Category Archives: Kids Teens

Leapster Games –The Difference Between Leapster, Leapster 2 and L-m

There are so many questions arises about the difference between the 3 version of the Leapster game system. Let me help you on this to avoid confusion so that you can decide what the best is for your child.

Leapfrog Company makes a 3 version for games. The first that came out to the market is the original Leapster. Then it follows with the L-max version with almost the same internal circuitry and the third one is the Leapster 2.

What Is The Difference Between Leapster and Leapster 2?

The main difference between the two is that the Leapster 2 has a USB connector that can be connected to your computer. It is compatible for both PC and Mac computers. It can be connected to the internet to get access into a free online tool provided by leapfrog called the LeapWorld. This may help you track your child’s learning progress. It has an expanded game capability this means that using games with this kind of capability played on the original is useless. It has an SD card slot which is sold separately. This card requires for some of its key features. But, you don’t need to worry about this because you can still play games and connect online without the SD card.

What Is The Difference Between Leapster 2 and L-Max?

The difference between these two is that the L-Max version has a built-in TV jacks. This means that it can be connected to your TV’s audio and video via RCA jacks for a much wider screen. In contrast, the L-max doesn’t have a USB connector and no way can be connected to your computer or online either. The good thing is that all games cartridges will work with the 3 version.

What Is The Difference Between Leapster 2 and Leapster Explorer?

There is a big difference between these 2. The main thing is that Leapster 2 games cartridges are not compatible with the Explorer. Therefore, if you have any Leapster 2 games it can’t be used with the Explorer and vice versa.

Discover the best Leapster Games and their newest Leapster Explorer Games and find out why they are the best educational toys for children.

Outdoor Play: A Great Way for Kids to Get Outside and Use Their Imagi

“Summer is a wonderful time of year when children can enjoy lots of fresh air and outdoor play. There is certainly no shortage of excellent activities, toys and accessories to entertain and inspire children of all ages. “

Some of the favorite activities among kids include; bubbles, inflatable bouncers and play sets, kites and wind spinners, outdoor furniture, playhouses and play tents, pools and water fun, and sandboxes and beach toys.

Bubbles are one of those outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by babies to adults. Blowing bubbles has never had quite so many options to choose from as it does today. There are plastic bubble lawn mowers, bubble catchers, bubble vision glasses, bubble wands, bubble lights, wands for small to super huge bubbles, no spill bubble buckets, monster bubble blowers, bubble blizzards (that blow nonstop bubbles) and bubble blowers available in popular fictional characters and a myriad of colors and styles. Blowing bubbles is an inexpensive way to have hours of outdoor fun.

One of the most exciting types of play for young children involves using the wide variety of inflatable bouncers and play sets on the market. Your backyard will be the center of activity if you set up one of these wonderful toys. Inflatable bouncers can be purchased in several different sizes from large (9 feet by 9 feet by 6 feet high) able to accommodate several children to small bouncers that only hold two children. Deluxe bouncers offer a fun and safe play environment with continuous air flow for safety and puncture resistant heavy gauge vinyl. There is a wide selection of designs such as castles, popular fictional character themes, inflatable fire engines, school buses, climbing walls, inflatable cars, inflatable play centers and playhouses. Several of the inflatable toys come with soft balls included for tossing, kicking and pushing around within the structure.

Kites, wind spinners and windsocks are a wonderful way for you and your child to interact and enjoy a lovely outdoor activity. The beautiful colors, designs and sizes available will surely be remembered for years to come. Kites can be purchased in an endless array of designs to include; airplanes with spinning propellers, helicopters, birds (flamingos and parrots), sharks, dolphins, butterflies, hummingbirds, fish, dragons, cellular box kites, dolphin kites, sailboats, cellular kites, diamond kites, parasail kites and tri-planes to only name a few. Wind spinners and windsocks come in as many designs as do the kites, in an assortment of fantastic colors and patterns.

Children can enjoy the same comfort that adults do when it comes to outdoor furniture. Whether it be having lunch at their favorite plastic or wooden picnic table or lounging back in their adirondack chair, it’s always fun for them to be just like mom or dad. Other adorable pieces of children’s outdoor furniture can include; playhouses (complete with doorbell and motion detector), patio sets (with umbrella, table and chairs), fabric patio chairs, plastic mushroom tables, play lemonade stands, plastic mailboxes, plastic stone benches and folding armchairs.

