25 simple activities to help prepare your child for preschool

Help your child feel more confident in preschool by practicing these essential skills at home.

preparing child for preschool

When your child was a baby, do you remember feeling slightly anxious about whether or not they were meeting developmental milestones on time? As a therapist mom, it was constantly on my mind. Looking back, I can see how ridiculous I was, but at the same time I can't really blame first-time-mom-therapist me.

Happily, I can report that I've done a 180 in my view of child development (while I certainly still empathize with first-time parent angst). I no longer worry if my child is behind on a skill or struggling with any particular activity that I know is normal for their age range.

Because every child IS uniquely and wonderfully different. So please consider this list of preparation skills for preschool a guideline, and not something to get worried about. Learning is not something that should be forced, but rather encouraged through fun and child-led interest.

With that in mind, below is a list of 25 age-appropriate skills that will help your child feel more confident in preschool. The list includes activities to build skills in all areas, including fine motor skills, self-help, visual motor skills and social/emotional skills.

Having practiced some of these at home, your child will feel more confident in their new preschool environment.


Children can start practicing these skills anywhere from age 2-4. The list below is organized in a way that breaks each skill down from very easy to more advanced in skill level. And don't worry—these are basic activities that won't require any Pinterest-worthy-craftiness. You can practice them all in the comfort of your own home with little to no materials.

My hope is that you and your little one can practice these skills in a pressure free, natural environment that is fun for the both of you. If your child has a hard time with any of these activities, let them know it's okay and pick something else that might be closer to their interest level.

It is just preschool, after all!

Scissor skills + pre-scissor skills

1. Learning how to orient and hold scissors correctly

Before kids learn to cut, this is the first logical step. The prompt I use is "Is your thumb in the small hole?" and/or "Is your thumb on top?" Usually kids who are learning to cut will pronate (turn over) their wrists at first so they need this reminder. Practice 3 times in a row to make sure they have scissor orientation down.

2. Learning how to snip by cutting play dough, cutting straws or small strips of index card paper

This is the fun part! Kids seriously love learning to cut this way. It provides immediate feedback with no stress as far as which way to aim the scissors. Get ready for some tongues to come poking out as it might take some serious concentration. The thicker consistency of these materials gives more proprioceptive feedback and requires less graded control of the scissors.

3. Learning how to cut on a line

While this is the end goal, don't feel pressured to have your child complete this skill if they simply aren't ready. Go back to numbers one and two and have fun! In-hand manipulation of scissors, while using the other hand simultaneously to hold paper AND steering to stay on a line is a very advanced skill.

Coloring, pre-writing + other visual motor skills

4. Identifying basic shapes, colors and letters

Read, read and read some more! You can even practice letter sounds while you're at it.

5. Coloring

Start with having them "fill in" very small objects first (i.e. stars in the sky) then gradually move to larger objects (only use pictures with one solid object and no background, as the background is too distracting for children in this age group).

6. Imitate straight lines horizontally then vertically

I have found that drawing a line and saying "zoom!" (and then inviting your child to imitate you) is the most effective way for kids to learn this skill.

7. Imitate a circle, a cross, a square

After they have mastered the lines, move on to a circle. It's okay to start with just circular motions if that is where they are at, then move onto a circle with a definite end. Next you can try a cross: A cross is very difficult for some, as it requires the brain to cross midline. If they can do all of those things, go ahead and try a square!

8. Connect dots

Have them draw a line from one dot to the next. If that's too easy, try multiple dots in a row or draw a picture with dots. Connecting dots helps to improve visual tracking for pre-reading skills and improves motor planning skills.

9. Trace straight lines then curvy lines

You don't need any fancy tracing books to practice this skill. Just sit alongside them and have them trace on top of your lines. This will improve their visual attention and visual tracking skills.

10. Practice imitating easier vertical letters such as L, E, F, H, T and I

Always work on capital letters first before attempting lower case. Most letters of the alphabet are too difficult for pre-school aged children. Diagonals and curves are the hardest, so start with letters that use straight lines such as those listed above.

