Wednesday, November 1, 2023

November Toy of the Month

                                            November 2023
                      ​Sugarbear Playhouse Toy of the month is...

                                Kitchen Area!

Sugarbear Playhouse's November Toy of the Month, the play kitchen area, is a fantastic tool for fostering creativity and imagination in children. Through role-playing and pretend cooking, kids can develop essential life skills, such as problem-solving, social interaction, and even basic understanding of food preparation. This interactive play space not only entertains but also educates, making it a valuable addition to the indoor play area, where children can learn and have fun at the same time.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Importance of Play in Childhood

 How can play truly impact my child?

Have you ever wondered how play can impact our children's brain development? As a practicing recreational therapist, I constantly think of how activities can impact my patients. From Critical thinking to memory and social interaction to motor development, play can affect the brain in many ways. 

Child development is a multifaceted process that includes various essential domains. Below, I break down some critical parts of child development:

  1. Physical Development: This involves changes in a child's body, such as growth in height and weight, motor skills development, and the maturation of the body's systems.
  2. Cognitive Development: This pertains to a child's mental processes, including thinking, learning, problem-solving, and language development.
  3. Social and Emotional Development: A child's ability to understand and manage emotions, build relationships, and interact with others effectively.
  4. Communication and Language Development: Children learn to express themselves through verbal and non-verbal communication, developing language skills and understanding and conveying thoughts and feelings.
  5. Moral and Ethical Development: This encompasses forming a child's values, beliefs, and understanding of right and wrong.
  6. Self-Identity and Self-Esteem: Children develop a sense of self-identity and self-worth as they grow, influenced by their experiences and interactions.
  7. Play and Creativity: Play is a crucial part of child development, fostering creativity, imagination, and problem-solving skills.
  8. Moral and Social Values: Children learn social norms, cultural values, and moral principles as they interact with family, peers, and society.
  9. Sensorimotor Skills: In the early stages, children develop sensory and motor skills essential for exploring the world and interacting with their environment.

Each aspect is interconnected and vital in shaping a child's overall development. Providing children with a nurturing and supportive environment that facilitates growth in these domains is essential.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions about the importance of play and how you can foster all of these domains at home and independently. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Shoes OFF and Socks ON! Why do we not allow shoes in the play area?

 Have you wondered why we don't allow shoes and require socks in our play area?

Here is a small study conducted in 2008 that gives a scientific reason why we choose not to allow shoes! The study revealed that the bottom shoes averaged 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoe and 2,887 units on the inside. The bottom of our shoes touches all kinds of germs- Various stores, animal feces, children's potty accidents, hospital floors, dirt, and more! We try very hard to keep the play area clean. Children like to crawl on the floor and put toys and items in their mouths, and we want to eliminate as many germs as possible! We know we cannot eliminate all germs, but removing shoes before entering the play area can lessen the germs that enter the play area. We strive for a clean place for all children and parents; eliminating shoes is the best way to strive for that. Thank you for following our rules and creating a safe environment for our children!

Snapshot: Footwear Study Results

  • Coliforms were detected outside of the shoes on 96% of the shoes. E. coli was detected on 7 shoe bottoms (27%). No coliforms were detected on the inside of the shoe.

  • Transfer of bacteria from the shoes to uncontaminated tiles ranged from 90% to 99%.

Staff, C. (2023, March 14). Study reveals high bacteria levels on footwear (213) - ciri - cleaning industry research institute.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

