As long as children have the right gear, health professionals agree that outdoor time in the winter is not only safe, but healthy.
There is a substantial amount of research that outlines the benefits of incorporating a gratitude practice into your child’s life, as well as your own life. Science shows that people who make noticing, feeling and showing gratitude a part of their daily routine experience a host of positive effects.
Family traditions—purposeful and repeated practices that involve members of the family—are the perfect food for kids’ roots. Traditions can include both routines that organize our day-to-day lives such as Friday pizza night, and seasonal or holiday rituals that are more symbolic and planned. These repeated, shared experiences contribute to making us who we are.
There is more benefit to using multiple senses at once than simply getting more information. Each sensory system utilizes different parts of the body and brain. So, to put it simply, kids harness more brainpower when they use more than one sensory system at once.
If you spend time around young children who play freely, you’ll likely notice that sensory stimulation is pretty darn engaging. Pay a bit more attention, and you’ll also notice that different children respond to sensory inputs differently.
When you say, “Be careful,” you do not help a child learn anything about the risk in the given situation, never mind how to manage that risk.
This morning, some meaningful news hit the wire about Tinkergarten, and I’m excited to tell you more about it. We just raised $5.4 million of “Series A” funding to help get more families learning outside together.
If play is the mechanism through which children learn, how can we facilitate without directing? The way we use language is a key part of this process.
Research shows that when adults start to direct play, children lose interest and play tends to wind down. So, if we intervene when we perceive a dip in engagement, we may actually undermine our very efforts to support greater engagement.
In an outdoor classroom, the scene is ever changing. Nature’s play objects vary in shape, size and texture, offering endless possibilities for play and learning. It seems impossible to build a playground more engaging or to stock an indoor classroom with such a rich set of learning tools.
These quiet but powerful young humans have inspired me to learn more about the strengths of “introverts.” They have also taught me lessons that have helped be a better parent, educator, and friend. This post is a celebration of these lessons—a chance to honor the onlookers.
When new groups of young children come together it can sometimes be hard to see how their play is social. They can appear like a series of little islands, each doing their own thing. You start to wonder: "With so many friends right here, why are they not playing together?" The trick is, they are.
I often wonder—What will my young kids remember, when they come of age, about what their dad taught them? It’s a simple but powerful question that helps me decide how I want to spend each of my days with them.
How could we make sure that this season was different and special for all of us? We dug back through childhood, asking, “What really made our childhood summers summer?”
Each night, we all tuck in future protectors of the planet. And, each day, we can make a real impact by nurturing their potential. In lots of little but profound ways, we can help our kids develop a foundation in environmental stewardship, doing our part of growing a generation that will be empowered to fight for their planet.
It occurred to me that I ought to think less about my mothering and a bit more about what I want to kids to learn from me. Suddenly, the game shifted a bit. What do I want them to think about parenting?
Tinkergarten has opened my eyes to how children connect with nature and build problem-solving skills. Combining what I've learned as a Tinkergarten leader with my professional work has allowed me to visualize the path a person takes from childhood to adult-level critical thinking and creativity.
If young brains are neither sponges nor blank canvases, then what’s the right way to think about them?