Menampilkan postingan dari Mei, 2019

"M" IS FOR MONKEYBARS: Getting Ready for Writing

A child's hand is a powerful tool for learning. With his hands he can control the world around him, build and create all that he can imagine, and express himself, first in gestures, then with scribbles, and eventually with the written word. 

Parents know the importance of fine motor control -- especially when it comes to handwriting -- which is probably why I'm frequently asked for advice on this subject. Here's what I say...

Put your pencils down and go play on the monkeybars.


Children's muscle control and coordination is developed in a natural, orderly way -- from the top down and from the inside out -- starting at the head and working towards the toes while building out from the torso to the limbs. This order of priority, established by the brain, insures that the large muscles necessary for coordination and locomotion (getting from here to there) are well organized and in control, before taking on the complex mastery of the more than 60 combined…


"Are we there yet?," the backseat asks.

Uh oh.

"In a little while," you answer, hoping against hope that this will satisfy her. But like every parent, you already know what's coming... the fidgeting, the fussing, the fooling around, and the falling apart.

You have just entered The Impatient Zone.


Now, before you allow this to become a test of your patience, know this...

Kids are impatient because "now" is all they know.

You see, without a lot life experience and nascent memory skills, little ones have no real sense of the concept of "past." Without understanding "past" there is no understanding of the more complex concept of "future." Without "future," there is no understanding of waiting. And it's the waiting part that takes patience.

For young children time isn't real because it's not tangible. They can't see it, hear it, taste it, smell it, or touch it. For instance, ask any tw…


Much has been written about the benefits of Messy Play. It is great sensory stimulation for young minds discovering a hands-on world, and it develops strength and fine motor coordination in those curious little fingers. And that's all great, except for one thing. There's more to it than that.

Now, most parents intuitively understand that kids come with a certain amount of mess and adopt a quiet, tolerance towards it. But when you've got the mop out taking care of your end of Messy Play for the third time today, it can be frustrating. So I thought it might be helpful for you to understand just why all that mess is so important, in hopes of bolstering your Messy Play resolve.

So let's start with some basics...

WHAT IS MESSY PLAY? The traditional definition of Messy Play refers to different kinds of sensory materials that children use with their hands. The list looks something like this...

WET/VISCOUS            Mud                                    Slime Play-Doh Clay Glue Finge…