Five Reasons Why Finger Painting is Important for Children

Fun Finger Paint

Finger painting is messy. It takes time to clean up the mess. So, we sometimes try to find way to make it less messy. However, it’s actually necessary for children to do the messy finger painting. Why? Here are the reasons:

  1. Children’s sense of curiosity will be fulfilled

Children  always want to try everything. It includes the messy finger painting. It makes them curious. When we allow them to do what they want, their senses of curiosity will be fulfilled.

  1. Making a mess is the step they’ve got to go through

Not allowing children to make a mess will only make children skip the process they should’ve gone through in the first place. It will be like something is missing and their curiosity will stay inside them. Next time, they’ve got a chance to make a mess, they will do it. If this happens in public places, they may make a mess which may be disliked by others. This likely happens as they haven’t got the experience to control the mess they make -which they will be able to learn – if they’ve got the chance to make a mess in personal place such as home.

  1. Children will able to exercise their gross motor muscle

When they move their arms freely -which make the activity messier- they actually exercise gross motor muscles. As they do the activity often, their arms will be stronger which will make them able to control their arms movement better. And this actually will make them do the activity less messy next time. They will be able to make the paint spreading only at the space provided for the painting without crossing it. It’s due to their ability in controlling their arms. And this ability is important for later learning such as in writing letters and numbers.

  1. Children will able to exercise their fine motor muscle

The next step after their gross motor muscle developed is fine motor muscle. Finger painting will give them the experience  to exercise fine motor muscle as well, especially the activity which requires fingers movement more than arms. And the exercised fine motor muscles is important for later learning such as writing letters and numbers, just as the exercised gross motor muscles.

  1. It’s a way to learn responsibility

Finger painting is messy. But by doing so, children actually can learn how to clean up the mess. If we show them how to do it, they would definitely follow what we do. So, if we let children do the activity regularly, they will learn that they have to clean up after they do the messy activity. And when they’ve learned about it, they actually have learned about the value of responsibility.

So, let children do the messy finger painting. By doing so, they will actually learn to do the activity less messy as they’ve gone through the process they’ve got to experience. Starting from really messy to neat and tidy. And along the process, they also learn about responsibility by cleaning up the mess they’ve made.

Happy finger painting with your children 🙂

What Would 2 Years Old Like to Do

At the age of 2, there are activities children like to do more than in previous age. It is so because their physical development have allowed them to do the activities. Here are the activities :

  • Motor gross activities such running, climbing, reaching things make them curious, etc

They like to move freely because at this age, they have been able to walk steadily.  This give them the sense of independence. Now, they can explore things they are curious about by themselves which they cant do before due to physical limitation.

  • Exploring things they think interesting such as colorful & moving things

In the early years of life, a child is in sight sensitive period. It means, they will be interested to things which attract their eyes. As they’ve gained physical independence, they will expand their sight attractiveness by touching or exploring closely the things they see.

  • Doing messy things such as painting, mixing flour, playing sand, etc.

They will do experiment with those materials with heir hands. Those activities will be messy because basically, they haven’t been able to control their hands completely. It’s also because they do experiment with their hands. They want to see the outcome of their hands movement.

  • Imitating what adults do, especially words.

Toddler imitates adult

Children in the early years of life are in the stage of language sensitive period and in the imitating stage. Therefore, they are able to absorb the language they heard easily.

  • Saying no often

toddler says no

They love saying no because they want independence to move freely. Therefore, they will say no, if we try to forbid them or when they think we block their way.

Those are the activities 2 years old children like most. It doesn’t mean that those activities are not done in previous age or later on. However, at the age of 2, those activities are delighting for them because they start able to explore those activities more independently than before (less help from adult). And this new sense of independence is actually what makes them like those.

Knowing what 2 years old children like will make us easy in preparing or setting activities our children can do in everyday’s life. By giving the activities they like and need, we actually have given them the opportunity or chance for them to develop their sense of independent which is very important for children’s development in the future.

