Category Archives: Play

Articles looking at the importance of play for infants and toddlers including ideas for toys and age appropriate activities with the view to allowing toddlers to play independently.

Setting up a Play Space

We are on Day 6 of RIE Foundations and today was our first real-life parent-infant class observation. It was fascinating to see a basic room set out for play for different age groups and hearing about all the thought and care that goes into the choice and placement of every play object and piece of equipment. If I hadn’t learned anything of how children play and how to interact respectfully with young children previously, then I certainly have now.

RIE class facilitator, Deborah Carlisle Solomon and her intern Michelle were beautiful to watch. Their interactions with the babies and the parents was something I wish everyone could see. Deborah has this calm, confident presence about her which puts everyone at ease.

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Connection – It’s Child’s Play

On Day 3 of RIE Foundations we closely examined play. We looked at its importance and how to create an environment optimal for a child’s play, including examining the significance of the parent-child relationship in the ability for a child to play.

It was a day of many aha moments for me. Would you believe, I didn’t think I would really have any aha moments over here? I thought I knew the ins and outs of respectful parenting and was just looking to deepen my understanding. Turns out, I have a lot to learn.

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25 Battery-Free Gifts for the Imaginative Child

Do you have a hard time selecting the perfect gift for your children? Over time, I have become much more choosey with the toys I buy for my children. I look for quality and durability wherever possible and I also consider how active or passive a toy is. Magda Gerber used to teach that an active toy makes for a passive child (the toy does the work for the child at the push of a button) and a passive toy (battery-free toy) encourages the child to create the play for themselves.

25 Battery Free Gifts for the Imaginative Child Continue reading

10 Reasons My Children Benefit From our Lack of Discretionary Income

Before I begin this post I want to say that we are by no means poverty stricken. We work hard to provide for the children and give them everything they need. We live in a comfortable, modest house with ample mod cons that I realise many do without. The issue for us though is that most of our income is tied up in debt repayments, bills, insurances and basic necessities leaving us with little to no discretionary income to spare. This post is my take on the impact this lack of income has had on our family.

10 Reasons My Children are Advantaged by our Lack of Disposable Income ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids

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The Power of Music for Children

We are so lucky to be bringing our children up in a world full of some truly amazing and inspiring music. There are so many wonderful forms of music for children that it is not hard to find something that our little ones will enjoy. The thing is though that music is such a powerful tool but many of us simply let it wash over us as we go about our days, never fully appreciating its power to help us through our lives.

We all know that children can benefit greatly from listening to music. For years, studies have been conducted linking exposure to various music genres early in life with increased academic performance through schooling and beyond. But I have witnessed music do considerably more than just increase academic intelligence.

The Power of Music for Children ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids Continue reading

Encouraging Independent Play in Toddlers

Fostering independent play in young children takes time and patience.  Some children are naturally more content with their own company but for others, playing independently can be a struggle, particularly if they have been  entertained frequently as infants or had play done for them in the early stage of their life.

Encouraging Independent Play in Toddlers ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids

Our eldest daughter is like this and it has taken significant and conscious effort on our part to foster independent play skills in her. For the past three years we have been following the advice of Magda Gerber’s RIE Parenting.  We are now starting to see more independence in her play and contentedness to be on her own as a result.

Here are eight tips that have most helped us in encouraging our toddlers to play independently. Continue reading

Why We Should Let Children Take Risks

Risk taking is a natural part of our everyday lives. Many risks we probably don’t even think of as risky: pouring our tea, driving our car, crossing the road etc. We are so used to these things going right that we no longer associate them with danger.

Other risks we take on after careful consideration of the dangers/ pitfalls, the potentials and the overall feeling of worthiness it brings. The risk is at the forefront of our brain and it takes a level of consciousness before the final decision is made. These might include such things as a new job, a big role, parenthood or embarking on thrill seeking adventures etc.

It is important for us to be able to weigh up all the risk factors to make good decisions and keep ourselves safe in our daily lives. Often this can be done without too much consideration, if any at all, as we have the benefit of past experiences telling us the likely outcome.

At one point, though, nearly everything we have done in our lives was a new experience and one that came with an element of risk.

Pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone is often daunting but our ability to do this with a degree of confidence largely stems from our childhood experiences. It often goes hand in hand with how many risks we have been exposed to, how we handled them, the outcome and how the whole experience made us feel; our accomplishment.Why I Let my Children Take Risks ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids

That feeling of accomplishment is what makes many of us strive to achieve more and more in life. It makes us jump at the opportunity to take on projects and roles that we might have otherwise shied away from lest we fail. The emotion of pride, stemming from  achievement made with an element of risk, is a powerful one and one our children deserve the chance to feel genuinely and often.

It is for this reason that I give my children a certain freedom in their explorations. I weigh up the risk
to benefit ratio for them, consider the worst that could happen and the likelihood and then let them go for it. Continue reading

Sure, it Hurts, but I Mustn’t Project My Fears onto My Kids

This is oh so hard. We hold onto so much baggage from our past and if we had a wish it would be that our children would not have to feel the same hurts we have felt. Many of us have a strong Mama Bear instinct that would have us move mountains for our kids. But we cannot always protect them from the pain of reality and sometimes, it actually hurts our wounded souls more than it hurts them.

There are times when our children would actually be better off without us projecting our fears onto them. Sometimes, what we perceive as an injustice is nothing more than part of a child’s play, especially when they are young,

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