As a little girl I didn't play well with others. I did play with them, but I was often bossy and seldom got invited back on play dates. As I grew, Momma saw this independence as more of a tomboy characteristic and began introducing me to boys my own age, where I could roughhouse and be more abrasive without hurting quite so many feelings. It didn't quite turn into an Olga- "Hey Arnold" situation, but I seemed to dominate the boys as well. Regardless, Momma was satisfied with not having to listen the concerned parents after Barbie hair-cutting incidents, and how my need to turn a stick into a fake gun wasn't 'healthy'.
While every child is indeed different, there are actually several tools and techniques, when practiced at an early age, that can help young boys and girls socialize with age, personality, and gender variances. There's nothing wrong with being a 'girly girl' or a tomboy, but we can't always choose those we're thrown in with, so teaching smart cooperative play skills are essential.
While it's always nice to be the 'it' house, with everything going on, you don't have to break the bank to outfit your yard, or playroom, with engaging play sets. Today, as a childcare provider, and beloved Aunt, I appreciate Little Tikes playhouses and furniture for their easy to assemble designs made from durable materials, with engaging concepts. Let's just say I wish I had a similar 'big girl' version of the Little Tikes Cape Cottage Playhouse stashed away on the East Coast somewhere! Complete with front and back entrances, and a dual flag poles, this playhouse is ready for customization and imagination. Add a Sizzle 'N Serve Grill, complete with 14 pieces of accessories and food- from tongs to hamburgers and buns, and you'll spark hours of play.
You don't have to have a multi-child family to find value in a great playhouse such as the Little Tikes Cape Cottage. Friends and family will love visiting to play in this adorable scale cottage, and it's light enough to move from front to backyard, or even put in the back of the truck and take to the park. And assembly? I was able to assemble it alone in less than 20 minutes, decals and all! Of course a playhouse is best put to use with a few good friends, so I've compiled a few tips to help young children socialize through cooperative play.
Sizzle 'N Serve Grill was a real hot spot. While Josh felt it was his 'manly' duty to remain at the grill station, Lynsey wanted to point out that 'girls can bbq too,' so we initiated a turn system. I asked Lynsey to show Josh what her second favorite toy in the cottage was, the vacuum, and he was enthusiastic about 'vacuuming' the grass, in no time- while he waited his turn. Taking turns isn't simply a matter of being fair, it rewards children for their patience and respect of their fellow playmates.
Little Tikes has an assortment of toys, vehicles, an playhouses for children from infant to toddler and early grade school. Even older siblings will enjoy passing on their memories of these beloved playthings, which are sure to remain an active part of play and growth for years! Did you have a treehouse, playhouse, or similar retreat as a child?
What Daughter Says: Practice cooperative play with simple social skill building techniques on and off the play yard.