To say we LOOOOOOOVE Melissa & Doug at Gracie Margaret’s is most certainly an understatement! They have soooo many quality products at great prices to help kids learn, explore, create, and to just plain have FUN! We recently made a HUUUGE change at Gracie Margaret’s and now carry an EXTENSIVE line of Melissa and Doug, right here in the store!!! Here are some ideas the recently shared on their own blog on how to “Let Your Kids Personalities SHINE!”
No two children are alike (thank goodness!) so this week on the blog, we talked about ways to nurture individualism and honor our kids’ unique ways of learning. Here’s a round-up of the ideas shared this week.
As a way to encourage your child to explore personality and self-knowledge, ask her to make a list of “likes.” This can be a craft activity, writing exercise, or simple conversation! Encourage your kids to include favorite books, hobbies, clothing, animals…whatever makes them smile! You may be surprised at what you discover.
*Grab a roll of the M & D Easel Paper and rooooollll it on out! Let you child draw, write, or create any way they would like, their “List Of Likes!”
Learn About Your Children Over Dinner!
Dinner is such a cherished time for families, and in this blog post by Ambassador Zina, we uncover 5 ways to have meaningful conversations with your children at meal time. Using the Melissa and Doug, Dinner Box of Questions we share tips on how to set the right foundation of openness and communications for your family so that you can learn more about your child, and each other, night after night.
Teaching your children about responsibility and good behavior is one of the most important lessons they will learn. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to help explore self-awareness; working with your child to create a chore chart that reflects their specific goals, capabilities, and motivational incentives. This blog post shares 5 ways to work with your child to tailor a chore chart that helps her develop in the ways she needs most (while letting her have “skin-in-the-game” to remain engaged throughout the process).
1) Identify current daily chores. Using a piece of paper, ask your child to either draw or write what she sees as her current chores or responsibilities. After your child is finished, have a discussion explaining which chores she thinks she excels in, and which she feels she could do better. Let your child drive this conversation as a way to encourage self-awareness.
2) Make a behavior list. Ask your child to draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper and write two lists of behaviors: with one side being good behavior (i.e. being kind), and the other side a list of not-so-good behaviors (i.e. teasing). Again, this is a very specific and personal conversation between you and your child. Once the list is complete, ask your child to circle which behaviors she feels most challenged with (or wants to improve in), and add those to your chore chart.
3) Select a few chores to start in the near future. After you have made a list of current chores and behaviors your child will focus on, ask her to identify a few activities that can be goals for the future. For example, your child may currently set the table for dinner, and has added that to her responsibility chart. The logical next step may be to work on a goal that teaches her to do the dishes (or load the dishwasher). One way to reach this goal would be to work on a “chore upgrade” – after a few weeks of solid performance in setting the table, “upgrade” to the next “level” of chore (you may want to consider accompanying this upgrade with a reward).
4) Choose rewards that mean something special to your child. To make rewards sustainable (both logistically and financially) consider choosing a special activity or privilege that your child can earn by doing her chores. Let her choose the next movie for movie night, activity for game night, or take her on a special “date” to reward a job well done. If she would like to earn a special new toy, use this as an opportunity to teach the value of money, and how to “save up” for larger rewards.