A vegetable brush can become so much more: part 1

Never underestimate the appeal of seemingly ordinary household objects as play objects for children. In fact, they remain some of the most reliable toys to add to a play environment to keep a young child cognitively engaged. Toys should be simple in order to stimulate a child’s imagination. According to Magda Gerber, "passive toys = active babies." So how can a vegetable brush become so alluring to older infants and toddlers?

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How often do we let babies experience "flow?"

Imagine that a baby picks up a red ball. He explores it by touching it. How tight does he need to clutch it to hold onto it? He’s just learning his gripping skills, so it takes time for him to find a strong handle. Once he understands that it is malleable, he grips it tighter to see how it changes shape within his hand. The ball comes to life as his hand moves. Shadows appear and disappear. He lifts it above his head and understands that its weight is light. Then he decides to let go to see how it will drop on the ground. His full attention in on the ball dropping; he is a scientist as he begins to understand the ball’s properties. And then, an adult walks into the room and asks, “What color is that ball?”

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How Slowing Down Nourishes You and Your Baby

As New Yorkers, we often tout the virtues of slowing down. Many of us carve out yoga, meditation, or workouts as a time to relax and deliberately unwind. But, have you ever thought a diaper change as a time to relax and rejuvenate with your baby? Probably not! Most of us have the opposite reaction; we want rush through this unsavory process to get to the “real” bonding or playing.

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Three ways your baby benefits by removing the bouncer

One of the things that adults resort to is the belief that they have to guide the gross motor development of infants and toddlers. I have seen it over and over, and every time, I shudder. It is “anti-nature” at its core. The underlying belief is that infants and toddlers need our guidance to do what they are intended to do: sit up, crawl, and walk. This feeds right into the problem that adults view babies as helpless, incapable of learning without our assistance, and without intrinsic self-motivation. Rather than trusting the natural development process, we force it along....

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Two important things almost all daycares are missing

I have observed a number of daycares and early childhood centers as a part of my RIE training. They range vastly in terms of quality of care, environment, philosophy, etc. However, almost every daycare for infants and toddlers (0-3 years old) is missing two things – and their absence baffles anyone who understands attachment theory...

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Why it’s difficult to watch (some) parents at the playground

Recently, I went to the playground with my friends and their child. While there, I saw a lot of things that caused me discomfort. I saw a parent putting his child top of a play structure with stairs leading up to a short slide (not more than a few feet of the ground). The child immediately started to cry. After spending almost an hour there, I realized that these types of interactions were relatively common: adults putting toddlers on play equipment like bikes, slides, and stairs when the children have no expressed interest in them. In most cases, the children are also not developmentally ready for it.

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