11. Practice writing their name

This can mean recognizing and saying the letters in their name, imitating the first letter of their name or even writing the whole name—remember to use capitals! Respect where they are at and don't push them when they're not ready. Try using multi-sensory approaches vs using standard pen and paper, for example, writing their name in a sandbox using their fingers, or using playdough to form the letters of their name.

Hand + grasp development

12. Practice holding crayon/marker correctly

Keep in mind, a tripod grasp isn't expected to emerge until age 3.5-4. It is natural and OKAY for them to use alternative grasps at first. In fact, there is a very natural progression of grasp. You can try my tried and true "point, pick and flip" trick to teach proper grasp. Have them point the writing utensil at themselves, use thumb and index to "pick" it up near the tip, then flip the back end of the crayon into their web-space and there you have it: a tripod grasp!

13. Writing/coloring/drawing on a horizontal surface (window, chalkboard or easel)

The angle and position that this places the arm in is going to help develop stability of the shoulder, wrist and forearm. We call this "proximal stability." A stable base is necessary in order for small, fine motor movements of the hand to develop.

14. Use small or broken crayons/chalk to facilitate proper grasp

This is one of my favorite ways to help strengthen the fingers that make up a tripod grasp (the index, middle and thumb). Since there is very little to hang on to, using broken crayons forces these three fingers to do all the work. (Credit due to Handwriting Without Tears for this concept.)

15. Clothespin activities

Clothespins strengthen the three fingers that make up the tripod grasp, which also strengthens the muscles of the thumb space and helps develop proper hand arch. Use clothespins to attach to literally anything—a string, a piece of paper, a shirt.

16. Tong activities

You can use the tongs from your kitchen and have your child practice squeezing them together to pick up literally anything! I promise your kiddos are going to love this one. Some easy household items you can use are: cotton balls, toy cars, ice cubes, markers or crayons. Just put them into a pile and grab some bowls or a muffin tray for them to use as a target drop. This is going to strengthen so many muscles of the hand and arm and promote an age appropriate grasp.

17. Playdough

Playdough is great work all around for strengthening the hands. I like it most for developing the arches of the hand, especially when rolling into snakes or small balls against the palm. You can do so much with playdough—roll it into a snake and then pinch along the length of it, place small toothpicks into it for a birthday cake, spell out their name, etc.

Social/emotional skills

18. Take turns

How else will your child learn how to take turns if you aren't practicing this skill with them at home? Ask them for a turn using their prized toy, or play a simple board game that involves reciprocal turn taking (Go-Fish, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Don't Break the Ice or Candyland are classic examples).

19. Clean up and put away

When they are finished playing with all those toy cars or dolls, have them clean them up before choosing a new toy.

20. Sit and finish an activity in its entirety

Generally speaking, pre-school aged children should be able to sit down for at least 5 minutes to complete a preferred task, whether that's finishing a puzzle, coloring a picture or building a structure with blocks or Legos.

21. Learn how to ask for help

This is so important. If they aren't learning to ask for help at home, then they won't be able to ask their teacher for help when they need it.

22. Make eye contact

It is important to teach children how to make eye contact when they are speaking to someone or saying hello. It tells the person who is being spoken to, and it also shows respect and tells the other person you are paying attention to them.

Self-help skills

23. Practice taking off and putting on shoes + pulling down and pulling up pants

They will need to put shoes on and off occasionally at school. They will need to know how to pull pants up and down by their knee level so they can use the potty.

24. Practice using a spoon and fork

25. Practice washing their hands

Break it down into simple steps:

Step 1: get soap
Step 2: rub hands together
Step 3: rinse hands
Step 4: turn off faucet
Step 5: dry hands

Originally published by Ashley Thurn on helpinghandot.com.

