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Parents’ Choice Awards: The “Helpers”

Parents' Choice Awards: The "Helpers"

In these topsy-turvy times, we all need to sing, and dance, and learn something new.
 
A BIG thank you to the Parents’ Choice Award winner “helpers” for providing these wonderful resources.

By Parents' Choice

Copy of Learn

Music:

Justin Roberts is performing a “live concert” on his Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/justinrobertsmusic4kids/ . And on his website, he has a page where he teaches kids how to make homemade musical instruments and other craft projects – https://bit.ly/3ddh5Bf
For Parents’ Choice review – https://bit.ly/3b78wGr

Bill Harley is doing free concerts for kids! For more details, go here billharley.com/miniconcerts 
He’s also released The Wash Your Hands song as a free download: https://bill-harley.myshopify.com/products/wash-your-hands 
For Parents’ Choice reviews – https://bit.ly/2xSSUIm and https://bit.ly/2xSMZmB

Mi Amigo Hamlet and Alina Celeste are performing daily free bilingual concerts together on their YouTube and Instagram channels!

Mi Amigo Hamlet – https://www.instagram.com/miamigohamlet/ and https://bit.ly/2w9Jo37

Alina Celeste – https://www.instagram.com/alinaceleste/ and https://bit.ly/3a6gY8L

For Parents’ Choice reviews of their music go here – https://bit.ly/2U3cn1y and https://bit.ly/3923f1v

Aaron Nigel Smith is launching a YouTube program later today called The Big Up Show. It’s a music based variety show that promotes peace. To watch, go here – https://bit.ly/3dg1Es3
For Parents’ Choice reviews – https://bit.ly/2vvYbVg

Laura Doherty Music is performing “live concerts” on her Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/lauradohertymusic/
For the Parents’ Choice review – https://bit.ly/39XkCBZ

Maria Rossoto is making lyric videos from the songs on her CD!She started with “The Rot Thing to Do”, which teaches about composting – https://www.reverbnation.com/artist/video/16412243 
For Parents’ Choice review –  https://bit.ly/2WtT5nE

Animal Farm are hosting Music Circle Time and other activities on our Facebook page every day – https://www.facebook.com/AnimalFarmMusic/
For Parents’ Choice review –  https://bit.ly/2U4EUnC

 

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ “

– Fred Rogers

Learning for All Ages:

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood offers advice about ways to stay healthy as well as helping young children navigate new things, including at the following links –  Germs, Germs Go Away Handwashing and A Germ Fighting Superhero videos; Draw Your Feelings activity page; Doctor Daniel  game; and article on How to Prepare Children for Unexpected Events.
For Parents’ Choice review –  https://bit.ly/2vzvyGV

Yellow Scope Science Kits website, they have lots of free and fun science experiments that can be done at home with everyday items! Go here to start experimenting – https://yellow-scope.com/blogs/news
For Parents’ Choice review – https://bit.ly/2U4UsaA

Ranger Rick Mags is giving free access to their website and digital magazines thru the end of June. Go here to access – https://bit.ly/3dfsu3K
For Parents’ Choice reviews – https://bit.ly/2TZLzz5https://bit.ly/2U1vqcyhttps://bit.ly/3b1figO

Bravery Mag presents Bravery School – a free 4-week daily curriculum delivered right to your inbox! Go here to access – https://bit.ly/3daUIwl
For the Parents’ Choice review of this Gold Award winner, go here- https://bit.ly/33nQcGg

Todo Math by Enuma is offering up a 14-day trial code! Go here to access – https://bit.ly/2x9vQVg
For the Parents’ Choice review go here – https://bit.ly/2TVm95G

KidLit TV has free read aloud videos and other resources for homeschooling –  https://kidlit.tv 
For Parents’ Choice review – https://bit.ly/2WtZ9MW

WURRLYedu. is offering schools free access to their music education program until July 1st.Go here for more information – https://www.wurrlyedu.com.
For Parents’ Choice review – https://bit.ly/2U4x9hp

Kodable is offering up free resources here: http://blog.kodable.com/covid-19-resources/ 
For Parents’ Choice review –  https://bit.ly/3a2tSEI 

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The Benefits of Free Play

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Parents’ Choice Foundation President, Claire Green fills us in on the latest prescription for play.

By Claire Green

Free play is just what it sounds like. There are no prepackaged instructions, no game pieces, no specific goals – unless the children make it so.

Free play flings imaginations wide open, explores backyards, unleashes enthusiasm, and tests life lessons.   

Free play is what childhood is all about.

The benefits of free play fills conversations and scholarly work. Dr. Stuart Brown, National Institute for Play founder, author and professor David Elkind, PhD are among those who have charted their courses based on play’s role in child development. Journalist Jessica Lahey reports on play in the Atlantic. Peter Gray writes about it in books and articles. And they all agree: free play helps children develop socially, physically and cognitively. A visit to the National Museum of Play shows that many a career has been mapped by play.

But what does free play mean to a parent? What should it mean? What should it do?

First to know is that free play is vitally important to your child’s development. Free play is how children learn to negotiate roles (you’re the boss, I’m the customer) and develop and follow rules (count to 10 then jump on one foot, then). Free play is about problem solving (that didn’t work; let’s try this), scientific discovery (where did you find that bug?) and creative expression (I’m flying on my magic dragon to the kingdom of …).   

Next, don’t panic. You don’t need a PhD to raise playful, well balanced and inquisitive kids. Kids are born ready to play – and learn. You do need to know that free play is a valuable commodity.

Free play isn’t expensive It’s less about being equipped with specific playthings than it is about the providing the time, space and encouragement. Free play is a great gift.

Give up control, not supervision. Just because free play isn’t a scheduled and scripted activity doesn’t mean that you should abandon parenting. Keep an eye and an ear tuned in. After all, Moms do have eyes in the backs of their heads and extraordinary powers of hearing. Just give the kids a chance to work things out. Don’t jump in to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

Free play is an enrichment activity. Ditch specific learning goals. Free play breeds all kinds of success. On the playground or the playroom floor, free play is child directed and that’s the best kind of learning.

And as many pediatricians say, play is powerful medicine.

So fill the prescription for free play – and call me in the morning.

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