22 June 2017

Tips on Helping Clumsy Children

There are some children that by the time there are in kindergarten, it is extremely obvious that they will not be taking the field at Yankee Stadium or  playing tennis center court at Wimbledon. Children like these are described by child development specialists as having a difficult time with gross and fine motor skills. However, when on the playground they are simply called klutzes by their classmates.

As a child passes through elementary school and moves into adolescence, there are increasingly profound social and academic implications associated with being a klutz. Not only does it interfere with social relationships, oftentimes it also decreases the self-esteem of preadolescence, especially among boys. Additionally, nobody wants their child to be running into their shelves and knocking over their finest china, or taking a lump out of their large indoor water features through some form of carelessness.

Early education teachers and psychologists nowadays are paying a lot more attention to the academic and social issues that often go hand in hand with clumsiness. They are also developing strategies to help children like this to improve in aspects which, at first glance, may appear to be unrelated.

For example, children that have poor physical coordination could also have difficulty focusing their attention on the academic tasks at home- Basic concepts such as "under," "over," and "through," often are much more difficult for them to understand. Research has shown that children who are clumsy are at much greater risk of experiencing social problems as early as the first grade. A huge part of self-concepts that children have as well as how they perceive others are formed by motor skills. Children with coordination issues tend to not have very many friends who will play with them.

Physical skills are developed by children at different rates and times. Generally, if a child is a few weeks or a few months behind on mastering one or two basic coordination feats, for example being able to sit up, walk, or run, it is accompanied by long-term consequences. However, if there is a consistent and broader pattern of difficulties and delays, you should pay closer attention. Around 5% of children experience noticeable coordination problems, Oftentimes, these problems will not disappear on their own, Research has shown the 50% of children who experience these issues when around the age of five, will still have them when around the age of nine.

Most children in need of assistance with overcoming clumsiness are boys. It is uncertain whether this is due to them experiencing more coordination problems or because parents and teachers have much higher expectations for them.

There has been recent evidence that a majority of the children whose teachers and parents believe them to be uncoordinated, actually have underlying issues with their sense of balance. There are those who consciously have to work even at sitting up straight - things which by the time other children are toddler, they automatically do. If these children are placed in a classroom where they are required to sit in a chair as they write a report, most of their energy will be placed

It takes practice to improve a child's physical coordination. Even though most children will find physical activity to be fun, oftentimes those who are clumsy often view games and sports as yet another opportunity for rejection or failure. Here are a few things that can be done to help:

1. Play Active Games With Your Child

There are children whose parents do not chase them around and play catch with them when they're toddlers and pre-schoolers who by early elementary school, have a difficult time physically keeping up with their peers. Keep in mind that it is more important for your child to have fun and throw a ball around during their early years then for them to do well. If your child loves to laugh, then you are both doing a great a job. Here are some good games.

2. Work On Skills Where Balance is Required

When it comes to coordination, balance is fundamental. Pretend with your child as you walk on the sidewalk along a line or on a narrow board, that you are circus performers. Try ice-skating or roller skating. Once again, remember to place the focus on fun and not so much on technique.

3. Work on Fine as Well as Gross Motor Skills

These two do not always go together. Some children may be very good at performing delicate tasks with their fingers, such as threading beads or handwriting, yet when it comes to gross motor skills such as running or jumping, they are not very good.

4. Show Sympathy

If your child has trouble hitting a ball or has expressed that he is not good at sports, let him know you are aware of how upsetting this can be. If you do not give it importance or argue, your child will most likely not listen. The next best step would be to help your child understand that he is not a complete failure. Focus on activities that he is more successful in. For example, a child that expresses his lack of ability in baseball  may actually be very good at catching a ball However he may be so distracted with hitting issues, that this aspect of the sport is the only one he pays attentions to.

5. Enroll Your Child in an After School Sports Program

The downside here is that there are some of these programs which may cause and clumsy child to feel even worse. One sign of a program that is good for children is one which emphasizes personal accomplishments as opposed to simply winning.

There should be ample encouragement and on-on-one coaching. Also if the only thing offered by the program are team sports, you child could become even less self-confident and enthusiastic. Interviews those who are running the program. Watch a few sessions, and discuss with other parents who also have their children in the program. Keep in mind that it is far more interesting to children to better their skills as opposed to simply winning.

6. Provide an Environment that is Safe so Your Child Can Build Skills

One-on-one coaching, whether it is provided by you, a teacher, or a coach, or even an older child can help a child that feels awkward to catch up with his peers. As will some informal family games which allow you to only provide some discreet pointers, but also provide praise for progress. Expect to be tested by our child as to how you will react to failure, will you become upset and throw in the towel? Never overdo this practice. Usually, twenty minutes day will be more effective than let's say three hours a day.

7. Never Allow Your Child to Become Inactive

A child who feels incapable of keeping up with their peers or of performing well enough can respond in ways which will only worsen the problem. They could avoid any form of athletic games and then boom sedentary. You will possibly have to something your child will not like, such as unplug the television, to encourage your child to go out and play.

