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Encouraging Your Child to Happily Entertain Themselves

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, quarantined parents have a lot on their plates. The internet is full of wonderful activities to use to teach and amuse young children.  This is great, but not completely necessary.  Children have the innate ability to play, and it's in that play time that they learn endless skills such as problem solving, independence, confidence, and self-regulation.  Their play can soothe them and help them process their thoughts and feelings about everything they're experiencing during this global crisis.  They need to play.  Parents need a break.  No time like now to help your child happily entertain themselves.

As a play therapist, I'm trained to support a child's natural ability to process and heal.  I don't tell them how to do it, I notice what comes naturally to them, and I support them through it. I use this same approach to encourage independent play in my three young kids.

Here are some tips to get your kid playing happily...

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Toys for Babies!

My first son was 7 months old on his first Christmas. Of course we were excited to give him gifts, but let's be real, he mostly loved the crumpled wrapping paper and lights on the tree.  

We give gifts to babies as a way to connect with and love them, and that is exactly what they need-- connection and love.  

So here are my personal favorite toys for babies:

BOARD BOOKS

Reading to children not only helps with developing language and literacy, but also provides valuable nurturing benefits.  Holding a baby and reading to them not only calms YOUR central nervous system, but it helps the baby learn to calm their central nervous system through connecting with you.  (It also gives you plenty of chances to smell their sweet heads.) Hearing your voice and the changing cadence of your tone while reading soothes them and bonds them to you.  Also, reading and pointing out faces and emotions builds emotional intelligence and empathy as young children begin to...

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