Author: Julie Lang

How Play develops the one skill children need for jobs of the future

Every child begins their journey through life with an incredible potential: a creative mindset that approaches the world with curiosity, with questions, and with a desire to learn about the world and themselves through Play. However, this mindset is often eroded or even erased by conventional educational practices when young children enter school. The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking is often cited as an example of how children’s divergent thinking diminishes over time. 98% of children in kindergarten are “creative geniuses” – they can think of endless opportunities of how to use a paper clip. This ability is reduced...

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Lego and Child Development

Not long after their 85 year anniversary I’m having a look into how Lego can impact on early learners, the question being; does the creative block assembling game really help with child development?  In 1932 did Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a carpenter from Denmark, know of the influence on the future his first wooden Lego toy would have? From my research I have found that multiple new skills are developed by children whilst building with the miniature blocks. One clear example being creativity, the ability to use your imagination by constructing a vehicle, a building and now-a-days even a working robot. By getting this part of the brain working at such a young age it helps with countless things in the future, like something as simple as being able to dress themselves independently. Another key skill LEGO helps ignite in youngsters is Distraction. When something helps take our minds off one thing and on to another. Whether it be a distraction from school or potential problems at home, Lego offers a child a place to escape – to their imagination. This closely links to the idea of creativity outlined above. The child can get away from all external influences and ‘lose themselves’ in the world of Lego, as a vet treating dogs, or a firefighter tackling fires. Whatever their quick learning minds can think of, Lego offers them a distraction from everything else through play! With social...

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How to declutter and get kids on board with purging old toys

This time of year, with the avalanche of gifts looming ahead, it’s a great time to DECLUTTER. Toy clutter doesn’t take long to accumulate, especially if kids have grandparents or other family members who are always ready with something extra. When there are too many toys, keeping things picked up and organised gets harder — plus it makes cleanup very overwhelming for kids. Here are a few tips for getting their cache of belongings sorted, purged and ready for the new items. Make it about one thing: Whether you’re tackling the playroom or going through their bedroom belongings, it should all...

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Public anxieties over youth and media may be unfounded

No, the internet is not actually stealing kids’ innocence Popular claims about media harm don’t always stack up against the evidence. Shutterstock The news is constantly awash with stories reporting on – and arguably amplifying – public anxieties over youth and media. The anxieties concern violence and video games, gaming addiction, internet and mental health, and teen suicide. For example, child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg recently linked the sexualisation of children and their easy access to online pornography to an increase in sexual and indecent assault allegations at school. His argument reprised some familiar problems that are common in media panic...

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4 Tips to help limit kids screen time over the holidays

Sweet summertime is here and the battle to limit kids screen time is on! The kids can let their imaginations soar and entertain themselves all day long. Unfortunately, the reality of summertime may not be so sweet. First, kids aren’t always that great at entertaining themselves. Then, with all of the technology that surrounds us, getting kids away from the screen can be difficult. And keeping kids completely disconnected from technology is unrealistic and not even necessary. Unrealistic because when we aren’t going to disconnect completely, why should we expect our kids to? And unnecessary because technology offers many learning...

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