Playhouses provide children with hours of imaginative and pretend play. There is nothing more special to a child than having their own little imaginary home to dream and role play in. Playhouses will often be a part of backyard outdoor toys in either plastic or wooden designs with climbers and swings. Some of the plastic playhouses are available with sounds such as doorbells, phones and motion detectors. Plastic playhouses can be purchased in pirate, cottage, log cabin, mushroom house and camper styles.

Similar to playhouses, play tents are usually made with nylon or plastic and also come in a wide variety of designs and styles. The biggest difference between the two is that play tents are usually much easier to assemble, disassemble and portable if needed. Play tents are available in tunnels (for crawling through), dome play tents, lady bug tents, tents with tunnel addition, school bus, fire engine, bulldozer, playhouses, camouflage tents, popular fictional character theme tents, four tunnels joined by tent in middle, tee pees and castle tents. Fabric parachutes can also be used as tents draped over objects in the home or used for throwing up toys with children in a circle.

It truly feels like summer once everyone has gone for a swim. Pools offer wonderful relief from the hot weather and a refreshing way to have some fun. There are a mountain of pools and pool toys to choose from, whether it be a kiddie pool or a pool lounger there is no shortage of options. Above ground inflatable pools can be found in different sizes to accommodate the kids or the whole family. Kiddie pools are available in sunshade cover designs, popular character themes, different colors and activity pool styles. The pool toys you select will only add to the enjoyment with water guns and canons, kick boards, lifejackets, inflatable water wings, retrieval toys, rafts and loungers, inflatable sharks, tubes, inflatable basketball hoops, seat rings and beach balls to name a few.

Lastly, playing in the sand can provide both learning skills and entertainment for any child, whether it be in their backyard sandbox or at the beach. Building sandcastles and sand play is particularly helpful in teaching social skills (sharing, interacting and cooperation), cognitive skills (measuring sand and mapping out roads) and physical skills (pouring, dumping, pushing and gathering sand etc. ). Sandbox kits can be purchased to set up or you can select from several designs such as; turtles, castles, water and sand tables, ladybug, dinosaur and frog sandboxes. Sandbox and beach accessories might include; wheelbarrows, pails of all sizes, rakes, shovels, molds and beach chairs.

Outdoor play is a great way for the kids to get out of the house and use their imaginations. All forms of outdoor activities easily promote well-being and physical development. Children love to play outdoors as it allows them the chance to freely explore their environment while developing muscle coordination, flexibility and motor skills while decreasing restlessness and stress. And don’t forget . . . always remember to put sunscreen on your child whenever they are outside.

Valerie Giles owns and operates Toys-4-Kids
; Educate your child through play. Toys-4-kids is a web site full of resource information and online toy stores. Purchase the right educational toys for every child throughout their growing years. The site focuses on many categories of toys from baby toys to outdoor toys and bikes for kids, as well as Barbie Collectibles.

Suggestions for a Kid Rainforest Activity

With the National Rainforest Week coming up the third week of October, here are some suggestions to plan a kid rainforest activity. Show the kids how to locate the rainforests of Africa, South America, Asia, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean on a world globe. See if they notice how they are located on or near the equator.

There are hundreds of different and exotic types of animals, insects, reptiles and plants that live in the rainforest. Using a book on rainforest such as Tropical Rainforest by Debbie Depauw, have kids look at photos of the rainforest and its inhabitants. Afterwards have the kids create their own rainforest by making a diorama.

To make a rainforest diorama, each child will need:

  • One shoe box
  • Colored construction and tissue paper
  • String or yarn
  • Markers or crayons
  • Scissors and glue

First, kids can decorate the box by covering the outside of the box with colored paper and glue it to the box to secure. Line the inside of the box with green paper and glue to the sides. The box will be turned on its side so the opening is in front. Decorate the inside walls of the box with trees, butterflies, birds, snakes and frogs drawn on colored paper. Cut out objects and glue to the inside walls of the box.

To give the diorama a 3-D effect, the kids can draw more trees, animals, and reptiles on colored paper. Cut the objects out, but leave a tab at the bottom of the object. This tab will be folded back and used to secure the objects to the bottom of the box. Kids can use the tissue paper to make flowers, and string to make vines hanging from the top of the box and from the branches of the trees.