Here are some products we love to get started:

Dough Parlour play dough

Dough Parlour play dough

Created by a mama and preschool teacher, Dough Parlour's play dough is the best we've ever found. The premium-quality, fruity-scented modeling dough is made from 100% non-toxic ingredients, is 100% biodegradable and is handcrafted in Canada. (And we want to play with it as much as our kids!)

$22

Wise Elk fishing game

Wise Elk fishing game

Simple but engaging, this magnetic fishing game is a great way to develop focus and patience and learn how to take turns.

$20

Boundless Blooms guided exercises + mantras for kids 

 Boundless Blooms guided exercises and mantras for kids

This colorful deck of cards is actually an effective tool for helping young kids develop emotional intelligence and resiliency. A solid foundation in these skills makes the transition to preschool just a bit smoother.

$30

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated.

23 kid-approved lunch ideas you'll want to steal

Looking for some tried-and-true lunch time suggestions? We've got you covered, mama.

mrs/Getty Images

Whether your little one will eat anything you put in front of them or prefers to stick to their favorite foods, coming up with healthy lunch ideas for your kids every day can be stressful. We're here to help. That's why we're rounding up some fun, healthy meals for you to try. Many of these feature leftovers or options you can make without cooking anything new.

We hope you'll find some great ways to help make lunchtime fun in your house. Whether it's a new idea for a wrap or simply a snack that your child has yet to try, read on for 20+ great lunch ideas for kids.


A version of this story was published in July 2021. It has been updated.

Food

12 baby registry essentials for family adventures

Eager to get out and go? Start here

Ashley Robertson / @ashleyrobertson

Parenthood: It's the greatest adventure of all. From those first few outings around the block to family trips at international destinations, there are new experiences to discover around every corner. As you begin the journey, an adventurous spirit can take you far—and the best baby travel gear can help you go even farther.

With car seats, strollers and travel systems designed to help you confidently get out and go on family adventures, Maxi-Cosi gives you the support you need to make the memories you want.

As a mom of two, Ashley Robertson says she appreciates how Maxi-Cosi products can grow with her growing family. "For baby gear, safety and ease are always at the top of our list, but I also love how aesthetically pleasing the Maxi Cosi products are," she says. "The Pria Car Seat was our first purchase and it's been so nice to have a car seat that 'grows' with your child. It's also easy to clean—major bonus!"

If you have big dreams for family adventures, start by exploring these 12 baby registry essentials.

Tayla™️ XP Travel System

Flexibility is key for successful family adventures. This reversible, adjustable, all-terrain travel system delivers great versatility. With the included Coral XP Infant Car Seat that fits securely in the nesting system, you can use this stroller from birth.


Add to Babylist

$849.99

Iora Bedside Bassinet

Great for use at home or for adventures that involve a night away, the collapsible Iora Bedside Bassinet gives your baby a comfortable, safe place to snooze. With five different height positions and three slide positions, this bassinet can fit right by your bedside. The travel bag also makes it easy to take on the go.


Add to Babylist

$249.99

Kori 2-in-1 Rocker

Made with high-quality, soft materials, the foldable Kori Rocker offers 2-in-1 action by being a rocker or stationary seat. It's easy to move around the home, so you can keep your baby comfortable wherever you go. With a slim folded profile, it's also easy to take along on adventures so your baby always has a seat of their own.


Add to Babylist

$119.99

Minla 6-in-1 High Chair

A high chair may not come to mind when you're planning ahead for family adventures. But, as the safest spot for your growing baby to eat meals, it's worth bringing along for the ride. With compact folding ability and multiple modes of use that will grow with your little one, it makes for easy cargo.


Add to Babylist

$219.99

Coral XP Infant Car Seat

With the inner carrier weighing in at just 5 lbs., this incredibly lightweight infant car seat means every outing isn't also an arm workout for you. Another feature you won't find with other infant car seats? In addition to the standard carry bar, the Coral XP can be carried with a flexible handle or cross-body strap.


