The What If Game

the what if game

When we observe that a child is having difficulties exhibiting appropriate behavior, the What If Game gives us a way to begin teaching thinking skills and different possibilities. For example: If we see a child who is pushing children out of the swings at outdoor time, we can gather a small group, (or you can […]


FREE WEBINAR: Helping Children Learn To Listen

helping children learn to listen

In my many years of working with young children, there is one question I hear frequently from parents and teachers: How do I get children to listen to me? When we are confronted with tantrums, defiant behavior, or worse, it’s difficult to know what to do. But these situations are usually avoidable, or at least […]


A Walk in the Leaves

walk in the leaves

I can’t help it. I love to go out in the fall and gather leaves. I enjoy looking at the reds, yellows, oranges and browns of deciduous leaves against the turquoise skies of a crisp autumn day. I savor peeling the paper off a broken crayon to make leaf rubbings that accentuate the veins, shape […]


Drawing With Children

teaching children drawing

Betty Edwards in her book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, explains that around age ten our logical “left-brain” style of thinking begins to dominate and overrides our creative “right-brain” type of thinking. Our left-brain thinking criticizes our work, and out of our mouth comes words like: That doesn’t look like a bird. You can’t draw […]


Helping Your Child Learn To Listen

steps to reading success

“You can’t help your child learn anything if you don’t teach them to listen and pay attention. That’s what you have to do first.” I overheard Tricia, a mother of three, as she visited with a father at a parent get-together. Afraid of breaking a child’s spirit, we are sometimes reluctant to “make” a child […]


Love Of Silence And Working Alone

learning to make choices

The nature of the young child following natural and normal development is one that loves silence and working alone. Until children enter into a different stage of development, around the time that they lose their first tooth, this love of silence and working alone remains. The desire to be out in the community and working […]


Children Love Quiet

Somehow between Madison Avenue and Hollywood, and all the places where kiddie culture is fed, we’re given the view that children are rowdy and eternally needing to be entertained. Picture a scene of children getting out from school. What do you imagine? More than likely it’s children shouting and running from the school building. Though […]


Increasing Your Child’s Active Working Memory

“Is there something wrong with Henry?” Dee inquired about her four-and-a-half-year-old son. “Henry can only accomplish one task at a time. When I ask him to brush his teeth and put on his pajamas, he can do one or the other, but not both.” Dee was describing Henry’s “active working memory.” Henry was having difficulty […]


The Happy Song

”I don’t feeeel good,” was the daily lament from one of my four-year-old students. Whatever ways we tried to distract Zoe and get her mind off her problems and into some fun learning, Zoe chose to sit and complain about vague physical aliments. Verifying with her parents that Zoe didn’t have any pathological reasons for […]


Giving Positive Directions: The Verb Game

A funny thing about the mind; it takes a while for our minds to figure out how to ”don’t.” ”Don’t hit your baby brother.” The young child doesn’t have the thinking skills or experience to consider what to do instead of hitting his baby brother, much less redirect the energy and anger to a positive […]