Category Archives: Parenting

5 Skills Young Children Develop from Video Games

 

5 Skills Young Children Develop from Video Games

 

When I was a child, I was jealous of my cousin who had a Nintendo video game system.  It was so much fun to play, but my parents wouldn’t buy one.  My husband, however, grew up with video games.  After we married, he told me that he wanted to make sure our kids have access to technology and video games just as he had.  I couldn’t really understand the reason why, but now as a parent of young children, I can see how video games can serve educational value and encourage the development of new skills in a fun way!

 

Math Skills

Several games require the player to earn coins or points to move forward in some way, whether that is to level up or to purchase additional characters or items in the game.  This teaches basic math skills to my sons, helping them also learn to save up when necessary. 

 

Reading and Language

Instructions and character dialogue teach language skills and reading skills.  My 5 year old, has learned to read simple commands on the screen to complete a task or mission.  My 7 year old can read specific instructions on the screen to the point that he rarely needs our assistance.  They have also have developed a greater communication with each other.

 

Teamwork and Collaboration

Have you seen young brothers work together and follow each others instructions without a problem or fighting?  I have, and it is amazing to watch them work together!  Many of the “missions” in their games require them to work together closely and complete certain tasks at the same time in order to progress.  It took them a little while to figure it out but they have learned that teamwork is the best way to get something done.

 

Map Reading and Navigation Skills

Most games will have some sort of map to see where to go next or where another player is. My 5 year old has learned to navigate and compare his movement from that on the screen to the small map.  They can find each other across New York City in LEGO Marvel Superheroes and it is absolutely amazing to see these skills at work at such a young age!

 

Hand-Eye Coordination

You might think it is easy to press a button and move around on the screen but for a young child, it can improve their hand-eye coordination drastically!  Button configuration varies per game so the memorization and ability to press the buttons automatically takes patience and practice.

 

These skills can and will still be learned elsewhere, but I love seeing my children learn together while not even realizing it.  It will always be a controversial topic on the amount of screen time children should have, whether they should play video games, etc, but I believe that there are definitely benefits.  Check out these kid-friendly video games and see what you think!

How to “survive” as a stay at home mom

How to "survive" as a stay at home mom

 

Being a stay at home mom is no joke.  It’s like customer service with the crankiest, messiest, non communicative customers at times.  But the good days are absolutely amazing and give you a feeling of love, success, and accomplishment that you couldn’t get anywhere else.  It can take a lot of work, especially on those rough days, so here are a few of my tips on how to “survive” being a stay at home mom:

 

Find time for you in each day even if it is a 10 minute shower with no disruptions.  Turn on some music, use your favorite scented soap, and enjoy the time alone.

Prepare outfits for the week this will save you time every day.  Just get it all done at once and you’ll have one less thing to do each morning!

Fix meals that can be reheated throughout the week.  Portion out what you can for quick-grab snacks.

Pick your battles …really!  I often find myself saying no about things that don’t really matter, making myself become even more stressed.  I’ve found that letting go of the minor things can really make a difference.

Schedule your week on Saturday or Sunday with activities and places to go during the week.  Getting out is great for everyone and will help everyone’s moods.  Just make sure you prepare everything ahead of time to make it easier on you – snacks, entertainment for the car ride or restaurant, etc.  Many libraries have reading times and activities for toddlers in the mornings, perhaps you could go to the zoo, or just hang out at a park.  If it’s on the calendar and pre-planned, you are more likely to stick to it.

Create a daily schedule.  It can be flexible or set, but a schedule of your basic daily activities will help reduce the chaos as the kids get used to it.  A sample of things to include: breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, craft time, math practice, tv time, snack, nap, etc.

Meet other stay at home moms.  Not only is it great to set up play dates and have someone to talk to, but you can arrange to watch each others kids alternating weeks to allow each other free time for a date night, quiet time at home, or whatever is needed.  You can meet through online groups, local gatherings, church, parks, or simply through your school.

 

10 Kid-Friendly Pandora Radio Stations For Road Trips

10 Kid-Friendly Pandora Radio Stations For Road Trips

10 Pandora Stations that are Kid Friendly - perfect for road trips!

 

Summer’s almost here which means road trips and vacations for many! The first thing I think of when planning a road trip is how I will keep my kids entertained. Finding a good radio station is always key for my family.  Most cars have the ability to hook up to your phone for music input, or may even have internet radio built in.  My personal favorite free streaming music is Pandora Radio and here are a few of my favorite kid-friendly stations!  

  1. ABC (The Alphabet Song) Radio
  2. Baby Einstein (Children’s) Radio
  3. Disney (Children’s) Radio
  4. Family Musicals
  5. How Far I’ll Go (From “Moana”) Radio
  6. Kids Christmas Favorites (Holiday) Radio 
  7. Mozart’s Lullaby Radio
  8. Radio for Kids
  9. The Piano Guys Radio 
  10. Toddler Radio

Remember to use the thumbs up and thumbs down in order to make the station more customized for your family.  

10 Kid-Friendly Pandora Radio Stations for Road Trips

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