hazel & fawn

What Is Open Ended Play and How Does It Help Your Children?

What Is Open Ended Play and How Does It Help Your Children?

There is a lot of chatter in parenting circles about open-ended toys, but there isn’t often a very good description of what exactly “open-ended” means. Couldn’t a child use any toy in a way that results in play without a specific purpose? The answer to that is both yes and no. Chances are pretty good that your child will use a closed-ended toy in an open-ended setting at least once, so why should you specifically seek out and add open-ended toys to your toy chest? What is the difference between closed-ended and open-ended toys? Children are incredibly versatile in how...

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5 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Imagination

5 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Imagination

Having a developed imagination is one of the best skills a child can cultivate. Everyone is born with the ability to imagine – just watching a 3-year-old for any length of time will prove that – but it takes time and effort to cultivate and strengthen an imagination. Children naturally play pretend because it is a way for them to understand the world around them. Unfortunately, as children get older, social norms and the ubiquity of screens tend to make unfettered imagination less common than it once was. Is imagination really that important? We have so many tools and so...

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5 Benefits of Playing Dress-Up

5 Benefits of Playing Dress-Up

Children have glorious imaginations that can be absolute poetry in action. They can put on a simple hat and transform into a butterfly, a teacher, a construction worker, a member of royalty, or a ballet dancer – sometimes a mixture of several at once! As hard as it is for adults to transport themselves into the lives of another person or thing, children do it almost effortlessly with just a few supplies. Playing dress-up—even in its simplest form—touches many areas in a child’s life and can help with a full spectrum of growth and development. Gross Motor and Fine Motor...

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How do wooden children's toys stack up against their plastic counterparts?

How do wooden children's toys stack up against their plastic counterparts?

Your daughter’s new plastic phone has flashing buttons, gives her a real dial tone and busy signal, and even has a few pre-recorded messages – yet after a few seconds, she drops it on the floor and moves on to something else. Later, you see her thoroughly engrossed with a pile of ordinary wooden blocks and realize she has been playing with them for at least 20 minutes (an eternity in toddler time). What gives? Our readers weighed in on how wooden toys compare to plastic toys, and here’s what they had to say: Aaron Simmons Aaron Simmons is the...

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Top Things to Consider When Buying a Car Seat

Top Things to Consider When Buying a Car Seat

  Your baby’s car seat is the most critical piece of equipment that you’ll buy for your child. All car seats have to meet specific safety requirements to go on the market, but some car seat manufacturers have included additional safety and comfort features that make each car ride a little more enjoyable. Types of Car Seats As you begin your research, you’ll run into a few different car seat styles, and it can get a little confusing. Here is a quick breakdown: - Rear-facing Infant Car Seat: This car seat typically has a handle that you can use to...

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