Education & Development

  • Making Time For Play at Every Age

    Kids of all ages need and have a right to play – as do all other living creatures… including adults!  With play hours being sucked from a child’s day at drastic rates, it is even more important that adults ensure that children and the whole family MAKE TIME FOR PLAY.  We are raising a generation of anxious, overweight, unsocial children and play is the antidote for all of these problems. Here are some tips to keep play alive and kickin’ at any age: 0-1: Play is critical for this explosive period of brain development.  It is imperative for forming core attachments, which sets the anchor for healthy relationships. Provide lots of sensory stimulation with a variety of textures, smells, and sounds.  Belly time on the floor with interesting objects will do the trick.  And provide lots of face-to-face time with your baby. Remember that you are your baby’s mirror to the world. This is an easy one because it’s so much fun to play patty cake and peekaboo and just to giggle with your baby! 1-2: Play is all about moving at this age.  So give your little one lots of opportunity to move in big spaces that provide a […]

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  • Celebrate Purim!

    Purim is one of our favorite holidays to celebrate at Pretend City! This annual celebration includes eating sweets and treats, masquerades, costumes, and all sorts of merriment. Join us as we celebrate Purim with fun activities throughout the day! Cooking up Cultures: Take an imaginative visit to a kosher bakery to see thousands of hamantashen, the preferred Purim treat, being prepared. See what goes into making these treats before tasting the delectable delights! Smart Art: Go wild with your imagination and decorate your own gragger. These noisemakers are an important part of the Purim holiday. Sensational Story time: What happens When It’s Purim? Families who would like to share the heritage or introduce their children to this festival will appreciate this engaging story time. Our closing parade will also get a fun Purim twist! Visit the art studio to make your very own masks to dress up your costume for the parade at 4:50p.m. Want to know more about the Jewish holiday, Purim? Check out the cool infographic below to learn more about the history and traditions of this holiday.

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  • Pretend City hosts S.T.E.M. tour for educators!

    Pretend City Children’s Museum welcomed guests from the annual Orange County Early Childhood S.T.E.M. Conference on Saturday, February 7. Guests consisted of educators dedicated to learning more about how to integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics into their educational institutions in a developmentally appropriate way. Educators who attended the “tour” of Pretend City were charged with identifying STEM in action through PLAY! These educators came away with great examples of learning through play to help inspire them to create rich STEM environments. You can also integrate S.T.E.M. into your child’s play! An easy way to practice S.T.E.M is with building blocks. Whether they are small building blocks for the home, or bigger blocks like our Imagination Playground blocks, young children seem to be almost as intrigued by building and creating as they are by demolishing and dissecting. First things first: get down on the ground and build with your child. As you participate in building with your child, you are helping to develop critical motor skills, spatial skills, and hand eye coordination. To get things started, suggest a type of structure to build. You can use pictures and diagrams to inspire or guide a construction project. Let your imagination run; […]

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  • Mindfulness Tips to Practice at Home

    Try these Mindfulness Tips at Home!  Playing “telephone” is a wonderful way to encourage mindful listening in your home. This fun game will build literacy, encourage communication and listening skills. First, ask your family to sit in a circle. Then ask one person begin the game by whispering (very softly) a simple phrase to the other person. Follow this step throughout the circle. In the end, ask the last person to share what they heard. Use this exercise as an opportunity to have fun and encourage deep listening to the other. Mindful breathing can help your child settle down after a high energy activity. One simple suggestion is to offer three mindful breaths before or after ending an activity. For example, “Before we eat lunch, let’s find our quiet bodies and take three, peaceful breaths.” By creating this opportunity, you are showing your child how to care for themselves and encourage inner listening. Practice Mindful Breathing. During a quiet or transition time, invite your child to practice “mindful breathing”. First, ask them to choose a small toy or stuffed animal. Ask them to lay down and place the toy or stuffed animal on their belly. Guide them through their breathing […]

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  • Field Trip Report – September 18

    Post by Pretend City Children's Museum.

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