Friday, February 15, 2008

Let's do nothing

In our busy lives, it's vital to find time to simply do nothing. This down time is physically necessary for your child's brain to process the learning that occurs during structured activities and interactions. Plus, helping your baby learn to relax will serve him well as he encounters the inevitable stresses of the world.

What do you do? For BABIES, bring your baby into your lap and simply enjoy the time together. If they are fussy, rub their belly in a heart-shaped motion, or gently squeeze their arms and legs in a 'milking' motion, like we do in Village class.

For TODDLERS, turn down the lights and play soft music. Allow your toddler to simply wander if he's not ready to sit still. He'll learn to relax by watching you. (What have you seen in Our Time class in a few weeks' time, but a roomful of restful adults and toddlers cuddling in their adult's laps or lying still on the floor during "Special Time"?). It's a learned behavior, so keep trying!

For PRESCHOOLERS, the urge to stay awake and learn is strong in preschoolers, and they often need help calming down. Play quiet games: Who can whisper the softest? Can you float like a feather? Or a cloud? Listen to soft, soothing music and then lay on the floor and do....blissfully, quietly, absolutely nothing.

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