Parent Resources

  • Communicating With a Child on The Spectrum

    We all know and love a child on the spectrum, whether you are their parent, grandparent, relative, friend, or even neighbor. With that love is the desire to build a strong relationship with the child, but do we know how? Every month, we will highlight a different topic catered towards understanding and connecting with a child on the spectrum. This month, we are providing a few basic tips on communication between you and the little one! Communication is a vital piece in developing a better relationship with children on the spectrum. The proper communication allows you to understand their current emotions and respond appropriately. This month’s theme is all about helping you communicate at home, at the playground, and even in Pretend City! Our exhibits are ideal for practicing your communication skills in our self-contained and supportive spaces! We reached out to one of our community partners, the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders, for a few tips on enhancing your communication with a child on the spectrum. Michelle L. Wahlquist, MS, CC-SLP, their Lead Speech-Language Pathologist is here to help! Communication Tips: Provide Face-to-Face Directions “Make sure you have [the] child’s undivided attention before you give a direction,” said Wahlquist. “To do this, you need to […]

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  • Trader Joe’s Grocery Store at Pretend City Children’s Museum

    Have you ever thought of a grocery shopping as a learning experience for children? Your grocery store is filled with great literacy and math learning opportunities  including: Counting Addition/subtraction Measuring Learning the value of money Sorting and categorizing Letter recognition On your next visit, incorporate a fun activity to teach your child mathematics while shopping by giving them a go at shopping for apples – they will pick up skills such as: weighing objects identifying differences and similarities in shapes and sizes calculating costs The grocery store is also a great opportunity to teach by example. Your child may have observed how you make one of their favorite meals at home, such as spaghetti. While grocery shopping, ask them what ingredients are needed to make their favorite spaghetti at home and let them pick it out. They will learn things about the grocery store such as: that the store is organized into groups of similar things (i.e. produce, aisles, dairy) that it takes several ingredients to make one thing (the whole is made up of many elements) that the same product can have different costs (consumer literacy) Come to Pretend City and explore our brand new Trader Joe’s grocery store! […]

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  • Activities for Visually Impaired Children

    Playtime with Blind and visually impaired children by Wooden Toy Shop

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  • Why are Young Children often Afraid of Santa?

    As a Child Development Specialist for over four decades, a Psychotherapist AND the wife of the best Santa around, I have some degree of expertise about why young children are often afraid of Santa.  And I can tell you that there is no one reason!  But I can give you a variety of reasons and since you know your child better than anyone, I will leave it up to you to identify which may be the reason your child may not automatically jump in his lap and snuggle up to Jolly Ol’ St. Nick. Reasons they are afraid of Santa • Normal Child Development Stages – Children under about age two have very predictable stages of both stranger anxiety and separation anxiety. When a child is handed to Santa from the comfort and familiarity of their parents’ arms, both are triggered. •They are not aware of Santa as a person – Santa has an unfamiliar costume on and lots of facial hair covering his face.  Now you and I see him and feel warm and cozy as it likely evokes pleasant holiday memories.  Not so for a young child.  They see a “mask” and costume much like we see on […]

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  • 10 Unique Holiday Traditions

    Gingerbread houses and Christmas trees and PRESENTS! The Holiday season is HERE and it’s about time to start lighting the Christmas tree and stuffing those stockings. This year, start some fun holiday traditions leading up to Christmas with your family to get your little one excited for the holiday season. Here are some fun traditions you and your family can do! Advent Calendar It is NEVER too late (okay, maybe the 24th would be too late…) to start an advent calendar to count down the days until Christmas. You can buy one at any store in the holiday section or create your very own and include some goodies the family can enjoy. Worldly Traditions Exploring international traditions with your family would teach your child a lot about different cultures. This year at Pretend City, we are celebrating Las Posadas! Check out what we have to offer on our fun day of celebrating this Mexican tradition, Feliz Navidad! • Click here to learn more about how Pretend City is celebrating Las Posadas Christmas Loteria Play Merry Christmas Loteria. A Mexican style bingo game that’s fun for the whole family. • Click here to print out FREE Christmas Loteria cards Books Under The Tree […]

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