emotional intelligence

  1. The Magic Touch

    The Magic Touch

    We all know books are magic. They can transport us to other worlds, teach us a new skill, and broaden our horizons on any subject our hearts desire. But did you know that books for infants are a major tool in tactile learning? More specifically, touch and feel books, made especially for babies and toddlers.

    Moving an infant's hands over the textured pages of a board book not only heightens the sense of touch, but also accelerates and improves eye muscle development. Describing what baby is touching and the sensation it causes is also neccessary for brain development. For example: "The lamb's wool is soft. Softness is nice."

    In fact, according to an article by Fairy Dust Teaching, "Touch is one of the most important components of bonding with another person".

    Now, what happens when we introduce a

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  2. The Importance of Imaginative Play

    The Importance of Imaginative Play

    When toddlers engage in imaginative play, such as role playing, this opens the door to healthy emotional and social developments that lasts a lifetime. Little ones are preparing themselves for school, social situations in everyday life, and learning to cope with peers while building self-esteem! 

    Our children are little mirrors of ourselves - they emulate the grown-ups in their lives. So it's up to parents and caregivers to provide the necessary toys to encourage this kind of pretend play. Here is a perfect example:

    Taking my 3 toddlers to the grocery store used to be a trip I dreaded, especially if there is only one kiddie cart left in the store. This was years ago, and caused more than one tantrum in the cereal aisle. I searched everywhere for a toddler sized cart to use at home, but could only find plastic carts that fell apart way too easily. When Melissa and Doug released their

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  3. The Magic of Maximillian

    The Magic of Maximillian

    On the morning of last Saturday, the day after Black Friday, I awoke to the sound of our built-in attic ladder being pulled down into the hallway. The creaking of the ladder reminded me just how completely exhausted I was; it had been a very busy week for those of us who work retail. All I wanted to do was rest. Alas, it's an annual tradition in our family to decorate the house for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I just couldn't face the unpacking of a dozen red and green rubbermaid tubs. Like any good parent, when I heard footsteps outside of my bedroom door, I pretended to be asleep. I heard the door quietly open, and then close. Silly me thought I was off the hook for a couple of hours. That's when I heard my youngest whisper: "I found Max's box!! Should we open it?"

    Maxmillian Pegasus is our Scout Elf; we call him Max for short. If my kids opened that box, I knew that holiday havoc would be wreaked. I sprang out of bed, yelling, "don't touch anything until

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  4. Game On!

    Game On!

    Now that all of the Halloween candy has been eaten, and the carved pumpkins have been thrown away because one more day in this southern humidity would mean a mushy mess, it’s time to look forward to the start of the official holiday season! This time of year is my absolute favorite. Holiday shopping, parties, and the thing I love to do the most, celebrating with my family and friends.

    As the years go by, my holiday gatherings have steadily continued to grow, as I’m sure all families have experienced. It’s always a blessing to gain an in-law, a new niece/nephew, or a grandchild. The same goes for my friend circle - it’s ever expanding as new people join my tribe and welcome me into theirs.

    When more people come into our lives,

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  5. Trends We Love: Kids' Fitness through Active Play

    Trends We Love: Kids' Fitness through Active Play

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children ages 6 and up get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. You could take the kids out to do calisthenics and laps around the house. But wouldn't it be more fun to find an activity that strengthens their bodies, challenges their minds, and brings you all together as a family? This seems to be exactly what our awesome community of fun-loving families had in mind as, for the second year in a row, the top trend of the year becomes clear: toys that promote physical fitness and playing together.

    The physical benefits of active play are obvious – that's something you can't miss as you take breather on a park bench while the kids run tireless circles around the park. In addition to maintaining physical fitness and a healthy weight, regular active play boos

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  6. Finding Love with Hide & Seek Rock Painting

    Finding Love with Hide & Seek Rock Painting

    Ready to spread some peace, love and happiness in your community? Or how about giving an unsuspecting stranger an inspirational message during a difficult time? The Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit by Creativity for Kids helps you do just that, and much more.

    Designed for ages 6-96, this inspiring craft kit is a great activity the whole family can be involved in! The idea is simple...paint a rock with an inspirational message/picture, hide indoors or outdoors around your neighborhood or community, then track your rock on social media with a hashtag and tracking stickers included in the kit!

    Rock painting has become a nationwide phenomenon after its creation by a mother in Ohio who lost her daughter to cancer. To help herself get through this enormous loss, she started painting rocks with replicas of her child's art work and hid

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