Imaginary friends are common inventions from children who seek additional interaction beyond their families and classmates. Though you may be inclined to think imaginary friends are detrimental to social abilities or general wellbeing, regularly engaging with imaginary friends can be beneficial to a child’s development.
From your perspective, your child might have fixated on a certain stuffed toy or has simply made acquaintance with the empty air beside them. From your child’s perspective, on the other hand, an imaginary friend could take on any shape or form. Ask your child what his or her imaginary friend looks like if you’re curious.
Most kids with imaginary friends are either firstborn or only children, but any kid can think up an imaginary friend. This doesn’t mean that they’re lonely or feeling isolated, though this can sometimes be the case. Making an imaginary friend could be a sign of early creativity. In fact, children can create characters in their mind from the time they are infants.
There’s nothing wrong with your child having an imaginary friend. It can actually benefit them in their growth and development. The following are a few traits your child can develop from interacting with their imaginary friends.
Engaging with an imaginary friend gives child plenty of practice with casual conversation. Although imaginary friends can’t seem to talk back, in your child’s head, they might be quite the conversationalists. Regularly engaging in verbal conversation, even with an imaginary partner, can facilitate natural linguistic and social development.
Even with real friends, a child can benefit from having an imaginary friend who is accessible at all times. When experiencing changes like family restructuring, changing schools, or simply growing up, having a friend to help ease that transition can alleviate some of the stress and better prepare children to deal with future changes on their own.
Thinking of an imaginary friend requires some level of creativity. Encouraging the development of a child’s imagination can help foster strong creative skills which will aid in problem-solving, artistic pursuits, and essential skills like reading and speaking.
There may be moments when you feel that a child is too old for an imaginary friend or that they should focus on making tangible friendships, but if you understand the benefits of having imaginary friends when it comes to childhood development, you can more easily support and encourage a child’s imaginary creation and interaction.
Physical activity is important for everyone, but it’s especially important that children get enough variety of exercises. Particularly, activities that build endurance, improve flexibility, and enhance strength are vital to young, developing bodies. It’s not enough to make sure your kids are active; it’s equally important to ensure they’re engaging in a variety of activities that challenge different muscle groups.
These activities are more commonly pursued by children because a broad range of activities fall into this category. Aerobic activities such as skateboarding, swimming, dancing, and martial arts fall into this category. Hiking, running, skiing, and sports like football or tennis also build endurance. These activities are important because they force your child to use a wider range of muscle groups. Since these physical activities increase the heart rate and cause breathing to quicken, they help with the development of the heart and lungs.
In this category, look for activities that will force your children to reach, bend, and stretch. A few ideas include gymnastics, dancing, rock climbing, and yoga. Improving flexibility builds strength in the muscles and joints. Children who regularly engage in these activities often have better posture and a lower risk of serious injuries. These types of activities also help children feel more relaxed since their muscles and joints won’t stiffen as much. If your child is feeling muscular discomfort or stiffness, they may not be engaging in enough of these types of activities.
Resistance training is vital for the development of muscles. Stronger muscles will help your children cope better with strenuous activities without feeling the strain in their muscles. To help your children build up their strength, try to interest them in activities such as doing push-ups and sit-ups. Climbing ladders and poles can also help build muscle. Supervised weight training, which may be offered in classes at local fitness centers, can also help your child build and strengthen muscle. Incorporating strength training activities into play by visiting a playground could also help aid in the development of muscular strength.
You should also take the time to teach your children to engage in these activities safely. Instructing them on using the right protective equipment and the importance of staying hydrated will help keep them safe. While getting a variety of physical activity is essential, you also want to ensure your children are playing safe and avoiding injuries.
Making the transition to school is a significant step in any child’s life. Though all children must start school eventually, how does a parent make sure their child is ready?
Part of determining whether a child is ready to start school is assessing their “school readiness.” School readiness helps parents measure their child’s current skills, behavior, and knowledge against the level that will be expected of them once they begin school. Since success at school is dependent on a variety of factors, parents must look beyond their child’s ability to read and write to assess whether or not they will do well in school.
