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The Importance of Play in Early Childhood Development

Have you ever laughed until your sides ached? Well, if it has been awhile take time to play with your children. Give yourself permission to have a wonderful experience listening and laughing with each child.

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Categories: parenting, development,


10 Ways to Take Care of Your Sick Child

"Mommy, I think I am going to be sick." My nine year old, Allyson said this morning shortly after 2:30 a.m. Uh-oh, here we go again. I spent all day yesterday cleaning up after her 5 year old sister, Joslyn. Sometimes I wonder, "why are my kids so great at sharing?!"

So, what is the best way to care for your little one when she is sick with a stomach bug? I went straight to the source and asked my nine and five year olds as it was fresh in their minds.

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Categories: parenting, development,


Potty Training Steps

Am I a bad parent if my child is not potty trained by the age of 3?

This is a question asked by many parents and some parents just do not know when or how to start the process of potty training.

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Categories: development,


10 Ways to Encourage Active Play

There are many fun and simple ways to encourage active play with your toddler or preschooler even when you're stuck inside due to bad weather. Most experts agree that young children need more than 60 minutes of active playtime each day. It would be better if toddlers (13-24 months) had at least 90 minutes of active play each day and at least 120 minutes for preschool (2-5 years old) age children. Toddlers and preschoolers typically get this physical activity through active play rather than structured physical activity; however, they can start to do some basic exercises as long as you keep it fun and age appropriate. When possible, physical activity should be a combination of indoor and outdoor play.

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Categories: development,


When Your Baby Cries

Your baby is born with the ability to cry, overtime they will learn to self-regulate their emotions but until then this is the way they communicate. You will soon learn the difference between cries as being hunger, fatigue or discomfort. Crying can be considered one of the most important emotions an infant has.

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No! No! No!

If you are a parent or caregiver of a toddler, you are sure to hear this word many times. “No,” is a very powerful word for a toddler. For many children, the word “No” is an early expression of their growing sense of autonomy. Developing a sense of autonomy is an important developmental milestone that toddlers reach. A toddler becomes aware that she is a separate person from her caregivers and peers. As a separate individual, she realizes she can make choices and decide what she wants to do. “Wow! I am me and look at all the things I can do! No! Don’t want to stay in bed! No! Don’t want to take a bath!” thinks the toddler.

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Categories: parenting, development,


Sharing with Others

Have you heard your toddler say, "That's Mine!"? Followed by screams... You are not alone. Children have difficultly sharing, especially young children. The number one thing you need to know as a parent is, this is NORMAL! This is a normal part of the development of toddlers.

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Categories: parenting, development,


Dealing with Tantrums and Terrible 2's

Tantrums are common in toddlers. Try these parent-behaviors to lessen the toddler frustration.

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Finally, a game!

Mollie Protzman interviewed me for her blog post Energizing Kids with Exercise Games that focused on different games to get kids active. Here is another idea when being outside isn't accessible, or even if you're just sitting in the living room for an evening.

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Categories: development, health-notes,


Activities and Games to Increase Balance for Toddlers

Does it seem like your toddler spends more time falling on the ground rather than walking? Kids can be experts at falling down. It doesn't matter if they are playing their favorite sport or just walking across the room, your kids learn about the wonders of gravity. Movement is a way children interact with their environment to discover and learn from it. Regardless of cultural or ability level, movement is essential for all children to engage in active play.

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Categories: development, health-notes,


Get Active with Andrew: The Happy Dance

In this blog we will be talking about how you can integrate music into movement. If there is one thing I have noticed either as a little boy myself or when I teach, it is that students/kids move BETTER with music. Kids naturally will follow a beat and move along with it. Really, all you have to do is move with them, and they like it even more!

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Categories: development, health-notes,


Get Active with Andrew: Flexibility

With all exercise and activity, taking the necessary precautions before starting is always a good idea. Learning how to stretch properly will help improve movement and avoid injury! It's also a fun way to get kids active.

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Categories: development, health-notes,


Get Active with Andrew: Locomotor Fun

Now, when I say locomotor, this isn't about a train. Rather it's about the locomotion of kids, and how they should know how to move by the time they reach 3rd grade. Can you even imagine how difficult it would be for you to be active as adults if you didn't learn these basic skills! Don't take them for granted!

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Categories: development, health-notes,


Get Active with Andrew: The Big Three

This blog covers the 3 main muscle groups: Core, Legs and Arms. These are muscle groups you should have your kids focus on when doing exercises. With exercise and being active, it's all about balance with being healthy!

In Physical Education, we are looking for a few things:

  • Good cardiorespiratory endurance
  • Building on upper body, core muscular strength/endurance
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Categories: development, health-notes,


Get Active with Andrew: Body Part Identification

Salutations!

My name is Andrew Mantzaris. I am a local Physical Educator for elementary students, sports coach, and life-time mover. My job entails getting children and young adults moving. I don't just want kids to get involved in sports or going outside, but to really enjoy and be passionate about being active as they grow up. Whether it's with friends, family or classmates, the limits of having fun while being active are endless.

These blogs are a resource for you as the adult to work with the kiddos when they don't have the opportunity to go to P.E. at school or if you have some extra time at home.

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Categories: development, health-notes,