Add to Babylist

$399.99

Pria™️ All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

From birth through 10 years, this is the one and only car seat you need. It works in rear-facing, forward-facing and, finally, booster mode. Comfortable and secure for every mile of the journey ahead, you can feel good about hitting the road for family fun.


Add to Babylist

$289.99

Pria™️ Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

Want to skip the wrestling match with car seat buckles? The brilliant Out-of-the-Way harness system and magnetic chest clip make getting your child in and out of their buckles as cinch. This fully convertible car seat is suitable for babies from 4 lbs. through big kids up to 100 lbs. With washer-and-dryer safe cushions and dishwasher safe cup holders, you don't need to stress the mess either.


Add to Babylist

$329.99

Tayla Modular Lightweight Stroller

With four reclining positions, your little ones can stay content—whether they want to lay back for a little shut-eye or sit up and take in the view. Also reversible, the seat can be turned outward or inward if you want to keep an eye on your adventure buddy. Need to pop it in the trunk or take it on the plane? The stroller easily and compactly folds shut.


Add to Babylist
$499.99

Tayla Travel System

This car seat and stroller combo is the baby travel system that will help make your travel dreams possible from Day 1. The Mico XP infant seat is quick and easy to install into the stroller or car. Skipping the car seat? The reversible stroller seat is a comfortable way to take in the scenery.


Add to Babylist
$699.99

Modern Diaper Bag

When you need to change a diaper during an outing, the last thing you'll want to do is scramble to find one. The Modern Diaper Bag will help you stay organized for brief outings or week-long family vacations. In addition to the pockets and easy-carry strap, we love the wipeable diaper changing pad, insulated diaper bag and hanging toiletry bag.


Add to Babylist

$129.99

Mico XP Max Infant Car Seat

Designed for maximum safety and comfort from the very first day, this infant car seat securely locks into the car seat base or compatible strollers. With a comfy infant pillow and luxe materials, it also feels as good for your baby as it looks to you. Not to mention the cushions are all machine washable and dryable, which is a major win for you.


Add to Babylist
$299.99

Adorra™️ 5-in-1 Modular Travel System

From carriage mode for newborn through world-view seated mode for bigger kids, this 5-in-1 children's travel system truly will help make travel possible. We appreciate the adjustable handlebar, extended canopy with UV protection and locking abilities when it's folded. Your child will appreciate the plush cushions, reclining seat and smooth ride.


Add to Babylist
$599.99

Ready for some family adventures? Start by exploring Maxi-Cosi.

This article was sponsored by Maxi-Cosi. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


Boost 1

This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.


Honestly, it's no wonder. Originally designed as a better blanket for luxury hotels and engineered with textile experts to create this uniquely soft fabric, it has made my bed into the vacation I so desperately want these days.

The comforter is made up of two layers. On one side is their signature knit "snug" fabric which out-cozies even my most beloved (bought on sale) cashmere sweater. The other, a soft quilted microfiber. Together, it creates a weighty blanket that's as soothing to be under as it is to flop face-first into at the end of an exhausting day. Or at lunch. No judgement.

Miraculously, given the weight and construction, it stays totally breathable and hasn't left me feeling overheated even on these warm summer nights with just a fan in the window.

Beyond being the absolute most comfortable comforter I've found, it's also answered my minimalist bed making desires. Whether you opt to use it knit or quilted side up, it cleanly pulls the room together and doesn't wrinkle or look unkempt even if you steal a quick nap on top of it.

Also worth noting, while all that sounds super luxe and totally indulgent, the best part is, it's equally durable. It's made to be easily machine washed and come out the other side as radically soft as ever, forever, which totally helps take the sting out of the price tag.

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

Here is my top pick from Sunday Citizen, along with the super-soft goods I'm coveting for future purchases.

Woodland Snug comforter

Sunday-Citizen-Woodland-Snug-comforter

The bedroom anchor I've been looking for— the Snug Comforter.

