playful parenting

Shopping with Kids: Supporting a Growth Mindset Among the Shiny Objects

Knowing her grandparents will soon be asking for gift ideas for our daughter, my husband and I decided to take our five year old window shopping today. As usual and as I’ve written about before, we began with the caveat that although we wouldn’t buy anything, we’d take pictures of what she likes so that …

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Telling Our Kids What TO Do: Three Ways to Build a Child’s Self-Confidence

At one of the schools I have the pleasure of visiting regularly, this week’s craft table featured what the teacher appropriately called the “paper guillotine,” along with some glue and paper. At one point, an unsuspecting adult walked over and saw the setup. She inquired, only half-jokingly, “Oh, is this the table where you slice …

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How I Clean My House–and Six Fun Strategies that Engage My Child’s Help

I was in the kitchen making homemade almond butter (yum!). My five-year-old walked in with her cup of water and announced, “Mommy, let’s pretend you’re working in a bakery!” That sounds about right, considering how much time I spend cooking. She added, “I’ve brought my cup of water for any of your customers who want …

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When Bad Things Happen to Good (Little) People: Building Emotional Intelligence

I was just waking up and remembered that I needed to move some food from the night before from the refrigerator to the freezer. Upon opening the fridge, I noticed that the lid on the food wasn’t secure, so I tried to push it down. In doing so, my Superheroine-Like Muscles (that must be it, …

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Observing the Experts (Who Are Rarely Adults, With This Exception)

  For the past week, I’ve attended a multi-age outdoor school led by Teacher Tom, who’s hailed by parenting experts as one of the “world’s leading practitioners of ‘democratic play-based’ education.”* If you haven’t followed his blog or bought his book, you should, and if you can attend his class, even better. Although I exceed the age limit …

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