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Parenting Column(記事)

4 Tips for Parents to Keep in Mind When Their Child is Drawing

Drawing improves children’s imagination, sense of expression and their emotional skills. Let’s encourage our children to draw whenever possible. When parents watch their child draw they often interfere. However, if parents interfere too much, their child will be discouraged to be creative and may even start to dislike the activity. In this article, we will introduce tips for parents to keep in mind when they are watching their child draw.


4 Tips for Parents to Keep in Mind When Watching Their Child Draw

Don’t interfere too much
Parents often want to interfere when they see their child drawing. When parents see the drawing without even knowing it, they often try to judge it. For example, when they make a face, parents often comment about there not being a nose or ears or the location of the facial parts or even about the colors used. However, when parents make comments, they may be inhibiting their child’s imagination and form of expression. As a result, when children are creating their own drawing it is best to not interfere.

Don’t compare your child’s artwork with others
Many parents compare their child’s artwork with that of other children. Such a comparison should be avoided because it makes children feel that their artwork is not good enough. It also gives children a negative feeling towards drawing. Comparing children’s artwork and stating your opinion encourages self-confidence and satisfaction when your child did a good job drawing. Parents should understand that all art is created differently and should find areas to compliment when possible.

Don’t get angry about mistakes
When drawing, it is not unusual to make a mess and get the table, floors and even your clothing dirty. However, it is important that parents do not get angry when this happens. When parents get angry about mistakes and messes, it will give children a negative feeling about drawing. It is a good idea to lay out old newspapers and wear old clothing, so you do not have to worry about the mess.

Please give your children as many different experiences as possible
Children like to draw what they see and experience in their daily lives. As a result, the more experiences they have the more content they will have to use in their drawings. One way to enjoy more new experiences is to attend mommy and me or drop-off lessons. For children who like drawing, it is a good idea to encourage them to attend art classes. Although music and sports are not directly related to art, when children attend these types of classes they can use their experiences in their drawings as well.

It is important that parents encourage children to like drawing and enjoy doing it. Parents can do this by encouraging their child to draw freely and support them without inhibiting their creativity and style.

Parenting Column(記事)

Reading out loud has many benefits! What can children gain from practicing reading out loud?

“Reading out loud” activates children’s brains. It requires children to remember letters and words and practice reading lots of phrases and sentences. In addition, reading out loud activates children’s brains and brings out their other capabilities.

Practicing reading stories and explanations out loud is often part of the homework in elementary school so it is a good idea to practice with children before they enter school. In this article, we will introduce the benefits of reading out loud.


Reading out loud improves reading comprehension

Some people think that there is little difference between reading out loud or to themself. However, when reading quietly, humans have the tendency to skip words and phrases without knowing it. This causes us to miss important sentences so that we cannot fully comprehend the story. Reading out loud requires us to read each and every word, which helps children improve their reading comprehension.

Reading out loud also improves memory skills

Reading out loud requires us to read the words, say them out loud and listen to them with our ears. When children read out loud they are “reading”, “speaking” and “listening” all at once. Performing multiple actions at the same time activates our brain. Practicing reading out loud also improves our memory skills.

Does reading out loud also make us more calm?

Reading out loud animates the prefrontal region of our brain. When our brains are activated, they release serotonin. Serotonin has been shown to calm our minds. Reading out loud improves motivation and concentration and has helped many children control their emotions.

Reading out loud also improves children’s vocabulary and cognitive skills

Reading out loud helps children learn lots of new vocabulary and stories. Increasing a child’s vocabulary expands his/her world. The more words a child knows the easier it is for him/her to converse with others. Children are confronted with new questions every day. The larger their vocabulary the easier it will be for them to come up with their own answers to the questions around them.

Reading out loud also gives children self-confidence

Reading out loud is not easy for young children. Many children have trouble at the beginning. However, the more they practice the better they will get at it. When children become more confident in reading out loud they will be able to make use of this self-confidence when studying language.

There are many benefits of reading out loud. If children practice reading out loud from a young age they will be more successful when they enter elementary school. It is a good idea to encourage your child to attend lessons where they are asked to read words and phrases out loud.

Parenting Column(記事)

What are the benefits of having children sleep by themselves from a young age – as practiced in America and France?

Most parents in Japan sleep in the same bed as their little ones. However, in most Western countries, parents have their children sleep in separate rooms from an early age. In some families, babies are placed in their own room from the very beginning.

Why do Western families have their babies/little ones sleep alone from such a young age? In this article, we will cover the benefits of having your little one alone and tips for encouraging your little one to stay in his/her own room.


3 Benefits of Having Your Little One Sleep Alone

Many people have seen parents in Western movies say “good night” to their children and let them go to their room alone or turn off the lights in their child’s room. What are the benefits of having your child sleep alone?

Sleeping alone improves children’s sense of independence
In Western families, parents place importance on developing a sense of independence. The foundation of this theory is that even babies and young children should be respected as individuals. Co-sleeping is often considered “sleep discipline” and is a passive action for children. In comparison, sleeping on one’s own requires children to actively try to fall asleep on their own. Children who sleep on their own are more likely to be proactive in various situations and try to gain their own independence.

