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6 powerful benefits of giving your child a choice

3. Cultivate a sense of value

6 powerful benefits of giving your child a choice

As parents with busy schedules, it's easy for us to build a routine, make decisions and then impose those decisions on our little ones. We want the best for our children and, oftentimes, we believe our choices are what's best.

However, making decisions for our kids does not allow them to feel empowered or prepare them for adulthood. The power of a small choice can go a long way.

The choice can be as simple as allowing them to choose an apple or banana in their lunch or picking their clothes for school—because at the end of the day, it's okay if your child wears animal print leggings with a purple striped dress. The key is to provide our children with choices that empower them while minimizing the impact on our routine.

Here are six important benefits to building choices into your little one's daily routine:

1. Avoid tantrums

Tantrums are often caused by a lack of control. It's a natural human desire to want to feel in control. As adults, we often fail to recognize that children also need to feel in control.

Tantrums do not happen for silly reasons like cutting a sandwich in squares rather than triangles, but because of an underlying feeling of a lack of power. It is important to allow your little one to feel in control whenever possible in order to avoid tantrums. I always tell parents the best way to avoid tantrums and be in control of your child is to make the child feel powerful. You have power when your child feels powerful.

2. Build confidence

Decision-making is an important aspect of building confidence. When your little one makes a decision and it goes well, they are going to feel proud and this is going to help build confidence and continue to build positive decision-making skills through adolescence and adulthood.

3. Cultivate a sense of value

In my opinion, one of the most important (and often overlooked) aspects of parenting is making your child feel valued. Children are often more creative and perceptive than adults. A child's choice has as much value as an adult's, and we want to make sure that our children know that we recognize that and acknowledge the value that they add to the family. Recognizing their small choices is an easy way to empower our children and acknowledge their worth.

4. Teach responsibility

Life is defined by the choices we make, and it's important that we equip our children by teaching decision-making skills starting at a young age. By building small choices into the daily routine, you are teaching your child to be an active part of the decision-making process and allowing them to learn to manage both decisions and their outcomes (whether those outcomes are desired or not).

5. Foster creativity

When we make every decision for our children, we don't allow them the opportunity to use their creativity and develop abstract thinking. Let's face it, as adults we are often rigid and not nearly as creative as our kids. We want to foster their creative thinking rather than shutting it down by being authoritative.

6. Develop problem-solving skills

Not all decisions your child makes will have a positive outcome, and when a decision comes with an undesired response, your child will learn to problem solve through the decision and make a better decision next time. If your little one decides to wear their favorite dress shoes to the muddy park and they get ruined, they will remember that the next time and make a different decision.

Remember mamas, as parents, it's our job to develop our little humans into empathetic, strong and responsible adults. The best way to do that is to give them the space they need to be creative, develop confidence and feel in control of their own body from a young age. Small choices can go a long way—so go for it and allow your little one to start choosing!

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14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

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Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Meadow ring toss game

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

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