$249

Braided Pom Pom Throw

Because this degree of coziness needs portability, I'm totally putting the throw version on my list. It's washable, which is a must-have given my shedding dog and two spill-prone kiddos who are bound to fight over it during family movie night.

$145

Lumbar pillow

sunday-citizen-lumbar-pillow

What's a cozy bed without a pile of pillows?

$65

Crystal infused sleep mask

sunday citizen sleep mask

Promoting sleep by creating total darkness and relaxation, I've bookmarked as my go-to gift for fellow mamas.

$40

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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15 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are 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 indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


Stomp Racers

As longtime fans of Stomp Rockets, we're pretty excited about their latest launch–Stomp Racers. Honestly, the thrill of sending things flying through the air never gets old. Parents and kids alike can spend hours launching these kid-powered cars which take off via a stompable pad and hose.

$19.99

Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

Step2 Up and Down Rollercoaster

Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don't think it will be put away too often!)

$139

Secret Agent play set

Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Stepping Stones

Stepping-stones

Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

$99.99

Sand play set

B. toys Wagon & Beach Playset - Wavy-Wagon Red

For the littlest ones, it's easy to keep it simple. Take their sand box toys and use them in the bath! This 12-piece set includes a variety of scoops, molds and sifters that can all be stored in sweet little wagon.

$17.95

Sensory play set

kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

Filled with sand or water, this compact-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.

$19.95

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

Foam pogo stick

Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

$16.99

Dumptruck 

green-toys-dump-truck

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

$22

Hopper ball

Hopper ball

Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

$14.99

Pull-along ducks

janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

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.

$16.99

Rocking chair seesaw

Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

$79.99

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.

$79.99

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

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.

$24.75

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

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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How to talk to your kids about Indigenous history and issues

In honor of Native American Day.

MoMo Productions

No matter who you are and where you're from, there's likely an indigenous population that was displaced by colonialism wherever you live, or you yourself might have this heritage. While each situation varies widely based on exactly where you're from, it's still important to discuss indigenous history with your children. Allow them to ask questions to truly understand the scope of their experience through education.

Indigenous history education is important for kids of all backgrounds—even those who aren't indigenous. Some may even argue that it's especially important for kids who aren't indigenous.

Indigenous history is an integral part of the history of any nation with a history of colonialism. And although parts of it may be uncomfortable, it's important to learn about it in order to become better citizens in the present day. Indigenous populations are filled with many rich cultures and populations of people still being affected today by the events of history—and current events taking place right now.

No matter where you are or when you're getting started, here are a few effective tips for how to talk to your kids about indigenous history and issues.


Don't Rely on Stereotypes

Much of what we have to go off of in our common culture in terms of indigenous stories and representation are actually based on stereotypes and narratives perpetuated by colonizers. Sometimes it can be difficult to wade through a sea of stereotypes and unreliable sources, but in order to find legitimate information about sensitive topics, you may need to look for better sources — likely sources that come directly from indigenous people, records, and organizations.

Even academic history textbooks are often filled with lies and constructed narratives. From the stories of the first Thanksgiving to Disney movies featuring native characters, common cultural narratives of indigenous people are often much less than accurate.

Be Honest With Them

It can sometimes be difficult to talk to kids about sensitive topics, especially when those topics inherently contain discussions of wrongdoing and injustice. However, that makes it even more important to be honest about the events that have taken place.

Of course, it's always important to talk about things in an age-appropriate manner, especially with kids who are sensitive to graphic information. But age-appropriate doesn't mean bending the truth. It means telling the truth in ways they can understand and process.

Talk About Both Past and Present

Especially for those not as in touch with the indigenous community, indigenous history can feel just like how it sounds at first glance—history that lives completely in the past.

On the contrary. Indigenous populations are as alive as ever, from reservations to bigger cities. Indigenous people face unique issues that they didn't in previous generations, and it's important to recognize indigenous people as more than a history—they are a community of people.