Check out the activities 2 years old children can do in the next posting 🙂

 

 

5 Things Children Will Learn By Making Craft

Making craft is fun and a way to express our creativity. When we finish making craft, we feel the sense of satisfaction and eagerness to make more. That kind of feeling must be felt by children too when they make craft. But not only those, there are more. Children will learn and get many things in the process of making craft. What they will learn and get are:

  1. Learn to be a thinker

A craft begins from an idea which doesn’t just just come up out of nowhere. An idea comes from a thinking process. So when children want to make a craft, they have to think of ideas, not only what to make but also think of the steps how to make it. This thinking process which makes children become thinker.

  1. Learn to be a planner

A craft is not a craft if it’s not made. To make it, we have to think what materials we need, where to get those, how much material we need, etc. Those require plan. And by preparing the craft materials, children learn how to be a planner.

  1. Learn to be a problem solver

In the process of making craft, there are things which may not be thought of it before. Se we may have to adjust our idea with the situation during craft making. This requires us to act on the spot and think of another idea to make the craft the way we wanted. By doing it, we actually solve the problem we encounter. And children will experience this too when they make craft. That way they will learn how to solve problem and thinking fast to come up with new idea.

  1. Learn to be perseverance

As mentioned on point 3 above, in the craft making, things don’t always work as planned. There will be trial and error. This may test our patience and make us want to give up to finish the craft. But if we keep perseverance, eventually we’ll be able to make the craft as best as we wanted. When children experience this, they will learn how to persevere and not giving up easily to finish their creation.

  1. Expand their concentration span and endurance

It takes time to create craft from beginning till the end. During the process, children have to concentrate a lot. The longer they make a craft the more they have to concentrate. This requires lots of energy which will make them tired. But, as craft making is fun, they may not feel it. This actually makes them pass their own boundaries and their endurance will be strengthened.

Those are what children get in the process of making craft which will be good basic for other learning and in life.

So, let our children crafting! 🙂

 

Happy New Year 2017!

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A year has passed. There were many moments we’ve gone through. Moments that had made us feeling happiness and sadness, shaped our lives, made us the way we are now,  and most importantly given us lessons to learn. The lessons will become a good foundation in this new year to face new experiences which will make us learn something new. Those we’ll make us never stop developing ourselves to be the best we can be. It’s something important to do because children will see it as an example to follow. By following our example, they will keep developing and growing to be the best they can be, too.

Those are what we’ve got from the passed year and what we can hope in this year. Now, we would like to say ,”Happy new year from Child’s Castle to you! May the lessons we’ve learned bring out new experiences in this new year which will make our children and us becoming the best we can be. Wishing you all good things in life. Have fun, joy, peace, love, care, luck and success ahead!”

Happy New Year 2017! 🙂

Fun Way to Make Children Do The Must Do Activity

There are times when we need our children to do what we ask them to do straight away. For example, we ask them to take a bath because they have to go to school. But, instead going to the bathroom, they refuse and choose to play their favorite toy. When we face this kind of situation, being angry won’t solve the problem. How it is so? If we’re angry, there’re two actions possibilities children will do. First, they will be defensive which are shown by keep playing or stop playing but still not doing what we ask for or avoiding us. Second, they will show tantrum and refuse us hard. When any of the possibilities happen, it will be more difficult for us to make them doing the activity they have to do.

So, when we are in such situation, we have to find a way to deal with the situation which won’t make the situation getting worse. One way to deal with it is through play or game. Why play or game? It’s a fun activity to do. Children tends to respond quickly to it because the play or game makes  them curious. When their sense of curiosity is stimulated, they will choose to act on the sense. This intrinsic willingness won’t make them refuse the activity we offer. Not as in the case, if we’re being angry.

