Much More Than Things, It’s YOU Children Want ~ Playing With Simple Moments of Joy and Connection

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Much More Than Things, It’s YOU Children Want ~ Playing With Simple Moments of Joy and Connection

I had the fortune to wander through a forest-nestled playground with a group of young children a few weeks ago. It was the beginning of Autumn here in Vancouver. The leaves were turning golden yellow and burnt orange, falling large and small from soaring maples. The idea was to take the kids to one of the most imaginative outdoor playgrounds in the city. Full of colorful slides, swings, bongo drums, climbing apparatuses, bouncy and spinny things, the playground did not fail to delight their curious eyes, exploring hands and climbing feet. After a while I suggested we change things up. There was another playground about a 10-minute (or 30-minute for little legs) walk away. I thought it would be nice to stroll along the winding […]

We Stop Dogs From Play Fighting Because We Fear Our Own Wildness

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We Stop Dogs From Play Fighting Because We Fear Our Own Wildness

“You were wild once. Don’t let them tame you.” ~ Isadora Duncan I’ve written much on the importance of letting children, and ourselves, play. But what about animals, namely dogs? Today I was walking through forest trails with my friend and his dog, Koa. Like many canines, Koa is full of energy and bounces up and down in excitement when another dog approaches that he has a connection with. While walking amongst the tall cedar and pine trees on the gravel and dirt path, Koa came across a gorgeous white and brown Australian Shepard. Immediately, they leaped onto each other with pure joy, as if old dear friends. Never have I seen two dogs play for as long as they did without a break, which […]

Children Hear “No” a Lot! So How About Giving Them a “Yes Day”?!

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Children Hear “No” a Lot! So How About Giving Them a “Yes Day”?!

“The moment I decided to follow instead of lead, I discovered the joys of becoming part of a small child’s world.” ~ Janet Gonzalez-Mena   A friend of mine parents with a playful touch, and she does so, in part, by offering her kids a Yes Day! Read below and watch above for the details. This may inspire you to say No a little less and Yes a whole lot more! Here are the wise words of Juliette Woods: Today at our house was “Yes Day!” It’s a day once a year when I say Yes to everything my children ask for. (There are a few ground rules around legality, safety, cost, etc.) They get my full attention, there is always laughter and play, and extra snuggles; […]

Let a Child’s Heart Dream Us Into New Beginnings

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Let a Child’s Heart Dream Us Into New Beginnings

“Recent discoveries in neuroscience have proven that over 50 percent of the heart is comprised of neural cells. The heart is, in fact, a brain in its own right. Heart-centered perception can be exceptionally accurate and detailed in its information gathering capacities as indigenous and ancient peoples assert.” ~ Stephen Buhner, The Secret Teachings of Plants Can we agree that the brain must serve the heart, and not the other way around? Then would it not behoove us, children and the world, to follow the lead of little ones? For, they are still saturated in the wisdom of the heart, in the imagination, creativity, silliness, wonder, intuition, kindness, gentleness, compassion and love not found in the calculating, analytical mind, but in our mysterious beating center. […]

Children’s Play Becomes Work When You Get in the Way. Let Them Be.

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Children’s Play Becomes Work When You Get in the Way. Let Them Be.

“In today’s world there is such a focus on a child’s academic abilities that the social is becoming obsolete. I have seen children as young as 2 years of age who know their entire alphabet, the sound each letter makes and numbers up to 10. Parents are so proud of their child that they are “sooo smart”. However, the same child does not know how to play by himself—even for a few minutes—is constantly seeking approval from their parents, and has the highlight of their day being what they refer to as ‘lesson time’—which is an app on a tablet—because that is when they get to spend time with mom or dad.” ~ Early Childhood Educator  Play does not have a beginning and ending. It […]

The Wisdom and Power of Choosing Joy Simply for Joy’s Sake

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The Wisdom and Power of Choosing Joy Simply for Joy’s Sake

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.” ~ Robert Brault There is something to be said about doing what’s enjoyable simply for the sake of joy; about letting loose, being swept up in the moment, lost without a care, just as children are. I learned the unmistakable importance of this truth many years ago… the hard way. For over four years I was dead broke. I had a lofty vision in mind—to lead workshops publically, as well as build a life coaching practice. There was initial success after completing my professional training, but what little there was begun to sour, and slowly I spiraled downwards along an onerous path I could never have imagined. […]

The Right Brain Develops First ~ Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

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The Right Brain Develops First ~ Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

Photo credit: Thank you to Emek of Emek Studios Did you know that the right brain develops first? It does so by the time children are 3-4 years of age. The left brain, on the other hand, doesn’t fully come online until children are approximately seven years old; hence the first seven years being recognized as such a critical period in child development. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein The left brain’s functionality is one of language, numeracy, literacy, analysis and time. It is the logical, calculating, planning, busy-bee part of us that keeps us anchored in the pragmatic world, and in past and future. The right brain, on the other hand, is responsible for empathy, intuition, imagination and […]

Play with Wonder and Wander Forever ~ The Gift of the Right Brain

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Play with Wonder and Wander Forever ~ The Gift of the Right Brain

“If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.” ~ Andrew Harvey It’s a wonderful gift to allow children to play with wonder! But to the degree that we lean on the left hemisphere of the brain, we will love our “logical conclusions” more. There are no endings, however, in the realm of wonder. Only forever exists there. And tell me, what do children love more – endings or never-endings; conclusions or forever and ever more? There is wisdom in their desire, for while the left logical mind may perceive from the place […]

Inspiring Quotes to Ignite Imagination, Wonder and Laughter

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Inspiring Quotes to Ignite Imagination, Wonder and Laughter

If you need a quick read to bring a smile to your face, or are simply gathering information, I offer these inspiring quotes to bring you back to the child within—to that part of us who never forgot the importance of laughing for no particular reason, of imagining far beyond what the rational mind can comprehend, and of sitting in wonder at the miracle we wake to every day. If you want more inspiration, check out my Inspiring Quotes for Child Learning and Development, and Playful Quotes for the Child in your Heart. You may also want to watch this short, fun and inspiring video called Come Out and Play ~ Embracing Life’s Infinite Playground. Also… check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the […]

There’s No Such Thing as “Just” Being Silly

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There’s No Such Thing as “Just” Being Silly

“All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.” ~ Samuel Butler The other day I overheard a mother say to her son, “Oh, you’re just being silly, aren’t you?” He was goofing off and giggling in the most delightfully innocent and innocuous of ways. The mother’s tone was kind and intention heartfelt. But there was something stirring in her word “just” that struck me deep, an old shallow story that still saturates adult minds. That play is somehow frivolous is a belief still holding true for many. And yet ask any adult how hard play is for them. Ask them how easily they let themselves sing and dance spontaneously, how freely they dream, how fully they give themselves […]