Some children gain self-confidence by sleeping alone
Sleeping alone is a big challenge for young children. If sleeping alone helps them gain self-confidence, this will be valuable to their development. Attending mommy and me classes and socializing with friends are often helpful in shifting children’s attitudes. Exposing children to a variety of experiences is a great way to help them gain self-confidence. Once they have self-confidence it will be easier for them to sleep alone.

When children sleep alone, parents have more time to themselves
Many parents have the experience of falling asleep next to their child and staying there until morning because they are so exhausted from the day. However, sleeping separately from your child has many benefits for parents. An important benefit is that parents can enjoy their evening alone once their child falls asleep. Having some refresh time away from your child will help parents handle their daily tasks more easily.

How to encourage your child to sleep alone

There are many benefits children gain from sleeping alone. However, it is not a good idea to force a child who has been sleeping with his/her parents all along to suddenly sleep alone. Some children are successful sleeping alone right away. But many children who have always slept with mom or dad will not like sleeping alone at first. For these children, it is important to take the transition more slowly.

There are benefits for the whole family when children learn to sleep on their own. Please keep your child’s feelings in mind and work with them to make it happen.

Parenting Column(記事)

Let’s go to the beach this Summer! Introducing 5 fun activities to try with your child!

Many families think about going to the beach during the Summer. Going to the beach is a great learning experience for children. They can try swimming in the big ocean and searching for marine life both in the water and in the sand.

When playing at the beach, it is important to take into consideration your child’s age and abilities. In this article, we will introduce fun and safe activities to do with your child(ren) at the beach this Summer.


Swim in the Ocean!

During the Summer, it is a great opportunity for children of all ages to try swimming in the ocean. Children who are still unable to swim can use floats to enjoy the ocean. Swimming with mom or dad until their feet do not reach the bottom is a great adventure for young children. If your child is attending swimming lessons, you can challenge them to swim out a little further. Using floats as a support, encourage your child to swim out as far as he/she can.

Explore under water using goggles!

Try using snorkeling googles and exploring under water. To see clearly it is a good idea to find a location that is a little further from the beach where the water is more transparent. Watching the floating seaweed and swimming fish is an easy way to experience what it is like to go diving. For children who don’t want to put their face in the water, it is a good idea to prepare an aqua scope for them to use instead.

Have fun in the dry and wet sand!

Many parents discourage their children to play in the mud (wet sand) because it will get their shoes and clothing dirty. However, if they are on the beach and in a bathing suit it is easy to wash the sand away, so they can play as much as they want. Digging a hole and burying part of their body is something that can only be done at the beach. They can also have new experiences such as feeling how heavy sand gets when it is wet and watching the tide break their sand castle.

Search for living things you can only find at the beach!

You can find living things at the beach that you cannot find in the mountains or at the river. Try to find hermit crabs, crabs, starfish and jellyfish near the water with your child. Some children may become interested in collecting seashells. Examining jellyfish and dead fish is an important form of learning for young children. When looking for animals it is a good idea to bring a net and/or bucket. Some living animals have poison so make sure to teach your child that they should ask before touching.

Play beach flag tag in the sand!

“Beach Flag Tag” is a game where players put a flag in the sand and then race to it. If you do not have a flag it is OK to use a PET Bottle or Water Bottle. It is a good idea to create a difference between the length children run and adults run. For example, making a rule that adults run twice around the flag before they grab it.

It is possible to get hurt when playing on the beach so make sure that you pay attention to everyone’s safety. It is also important for parents to make sure everyone is protected from UV rays by using sunscreen, rash guard, tents and drinking plenty of liquids. When parents are prepared, playing at the beach is one of the most fun activities families can do during the Summer.





Join us for one of our upcoming Hawaii-themed Baby Events!

The events will be targeted at families with babies between the age of 6 and 12 months and include fun Hawaii-themed play, music and art activities for the whole family to enjoy. Participating in the event is a great way to escape the heat and learn the importance of play and music for your little one. The events will be held at Motoazabu(Hiroo) on 8/25(Sat) from 15:30-17:30 and at Jiyugaoka on 8/26(Sun) from 15:00-17:00. Please call your desired location to sign up! New families who enroll in one of our classes after the event will receive special discounts. Please do not miss this great opportunity to experience Gymboree Play & Music with your little one!




自由が丘教室か元麻布教室で実施するハワイのテーマのベビー・イベントにご参加して見ませんか?このイベントでは6~12ヵ月のお子様向けのジンボリー独自のハワイのテーマのプレイ、ミュージックとアートのアクティビティをご体験できます。イベント後にご入会されるお客様がご入会金、年会費とクラス料金の割引をいただけます。次のベビー・イベントは元麻布(広尾)8/25(土)15:30-17:30と自由が丘 8/26(日)15:00-17:00に実施します!ご参加をお待ちしております!

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