playful parenting

The Wisdom of Mary Poppins

The Disney film, Mary Poppins was a firm favourite when I was growing up. A story to capture imagination and songs that are not easily forgotten. I’m eagerly anticipating the release of the new Mary Poppins film at the end of the year. Watching it as an adult with your own children, you can uncover the wisdom in Mary Poppins’ approach. It’s the words from ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ that strike the cord for me. This has to be the number one tip for engaging children. Play Connects Us Children are wonderfully hedonistic in nature. They are motivated to do things that they enjoy and they find fun. Through play they learn and grow. As Lawrence Cohen, the author of ‘Playful Parenting’ states, “Play is children’s main way of communicating, of experimenting, and of learning”. This means that one of the best ways to engage a child is through play.…

The Magic in the Lamp

One of my pleasures in life is exploring unusual shops and markets: antiques, bric-a-brac, dusty books, shiny objects and other curio all fascinate me and I could spend hours looking for unusual objects and bargains. Not that I ever do. My husband and children can’t think of anything worse so a brief glance is usually all I can manage. I was in heaven in the Colaba Causeway Market on our trip to South Mumbai recently. Sounds, smells and overcrowding assaults the senses; shiny objects glisten tantalisingly and the stall holders are on a mission to sell you something at all costs. At a little antique stall, one item did catch my eye. A small, metal lamp. The sort you could expect a genie to emerge from….with some imagination! I snapped it up, memories surfacing about a concept I’ve read about numerous times about the power of a magic lamp in…

Climb a Tree with Me

As a parent, we celebrate our children’s first gross motor milestones. The first time they roll over, the first time they crawl, those precious first steps. But then the baby book runs out of pages.Our children become stable on their feet and we are more likely to complain about their new physical feats. Climbing out of the cot, scaling the bookcase, or in my house, escaping out of the ground floor window! We probably should be celebrating these achievements. Maybe not encouraging a fast route to injury or applauding an escape attempt but appreciating a commitment to physical self-development that most adults would envy. Toddlers and young children constantly challenge themselves. They push their bodies to the limit, fall down, get back up and find new ways to get where they want to be. Their resilience and tenacity is impressive but as they get older and master the skills, they…

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