Older children can complete this kid rainforest activity with writing a little description of one animal, reptile, insect, bird or plant in their diorama. The rainforest is home to many exotic and unusual living things. Display the dioramas for everyone to enjoy.

As a mother, grandmother, and child development professional, Nancy Johnson, shares over 20 years experience working with children and planning activities on her website, Check it out for more school age child activity ideas including fall, holiday, learning, party, and child nature activity ideas.

Fry Sight Words

Edward B. Fry, Ph. D. is well-know for his book published in 1996 titled 1,000 Instant Words – The most common words for teaching reading, writing and spelling. Dr. Edward B. Fry’s Instant Word List (which is also commonly referred to as Fry’s Instant Words List and Fry Words) are the most common words in English ranked in order of frequency. The first 25 Fry Words make up about a third of all printed material. The first 100 Fry Words make up about half of all written material. (Fry & Kress, 2006, p.51)

The first 50 words contained in Fry’s Instant Words List are as follows: the, of, and, a, to, in, is, you, that, it, he, was, for, on, are, as, with, his, they, I, at, be, this, have, from, or, one, had, by, word, but, not, what, all, were, we, when, your, can, said, there, use, an, each, which, she, do, how, their, if

In his book, How to Teach Reading for Teachers, Parents, and Tutors, Dr. Edward B. Fry provided a list of the first 300 “Instant Words” and provides suggestions for sight words games and sight words activities to help children gain mastery over the basic vocabulary list. These 300 words make up approximately two-thirds of all written material; and an average student learns about 100 of these common sight words each year in first, second and third grade.

Edward B. Fry, Ph. D. , is Professor Emeritus of Education at Rutgers University and is well known for his instant words, Fry’s Instant Words, and the Fry Readability Graph.

© 2008

Fish for Words – Sight Words Game for Kids is an online educational game that will give kids a jump start on their new school grade by helping them learn “sight words
” (i. e. Dolch Sight Words List, Fry Sight Words List, and more) – which is the foundation for learning to read and is taught in every elementary school. helps children learn/spell sight words quickly – and ultimately helps them develop into efficient readers.

How to Set up a Behavioral Management plan for your ADHD child

How to set up a behavior management plan for your ADHD child

By Kara T. Tamanini, M. S. , LMHC

Children that have been diagnosed with ADHD are at a much higher risk of developing non-compliant or negative behaviors than a child that does not have ADHD. The very nature of ADHD implies that the child will have difficulty with self-control, paying attention, listening to instructions at home and school, and following directions. Some children seem to be predisposed to develop behavior problems by their temperament, however the symptoms of ADHD (hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattention) only seem to exacerbate these negative behaviors. Managing these negative behaviors often becomes a full-time job for their parents.

Treatment for the ADHD child will usually require a multi-faceted or multi-modal approach that is to say that the approach is comprehensive in nature. This approach includes school support, medications if needed, parent/child education of what ADHD is and its treatment, and lastly behavioral management techniques. Managing the negative behaviors of a child with ADHD often seems like an overwhelming and daunting task, however managing these behaviors by setting up a good behavior management plan is not insurmountable and can be quite effective if done correctly.

Behavior Modification, is a system of rewarding positive behaviors with the goal of increasing the frequency of their occurrence and on the opposite side is decreasing the occurrence of negative behaviors with the goal of decreasing their frequency. Most children with ADHD will benefit from a behavior plan that is clear and concise with measurable goals.

How to set up a behavior management plan:

1. ) Choose a negative behavior that you want to change and a positive behavior that you would like to see start or continue. I suggest that you start by choosing a behavior that your child will be able to change and one they can start to do. It is not very motivating for a child to fail in their initial attempts. Your child will want to give up right away. (be specific in choosing the behaviors you want to see started or changed, how often you want to see it occur, and how often it will be rewarded. )

Examples of behaviors you want to see started are: your child makes the bed each day, unloading the dishwasher, comes to dinner on time, or getting an A in math. Pick a behavior that can be easily achieved at first.

Examples of behaviors you want stopped are: refuses to get out of bed in the morning, interrupts when others are speaking, refuses to complete homework, or talks back. As parents, you know the behaviors you want to see started and stopped in your child.

