Why Kids Need Messy Play

Ugh, that is SO messy.

 That may be the thought that is running through our minds when children ask to do something like paint, make mud pies, splash in puddles, have a shaving cream fight, or even play with play-dough. However, we need to remember all of the benefits of messy play.

 Kids these days spend less than half the time that their parents did playing outside.

This has translated into experts quoting statistics stating that children spend 5-8 hours per day in front of a screen. The effects of these levels of screen time are not yet known, however, we do know the benefits of outside play.

 

Messy play is a great way to get the kids outdoors once again. Also, messy play has so many benefits for the brain and the body. It supports development in many ways, leading to improved behavior and academics.

 

Sensory Stimulation

Messy play involves the senses and helps with sensory input and integration. The brain gets information from the sensory and motor...

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To My Last Baby on Your First Day of Kindergarten

As I put you to sleep tonight, I held you tight thinking about the changes that lie ahead. You will be heading to kindergarten tomorrow. I cannot wait to see you grow, change, and learn so many new things.

As I put you to bed, I realized that I have to learn new things too.

I have to learn that this is my last first day of kindergarten. The last time I will walk a nervous five-year-old through the halls of a school that will soon become a comfortable place. This is the last time that I will have to worry about if you can figure out the lunch line, or the school bus, or if you will miss me at all. Instead, this will be my first day where the halls are quiet without your laugh and your sweet voice.

 You are so eager to head out into the world as you have watched your siblings do year after year.

You are not uncertain. You are ready, but am I? You will always be my last. You were the last time I got to meet my baby for the first time, the last time I potty-trained a...

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What I Wish My Child's Teacher Knew About Behavior

It is back to school season, and with that comes the usual challenge with getting back into a routine, classroom rules, and the dreaded behavior charts. In my perfect world all teachers would understand a few things about behavior so that the classroom was not such a place of struggle, and instead was a place to thrive.

 I wish my child’s teacher knew:

1. That the brain affects behavior. 

There is a strong connection between the brain and body and behavior. The brain receives information from the body via the sensory and motor systems. This means that if my child is overloaded with too much sensory information, you may see “bad” behaviors. Think of it as a traffic jam on the highway. Imagine being stuck in a traffic jam. You can see your exit, but you can’t get there as you are stuck. Now pretend you need to use the bathroom or are getting hungry. How might you react during this traffic jam? Would you get frustrated, angry, distracted?

This is what...

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