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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

3 Ways Puzzles Can Benefit Childhood Development

Personalized Puzzles
It has been long known that puzzles can provide a wealth of benefits for children in their early development. Puzzles range in style and difficulty depending on a child’s age, and even some of the most popular toys for infants happens to be a form of a puzzle – think of simple shape puzzles where children place the correct shape into their corresponding cutouts. As children get older, they are able to complete and understand more complex puzzles, and these objects are more than just fun, they can also be integral to helping develop several areas of a child’s intelligence and understanding.

There are three main skills that puzzles can help bolster in young children: physical skills, cognitive skills and emotional skills. These skills act as fundamental building blocks when it comes to a child's development, and they can also help encourage social skills if children complete puzzles with parents or friends.

Physical Skills
The physical aspect of puzzle solving involves picking up the pieces and moving them around in order to make sure that they fit. This helps develop special reasoning and understanding in children, and can even help with hand-eye coordination as well. Moving the pieces helps with fine motor skills as well as gross motor skills, though this typically depends on the type of puzzle and the level of difficulty, but both aspects are vital.

Cognitive Skills
Kids Puzzles
These skills are activated as your child uses logic and reasoning to figure out how a piece fits into the puzzle at large and which way each piece will need to be placed in order to fit with the other pieces. It helps kids understand the physical world around them, especially since they are actually manipulating pieces to fit in a certain way. Understanding what the end result of the puzzle is, in order to determine how each little fragment fits in, is essential to problem-solving as well. Shape recognition is a great skill as well, though it may be more emphasized in puzzles for younger children.

Emotional Skills
You may be wondering how a puzzle could possibly help to develop emotional skills, but the fact that puzzles are an activity with an end goal helps encourage patience and goal-setting in general. The main goal is to finish the puzzle, but the task of finding out how each piece fits together provides additional smaller goals as well, offering smaller bursts of satisfaction and achievement along the way. Knowing that each piece placed in the puzzle is a success, kids learn to understand the benefits of patience – even if the puzzle will take work to complete, they will feel a sense of satisfaction after taking the time to figure out the problem and complete the puzzle.

KD Novelties offers personalized puzzles that can help encourage children to engage their problem-solving skills. Personalized with their name, children will be interested in the end result.  Solving the puzzle and spelling their name will provide hours of learning fun, boost confidence, and enhance letter recognition.

Like books, learning to love puzzles can help open children up to other beneficial problem-solving games. Puzzles come in many shapes and sizes whether it is a math problem, a Rubik’s Cube, an intricate Lego set, or even a riddle. Puzzles can be both physical and not, but there are plenty of developmental benefits to introducing kids to puzzles early on.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Reading Nooks For Kids

For book lovers, reading is a special activity that can instantly transport you to other worlds and open your imagination to new ideas. If you ask any avid reader about where they like to do their reading or when, they will likely have a few favorite places on their list or specific times of day that they devote to reading. Implementing these sorts of ideas can really help get kids into reading, too. For the most part, many parents make special time for reading, which usually ends up being just before bed. As commonplace as this practice is, it can really help parents spend quality time with their children before drifting off to sleep where dreams can then work their magic. But if you want to help make reading extra special for your kids, then why not take it a step further?

When it comes to favorite places to read, many people have a favorite chair or even a reading nook. Curating a special reading space for children can help make the exploration of a story that much more exciting. Making a quiet, designated space for reading can help entice reluctant readers by making the act of reading more of an activity that sparks their imagination. Creating a space where kids can explore stories can be quite easy, too, so whether your child already loves reading or if you are looking for new ways to help a reluctant reader give books a better try, then you can get started creating a cozy reading nook in your home.
Reading nooks can be anywhere, but it is preferable that they be in a relatively quiet part of the house. If you do not have any designated spaces, you can easily make one!

Reading Room
If you have a nursery or a play area, you can easily convert a corner to accommodate books and other accessories that will make your reading experience all the more cozy and focused. Even though there are other toys and things around, making a space where your child can feel like it is really their own can help. If you don’t have a play room, you can find an unused corner of the living room, a bedroom, or an office that you can turn into a cozy reading space. Designate a small section and set up some bookshelves to show that the area is dedicated to this activity.

Makeshift Spaces
If you don’t have a separate room to devote to reading or other activities, you can improvise! A toy house or tent can be set up anywhere and it can instantly be transformed into a cozy and intimate locale where kids can dive into a new book with some privacy.

