Monday, August 11, 2014

Should Boys Be Allowed to Play With Baby Dolls and Dress Up In Heels?

Professional Nannies Don’t Overact to Cross-Over Play

Last week while at a play date with 4-year-old girls and one boy a nanny reacted very negatively towards the boy when he wore a princess costume while all the kids were playing dress up at a girl's house.

I think it's okay to let boys play with baby dolls and dress up like a princess and for girls to pretend to be football players or firefighters. But, for caregivers who are afraid of letting their charges play cross-over play here are some thoughts I found online.

Lawrence J. Cohen, author of Playful Parenting and psychologist writes, “Dressing as the opposite sex doesn’t indicate a child’s gender confusion. Nor will it influence their sexual preference as an adult."

The author suggests caregivers keep a positive attitude and a sense of humor about the way children dress. Kids may pretend to be someone of the opposite sex.

He says, "Don’t ever forbid this — join in on the play and let them wear what they choose. It’s simply of expression."

Greg Uba, Children’s Services Coordinator for Connections for Children says, “When children are allowed to play outside their gender roles, it gives them the opportunity to go beyond gender bias. Cross-over play allows kids to develop skills they traditionally aren’t encouraged to develop."

He explains that it’s common for children to experiment with different roles. Boys can learn to be more nurturing and verbally expressive and girls can learn spatial skills when they’re playing outside of their role.

He continues, "Child care providers should mix together gender-typed materials and toys. All kids love dinosaurs, trucks, trains, dolls, and dress-up. Put dolls in the block area and transportation toys in the dress up area."

Mr. Uba recommends child caregivers initiate and encourage group games that are inclusive, provide pictures and role models of non-stereotypical behaviors such as jobs like male nurses and female firefighters.

Have you ever over reacted when a child played outside of their gender role?

You can purchase Playful Parenting by clicking the links above or below:

Playful Parenting

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

Should We Hide, or Not Hide, Veggies in Kids' Food?

I love the cookbook Deceptively Delicious. Jessica Seinfeld, the wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld and a mother of three, shows us how to add vegetables that kids find unappetizing on their own, to foods kids love.

To see this entire book review or purchase the book please visit

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Seashore Souvenir Photo Frame

Creative Project Wednesday

No day at the beach is complete before taking a walk at low tide to gather shells, sea glass, drift wood, and smooth pebbles with the kids. After arriving home from a day at the shore, help the kids create a photo frame of the treasures they gathered seaside. We simply cut out a photo frame from cardboard of a cereal box, then glued my little one's favorite special catches of the day to make a souvenir of her day spent at the ocean.

You Will Need:

1. Cheap flat photo frame in a sand color (or cardboard and sharp scissors or razor blade)
2. Treasures from seashore such as shells, sea glass, drift wood, and pebbles (don't forget the beach badge)
3. White glue
4. Paint brush
5. Disposable cup
6. Plastic bag

What to Do:

1. If you cannot purchase an inexpensive, flat photo frame from the store, cut out a photo frame from cardboard you can find in the family recycling bin. To make a homemade frame, trace a square on the cardboard. Then trace the same shape on the cardboard again to make to squares touching that will make a rectangle. The line connecting the two squares will bend to make the photo frame stand once the project is complete.

2. Cut out the rectangle with a sharp scissor or razor blade. Then cut out a hole from the front square of the photo frame so you can glue a photo to the back of it when the project is complete. Leave at least one-inch border around the photo frame since you need space to glue shells and sea glass tot he frame. I used a sharp scissor to cut out the inside hole of the frame to slip the photo into the frame.

3. Place a piece of plastic or a plastic bag under the store bought frame, or homemade frame, so that if any glue drips the frame won't stick to the work surface.

4. Pour plenty of white glue into a disposable cup. Help the kids use paint brushes to slather on heaps of glue onto the frame and shells when pasting the sea side treasures to the frame. The glue will dry clear so use enough to keep the seashore prizes secure.

5. Let the frame dry for a day. After it is completely dry slide in a photo of the child from the day spent at the beach. Simply paste the photo to the frame if using a homemade frame.

Projects and photos by Stephanie Felzenberg