Children need to have highly developed emotional and social skills, in addition to their academic skills, in order to enroll in school. When students are developmentally ready, they will always perform better in school, as well as enjoy the new experience more.
Parents can identify their child’s ‘school readiness’ by paying attention to the following things:
Parents should pay attention to their child’s social skills. By monitoring how their child gets along with others, demonstrates manners, asserts themselves, and works independently, parents will have a good idea of whether or not their child is ready for the social environment of school.
Children demonstrate their emotional maturity by showing how well they manage their emotions, focus on tasks, cope with stress, understand rules, and follow instructions from teachers.
In school, children are expected to exercise cognitive skills when learning math, performing critical thinking, and taking turns with others. Watching for signs that your child is capable of solving problems and asking questions can be an indicator that they are ready to advance.
Fine motor skills are essential for success in school. Activities like picking up pencils, reading books, and basic exercise are all part of the day-to-day life in the classroom. Watch for how your child navigates a physical space, interacts with objects, and moves to gauge their motor skills.
Children that are too dependent on adults won’t do well in school. It is important that children are independent. They must know how to dress themselves, go to the bathroom, eat their food, and take responsibility for their belongings.
School readiness is something parents should work to teach their children well before it’s time to start school. All of the skills necessary for success in school can be learned through playing with others, practicing drawing and reading exercises, playing dress up, engaging in conversation with parents, and performing any similar activity that helps children refine their skills.
While every child develops differently, parents should keep these traits in mind when working to prepare their children for the next school year.
About Little Seeds of Carroll Gardens
Little Seeds of Carroll Gardens is a childcare center focused on providing individualized enrichment and education to every child that comes through their doors. The center is leading the way for child growth and development with their innovative and engaging methods such as play-based learning programs and field trips. Little Seeds not only provides a safe and affordable place for children but fosters a love of learning that will continue for the rest of their lives.
With a philosophy that cultivates mutual respect, exploration, creativity and a genuine love for their work, Little Seeds of Carroll Gardens has become the gold standard for childcare in their community. The center is open year-round and caters to children aged three months to five years. Parents can rest assured their children are receiving top-notch care and education with the many programs offered. Not only do the programs teach children the basics of Math, Science, Music, Art, Computer Skills, and Movement, but Little Seeds takes them a step further. The highly educated instructors transform each lesson into not only a challenge but a way to make learning each subject exciting and enjoyable.
Little Seeds of Carroll Gardens believes in teaching children about their local culture and history in addition to their traditional subjects. The students are often taken on field trips to local museums such as the New York Aquarium, The Museum of Natural History, and other engaging resources New York City has to offer. By doing this, the children are taught how to be citizens of their community and have a greater appreciation for the world in which they are growing up.
Learning through play is a highly effective method in which children can learn to make sense of the world around them while simultaneously developing social and cognitive skills to ensure they grow not only mentally, but socially and emotionally as well. Play-based learning programs have been shown to increase self-confidence and social skills as well as fostering a sense of fulfillment after completing physical and mental challenges. Students often don’t realize they are learning essential skills that will ensure lifelong success because they are enjoying themselves so much. Little Seeds of Carroll Gardens has incorporated this innovation into each of their classes with tremendous success.
Little Seeds of Carroll Gardens is a childcare center with immense heart and an exceptional portfolio of programs offered. Each child receives personalized care and learns the skills needed to excel in and outside of the classroom. Little Seeds provides programs that are engaging and encourage children to explore the world as they see it and to learn by doing while having fun. There is no other place quite like Little Seeds in New York City where children are excited to come each day to learn and interact with the world around them.
- We encourage not just learning, but also the love of learning.
- We believe in providing a physical environment that is safe, clean, healthy, and oriented to children.
- Activity areas allow children the opportunity to explore, to experience, and most importantly, to succeed.