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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.

Traveling with Young Children - the ‘WHY’ and the ‘HOW’

Traveling with Young Children - the ‘WHY’ and the ‘HOW’

(SPOILER ALERT!) There’s a travel journal template for kids which you can download for free! The link is provided at the end of this blog post.

Before I became a mom, traveling was my biggest passion. My Husband and I were avid travelers, we had visited 42 countries thus far, and it is a report card that we proudly hold close to our hearts.

Now that we are parents to two, we obviously couldn’t travel as often as we did in the past, but that doesn’t mean we have stopped our travels. We just had to modify how we travel to accommodate our young kids!

Travis on his first trip to Perth at 1 year old.

We brought Travis on his first trip when he turned one year old. And being our first trip with our firstborn, it was one of the most memorable trips we’ve ever had.

It is, at times, frustrating to hear parents say that their kids are too young to travel. In truth, no perfect age exists to start traveling with kids, so why not start now?! Starting while they’re young gets them accustomed to how traveling is and helps them develop a deeper appreciation for the world around them outside of this little red dot we live on. I find this especially important since Singapore is such a small city - there are truly so many things going on out in this world that the next generations need to be aware of instead of living in their tiny little bubble.