Parent Resources

  • Supporting a Child’s Emotional Development through Pretend Play

    Supporting a Child’s Emotional Development through Pretend Play Pretend City’s Play-Based Mission supports Health Emotional Development Pretend City Children’s Museum exists to support healthy child development through play-based learning. In our blog, we cite various scholarly articles that reveal the essential correlation between play and emotional learning.   According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Play is not frivolous; it enhances brain structure and function and promotes learning.” Play is fundamentally important for learning 21st-century skills, such as problem-solving, collaborating and creativity which are critical for adult success.  Emotional development is related to school readiness and adult success. Without the integration of age-appropriate play children, children are at risk for emotional issues such as tantrums, physical outbursts, social delays, and deregulation. Through fun parent-child play opportunities at the Museum, Pretend City educates caring adults and the community at large, about the critical importance of Play in healthy child development.  How does Play help Children Develop? Children need to develop various skills to optimize their development and manage toxic stress and negative emotions. Research demonstrates that developmentally appropriate play with parents and peers is a singular opportunity to promote the social-emotional, cognitive and self-regulation skills that build a prosocial brain.  When children properly develop their emotional competence, they are more likely to sustain learning. […]

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  • Unplugging with your Kids – Pretend City’s Cell Phone Policy

    An in-depth look into Pretend City Children’s Museum Electronic Free Policy It might seem like common sense to put down the phone when you’re watching your child, but studies show parents are finding it more and more difficult to unplug. Pretend City’s cell-phone policy encourages parents to unplug from their devices for the safety and well-being of their children.    Ensuring parents are off their cell-phones and tablets keeps them alert and focused on their children. Our cell-phone policy ensures parents and children do not separate or get lost from one another. The policy also includes parents using laptops and tablets to work from home.  Infants and children look to their caregiver for social cues, praise, or attention. Being responsive to children’s positive behaviors, noticing when they are kind, friendly or sharing improves a child’s social-emotional skills that are crucial for life-long success.    Research shows that the overuse of technology is “detrimental to a child’s emotional health and wellness.” (Taylor, 2017) We know that parents need to stay in touch and understand you might need to communicate with a spouse or take an emergency call, however, overuse of technology or “distracted-parenting” negatively affects children.  Finally, media use eliminates the need for […]

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  • Best Potty Training Tips from Orange County Parents

    Best Potty Training Tips Oh, Potty Training. What a wonderful time in a child’s life. Right? Okay, well it might not be the easiest transition – potty training can be eased a bit with these helpful tips from Orange County parents.   Tip 1: Have a positive outlook on using the restroom.  Oscar G. writes: Make sure everyone in the household looks at going to the bathroom as a positive. — Don’t make faces if it smells, don’t get angry if there are accidents. — Celebrate it instead and be shameless about it when *you* as a parent go, and let them see, watch, ask questions, etc. And then be excited when it’s their turn.   Tip 2: Consistency and Routine  Use the restroom always. Try placing your child’s potty where they are so they don’t have a choice but to use it. Keep it up though and don’t back down.  Tip 3: Don’t push it! All kids are different.  This tip comes from quite a few parents. Shana S. writes, “Wait because when they’re ready to own the decision to use the toilet, it’s pretty seamless.” Christine W. writes, “With one kid, I pushed and she pushed back. I finally backed off and ordered a […]

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  • Autism Mom Describes Her Families Experience at Pretend City

    It had been a while since I had been to pretend city Irvine. I had taken my boys years ago. In fact, my oldest one didn’t even remember ever going. That’s how long it’s been. I forgot how amazing that place is for children. We were invited to the opening of the new music room, and I am so grateful that we were. My youngest fell in love with it, he adores music. We spent so much time in the music room even though there was so much to do on the outside of this room. My oldest one wanted to explore more while my youngest was perfectly content in the music room. He enjoyed playing and exploring with the instruments. He was himself in his world. We eventually ventured out of the room and explored all that Pretend City had to offer. They have so many rooms with so much pretend of real life. Though after each room we explored my little one would run, and I mean run, back to the music room. I sure got my miles in on this day. The excitement and fun that my boys had on this day is a day to remember. […]

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  • Let’s Get Musical: How Music Helps Children Develop

    How Music Helps Children you ask? Hey parents and caregivers! Have you ever noticed the way music seems to always grab your little one’s attention? Have you noticed your child singing to themselves, or trying to sing along to a song in the cutest baby gibberish you’ve ever heard? Do you know why? Yes, we’ll admit, it is possible that you have a musical prodigy in your hands. However, music probably mesmerizes your child and the reason is simple. Music stimulates children and their brains in the most wonderful ways. It helps when developing listening skills, while also helping to build their relationship with YOU. Brain Development According to Noreen Kassem of Livestrong.com, music helps children to develop their brains by activating many important areas. Some of these areas include: The cerebrum and the cerebellum, which both help develop a child’s motor and neuro skills, aiding in physical performance ability. The limbic system, the part of the brain that links emotions and the reason why music often helps soothe or put your child in a good mood (and even changes your mood). The auditory cortex, which helps a child decipher auditory information and increase the ability to analyze content. And the list goes on and on! […]

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