We have lots to say about the importance of what we do...
Books about emotions are everywhere, but we LOVE Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods That Make My Day by Jamie Lee Curtis. This story stands out because it normalizes the range of emotions we feel as humans. When we are able to label a feeling it opens up the opportunity to regulate ourselves and move forward in our day. Fostering emotional intelligence is important starting at an early age, so that children can develop a robust vocabulary to communicate the way they are feeling. Emotional vocabulary goes beyond classifying feelings as good and bad or negative and positive.
Children’s literature has the power to open up important conversations with your child in a low-pressure way. While reading this story, pause to see if your child would like to share a time where they felt a certain way. You can give your own examples too! Another way you can support your child’s emotional vocabulary is to label your own emotions throughout the day. For example “I am feeling frustrated because I lost my car keys”. Remember: it’s important for your child to know that you feel a range of emotions. This will help them feel better honoring the way they are feeling at any given moment!
In this video, Holly presents an activity that helps to develop the vestibular system. The vestibular system is where all sensory and spatial information is passed through. While caregiver moves baby through a variety of motions, the vestibular system processes sensory input and allows the baby to regulate and make sense of the world around them.
A strong vestibular system will help your baby with balance and spatial awareness. Just a simple up and down movement will create a reaction in their body and show that not all movements are linear.
Have an older child!? They are still working on the development of their vestibular system. If you have ever wondered why your child might like to hang upside down or spin around in circles until they are too dizzy to stand, the vestibular system is your answer! Other ways you could help develop this system in your baby or toddler is by rocking them back and forth, sliding down a slide with them, or even creating an obstacle course that focuses on balance.
One of the greatest ways for a child to learn is through play. This freeze dance game is an amazing way to teach different gross motor skills, along with fostering your child's imagination. After dancing along to this song, extend the activity by pretending to be different animals. Your child can take the lead or you can offer suggestions. If you have animal toys at home, it might be fun to put them in a box, pick them out one by one and act them out together!
It is important to create a safe space for your child to use their own imagination. This will not only help them apply their creativity in different settings but it will also strengthen their social skills. By using imaginative play, you can create scenarios that a child might not be able to experience in their everyday life (especially during a pandemic). Playing out different scenarios will help them be creative with their problem solving skills. Whether they are playing with their friends or just you, it is an essential part of growth and development.
Remember what might seem silly to you, seems fun to them! Encouraging imaginative play will help your child grow into a more confident and creative person with good social skills and awareness of different situations!