3 Ways to Help Your Child Break Out of Their Shell

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Building Social Interaction Skills

It can be tough to see your child struggling to interact with others in social situations. There are two components that should be met before they are comfortable interacting with others — understanding social concepts and using those concepts.

It is easy for children to understand the meaning and importance of social concepts. But most children struggle with putting those concepts into action. There are exercises you can do with your child at home to help feel more comfortable in social situations. These include:

  1. Coaching social behaviours
  2. Role-play
  3. Positive reinforcement

Going through these 3 exercises will equip your child with the necessary skills for them to interact with their peers at childcare or at school!

Read here to find out how you can use those exercises to help your child.

What is STEAM Learning?

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STEAM holistic learning

STEAM learning is a holistic approach to educating young minds. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics. As technology advances, more and more jobs are becoming automated. People now view the arts and creativity as skills that are valuable.

Children are now encouraged to embrace their creativity and to think outside the box. This allows them to look at matters from different perspectives and think critically.

STEAM sets out to help your child develop skills that will increase their social competence. The model will:

1.       Expose them to creative process

2.       Offer meaningful collaborations

3.       Increase critical thinking

4.       Facilitate creative problem-serving

5.       Provide hands-on experience

These skills will help your child grow into the best versions of themselves and become well-rounded individuals.

Check out this blog post for more details.

What is Pretend Play and Why is it so Important?

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Benefits of Pretend Play

Pretend play is a great tool for young children to learn valuable life-skills while exploring their imagination. Both pretend and physical play work together to train and develop your child’s fine motor skills.

Pretend play has many benefits including:

  1. Enhanced language development
  2. Creativity
  3. Social skill development
  4. Planning and organisation
  5. Independence
  6. Social norms

You should encourage your child to engage in pretend play as it facilitates the development of skills required in every aspect of their life!

You can find out more about pretend play and its importance here.

How Physically Active should Your Child be?

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Physical Play

Regular physical activity is recommended for both adults and children to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This is especially important for young children between the age of 0 – 5, as the first 5 years are the most crucial for growth and development. Starting physical activity young can build a good habit that will follow them as they grow older.

The ACT Health Department recommends:

  1. Babies (1 year and under)

Babies should be actively engaged multiple times a day. Infants who are not yet mobile can play on their tummy for at least half an hour throughout the day.

  1. Toddlers (1 – 2 years)

Toddlers have high levels of energy that you might find challenging to keep up with. The health department recommends at least 3 hours of active play throughout the day.

  1. Pre-schoolers (3 – 5 years)

Pre-schoolers should have at least an hour of physical activity a day. It is recommended to start introducing aerobic and strength-building exercises during this stage.

Physical activity should be paired with sufficient good quality sleep. Your child needs adequate rest to repair their bodies and retain the skills they learned while engaging in physical activity.

Read the full blog post here.

Is our Dependence on Technology Impacting our Children?

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Technology and social interaction skills

Reliance on technology to entertain your child is increasingly common amongst new parents and young children today. It is easy to distract them using online child-centred entertainment, but over-dependence on technology can have lifelong impacts on your child.

A study conducted by members of The University of Arkansas found that ‘low tech’ children had better interpersonal skills than ‘high tech’ children. They had higher average instances of eye contact, body positioning, and hand movement.

It is crucial that children develop social and interaction skills in the first 5 years of their life, as this will affect any social bonds they make in the future.

Technology is not all bad as they do have their benefits, but there must be a healthy balance between digital and physical play.

Read the full blog post for more information here.