If it so, what play or game which will attract children’s attention and curiosity. Here are two types of play and game we can offer:

  • Pretend play. Children love doing pretend play. When they pretend to be a character, they usually would love doing anything related with the character.
    • For example, As in the case above, ask what our children do with their toy. If they do pretend play with the toy, go along with the play. While the play is on, give idea by using the toy he play. For example we say that the robot they play need to clean it’s body at the bathroom and our children must help the robot in the bathroom. This will make children finally go to the bathroom.
    • If children are not doing pretend play at the moment, we have to be creative to think of the pretend play our children would love and play along too. We can create duck rescue play (use the rubber duck in the bathroom), pretend to be their favorite character which has to take a bath, etc. All those pretend plays, in the end will make children go to the bathroom.
  • Daily activities challenge. Children like when they are able to do many things. If we challenge them to do something and they’re able to do it, they will feel proud of themselves for being able to do something important. For example, challenge them to take a bath by themselves, race with us in putting the dirty clothes onto the laundry basket, sort the toys to the right boxes, etc.

But those won’t do the magic by themselves. Our involvement is the important key to make both work. Here are the steps to make both work:

  • Be attentive of what our children do at the moment we need them to do something. Do not ask them straight away to do what they have to do, but pay attention of what they do. Therefore, we can think of what is the right pretend play we can do based on what they are doing at that moment which we can stir to make them doing what they have to do.
  • Deliberate the pretend play or the challenge excitedly and in a fun way. Our excitement will make them excited too and want to do the play or the challenge.
  • Keep playing along when they finally do what they have to do till the end of the activity. This will make them do the activity excitedly and won’t think to do anything else but finishing the must do activity.
  • Do the same with the challenge. Support them when they do the challenge. This will make them eager to do and finish the challenge well.
  • Last, praise them for what they have done. This is important as this will make them feel proud of they’ve done. They will also make them know that we appreciate the activity they’ve done and make them want to do it again next time.

Those are the steps we can do to make the play and the game exciting. So, children would love doing what they have to do. And here are the note and tips in making and doing the play or game:

  • The kind of play and game can be applied well for children under 5 years old.
  • Be creative in making kinds of pretend play! Use anything our children like. Children usually will respond if we use thing they like and won’t reject the idea we’ve given.
  • Think about the challenge carefully! Create the challenge we think our children have been able to do or make the challenge of the activity they haven’t been able to do but we know that they have been eager to try. Make sure that our children will be able to finish the challenge (It’s all right if they do not do it excellently. What really matter is that they finish it. This will give them the sense of accomplishment. This is very important. And always remember to praise them of all their effort)

That is all, how play and daily activities challenge can make children do what we ask them to do without tantrums arising from us and our children.

Steps to Calm Ourselves Before Dealing with Children

There are moments when we embrace our children’s cuteness, innocent, smiles and laughter. We felt the joy, love and warmth for them. But, there are also moments we don’t know how to put up with their behaviors. We wonder why sometimes they do all the things which make us want to shout and be angry. In times like this, we may lose our patience and get angry easily. As human being with emotion,  it’s actually normal to feel that way. However, we really have to try hard to control our emotion and think twice before losing our control. It’s because being emotional  won’t make the situation better and children may have negative feeling as well which will lead to tantrum. And, this will be more difficult to handle. Well, it’s easy to say, but in practical it may not be as easy as it sounds.

There are steps we can do to calm ourselves at the times when it’s hard to control our emotion:

  • First step, stop for a while and not say anything to our children. Take our time to calm ourselves. Do anything which will make us calm. It can be like taking a deep breath, being silent, etc. Keep doing the thing until we feel calm. This will be good to less the possibility of we burst our anger to children.
  • Second, think of the reason why we’re angry.  It’s very important to find out why we’re being angry of a situation. Knowing the reason will make us able to think of something to deal with our feeling. This can make us calmer than with what we do at the first step. After we feel calmer and better, we will be able to think rationally. And this makes us able to think of the reason why our children do what they do or being empathetic with them. It’s important to do this because it means we look at the situation not from our side only but them as well. That way, we can make decision of how to deal with the situation which will solve the problems in a way that will balance the need of children and us.
  • Third, which is supposedly done in another time, not at the time where a situation is occurred, occasionally give ourselves me time. Take time to relax and do things we like. It’s important to do, too. It can give positive energy and make us happy. When we’re happy, we will make our children happy, too.

