Friday, July 14, 2017

Dear Sugar: Teaching Kids Valuable Lessons and Skills Through Play

Dear Sugar:

Since it's summer and my children are home for three straight months (where is my coffee?!?), I'm using these precious days to teach, and more importantly, teach through play!   

I have a mad mommy crush on all-things-eeBoo and for some very good reasons.  eeBoo values creativity, diversity, affordability, and quality.  I would describe the company as selling products-with-purpose.   

If you've been parenting for any length of time, you know that so many children's toys and games are completely pointless, even annoying.   I loathe noisy, over-stimulating, non-imaginative toys.   But eeBoo?  They provide the very things this mama loves!   

Here are our favorite eeBoo products and a description of why we love them:

Currently, my oldest has a math tutor.  Like me, she's not mathematically-minded.  We're awesome at all-things-creative (think art and writing) and enjoy learning about cultures and history.  But numbers, they just don't add up!  (Pun intended).   When I was trying to decide how to get her to enjoy math (is that possible?) it dawned on me that games are fun.  So why not nab a math game for her to learn-while-playing?   The Simple Math Lotto teaches children ages 5+ about addition and subtraction. 

Then comes talking to my kids about adoption.  Because we're a transracial family, adoption is an open-topic and an obvious "status."    The Happy Families card game, geared toward kids ages 3+, explores the diversity of families while emphasizing communication and taking turns.

Now, let's talk about empathy.   Empathy is something that's very important to our family.  I see parents asking, how do I teach empathy?  Is it something that one either has naturally, or not?  I believe empathy can be learned!  I think experience truly is the best teacher, but why not enjoy a game that teaches empathy, too?   I Heard Your Feelings conversation cards are incredible for "reading emotional situations."  48 cards, each with a picture on the front, and multiple questions on the back to prompt kids to analyze and examine social situations and how to be empathetic.   

I'll Never Forget a Face is our all-time favorite matching game.   It's great for memory-building, diversity-mindfulness, cultural-competency, and laid-back fun.  Have a globe or world map nearby and show your kids the different places where the "faces" are from. They also sell Children of the World art cards and a puzzle.   

For easy, quick fun (with a focus on turn-taking), we love Old Maid (diverse cast of characters) and SNAP!  My three oldest can play these games together.   We took SNAP! with us to family Christmas, and the cousins had a blast!  I love uncomplicated, fun games that include kids with a variety of ages and skill sets.  Also a win: one of my kids struggles with impulsiveness, so any games requiring awareness of others' rights and needs and turn-taking is helpful.   

We are old school.  We still send our friends and family members greeting cards via snail mail. Nothing is better than getting "happy mail"!   eeBoo offers diverse greeting cards to celebrate life's occasions.   My kids include their own messages and sign their names (or for the baby, we trace her hand) to personalize the cards. By doing this, they practice composition and handwriting. Remember what I shared with you on Insta a few weeks back? That a great way to decorate around your house is to frame postcards and greeting cards?  These cards are perfect for that, too!

eeBoo sells so many fantastic items including:  lacing cards, puzzles, party games, art supplies, story cards (my kids LOVE these), paper dolls, block tower sets, and much more!   You can also shop by age, and 
eeBoo has products for babies to adults (and families).   

This post is sponsored by our friends at eeBoo.

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