6 Ways to Pretend Play Birthday All Year Round

January 10, 2013 at 18:04 | Posted in Family Time, General, Let's Play | Leave a comment
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6 Ways to Pretend Play Birthday All Year Round

If your kids are like mine, their birthday is their favorite day of the year. In fact, my kids make elaborate plans for crafts, parties, and gifts months and months before the actual birthday date. All of which are subject to change at any moment.

Birthdays are the best.

So, I just go with it. We pretend play birthday all the time.

We sing Happy Birthday in the car to them, to me, to all our relatives, to our pets, to our toys.

We play birthday party, too.

And do you know what? It’s great to play birthday because while you’re playing, you’re sneaking in lots of learning opportunities.

Here are some ideas for your next pretend play birthday bash.

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How to Encourage Creativity

December 18, 2012 at 16:24 | Posted in Educational, Family Time, General, Kid's Arts & Crafts | Leave a comment
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Drawing with ALEX Toys Metallic Crayons

Encouraging creativity is a core feature in my parenting strategy. Creativity has more benefits than I can count, but here are few:

  • Encourages self-expression – drawing and engaging in other creative pursuits gives kids a voice. I have learned a lot from and about my children by listening in as they create.
  • Builds fine motor skills – many creative pastimes help children develop the fine motor movements that are important for scholastic success.
  • Helps children discover passions – Pretend play and creative expression help children discover what truly interests them.
  • A great way to de-stress – I often set out a creative activity for my kids to do after school, as I find it soothes tired nerves and makes it easy to ease back into home life. This also motivates my first grader to get her homework finished (so we can get started on the activity), and it’s a wonderful bonding time for me and my kids.

Now that we’ve covered a few benefits, here are things I do to encourage creativity.

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Celebrate with A Random Act of Kindness

February 17, 2012 at 09:00 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Family Time, Holidays, Mamma Mia Rea | 1 Comment
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Happy Random Acts of Kindness Day!

About ten years ago, the book “Pay it Forward” put the value of kindness into perspective. The gist, devised by a young boy, was simple: Perform an act of kindness for three people, expecting nothing in return except that they “Pay it Forward” to three more people. The system, if followed correctly, could quickly spread kindness to global proportions.

Many were inspired by this story, which was later made into a motion picture. A “Random Acts of Kindness Day” has been initiated around the world.

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Winter Fun

January 19, 2012 at 12:00 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Family Time, Mamma Mia Rea, Outside Play | 1 Comment
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The other day, my 3-and-a-half-year-old and I were getting into the car when he pointed up to the sky.

“What’s that?” he asked.

I looked up and saw a pipe on the roof of a building, emitting clouds of steam. “That’s called steam,” I told him. “That’s what happens when warm air mixes with cold air”.

He looked at me quizzically.

I thought fast. “Look,” I said, exhaling heavily. “Mommy makes steam, too!”.

His eyes widened.

“You try!”

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Kids A La Cart: Shopping with Company

December 12, 2011 at 12:04 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Family Time, Mamma Mia Rea | Leave a comment
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There’s an art to shopping with kids. Somehow, you have to get what you need while fielding requests for one shiny/sugary/overpriced thing or another, making sure everyone stays with the traveling party and preventing a throw-down temper tantrum in the middle of the action (sometimes, you’ll be the one throwing it). After four kids, I’d like to think it’s an art I’ve mastered; those maniacs running through the grocery store on Supermarket Sweep ain’t got nothing on me.

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We Give Thanks to ALEX/Kid Concoctions For a Great Thanksgiving Activity – Make Indian Corn Jewelry!

November 23, 2011 at 12:00 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Crafting, Family Time, Holidays, Kid Concoctions, Play@Home Mom | Leave a comment
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Whether you’re looking for a fantastic project for the kids this Thanksgiving weekend or need a way to entertain them while you prepare the turkey and cranberry sauce – this is a great solution!

Continue Reading We Give Thanks to ALEX/Kid Concoctions For a Great Thanksgiving Activity – Make Indian Corn Jewelry!…

An Attitude of Gratitude

November 18, 2011 at 16:36 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Blogs, Family Time, Holidays, Mamma Mia Rea | Leave a comment
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I hate to say it, but the way we celebrate Thanksgiving is not exactly conducive to cultivating gratitude in our children. We buy lots of food, maybe even some new clothes, stuff our faces and then camp out in front of the TV to digest and yell at the Giants to get the ball to the end zone. Where exactly is the “Thanks” in Thanksgiving?

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Beneficial Bedtime Routines

October 17, 2011 at 09:00 | Posted in Family Time, Mamma Mia Rea | 2 Comments

ALEX Toys Mamma Mia Rea

The other night, when I told my three-year-old, Yonah, that it was time for bed, his response was to head for the door. “I want to run away,” he said. As frustrating as it was for me that he wasn’t happily following directions, I could at least understand where he was coming from. Who wants to go to bed when there are so many cool things to see… and break?

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Today’s Lesson: Teaching is Lots of Fun!

October 5, 2011 at 03:00 | Posted in Family Time, Let's Play, Play@Home Mom, Reviews | 1 Comment

It is already more than a month into the school year and we are in full-on school mode in our family. We get up, eat breakfast, pack lunch, get dressed and are off to school, but not necessarily in that order! I pick up Lori when school lets out and hear all about her exciting day, but school is still on her mind. At home, she pretends to be the teacher and tells her dolls (and little sister) to sit down for story time. She loves it and that is why I knew she would love Let’s Pretend School from ALEX.

ALEX Toys Let's Pretend School

Continue Reading Today’s Lesson: Teaching is Lots of Fun!…

Kid Friendly Fashion Fun!

October 3, 2011 at 10:15 | Posted in ALEX Toys, Family Time, Mamma Mia Rea | 1 Comment

Our society is extremely fashion forward. Everywhere you look, you’ll see magazines touting the latest trends, the hottest new lip color or the flirtiest hair styles. By the time many girls are old enough to walk, they’re ready for a trip down the runway.

ALEX Toys Kid Fashion

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