play time and crafts for children


Churches and Communities Reach Out to Young Moms Through Playgroups
by Carren W. Joye
Young parents face unique challenges as they raise their children in today’s world. Unlike their own parents and grandparents, many young parents now live far away from their relatives and lack extended families and close friends on which to rely. Consequently, both moms and dads have quietly mobilized with military precision, many through the ministry of their local church, to form playgroups and parents’ groups in their neighborhoods  <more...>

Do You Play with your Kids?
by Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC
“Daddy, will you come and play the farmer and the mouse game with us?” my daughter called to me. My heart sank. This was about the last thing wanted to do right now. I was bone-tired, had a million other things to do, and just didn’t feel very “playful.” But, I did manage to give myself a fair-sized dose of guilt.

Make Fun a Top Priority
By Gigi Gray
Make fun a top priority in your life. Plan it just like you plan every thing else that is important to you. Take time out for your favorite activity or hobby. Or take that long awaited trip to Disney or Hawaii. Write it down on your “to do” list and stick to it. 

How to Raise Creative Kids
by Susan Stump
“Where did he come up with that?” Kids often amaze us with their imaginative ideas and we should give ourselves a pat on the back for playing a role in this development. Creative thinking is essential for success in school and in life. It’s our job as parents to nurture our kids’ innate desire to be creative. <more...>

Why Should I Play with My Kids?
by Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC
My son came running around the corner of the house.
It was just as I had hoped. I gave a wild, primitive yell as I sprang out at him. He hit the ground quickly, trying to avoid my grasp. I reached down and tagged him easily, and the burden of being “it” was transferred once again. 

Old-fashioned Ways to Inspire Children 
by Nicole Dean
Walk through any toy store and you will see walls and walls of toys that are loud -- toys that require batteries, have flashing lights, or that look like your child's favorite movie character. What about those of us who want to raise children with imagination and curiosity? I'll tell you what we do. We choose to fill our houses with some of the following old-fashioned items.  <more...>

The Value of Play
by Rae Pica
Isn’t it ironic that a country whose constitution allows for the pursuit of happiness now feels a collective guilt about the very idea of anything fun? How did this happen? When did we begin placing so much priority on productivity and so little on leisure or on having a good time? Even given the Puritan work ethic, life in America has become so unbalanced that one side of the seesaw is pretty much grounded.  <more...>

Got substance...with your child?
by Lesley Spencer
How would your child answer the question, “Who knows you better -- us or your friends?" We hope our children answer us, but would they? What about those deep conversations with your son or daughter that truly allow you into their world? Do you know the last time they cried or why they cried? Do they come to you with celebrations or things they are excited about? Or do they go to their friends? Where would they go in a crisis? Do they consider you a safe place to come if they needed help or guidance in their life?

Creating Great Birthday Party Videos
by Colton Wright
My son recently had his third birthday party and it was mayhem. There were kids all over the place doing all sorts of funny things with parents following them around trying to prevent the next catastrophe. Believe it or not, this environment makes for a fantastic video. The key is to plan a little before heading to into the chaos. <more...>

Helping Your Child Develop the Fitness Habit
by Rae Pica
While most children are born healthy and fit, not all of them remain that way. Doing so depends in great part on four factors: environment, attitude, knowledge, and lifestyle. All of these elements are within your control. In honor of National Physical Fitness & Sports Month (May), let’s look at them one at a time. <more...>

The Hunger for Play
by Dana Johnson, MSW
“There is a tremendous hunger in our culture for true play.” This is a quote from Stuart L. Brown, M.D. who has spent years studying play in children. He is among a growing number of doctors, psychologists, child development specialists, and other professionals who are speaking out on the apparent lack of true play in children today. Are they right? Are our children “starving” for play?

Kids and Sports: Fundamentals First
by Rae Pica
Would you hand a child calculus problems once she was able to count to ten? A geometry text when he began to recognize shapes? War and Peace as soon as she could recite her ABCs? Of course not! Not only is it preposterous to have such expectations of a child, but also it sets up the child for failure — and, most likely, a dread of and distaste for calculus, geometry, and reading.  <more...>

When Kids Cooperate
by Rae Pica
Given a choice, preschoolers prefer cooperative activities to competitive ones. Indeed, Scott Scheer, an associate professor at Ohio State University, contends humans actually have a “cooperative imperative” – a desire to work with others toward mutual goals that can run the spectrum from conceiving a child to sending a rocket to  <more...>

My Daughter's Crayons
by Tim Keiderling
"Daddy, I want to color!" These are the first words out of my daughter's mouth every day when she dashes in our front door after kindergarten.  <more...>

Raising Creative Grandchildren
by Susan Stump
“Where did he come up with that?” Kids often amaze us with their imaginative ideas, and we should give ourselves a pat on the back for playing a role in this development. Innovative thinking is essential for success in school and in life, and it’s our job as parents and <more...>

10 Tips for Making Daily Physical Activity Part of Your Child's Life!
by Rae Pica
Here’s some of the bad news about sedentary lifestyles:
• Forty percent of children ages 5 to 8 show at least one heart disease risk factor, including hypertension and obesity, which among children has doubled over the past two decades.

"Make a Joyful Noise”
Giving Your Children A Musical Education
By Mrs. Crystal Paine
If you were to visit my family’s home at any given hour of the day, you will most likely be met by the sounds of a musical instrument being practiced somewhere in the house, and often more than one. It would probably be strains from a violin, piano, flute, or harp. Every now and then, you will also hear a hammer dulcimer, guitar, or an attempt on the clarinet (no one has quite mastered that one yet!). No, we were not all born as child protégés, we were just blessed to be raised with a strong musical education. 

Lead the Little Children: 
How To Start a Christian Playgroup
Carren W. Joye
Teaching our children about God is a big responsibility for parents. One way of gently leading children to God is through participating in the fun activities of a Christian-based playgroup. Many parents are either seeking or starting playgroups these days. Although many groups include Christian members, not all playgroups focus exclusively on Christian activities. If you want to start a playgroup with Christian activities or incorporate Christian activities in your existing group, here are some ideas to help. <more...>

Review: Wacky Races Cartoon 
by Alyice Edrich
The Wacky Races are simple, no frills cartoons filled with clean comical relief. You won’t find high tech video technology, but you will find clean humor and a few laughs as Dick Dastardly tries ever-so-hard to win the races with schemes that always backfire. <more...>

Parent's Report Card Time
by Lesley Spencer, MSc.
A friend recently told me that he took his son out for a burger. While they were eating, his son said, “Dad, do you know why I am eating so slow?” His dad said, “No. Why?” And his son replied, “So I can have more time with you.” 

Music in Childhood Builds Life Skills
by Caron B. Goode
Love, respect, and appreciation for music are easy to share with our children and build life skills at the same time. During the first years of our child's life, musical skills build self-esteem and enhance expression. Musical rhythms spur motor development. <more...>

Happy Birthdays
by Dionna Sanchez
Your child's birthday is coming up again. It gets harder and harder to come up with new and fresh ideas.  Here are a variety of fun and unique ideas that hopefully can put the fun back into your birthday party planning.  <more...>

Quick Kids' Craftz: Tips for Springtime Fun!
By Colleen Langenfeld
Spring fever got the kids bouncing off the walls? Give 'em something to do FAST with these easy crafts designed to keep the hands busy and the minds engaged!  <more...>

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play time and crafts for children