Blanket Forts
If you want to read together, you can set up a bigger tent outdoors or even make a blanket fort – because what child doesn’t absolutely love a blanket fort? Setting up a tent or a fort can be a fun memory-making activity in and of itself, and you can settle down with a fun book afterward as a reward for your efforts.

Fairy Lights
No matter where you end up setting up your child’s reading space, adding some string lights, lanterns, and other similar sorts of decorations can easily make any space look and feel magical. The lights you string up can act as both an element of ambiance as well as a means to make sure that your child can see the pages of their books clearly, too!

Make it Cozy
Add some fun, mismatched throw pillows and some favorite stuffed toys to the mix and kids are sure to want to hunker down and dive into a book or two. Pillows can make any space inviting and comfortable, but by adding some fun and color these pillows can also make the space feel more special and fun too.

Lastly make sure to add personalized kids books to their reading nook to make it extra special for

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Tantrums: How to Prevent Them & How to Handle Them

How to Prevent and Handle Tantrums
Perhaps one of the most difficult things to handle as a parent is a child’s emotional and behavioral outbursts. They can be incredibly embarrassing when out in public and they can be downright frustrating even when they occur away from prying eyes. It is hard to discern what exactly causes tantrums as they can often be a result of a mixture of things. Since small children are limited in many ways, such as language and communication, they may not be able to properly voice how they feel and why they feel that way, or be able to tell you what they need or what they need to say. This can be incredibly challenging for children to handle, especially when there are other factors that may be at work as well. Each child is different, so there really is no “one size fits all” tantrum solution, but if you do what you can to meet your child’s needs, even if they are not or cannot fully express these needs, you may be able to lessen the likelihood of a tantrum occurring.

Cover the Basics
Do you ever find that you are particularly grumpy when you are hungry/thirsty/sleepy/uncomfortable? The same goes for children. Small children may not yet be able to identify these urges and feelings at their age and may not readily communicate when they need a snack, let alone a nap. Making sure that you have backup snacks and water can help the chances of a tantrum, especially since hunger can be a trigger for a tantrum in the first place.

Give them a Heads Up
When it’s time for playtime to end or if it’s approaching bed time, give your kids a 5 minute warning of the change so that it will not come as a surprise. Kids don’t like to see good things come to an end, especially if that good thing happens to be fun. Telling your child that play time is over, or it is time for bed may trigger an outburst if it is too sudden.  If its bedtime, then their tiredness may make them more agitated and more likely to act out. If you give them time to think about switching gears and wind down, this is less likely to happen.

Stick to a Routine
Change can be difficult for small children to adjust to, so sticking to a family routine can help kids transition from one activity to another. If they are used to a certain way of doing things, announcing bed time or bath time may not be as big of a hassle. It does help to have some flexibility, too, however, since some kids may also react negatively if there happens to be a significant schedule change.

Use Feeling Words to Help Them Out
When a child begins to express discontent, help them find the words that they need in order to express their feelings. Some kids begin to throw tantrums because they cannot properly communicate how they feel or why they feel that way. Sitting down quietly and listening to your child can help far more than simply telling them to stop behaving badly or to be still or quiet. It can also help kids find the right words to express their thoughts and feelings in the future so they feel less confused and frustrated.

Pay Attention to the Attention You Give Them
Some children act out in order to get their parent’s attention. Sometimes this is due to a problem that they may be having in other parts of their lives such as school or with friends, but sometimes tantrums come out of the simple desire to get their parents’ attention – and it may not always be in the most productive way, either. Since kids are still learning how to interact with others and how to use words and language to express their inner feelings and emotions, causing a fuss may seem like the most logical solution to them at the time. But if you pay attention to how much time you are spending with your kids, then you may find that an adjustment may need to be made. Quality family time can also help teach kids how to form meaningful and friendly bonds with others.

Limit Their Choices
When it comes to what they want for lunch or what they want to wear, giving a child too many choices may actually only end up hurting rather than helping. Since kids are still learning how to rationalize, having too many options can easily overwhelm them. Give your kids a choice of two or three things so that they are still able to make choices but in a way that might be easier for them to handle.

Redirect Their Attention
Sometimes, parents can see a tantrum coming on and in some situations the best thing may be to distract your child and help them switch gears. If you see that they are becoming overstimulated, then diverting their attention to something else can help calm them down and give them something different to occupy their time with.

For more reading resources and tips subscribe to our blog and to get your kids to read more and love it, visit us at www.KDNovelties.com


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