Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Science of Hugging!

Hugging is merely an extension of a smile. Hugging releases the brain chemical of oxytocin. Oxytocin is needed in times of social bonding and during times of grief. The effects of a good hug are addictive. Now, look deep into the person's eyes that you are hugging and tell me what occurs?  I'm sure if there was a miscommunication, now it is forgotten. You brain is an amazing organ. Physical touch effects mood. Give a hug today!

Peace, love and hugs,

Monday, August 28, 2017

Developmental Psychology: Helping Children Use Their Creativity

Young children have fewer and fewer opportunities to submerge in total imagination. How come this is so? They have been distracted for a few decades now: Internet, video games, and television, to name a few. When I was a child, I can remember going outside and creating my own fun. Some children are very good at this concept today but it has become much less in the past twenty years. 

Research shows that if you help foster creativity at home and (fellow teachers in the classroom, too) you'll be surprised how children can literally learn the concept of creativity quickly. After all, children's brains are like sponges - they absorb everything! If you keep this concept in your mind, then Jean PiagetLev Vygotsky and Maria Montessori would be very proud and happy too! Their legacy in their famous theories lives are a few techniques one can use at home or in school with children to help foster more creativity. After all, that's what employers and college professors are looking for IN your children once they are in the real world of work: creativity and out of the box thinkers!

1. Start enforcing less TV/Video/Internet times now. Children under age 2 should not be watching more than 15-20 minutes at a time for these reasons, these reasons and sadly these reasons. Children over 2 years old should be limited to 1-2 hours per day of the combined TV/Video/Internet time. 

2. Give children down time. Free Play - inside or outside. It's imperative and Maria Montessori called it work. Children learn through play

3.  Go on your own field trips! Watch them from a safe distance, but watch. Playground, parks, museums (there are many "free" places to go around your town - it even gives parents a chance to get creative themselves in finding these places to go). Children are great at parallel play in the toddler years (playing along side one another) and are free to explore the world around them. Piaget's stage of preoperational thought is in the works here! 

4.  Avoid stepping in. Children learn to become better problem solvers when you avoid stepping in and interrupting their thought processes (Piaget, Montessori, Vygotsky). If they become bored in the process - let them be bored! It will help them learn to get inspired and create on their own! It's a part of innovative thinking.

5.  Be creative as a parent, teacher, nanny. Model what you would like to foster in your children.  Lobby for the arts in your preschools and schools. Use the parent-teacher associations to show the school boards this is what helps children use imaginative thinking, creative thinking. Help them discover what the arts are really all about. Like Art History, Natural Science? Where can you take children beyond the museums in your town? Get creative! Here is an example of what you might want to start up in your hometown, with your school board, or homeschooling group.

Happy Friday!
Prof. C

ATTENTION: My developmental classes: you'll need this article and its study links for your exams.  (you're welcome!) 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer break is over for this family!

My fav pic of my old hometown, Hollywood Beach, FL

We had a great time venturing to all parts of Orlando and South FL beaches this summer. How did you all spend time with your loved ones this year?

A side note:  I highly recommend Volcano Bay at Universal Studios, Florida! It's the new water park there and it's amazing! There is something for everyone, including toddlers! We made some great memories here with our Texas family that came to visit us. A good time was had by all.

What is on your agenda this week? Mine: I'm school shopping for last minute items and getting ready for school to start in a few days.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Who's Ready for Summer Break?

This mama! Welcome to my page! If this is your first time stopping by, I hope you enjoy my posts.

It's been a long, challenging year and sometimes I think the parents enjoy a break from the school year as much as the kids do! I know my kids are ready! How about yours? What will you do to get some rest, relaxation and rejuvenation this summer? I plan to work on some projects that I cannot fit in during the school year. I've created a partial new vision board (post on that soon!). I'm in the process of re-organizing my work places (I have a home office as well as a therapy office).

"Every Child is an Artist" - Pabalo Picasso 
What do you think of this new art wall for my therapy office? I work mostly with children and their families and the mediums I use with children are art and play therapy. I wanted the children to be able to display their creative work in my therapy office.

I also plan on having some down time and visiting the beach a few times this year. Last summer I made one trip there and quite frankly, that was not enough! Here's to spending more time in the places I find comfort in: the beach and rivers of my home Florida. Here are a few places I recommend! I have not been to south FL beaches in several years but I plan on stopping at my old home town of Hollywood/Pembroke Pines. It's been at least 18 years since I went to Hollywood Beach! This should be a fun memory for my son.

Ichetucknee River in Fort White, FL
A fun place to go tubing!
Jacksonville/St. Augustine Beaches, FL 
Clearwater Beach, FL
My new favorite beach location in FL!
Hollywood Beach, FL
I hope you enjoy whatever fun or family time you can this summer!
Choose joy and gratitude always.