Browsing Category: Child Development

Videos for toddlers: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

(Disclaimer: Yes, there are some affiliate links below. But the editorial content of this post is still the same as it would be otherwise)

Even before we gave Harley her own tablet, we were looking for video content for her. The reality is that screen time isn’t 100% evil, and honestly, sometimes we all need time to zone out – her in front of a video and me without a two-year-old demanding my complete attention. That said, I still like to encourage her to watch things that expand her mind, teach her something, or are generally worthwhile. I’ve found a bunch of awesome shows for kids, and I thought I’d share them with you. This week, it’s Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Continue Reading

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Videos for toddlers: Creative Galaxy

Creative Galaxy

(Disclaimer: Yes, there are some affiliate links below. But the editorial content of this post is still the same as it would be otherwise)

Even before we gave Harley her own tablet, we were looking for video content for her. The reality is that screen time isn’t 100% evil, and honestly, sometimes we all need time to zone out – her in front of a video and me without a two-year-old demanding my complete attention. That said, I still like to encourage her to watch things that expand her mind, teach her something, or are generally worthwhile. I’ve found a bunch of awesome shows for kids, and I thought I’d share them with you, starting with one of my favorites – Creative Galaxy. Continue Reading

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Build a (literal) sense of direction in your kid by swinging

improve your sense of direction

I don’t like to brag, but there is a cool trait that I have that I am so happy to have. I have a great sense of direction. Plonk me in unfamiliar territory, give me a map or just a vague sense of where I am and where I need to go, and I can figure it out. My internal compass is pretty damn strong, and I do well with remembering streets, landmarks and a general sense of where I exist in space. It has made travel much more enjoyable, as well as made moving cities way less daunting. After driving somewhere once or twice, I can find my way there and back again without too much hassle. It’s sort of like in those Ubisoft open-world games – I sync my map internally and then I can access that info whenever I need it, even years later.

For a long time, I figured this was just an innate trait. I mean, sure, my father taught me about reading maps, and we had cool map drawing classes in my Waldorf elementary school, but in actual fact,I was drawing maps even before then. When my brother would play games, I would be the one drawing maps of dungeons, telling him where we needed to go. He was the one doing the controls, but I was always the navigator. However, after doing some digging, it seems that there was something else I did that helped give me a sense of direction, and it really isn’t hard to pass this awesome ability on to your little one… and maybe even improve your sense of direction, too. Continue Reading

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Activities for baby development – making the most of car rides

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a part of #CarseatFullstop – an initiative to raise awareness about car seats. It’s an awesome campaign and we hope that by boosting awareness we are able to save lives. But it also got me thinking about how much time we spend in the car every day. Most of us in car-centric cities spend a lot more time in our cars than we might like or be aware of. For example, every morning, Harley and I take Dean to work and then return home. In the afternoon, we pick him up again before returning home. Sometimes, we go shopping together, or go to a meeting, or go to TopTots, or visit friends or any number of activities. Each of those require strapping her into her car seat and sitting in the car for anywhere between five and 30 minutes. On an average day, that’s what – at least an hour spent in the car? Why not make the most of those trips by encouraging development in the car?

Luckily, Harley often sleeps in the car. It’s something about the movement and the noise that combines to conk her out like nothing else. In fact, when I went to an awesome seminar earlier this week, I timed it perfectly – changed her nappy, nursed her and then drove to the event. The combination of clean bum, full tummy and car ride combined to successfully knock her out for a couple hours so I could actually engage with the learning opportunity. But when our little ones are awake in the car, it can also be a learning opportunity, too. Here are some ideas of ways that you can make the most of the time spent with your spawnling in the car. Continue Reading

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Activities for baby development – 6-9 months old

Harley at 6 months

I’ve written before about my desire to help Harley develop. It’s not just about making her a genius, which would obviously be great, but also about making her a well-rounded person with all the motor, cognitive, emotional and social skills she’ll need to thrive as she grows up. But it’s really weird with a baby. I mean, on the one hand they are sort of like blobs who can’t really do that much, but on the other hand their brains are developing faster than they ever will. They are learning so much all the time, even if it doesn’t feel like it, and there are all sort of things that we can do to help them.

I’m enjoying Harley a lot more now. She is so much more engaging – she smiles when we do things, she loves to see me and interact with me, and she is so much easier to read now. Plus, the activities that we can do together are much more fun now, too. Sure, the 3-6 month activities were pretty cool, and the stuff we did when she was 0-3 months helped so much with bonding, but now it feels like we do things together instead of me doing all the work. Continue Reading

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