2. ) Secondly, set up a Home Token Economy to implement your behavior management plan. Let’s start by defining what a token economy is. A token economy is simply a contract between the child and their parents that states that if a child acts or behaves in a certain way, the parents will agree to trade in tokens for a particular reward or privilege.

In setting, up a token economy, focus on only a few goals at a time. Your behavior plan can be as short or as long as you want, however I have found that the more complicated the behavior plan with more target behaviors the less likely the plan will succeed. Start out small and keep it simple. Pick behaviors that you would like to see changed that are most affecting you and your child and also goals that you would like for your child to start. Allow your child to be involved in setting up the behavior plan but don’t let them manipulate you. Make sure you are firm with the behaviors you want to see started and stopped. When a child becomes part of the plan and is able to pick the rewards and the consequences they will usually work harder to achieve it.

Assign a token value to each behavior you want to see started and stopped. Be careful to not to try and change too many behaviors at once. Choose a value between 1 and 25 tokens. For the plan to work, the value of the token needs to be high enough to really want your child to change the particular behavior. (We all work for incentives!!) The behaviors that you really want to see changed are those that have a higher token value and also those that are more difficult to change.

Sample Behavior Chart:

Behaviors to start Token Value Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa

Make the bed 5

Unload the dishwasher 10

Get out of bed by 7:30 a. m. 20

Total Tokens Earned 35

Behaviors to stop Token Value Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa

Interrupts others 10

Refuses to do homework 15

Poor grades in school each day 15

Total Tokens Lost 40

Set up a convenient time each day to review your child’s performance for that day and determine how many tokens have been earned or lost. The behavior plan is to be implemented each day and a running tab should be kept on the amount of tokens they have and how many have been “cashed in” for privileges/rewards. For behaviors you want stopped they lose that amount of tokens or are fined and for behaviors that you want to see started or continue they received that amount of tokens. To be effective, a fine needs to be strong enough to prevent the child from displaying the behavior.

After you set up a token economy program, now you need to explain the program to your child in language they can understand. Be positive and tell them we have developed a program where he/she can earn rewards and/or privileges for behaving in a positive way. They will probably balk at this at first, after all they have been receiving rewards all along that they really did not have to earn.

Go over with your child the amount of tokens to be given or lost for positive and negative behaviors that will be tallied each day. Explain to them that the tokens can be “cashed in” for privileges and explain the “cost” of each privilege and when and where the rewards/privileges can be used. Give frequent opportunities to exchange the tokens for rewards or privileges. Assign a token value to each reward or privilege they want to use.

Rewards or privileges that I have found to be effective with children/adolescents when I have set up a behavioral plan with them and their parents are: seeing a movie, going for ice cream, going to McDonald’s, getting a new outfit from the store, having friends come over, going out with friends, more time to watch television, or more time playing video games. Example of token value for rewards is as follows: sleeping over at a friend’s house=35 tokens, going to McDonald’s=10 tokens, seeing a movie=25 tokens, etc… Keep the costs of the rewards low so that they can use a reward each day. Keep track of the amount of tokens they have used and have remaining.

Make sure you reinforce positive behaviors as often as possible and give your child praise for their efforts. Positive behaviors should be reinforced immediately. Don’t give SECOND or THIRD chances. If they exhibit a negative behavior then they should lose tokens. If you give second or third chances you are weakening the behavior plan and are sabotaging yourself.

How to Keep the Program Going:

  • Make sure the child is able to see their progress, go over their behavior plan with them so they can see progress towards their goals
  • Modify the behavior plan (if necessary) if you see that the behavior plan is not working and your child is not meeting any of the goals. Discuss the plan with them
  • Educate the entire family. Answer everyone’s questions. If everyone in the family is educated about what ADHD is and they understand the goals, everyone is more like
    ly to cooperate. Everyone needs to be on board. ADHD is an issue for the entire family
  • Have a back up plan if the behavior plan is not working. If goals are not being met then “rework” the plan
  • Expect to achieve your goals. A positive attitude goes a long way towards achieving success. If you expect to fail then of course you will!!
  • If you see that you are about to “throw in the towel” and give up on the behavior plan then it is time to obtain outside support from mental health professionals, family, friends, teachers. Get everyone on board with you. Nobody expects you to do this alone and enlist outside support to help you stay on track and follow through with the goals
  • Approach the problem from a team perspective. Brainstorm, Brainstorm, Brainstorm. Everyone in the family should be involved in keeping this going. The old expression, “two heads are better than one” definitely applies here
  • Target the most pressing problem areas. Avoid trying to fix too many things. You will get bogged down that way
  • Above all, remain consistent and do not yell. Get help from as many people as you can and don’t try to do this alone

