Kids Don't Need Toys, Really!

Kids Don’t Need Toys, Really!

Parents, I have a tip for you —

You may just want to give up on any of your “grand plans” to have your children play with “toys” or even “educational” activities.

Because it’s not going to work.

Oh, h-e-double hockey sticks no. Your children are not amateurs. They will not succumb to playing with anything you actually want them to. Currently, I have an entire level of my house — an entire level, I tell you — devoted solely to my children’s playthings. Read more

5 Reasons Why Kids Should Learn to Play Chess

5 Reasons Why Kids Should Learn to Play Chess

I never understood the benefits of chess because I never learned to play the game. As a kid I would watch the adults play the game and sit for hours methodically choosing their moves. In fact, I thought the game took too long and they were just being picky about moving their pieces across the board. What I didn’t know was the level of intelligence, planning, patience and just the mere thought process that was required to win.

Knowing how to play chess, in fact, helps you in so many other areas in life. When I realized this, I knew that chess was a game I wanted my kids to play. Also it was a game that many black kids didn’t play. There are some great benefits to introducing this game to all children, and here’s why. Read more

Is My Son Missing Out Because He Doesn’t Play Sports?

Is My Son Missing Out Because He Doesn’t Play Sports?

I’d just gotten off the phone with the local Y. “Umm, mam? Registration for that closed four months ago.”

I’d missed the boat again. My son will be three-and-a-half in a little over a month, and I’ve already missed out on signing him up to play soccer the first year he’s old enough. Apparently if you want to get in, you have to start the registration process in January. JANUARY. There’s a waiting list for even the 3-year-olds, and the poor gentleman on the phone was nice enough to stifle his laughter as I thought I had even the slimmest chance of getting my son signed up for the sport this late in the game. Read more

Parents Need to Play

Parents Need to Play, Too

For kids, the importance of play is undeniable. It strengthens connections between brain cells, allows them to experiment, to test theories, develop self-regulation, and learn social skills like empathy. Play is also the birthplace of creativity — where kids sprout new ideas. The more they play, the more advanced they become in other domains — for example, research shows that children who are more advanced in their play around 1 year of age are more advanced in one or more aspects of language around age two. Meanwhile, play deprivation slows mental growth in all these realms and poses a serious health risk. Read more