Disclosure:  This is a contributed post.

21 June 2017

Teaching Your Child To Garden

It can be rewarding for a gardener to share their hobby with their children. Even young children can enjoy learning how to plan their own gardens and then put in the plants. They will get a thrill out of watching their plants grow and then harvesting them when they are ready. Teaching a child to garden can create a lifelong love. When working with children and teaching them to garden, it helps to provide the right materials and tools, all in child sizes.

To get started, provide the children a child-sized cultivator, a child-sized trowel, a child-sized hoe and a child-sized rake.  Next, show your child the garden and help them claim a space as their own. Section it off so everyone knows it belongs to the children. There is no need for a special design, it just needs to be an area in the garden where the children can explore and experiment with planting their seeds.

Ask the children what they want to grow. If they're not sure, you can make recommendations. They'll certainly recognize certain vegetables and fruits such as cucumbers, carrots, beans, and tomatoes. If they are starting with seeds, try and stick to plants with larger seeds. These are easier for small hands. If they are using seedlings, they have a bigger choice in what they plant.

One fun idea is for the children to plant radishes. These plants sprout very quickly and are harvested shortly after planting. Other good plants for a child's garden are peppers and tomatoes. Herbs such as oregano and basil are also good choices.

Since most children love constructing forts to hide in, they might try planting climbing flowers and beans. They can build a teepee using twine and poles and even leave a door so they can sit under their own plants. Planting sunflowers in a circle or a square and then filling in with smaller flowers will create a type of room where your children can sit and read or enjoy the sunshine.

Water fountains for the garden space can be a wise addition as they can be used to provide children with an understanding of liquids, a place to play and also can be a beautiful focal point in the garden.

If your child loves scents and things that smell good, they could plant other culinary herbs that have nice scents. These include basil, mint, sage, and chives. They can also plant edible flowers which are pretty cool such as pansies, nasturtiums, calendulas, and violets.

One thing to be sure your child understands is that some plants can make them sick. These are toxic plants and are dangerous to both people and pets. Always teach your child to talk with you before they eat anything they don't recognize.

Working in the garden can be fun for both you and your child. Give them their own tools and a space to work and you'll both have a great time!

Disclosure:  This is a contributed post.

13 June 2017

4 Things to Consider When Buying Things for your Baby

Having a child is one of the most rewarding things in life for most people. Being able to bring a child into the world can allow you to have lots of pride. However, there are many things that must be done when it comes to caring for and raising your child. Regardless if you’re choosing a new crib, stroller or car seat for your baby, you will want to make get the most bang for your buck. Knowing some of the priorities you should consider before making these purchases can be ideal.


The last thing you will want is anything to happen to your child. It’s essential for you to do all you can to purchase items that have been approved by the health and safety committee.

Listed below are tips you should consider for safety:

1. Strings or ropes – You will want to choose products for your baby that doesn’t have loose strings to avoid dangerous situations. For instance, you kid could get tangled or choked by playing with products that have cords.

2. Sharp edges – One thing you will want to consider when buying any product for your child is the type of edges these may have. Stay away from cribs, strollers or toys that have sharp edges to help prevent injuries.


Having a child that sleeps through the night is important to help you get your rest. The chances of this happening may largely depend on the type of crib mattresses that you choose for your child.

Of course, there are some things you can do on your own that can help the mattress be more comfortable, and these are listed below:

1. Use a mattress cover – You can find a variety of mattress covers for this item at many of your local stores. Simply adding an extra cushiony top to this item can greatly increase the potential for your child to have a good night’s sleep.

2. Purchase pillows – Having the best headrest for your baby is important and the chances of your child getting a good night’s sleep will be much greater when you have the right pillows in place.


The growth of your baby will vary, and you may need to purchase baby clothes frequently. However, taking the time invest in high-quality baby clothes that will last as long as necessary is one thing you should try to do.

Other important and useful items, such as a crib or stroller, should last for a long time or at least until your baby is passed this stage. Prior to purchasing these things for your child, take the time to look at some past reviews online or get recommendations from friends or family members that may have used these in the past.

Another great idea is to obtain a warranty from the company where you made these purchases in the event you have any issues with these products.


If you’re on a budget like most people, you will want to shop around for the lowest costs. You can do this from the convenience of your home and look for the perfect things you will use daily when raising your child.

One item you may use more than most is a stroller for your baby. You may want to be sure this product has wheels that are easily maneuvered, brake locks and a place to store toys.

Costhelper states the average cost of a traditional stroller is as low as $50-$300. If you want to invest in a higher end one, you may be forced to pay closer to $700.

Taking time to do your research and understanding things you should look for when purchasing products for your baby can be helpful. Doing so can enable you to provide the best possible care for your child today!

Disclosure:  This is a contributed post.