Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Play and Grow Smart-er Tips

Nancy Pyne-Hapke, author of "Play and Grow Smart, A Guide Supporting Brain Development, Birth through Five," has been giving tips to aid your child's optimum skill development through proactive neuroscience-based activities. These ideas come from scholarly sources to personal interviews, from the internet to periodicals to books.
“CREATIVITY” involves imagination, ingenuity, invention/originality, creative thinking, dramatic/visual/musical arts.
THE CRITICAL WINDOWS during which the circuits of the brain are being most heavily wired for Creativity is 1 – 4 years with lifelong expression. The more opportunity children have to experience healthy, positive and nurturing Creativity experiences during this critical period, the more efficiently their brains will work over the long run.
A FEW DEVELOPMENTAL LEARNING TOOLS (toys and other objects) for CREATIVITY: • blocks • dolls and stuffed animals • books • sandbox • water • costumes and props • play figures • child-sized dishes and tools • art materials • construction sets • music and instruments
Forms of creativity: ART (visual), LANGUAGE (written or spoken), MUSIC/MOVEMENT (bodily movement), FANTASY (pretending).
Some general “Creativity: FANTASY” tidbits:
•• FROM 3, talk, pretend and discuss feelings a lot – feelings Toddler has and feelings others have. Being able to pretend you are someone else is the first step in understanding others, getting along and sharing.
•• ENCOURAGE HIM to “doctor” his baby doll or stuffed animal before going to the doctor’s office.
•• USE HAND PUPPETS with different voices.
•• TELL “WHAT IF” stories to her, and ask, “What would a happy kitty act like?” “If it started to rain while you’re playing outside, what would you do?” (Do not use scary scenarios.)
•• KEEP A SPECIAL BOX with costume materials – scarves, grown-up shoes (low heels!), bracelet beads on elastic, hats, clothing contributions from grandma/grandpa, etc.
Next week – “Creativity: Fantasy, Pt. 4”
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