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By Mummies For Mummies (and Daddies too)

Month

January 2021

It’s Playtime! The Amazing Benefits It Gives Your Child

Learning to Play with Other Children as a Visually Impaired Child –  FamilyConnect

Playing is one of the most important aspects of a child’s life. Why? Because through peekaboo, building forts, and hide and seek, children learn to think creatively and interact socially. Therefore the importance of playing must not be underestimated because it is essential to a child’s growth and development. What are the benefits of playing?

Develop critical thinking skills

Playing nurtures healthy development and critical thinking skills. It strengthens memory, helps children understand cause and effect, and helps children explore the world in their own way. Through playing, children learn how things fit together. It allows them to use their senses and encourages exploration and curiosity, which are important for intellectual development and cognitive processing. Playing also encourages children to imagine, create, and pretend. Creative, open-ended play helps them to ponder, brainstorm, and practice critical thinking skills.

Better physical development

There are few ways how playing benefits children physically, namely in the development of their fine and gross motor skills. Playing promotes motor development as it encourages movement, develops motor planning skills, and supports balance and dexterity. Other than that, playing helps in developing gross motor skills such as stamina, energy, flexibility, and body awareness. Examples of physical play includes running, swimming, jumping, block building, dancing, climbing, and riding a bike. And always remember key safety precautions when allowing children to these types of activities!

Enhance social and communications skills

When children are playing with others, they learn how to interact, which is super important for social development. It also helps in developing an understanding of social expectations and rules as well as providing opportunities to share thoughts and ideas, to listen, and to compromise. Pretend-play is especially helpful because it aids children to exercise their vocabulary when they speak and try to understand others. During social play, children often reciprocate each other’s words and actions to get to agreements.

Promote impulse control and emotional regulation

Playing helps children understand and process their emotions. When a child loses a game, for example, they learn to process anger, sadness, and grief, which helps them learn to control their emotions. And well-regulated children can wait for a turn, resist the temptation to grab objects from others, control negative emotions, and keep going through challenging activities. Playing also helps in developing confidence and promotes the development of their identity and self-esteem.

Strengthen relationship with caregivers and peers

Parents who play with their children form a stronger bond with them. Even a simple game like patty-cake can become a special moment of bonding for both parents and children. These interactions provide positive impact to their life experiences which helps in stimulating children’s brain development. Happy, playful moments are indeed one of the best things we can give our children!

Playing is crucial in a child’s development. When choosing a pre-school, a play-based preschools may provide a better learning environment than others. Parents should pay attention to how classes are conducted! As for now, go run, sing, and dance with your kids! Have fun! β™₯

Let’s (Sensory) Play! – The what, why & how

7 fun sensory play ideas to encourage your child's development

From birth to early childhood, your child use their five senses – touch, smell, taste, sight, and hearing to explore and make sense of their surroundings. It is a crucial part of their early childhood development and giving a medium for your child to actively use their senses as they explore their world through sensory play is important to brain development as it aids to build nerve connections in their brain’s pathways.

So, what is sensory play? Sensory play involves anything that stimulates your child’s five senses as well as anything that engages movement and balance.

Why is sensory play important? Sensory play could also help your child to complete more complex learning tasks as well as supports cognitive growth, language development, gross motor skills, social interaction, and problem solving skills.

How does sensory play benefits your child?

In addition to being a fun activity for your child, it encourages your child to explore and be investigative. It also helps your child to exercise the ‘scientific method’ of observing, forming a hypothesis, experimenting, and drawing a conclusion.

It also allows your child to improve their threshold for various sensory information, helping their brain to form stronger connections to the sensory information and learn which are useful and which can be filtered out. For example, your child may find it difficult to play with other children when there is too much happening in their environment with conflicting noises or sights. Through sensory play, your child can learn to filter out the unnecessary noise and focus on the play instead.

Another relatable example is a child who is especially fussy with eating foods with a wet texture such as spaghetti. This is where sensory play comes in handy as it can assist the child touching, smelling, and playing with the texture in an environment with little expectation. When trust and understanding have been developed, it signals the brain to say that it is safe to engage with this food.

Some examples of activity to encourage sensory play

  1. Playdough – you can make your own or purchase here on Babydash. It’s an excellent sensory tool for hands-on early learning activities like letters, numbers, and colours. Playdough also acts as a muscle strengthener for little hands preparing to write! It is definitely a fun activity that parents can join too – knead, roll, stretch, flatten, pound and build! (One of the ways to prep your child to help you baking too! πŸ˜‰)
  2. Sensory board/bin – your child will enjoy this so much and it is easy to create too! Gather different types of objects around the house that can stimulate senses (ensure they are safe to use!). Attach them to a big cardboard or put them into a bin. Let your child feel the texture and play with them. And to help them enhance their sensory exploration, do ask relevant questions! Questions you may ask:
    – How does it feel
    – How does it look like?
    – What’s the smell produced?
    – What sound does it produce?
    – How does it taste?
    Smooth, shiny, beautiful, cold – some of the fun adjectives that your child can learn through playing with a sensory board/bin! Other than helping your child to develop their senses, it also helps in nurturing their linguistic skills.
  3. Sand foam – the simplest to create – add sand + shaving cream together and voila! Perfect for messy play on outdoor days!