There  are reasons why we need to be calm and not being emotional in dealing situation with children. The reasons are:

  • When we’re angry, we may say things or make decision which may not be suitable for children’s development.
  • We are our children’s role model. If we often deal the situations angrily, children will follow what we do. This cause lots of negative feelings and these feelings can affect children’s learning process.

We wouldn’t want those to happen, would we? Therefore, keep in mind before we deal with our children, we have to deal with our emotion first. Only by doing this, we can make the best decision which will be good for our children’s development.

 

Playing Train Toys: A Way to Introduce Transportation to Children

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One of children favorite toy, especially boys, is train toy. When they play it, they usually move the train on the track, make the train sound, and pretend to be the engineers. They can play it alone or together with others like their peers or us. If we play with them, we actually can add something more which will make the pretend play more fun and make children learn. How to do it? It’s by introducing the concept of transportation.

To do that,  firstly, we stimulate our children sense of curiosity by asking question like,”Do you know that train is one kind of transportation?” Some may say yes, some may say no. If children say yes, we can ask them whether they know what’s the meaning of transportation. They may answer the question based on their understanding. Never mind if their answer is not correct as young children, though they may have heard the word, may not know yet about the meaning of transportation. It’s our task to explain the meaning of transportation to them. Explain it in words they will understand. Let’s say that transportation is a way to move people or things from one place to another.

After that, we can ask children to do a simulation as explaining the meaning of transportation only  won’t make children grasp the concept. The simulation can be done by playing the train toy. Start with preparing the buildings and setting each buildings faraway from one another.

 TCON-201  Conductor Carl 100 Piece Wooden Train Set

Then, do the pretend play. For example, pretend a person needs to go to another place which distance is quiet far. We can ask children about how can the person go there. They may give various answers such as by foot, by car, by train, etc. After that, we can ask them to help the person by providing one way of transportation which is train. Then ask children to arrange the tracks. So the train can move and is able to transport the person to another place..

 TCON-05  100 Pieces bulk Wooden Track

When the tracks has been arranged, pretend to make the person rides on the train and he feels happy as he’s able to go the place he wants by train now. Keep doing the pretend play by creating another scenario such as visiting grandparents’ house, travelling to another city, etc.

Don’t stop with one type of scenario. Create another situations. For example, there are people who need to send packages to their friends at another city. Put some things (use print out pictures or sticker) on top of the trains. Then move the trains to another place. Pretend that the friends are happy when they receive the packages. Ask children to bring out their own ideas of situation/scenario which I’m sure they will come up with many ideas.

To do the activity above, we need to prepare the train set and the train toys. The Conductor Carl 100 Piece Bulk Train Track Pack can be an option for the train tracks. The set is made of wood which makes it durable and long lasting as wooden toys are not broken easily. So children can have it for many years and even it can be passed on to their younger brothers and sisters. It’s also safe as the track pieces are made from single piece construction, meaning there are no loose plastic pegs that could pose danger to a child.

As for the train set, Conductor Carl 100 Piece Wooden Train Set & Conductor Carl 80 Piece Wooden Train Set with Table can be the options. Both sets include Conductor Carl Engine Car, pieces of track, vehicles, people & signs, trees & houses. Therefore, we don’t need to provide another set train toys to be able to do the simulation.

That’s how the concept of transportation can be introduced to young children. It starts by explaining the meaning of transportation and giving train as one example of transportation. This will make children grasp the basic function of the train and realize the reason why the train moves from one place to another. It’s simple concept but children may not realize it before. Then continue the activity by doing the simulation through pretend play which is the fun and important part. It is the part which will make children truly absorb and grasp the concept because they experience the process of the transportation itself which begins by arranging the tracks, trying to solve people’s problem in the pretend play, solving the problems and eventually creating many situations of using the train as one kind of transportation. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s ask our children to play the train toys to understand the concept of transportation 🙂