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Enabling Open Ended Play

Enabling Open Ended Play

I’m sure you’ve heard of open ended play before. Or if you haven’t, you might have heard of free play or unstructured play. These are essentially similar in terms of objectives, intent and benefits that they bring to young children.

Before I go on and on about how important open ended play is for young children, let’s first talk about close ended play. Yes, close ended play! We seldom talked about close ended play, but in essence it is actually as important as open ended play.

Close ended activities are activities which have clear and specific directions or instructions of how they should be carried out. They have an end result or a specific objective to achieve. What are some examples of close ended activities? Puzzles, board games, science experiments, activity worksheets etc.

Are close ended activities important?!

Yes!!! A big resounding YES! They are important in instilling focus and discipline in your children, they help to build attention in your children and teach them how to have the end in mind.

But why all these hype about open ended play if close ended play is equally important?

Respectful Parenting from Age Zero

Respectful Parenting from Age Zero

What exactly is respectful parenting, or otherwise known as positive parenting? Some parents think that it's parenting without spanking, but positive parenting goes much deeper than that. I would say it's a philosophy, a lifestyle, a parenting technique all rolled into one. There are several definitions of positive parenting on the web, but this got to be my favorite - "Positive parenting is focused on developing a strong, deeply committed relationship between parent and child based on communication and mutual respect. Positive Parenting focuses on teaching children not just what but also why."

We have been a respectful parenting household for 3 years now (we started on this journey when T was 1.5 years old), and it was truly a game-changer for us. Prior to respectful parenting, I was pretty lost as a parent. I knew nothing about parenting techniques, I didn't know what parenting style we should adopt, I didn't know what would work for us as a family and what would not.

8 Fun Activities to Introduce Chinese New Year!

8 Fun Activities to Introduce Chinese New Year!

Growing up in Singapore, in a traditional Chinese family, Chinese New Year has always been a huge thing for my family and relatives. My house would be decked in Chinese New Year decor. My parents would buy plants way before Chinese New Year just so they can blossom in time and my dad would tie little red ribbons around the flowers. We would shop for Chinese New Year goodies, hopping from one Chinese New Year fair to another, sampling the different kinds of goodies and eventually lugging back bags of them. When Chinese New Year rolls around, we would all be in our new clothes going visiting from house to house, and of course receiving red packets from our relatives. It was truly great fun and made up a huge part of my childhood.

I wanted the same for my children. But more importantly, in the midst of it all, I want them to always remember their Chinese roots, to be aware of the different kinds of Chinese traditions, and to be proud of their culture and heritage. In a country like Singapore where we have huge Western influence (tv shows, books etc), and where the majority of the younger generations converse mainly in English, it becomes even more important and essential to ingrain these in the children from young. And what better way to do these than through fun activities during the Chinese New Year season!

Here are 8 fun activities for you to carry out with your kids!