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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D



Feb 21, 2003 Issue

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                                      ~ B R A I N Y - Z I N E ~

                           "Learn How to Nurture A Smarter Kid" 

        Volume #1 Issue #8   ISSN: 0219-7642   Feb 21, 2003

                   Andrew Loh, Publisher,

By subscription only! You are receiving this newsletter
because you requested a subscription. 

T A B L E  O F  C O N T E N T S : 

(1) ~ EDITORIAL ~ 
(2) ~ ARTICLES - Smart Toys ~
                            How to Encourage Talking in 13-15 Months Old ~
(4) ~ CONTACT US - Contact and Subscriber Information ~

E D I T O R I A L - W e l c o m e !

Dear Subscriber,

I'm very excited to have new subscribers signing up every day; again I would like to extend my welcome to our new subscribers, thank you for subscribing. As for the old readers, thanks for staying on. I hope all of you are having a great start to your Friday.

I have spent a lot of money buying toys especially for my eldest son. You know, first child always get the best and the most. By the time my eldest son reached three years old, I only realized the enormous amount of toys had been bought when we did our house cleaning. Mostly junk toys with few exceptionally good developmental one. Today we have saved a lot of money, as we do not buy as many toys as in the past except if we encounter some good one. BUT, we have not purchased any 'Smart Toys' to date.

Do you have the same problem of spending too much money on toys, especially not the very good one? Then, before you decide on your next shopping list for toys, especially if you intend to buy some smart toys. Make sure you read this issue all the way through to the end.

I will drop in again two weeks later. Take care.

Andrew Loh

Publisher/Editor of the BrainyZine


~ Smart Toys ~

Parents today are concern about the development of their children especially brain development. As a result, they tend to find brain-building toys that ‘claim' to help to boost the level of intelligence.
When there is a demand, there will be a supply. Now 
stores are filled with various ‘smart toys'.

So, what is a smart toy? In a nutshell, a smart toy incorporates some level of computer technology that could respond according to the child's actions and can even identify the child's skill level, hence could
adjust the game accordingly. A robotic dog that just walks and barks but not in response to anything the child does is not considered smart toy.

In addition, smart toys tend to enhance play by interacting with the child through ‘open-ended' play suggestions that allow the child to step in to define the play scenario. For example, a smart ambulance toy
may say, "Help is needed over there," suggesting a rescue play pattern without dictating play. Since the child is not told what to do is free to use their imagination to continue the play, thereby sparks the
child's creativity. 

While smart toys are usually expensive, can you make sure you get the best return on your investment? In other words, can smart toys really make your child smarter? To a large extend, there is no conclusive
proof that smart toys are going to increase your child I.Q. If so, is it worth spending money on smart toys?

Pete Stavinoha, child psychologist of University of Texas Southwestern said toys touting brainpower don't necessary score higher than the classics, like puzzles and blocks. Stavinoha said how a toy impacts a child's development depends on how it's used, the interaction
it promotes, the language used to discuss the toy and the level of pretend play it promotes. Traditional toys like building blocks, crayons and puzzles work as well as the more sophisticated "brain builders."

"Playing with crayons, drawing and painting unleash the creativity in a child and encourage old-fashioned imagination and exploration," he said. "A child can learn problem solving and persistence with simple
building blocks, by rebuilding structures when they wobble and fall," Stavinoha said. Even simple play such as parents reading out loud with action using storybook that full of colorful picture to the child could
promote their imagination.

When it comes to computer games, Stavinoha claimed that there are not real-life experiences. For example, when a child run into a roadblock on a computer games can always reset the games and start all over again. As a result, the child has no difficulty to overcome.

Stavinoha said the children that succeeded later in life are those who have learned through play that life has challenges and overcome them while they play and in the process boost their self-confidence. Most importantly is for parents to participate and to interact with their 
children when playing. Even the best toys won't help children develop if they're left to play alone. However, parents are reminded to leave enough space for their children to be creative. Do not interrupt when they are concentrate playing (even though the way they play is 
different from you). Only provide guidance and encouragement when they have hit their limit.

Traditional games, play or toys are as good as expensive brain-building toys. To go back to the basics, look at this article for some ideas on simple toys or games that could be as good


~ How to Encourage Talking in 13-15 Months Old ~

Most children can say around 6 to 8 words at this age. His pronunciation is clearer and easier to understand compared to the previous months. However, most of them can't make phrases yet. Your child's understanding is more advanced than his spoken language. He wants to say more than his spoken language will permit. At times, his limited vocabulary may frustrate him. Some of the common words at 
15 months old are: milk, car, up, bye, mine, big, want, please. He prefers to use words associated with actions that he can do, such as playing and eating. 

To encourage talking at this age, you can do the following. Point and name body parts. Hold his hand, point, and say, "This is your nose." Then point at your nose and say, "This is mommy's nose." You can also point and count both of his ears, and say, "One ear, two ears." Ask him, 
"Now point and count mommy's ears."

Always do pretend play. Get one of his toy trucks. Play and pretend that he is riding in the truck with full sound effects, "rumm, rumm, rumm, we will go to the park." Or you can ask questions about the truck like, 
"How many tires are there?" "What is the color of the truck?","Where is the driver of the truck?"

Encourage his listening skills. If there is a loud nose from the street outside, stop what you are doing and ask him, "Did you hear that noise? Come let us look outside." He might say, "Car" then take him out. When you turn on the dishwasher, request him to hear it, and ask,
"Can you hear that swiss, swiss sound?" Explain to him what is going on inside the dishwasher with animated voice and body language with your hands.

Talk about the stories you read with him. When you read a story to him, ask him questions about the characters in the story. "What is the color of Peter's shirt?" Let him count objects or animals in the picture book. "How many cars are there?"

Respond to his body language with words. If he points to the refrigerator and you know that he is thirsty, you can say, "I can see you would like orange juice or milk?" Open the fridge and get a carton of both milk and orange juice. Then ask him, "Which one do you want to

Use words that compare things. Get a teaspoon and a tablespoon. Place both on top of the dinner table. Explain to him that the tablespoon is bigger than a teaspoon. Then get two drinking glasses of different sizes. Show both of them and point to the taller one and say, "This glass is taller than this one" pointing to the smaller one.

When you hear a new word from him, repeat it, and elaborate on the word, and its meaning. Use the word again in front of him. React positively to each new word that you hear would encourage your toddler to start talking and learning new words each day.

N E X T  I S S U E
you will be able to find out one of the most
renowned approach on pre-school education. Hailed as the 
best pre-schools in the world by Newsweek magazine. To find
out, make sure you don't miss out the next issue.

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