October 2023 Toy of the Month

​ Sugarbear Playhouse Toy of the month is...
Dress Up Area!
The dress up area is crucial to development! Below are some benefits for dressing up!
  • Creativity and Imagination: Dressing up allows children to use their imagination and be creative. They can become different characters, explore various roles, and create their own stories.
  • Role Play: It helps children understand different roles and professions, fostering empathy and a deeper understanding of the world around them.
  • Language Development: When children engage in imaginative play while dressing up, they often use language to describe their characters and scenarios. This can boost their vocabulary and communication skills.
  • Social Skills: Playing dress-up with others encourages social interaction and cooperation. Children can take on roles and interact with each other, improving their social skills.
  • Problem-Solving: Imaginative play often involves solving pretend problems or challenges, which can enhance a child's problem-solving abilities and critical thinking.
  • Confidence: Dressing up allows children to express themselves and build self-confidence as they experiment with different identities and characters.
  • Cultural Understanding: Dressing up in costumes from various cultures can promote an appreciation for diversity and teach children about different traditions and customs.
  • Emotional Expression: It provides a safe space for children to express their emotions and feelings through play, helping them understand and manage their emotions.
  • Motor Skills: Putting on and taking off costumes can improve fine motor skills, like buttoning, zipping, and tying.
  • Learning through Play: Dressing up is a form of play-based learning, where children acquire knowledge and skills through enjoyable activities.
  • Entertainment and Fun: Most importantly, dressing up is fun! It brings joy and excitement to a child's life, making playtime enjoyable.
  • Overall, dressing up is a valuable and enjoyable activity that can support a child's cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Friday, September 1, 2023

September Toy of the Month!

MAGNA-TILES® appeals to all ages- Adults as well! There are endless ideas that can be brought to life through construction. Sugarbear Playhouse loves MAGNA-TILES® because they are easy to clean and store! 

We can go into a long explanation about why we love MAGNA-TILES®, but we will just let them talk about their benefits! Straight from the MAGNA-TILES® website:

MAGNA-TILES and Magna-Qubix® support math, science, and creative education. In addition to STEAM learning, the magnetic tiles and shapes are designed to help kids of all ages develop social, motor, cognitive, and emotional skills.

  • Social skills: Cooperation (sharing, turn-taking), enhancing communication and language skills, engaging in pretend play, and more.
  • Motor skills: Enhance hand and eye coordination, develop grasp, build finger and hand strength, and more.
  • Cognitive skills: Problem-solving, critical thinking, encouraging curiosity, and more.
  • Emotional skills: Frustration tolerance, building resilience, increasing self-confidence, and more.

Sugarbear Playhouse will have a binder next to the MAGNA-TILES® area filled with visuals that children can follow. Each child will be able to have an example to follow or let their creativity flourish and independently create sculptures! We can't wait to see what they make!

Sugarbear Playhouse is partnering with The Little Lark Shop & Unplugged Play, a local toy shop with an abundance of MAGNA-TILES® in the store! The Little Lark Shop is located at 2451 Rice Creek Rd in Bartlesville. Please like their page on Facebook and Instagram to get up-to-date information. They also deliver to your doorstep if you are local! MAGNA-TILES® delivered right to your door… Perfect idea to me! Sugarbear Playhouse will always be available for imaginative play if you do not want to purchase a set! We can't wait to see you! 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

What is Sugarbear Playhouse?

Why would I pay to come to an indoor playhouse? 

I had a newborn in early August 2022, transitioning from one child to two. I was overwhelmed and wanted a place to go outside my home, but it was 110*, and I was not about to go outside in that heat! I also had limited space for toys. I was already overwhelmed, and the clutter was making it worse. I wanted a getaway from the house and allowed my daughter to play while I had the space for myself and my son. I struggled during that postpartum stage to entertain my daughter, but I knew there was something else I could be doing for my kids. Having a place I could go that didn't involve the bipolar Oklahoma outdoor elements, endless toys for my children to play with, a clean environment, safety for my kids, and not the fear of them running somewhere I could not see them. Even better, I DID NOT HAVE TO CLEAN UP THE MESS! 

The more I thought about it, an indoor playhouse had so many benefits.

  • Socialization with other kids!
  • Safety- I did not have to worry about my kids running off into the woods at a park or somebody taking them.
  • I did not have to worry about wind, rain, snow, heat, or crazy Oklahoma bipolar weather.
  • My kids can enjoy various toys that do not have to be at my house or from my wallet!
  • I do not have to clean up the mess!
  • So much more!

When looking for a place in Bartlesville, I realized there was nothing. It got my wheels turning, and I thought- why not me?! In came the dream for Sugarbear Playhouse, Sugar for my daughter, and Bear for my son. I wanted a place for Bartlesville children to thrive, imagine and enjoy playing with others. I cannot wait to see how Sugarbear Playhouse grows and offers fun to Bartlesville! 

November Toy of the Month

                                                       November 2023                             ​Sugarbear Playhouse Toy of the month is......