, it engages the multiple learning modalities, and it is fun,” she says. Continue reading
Before babies begin to speak it can be somewhat frustrating for parents to understand what their baby wants or needs. If only we could read our babies’ minds or somehow understand what they mean when they point and say, “Eeh.” Instead of trying to telepathically communicate with your little one, however, there is a simpler way to help you and your baby understand each other through American Sign Language.
American Sign Language, or ASL, is a wonderful first language for your baby, especially because it’s mainly an iconic language – meaning the signs look like the object or action they represent. There are numerous practical, cognitive, and emotional benefits to signing with your baby, so we’ve rounded up a few of them here. Continue reading