The next time you find your child is playing with random items around the house like pots, paper towel, face powder (children LOVE this! πŸ˜…), straws or anything at all, just encourage them (& clean up after πŸ˜‚). A child can use anything around them to explore the world! And by allowing them to follow their instincts, you are helping to nurture their five senses!

Starting Solids Dos & Don’ts for New Parents

Is Your Baby Ready to Start Solid Food?

When the time has come for your baby to eat solid foods, it may get a little confusing. What do you feed them? How soon is too soon? Can they eat this and that? Fret not, Moms & Dads! Chill out, have fun, and keep these dos and don’ts in mind as you begin introducing solids to your little foodie!

#1 Visit your pediatrician before starting

Nobody knows your baby better than you and your pediatrician. Therefore it’s highly recommended that you get your baby’s doctor approval before you start giving them solids. Usually when your baby is four months or older, can sit up without support, and has good control over their neck, your pediatrician will confirm that your baby is ready to take on their food journey!

#2 Don’t add salt

This is one of the most important things to remember! Do not add salt to the foods you give to your baby because their kidneys can’t cope with it yet. Also avoid giving your baby ready-made foods that are not baby-friendly or not made for babies such as breakfast cereals because they can also high salt content.

#3 Follow the three-day rule

Only feed your baby one kind of food for three days before switching to a new one. This will give their digestive system a chance to adapt to solids. Also watch for an allergic reaction, such as hives.

#4 Don’t cut breast milk or formula off

Breast milk and/or formula should still be the main sources of your little foodie’s nutrients and calories. After a year, you may begin to cut back on breast milk or formula and replace it with 16-20 ounces of whole milk per day.

#5 Don’t reuse leftovers

After putting a hard work in the kitchen, it feels such a waste to throw away the leftover but know that your baby deserves the freshest and the best! Bacteria may have ended up in the leftovers that could cause tummy ache or at the very least, a very stinky diaper πŸ˜†

As you continue to introduce solids to your little tot, remember to enjoy yourself in the kitchen by experimenting with different combo! And have fun with your baby celebrating this new milestone! β™₯

Top 5 Feeding Essentials Loved By Moms

Best Bowls and Plates for Babies of 2020

Starting solids is definitely one of the biggest milestones that your little one can experience. It’s super fun for you too, to witness the face they make when you feed them certain food and it’s the perfect time for you to get creative in the kitchen! And it’s also nice to have your baby right at the dining table with you, eating together. With so many brands and utensils in the market, you may get confused. And that’s why I am here, to help you pick 5 feeding essentials that are well-loved by moms!

#1 ezpz First Foods Set

Other than its pretty colour, this First Foods Set from ezpz is loved by moms as it is a complete set that provides all of the developmental tools you need to set your baby up for mealtime milestones! With a complete set like this, it encourages your baby to eat and drink independently especially when your baby joins the rest of the family at the dining table. Another reason why moms love it is because everything in the set is 100% silicone and made to last as silicone will not wear, fade or corrode – saving you some $$ in the bank! Check out ezpz on Babydash.

#2 b.box Toddler Cutlery Set

The cutlery set is designed in consultation with leading pediatric occupational therapist making it the ideal toolkit for toddlers who are ready to self-feed! Yes, in case you are wondering it’s a fork. The unique designed of the fork is why moms love this cutlery set from b.box as it fits the size and shape of little mouth. Due to its design, it helps your little tot to safely pierce and lift the food. The set comes in a handy travel case to take with you on-the-go! Shop more b.box products on Babydash.

#3 OXO TOT Grow Straw Cup

A cute almond-shaped straw cup with a spill-proof straw that conforms to your little one’s mouth and minimizes mess! It is also an ideal straw cup that will ease your child transitioning from bottle or breast feeding. The removable handles that come with it is why moms love it! It makes it easier for your tot to drink as it provides a comfortable grip and control. More OXO TOT products are available on Babydash website.

#4 b.box Bowl + Straw

Let your kid slurps their cereal milk or soup to the heart’s content with this bowl + straw from b.box! The innovative designed bowl + straw ensure no leftovers and mess-free mealtime especially when eating soup or cereal. The bowl doubles as a snack container as it comes with a snack insert and a lid – great for snacking on-the-go! A plus point for moms πŸ˜† For self-feeders, the easy grip handles and non-slip base are a great help for control and stability. Available in four vibrant colours on Babydash.

#5 Chicco Pocket Snack booster seat

Pocket Snack booster seat from Chicco is what you need to go with the adult dining chair and it’s why moms love it – so their little tot can join the family during mealtime! The seat is travel-friendly as it is compact when folded and has a strap to carry and take along to restaurants, on vacation, or to visit relative! The two straps and rubberized feet ensure the seat is secured and safe to sit on. Check out more Chicco products on Babydash.

Hope this is helpful to any parents whose little ones are starting solids soon! Have fun getting creative in the kitchen!

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