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child development

  • Incorporating Nature in Play

    Over recent years, the time children spend outdoors has been massively reduced. Studies have consistently highlighted the benefits of time in nature for childhood development. Here, we look at the facts and how you can help your child spend more time with nature.

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  • The Challenges and Gifts of Dyslexia

    Children with dyslexia will all face challenges due to their condition. However, not only can these challenges be overcome, dyslexia can also be an advantage in certain circumstances. Our infographic demonstrates how to identify, learn and succeed with dyslexia.

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  • How to Help Your Child Learn to Read

    Learning to read is fundamental to a child's development, stimulating their imagination and expanding their understanding of their surroundings. As a parent, you are your childs most influential teacher. Knowing the best way for your child to learn can be vital. Follow our guide for hints and tips on the best way to help your child learn to read, whatever their age.

    How to Help Your Child Learn to Read

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  • Back to School…Again

    New School Shoes

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve always needed a little time to settle into the summer. Maybe it’s because I’m British and us Brits aren’t fully comfortable with the concept of weeks or months of warm and sunny weather. Perhaps we don’t dare to dream about donning our summer clothes until we’ve had a good few weeks of heat and we can be absolutely sure that we can leave the long trousers in the airing cupboard for a month or so. Whatever the reason, it’s always taken me a while to relax into summer, but when I finally manage to do so, I forget that any other season or way of living exists. That is until the ominous Back to School adverts start appearing. When I was a little boy I used to dread seeing the posters in Rawcliffe’s clothes shop in Southport (where we bought our uniforms), but at least they waited until August. This year I swear the supermarkets were selling back to school items as soon as the schools broke up and even if you avoided the shops, the blogosphere has been awash with advice for parents who are sending their children back to school or even off to school for the first time. Here at WoodenToyShop we have taken a look at some of these articles and offer you some of the highlights…


    Pencil Case

    Diana Carney, whose husband just happens to be the Governor of the Bank of England, takes an admirably thrifty and green approach to back to school on her blog Ecoproductshthatwork by encouraging parents to buy good quality products and look after them to avoid having to replace them year after year. Sound advice indeed, but best of luck to anyone attempting to persuade their teenager of the merits of looking after the contents of their pencil case.

    Over at Tots100, bloggers have provided an avalanche of brilliant advice and tips for surviving back to school. We particularly liked the advice to hold a ‘uniform evening’, where you take the time to check you have everything you need, label it, check and pack PE kits and then pack everything away so that it is ready for the big day. We also appreciated the advice to bring bedtimes back to a more sensible time (let’s face it, they often slip during the holidays) in the week or so before the first day back. This advice also extended to parents and carers, who will need to get up just as early (or even earlier) than the little ones when they return to school!

    Over at Mumsnet, there is plenty of useful advice for anyone whose children are going to school for the first time. As with so many things, common sense and preparation are the buzzwords. Mumsnetters’ advise that you talk to your children about school, but don’t oversell it: going to school is exciting for children, but it won’t help to let them think it will be brilliant and fun all the time. Stay positive, but let the children know that if they feel tired or sad about something, it’s okay to tell the teacher or teaching assistants and mummy and daddy when they get home. Other nuggets of advice such as practising the school run and rehearsing the school routine sound so obvious that they are easy to miss.


    School Bag

    Children are often blissfully unaware of the trauma and stress that their parents go through the make their everyday life run smoothly and happily. I had no idea, when I was 7 years old and worrying about going back to school, that my Mum was living it with me as she wiped away my tears. So while we wish all children a very happy first day at school or first day back after the holidays, we offer a big round of applause to all the parents, carers, grandparents, friends and relatives who work tirelessly in the background to ensure that the first day is merely one of many happy days of learning and development.



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