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Social and Emotional

"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted."Aesop

As children grow older they begin to encounter more complex social situations. Though we try as parents and teachers to “protect” them from difficult scenarios, it’s important that they learn to make positive decisions on their own, and to articulate their ideas, thoughts, and feelings clearly and respectfully. We’ve found that children truly appreciate and respond positively to explicit teaching of social skills. At Playful Learning, we design thoughtful programs based on the unique needs of children and their families. We love working with siblings!

Mindful Gifts for Children

Teach children how to practice mindfulness and learn how to manage their feelings and emotions. Below are our favorite tools to help tune in to the s...MORE

Gifts for Dramatic Play

Children who engage in pretend play are learning how to navigate social-emotional issues and figuring out new ways to communicate and express the...MORE

Back to School: Fostering Social & Emotional Development

Connection is an important part of childhood, and adults play a crucial role in nurturing a child’s social and emotional development. As childr...MORE

Back to School: Teaching Healthy Habits

It’s more important than ever to explicitly teach children healthy habits so that they have the tools needed to stay vibrant and strong. We sug...MORE

Back to School: Preparing for the Transition

Transitioning back to school, after months of togetherness and being at home, can be both an exciting and anxious time for children and their grown u...MORE

Teaching Children Kindness

Description If I could choose two phrases that would be introduced into every household and school across the land, it would be “put-ups” and “...MORE

Glass Half Full: The Power of Positive Thinking

One of the most powerful lessons that we can teach our children is that they have the power to control their thoughts. Cognitive science has confirme...MORE

Beyond Memorization: Making Learning Memorable

In today’s education system there seems to be more and more of a push towards the memorization of facts, formulas, and procedures. While this c...MORE

Raising Confident Women with Joyce T. McFadden

With two growing daughters, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how to raise them to be confident, strong, smart, kind,  and comfortable i...MORE

Me: In Poetry, Song, and Art

When I was a classroom teacher, one of the most relaxing, yet beneficial professional development opportunities I attended was a “Picture Book Read...MORE

Nurturing a Sense of Wonder

Caterpillars turning into butterflies, bean seeds sprouting and growing into nourishing food, the constant, yet ever changing phases of the moon, the...MORE

Are We Imposing a Glass Ceiling on Our Children?

As a society, we tend to underestimate the potential of children. As educators, we are trained to adhere to developmental models, and as parents, we...MORE

Resources for Teaching Kindness

Kindness. It’s truly one of the simplest ways to connect with one another. It can be exchanged through a smile, a wave, a handwritten note, or a hu...MORE

Secret Kindness Pals

February is an ideal month to start a new trend in your home or classroom… Secret kindness pals create excitement and add warmth through kindne...MORE

Power of the Pickle: The Food Mood Connection

We are happily preparing for the start of our Food for Thought family workshop! I thought it’d be fun to share one of my most helpful parenting...MORE

10 Tips for Moving with Young Children

Moving is hard work. Add a young child or two and it can be a very daunting task. Here are a few tips I found helpful before, during and after the mov...MORE

Lessons From the 100 Acre Wood

0ne / two I just recently finished reading A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner to a class of second and third graders. I am e...MORE

Mindful Gifts for Children

As the girls get older and confront many new situations, I am finding that one of the most important things I can teach them, is how to find a sense...MORE

Mindful Holidays: The Gift of Time

“We are always getting ready to live but never living.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson On a cloudy afternoon recently, I had an experience that end...MORE

Raising Compassionate Kids

Raising a compassionate child begins at home. Learning compassion is no different from learning other social skills; children learn to be compassiona...MORE

Raising Natural + Confident Girls: Self (Esteem) Portraits

As my daughter prepared to begin middle school this fall, I knew that she would face moments of uncertainty in which her confidence and self image wou...MORE

Mind[set]fulness: The Importance of Practice + Perseverance

Growing up, I would watch my dad render, completely by hand, his architectural designs. I remember a conversation about these that started with me as...MORE

Free Play: How to Relax and Let it Happen

I had read many articles and books about the decline of play in society.   I had been at faculty meetings at which we discussed the difficulty of f...MORE

How to Talk to Your Children About Their Day

“What did you do in school today?” “Nothing.” “How was your day?” “Fine.” It can be a challenge to get many children to say more abou...MORE

Praising Children: Evaluative vs. Descriptive

“Good job!” “What a wonderful story!” “Your painting is beautiful!” Sound familiar? If you are like me, you have used these words to enco...MORE

Raising Confident + Natural Girls: 10 Ways to Cultivate Confidence

I think we all want to raise confident girls who can successfully navigate their way though life. While my girls are still fairly young, I’ve co...MORE

The Importance of Real Work for Children

Emma from 95 Acres of Sky is with us to share some valuable insights into engaging children in the real work of our daily lives. It all start...MORE

5 Things You Can Learn From Your Child

Nuria from the The Adventures Archive is here today to share some insightful inspiration to all of the grown-ups of the world… 1. Let it go: If...MORE

How to Kill Your Child’s Creativity

Kids are born creative geniuses. But unfortunately, by the time they reach the third or fourth grade, their creativity has sunk. With intelligence, t...MORE

Growing Your Child’s Creativity With Constructive Criticism

Nuria from the The Adventures Archive is here today to share some great advice on giving our children honest and useful feedback. By now we all know...MORE

How to Raise Inquisitive Children

Nuria from the The Adventures Archive is here today to share useful tips for raising inquisitive children… Children are natural born explorers....MORE

The Gift of Failure: The Importance of Letting Children Make Mistakes

I am well-versed in all of the sound bites… It’s okay to make mistakes, learn from your mistakes, mistakes welcome here! I have them all...MORE

Prop Boxes: Creating Imaginative Play Spaces

Joey from Made by Joey is with us today to share a dose of inspiration for nurturing dramatic play with the children in our lives… What are pro...MORE

Our Gratitude Tree

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusio...MORE

Children as Philosophers: Exploring Loving and Giving

Monique of Green Acorns is with us today to share some thoughtful tips on helping our children to ponder life’s big questions. As we approach t...MORE

Peaceable Home: 8 Stories for the Heart

Today Emma from 95 Acres of Sky is with us to share a lovely list of children’s books that we can turn to when we need to explore some of life&...MORE

The Peacable Home: Cooperative Games

Emma from 95 Acres of Sky is with us today with a great list of cooperative games… Being that today is cloudy and rainy in these parts, I think...MORE

Collaborative Art: Making a Masterpiece Together

My favorite thing about art is how it transcends the normal lines that divide us. You don’t have to have incredible technique to create somethi...MORE

Friendship Booklist (Part 1)

Friendship is something so important for little ones to be able to foster, nourish and develop. During the beginning stages of development, little ch...MORE

Stress Management for Children: And Breathe…

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the earth shattering silence that comes when a child draws in a hugely deep breath in order to emit the kind of s...MORE

Daily Affirmations for Kids

Our daughters are at the age where they begin to tune in closely to the thoughts and opinions of their friends. During this process they have started...MORE

Small Acts: Love Letters to Your Children

We can all look back on a time in our lives when an encouraging note or “love letter” had a huge impact on us. Letters are a great way to...MORE

All the Colors We Are: Self-Portraits

One of our favorite books is All the Colors We Are: The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color by Katie Kissinger. It explains, in very simple terms, h...MORE