5 Amazing, Eco-Healthy Toys that Belong Under Your Christmas Tree

This holiday season, I have a challenge for parents who are searching for the perfect Christmas present: skip the remote control car that breaks the first time it's used, and choose toys that stimulate problem-solving and creativity while meeting higher safety standards. High quality play stimulates children's development and good quality toys can enrich children's play in powerful ways. But choosing the perfect toy isn't easy. Not all toys are created equal. So, as an early childhood educator, I set out on a mission ... locate toys that engage children in high quality play, that are sturdy enough to withstand children's busy play, and that are made with non-toxic, sustainably sourced mate

Problem-Solving in Preschool

Does your child's preschool focus on problem-solving? It definately should! Ellen Galinsky has identified problem-solving as one of the seven critical habits of mind that prepare children for success in kindergarten and throughout life. The National Association for the Education of Young Children agrees: "Preschoolers who can solve their own problems feel confident and enjoy learning. They are willing to make mistakes and learn from them and keep trying until they succeed." (See NAEYC for Families: Helping Your Child Become a Great Problem Solver) Many families think about alphabet knowledge and counting when they think about school readiness, but rote skills in isolation don't prepare

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