Avoid Backsliding:

  • There is no sure way to backslide then to start to get into prolonged arguments and discussions with your child over the behavior plan. Of course they are going to want to change or get rid of the behavior plan. Anything new or different is usually met with resistance
  • Accept that your child has ADHD. It is not the end of the world. If you remain positive and calm, your child will have a much easier time changing their behavior. Keep your perspective here
  • Get support from everyone you can. Join a support group in your community or a forum for parents on-line. There is nothing worse than feeling like you are alone in this
  • Keep your goals in sight. Remember tomorrow is a new day and the sun will still shine. Nothing lasts forever
  • Educate yourself about ADHD and read whenever you can. Ignorance is NOT bliss
  • Hope is a wonderful thing to keep us going and practice forgiveness of your child each and every day
  • Double your efforts when you feel like giving up
  • Give your behavior management plan time to work. Remember that change to have long lasting effects takes time. Nothing happens overnight

Playing Doctor For Children 4 to 6 Years Old

It is lovely to see children playing doctor and they will even start when only 4 to 6 years old. By that time they will have seen real doctors in the surgery when they go for check-ups and if any of their siblings are younger than them, they will have also most likely visited their mother in hospital during the confinement.

Playing doctor is a time-held tradition amongst kids. Nobody knows how long playing doctor goes back in time but we would think that for as long as mothers and children have been looked after by nurses and medics they will quite naturally have been playing this game.

Playing hospital is just as much fun as playing doctor or any other role playing game, but it also gives a child who loves dolls the opportunity to set up imaginative situations where the child has complete control to work out some simply daily tasks like eating, washing the doll, and of course playing out a doctor’s visit possibly along the lines of a recent visit to the child to the clinic, or watching someone else in the family.

Playing doctor is for kids, and doctor play is simply fun isn’t it? Playing doctor when there is no authority is also nice for the child as they can take an adult role and one which they will look up to the Doctor figure as a role model.

Playing animal doctor is also something that kids do when they have a family dog or cat. They will lean over the animal to use their make-believe stethoscope It’s a natural parallel for exploration.

Kids know what a doctor is, they know what it’s like to go get a checkup from a doctor. They can give their doll a pretend tablet of medicine, and mock the doll if the doll supposedly does not take the medicine, and this allows the child to distress the situation many have experienced when asked to take medicine which they don’t like the taste of. Parents watching may see themselves imitated by the child when playing doctor and find this highly amusing to watch.

Playing doctor can be made challenging, for the child if the parent gets involved and plays with them.

In additional to traditional imaginative games of which playing doctor is just one example, the new computer role playing types of game are becoming increasingly popular with children. Of course all these games need to be very adaptable to cater for all skill levels, but the newly selectable difficulty levels it one particular game are known to make the game much more accessible to the average player than it once was. In fact, if playing the game with a child you can bump down the difficulty for a tough operation and then raise it back up very quickly for the next one.

Girls will always be more willing to play hospital games, like playing doctor than boys, interestingly these sorts of games both act as indicators of maturity. Girls know, even without slogans, that they will do better than boys in school and are well loved by teachers for their achievements. Is it the role playing games they play like doctor games which help them later on.

Valerie Walkerdine, a British sociologist and feminist, points out that the image of the supergirl that “Girls rule” and “girl power” suggest sets up an opposing image of the girl of color or from a low-income family who is the other and not given the opportunities to achieve superwoman status. Girls still tend to be friends with girls and boys with boys. Boys will have fewer friends, but their friendships last.

Girls will also play much more intellectually demanding computer games. Of course, in one of the most popular games of this type, the players just have to wait for the doctor role and procedure to come up again randomly since there is no way to choose anything to play in this so called Zoo Hospital. Nowadays the players really feel like they are performing real surgeries, making the award winning game more fun than ever!

Steve Evans runs a top web site in which he includes a wide range of subjects for Kids to Teens
. We recommend a visit. Why not click through using the following link now! Back to school advice for teens