When it comes to how to talk to kids about indigenous issues, one of the biggest things to remember is that current events are a large part of that narrative.

Listen to Actual Indigenous Voices

As previously discussed, much of the common cultural narrative—including educational materials—are filled with stereotypes and manufactured histories from the perspective of European colonizers. No matter what, the best way to get an accurate view of indigenous history and issues is to seek out accounts and sources from actual indigenous people, tribes, and organizations.

When trying to learn about any subject, it's always best to head right to primary sources. So check out the tribes in your area and learn directly about them. Plus, check out books, speeches, and resources from indigenous authors and scholars.

Be an Active Force for Positive Change

Again, it's important to disrupt the "people of the past" narrative, which means actively participating in positive change as a part of the learning experience. Donate money to indigenous organizations, go to events that feature and give back to the indigenous community in your area, and sign petitions for current events as a part of your conversation.

It's important both to make reparations and to create a participatory learning experience when talking to kids, and there are plenty of ways to do that.

Discuss Non-Colonialist Culture and History

One of the big missteps—even with well-intentioned educators—is centering the conversation of indigenous history around colonialism. By starting the conversation with the colonizers showing up and stealing land, you participate further in a euro-centric worldview and miss so much valuable information that indigenous history and culture have to offer.

Instead, learn about indigenous culture, tradition, spirituality, and history outside of the colonial narrative. While it may feel like a no-brainer to some, many don't realize what they miss out on.

Encourage Them to Ask Questions

Just like any topic you're teaching kids, they will likely have questions and curiosities about indigenous peoples and experiences. Questions are a good thing, especially if the subject is new to you, too.

Encourage your kids to ask questions throughout the conversation or lesson. And if you have answers, you can lead them to those answers. However, if you don't know the answers, you can take it as a learning opportunity to discover something new together.

Keep the Conversation Going

One of the primary ways to create a well-rounded education on indigenous history and issues for anybody of any age is to keep the conversation active. Just like any history lesson, you don't just talk about it once and drop it afterward—you keep the conversation going with new lessons and topics of discussion.

At the end of the day, indigenous culture is rich and diverse—much too much for you to tackle it all in just one sitting.

Talking to Your Kids About Indigenous History

There are so many ways to discuss indigenous issues and culture, and exploring them with your kids is an amazing opportunity to educate them (as well as yourself) to be better citizens of the community and world. Indigenous history is inherently a part of the history of your country, which means it's imperative that you bring it into the educational conversations you're having.

Parenting

75 powerful baby names that mean strength

Having a baby during a pandemic calls for a name that says, "I can do hard things."

Getty

Parenthood is a test of emotional and physical strength like none other—and every baby born during the pandemic is a testament to the incredible strength and powerful resilience of motherhood. Baby names that mean "strong," "mighty" or "powerful" feel uniquely appropriate in 2020.

You may be hoping that your child inherits the personal strength of you or a loved one, or that they boast the inner strength to overcome any obstacle life may throw their way. While the word "strong" itself might not be the ideal name, there are plenty of baby names that mean strong that fit the hopes and dreams you have for your newborn.

Whether you're looking for something outside of the box, or something more common, this list of baby names that mean "strong" is packed with inspiration.


10 popular baby girl names that mean strong

These baby girl names meaning "strong," "strength" and "power" rank in the top 1,000 names for girls.

  1. Andrea
  2. Audrey
  3. Briana
  4. Bridget
  5. Briella
  6. Gabriella
  7. Matilda
  8. Valentina
  9. Valerie
  10. Valeria

10 popular baby boy names that mean strong

Baby boy names with the meaning "strong," "powerful" or "strength" are always popular—these currently rank in the top 1,000 names for boys.

  1. Andrew
  2. Brian
  3. Denzel
  4. Ethan
  5. Ezekiel
  6. Gabriel
  7. Garrett
  8. Harvey
  9. Kenzo
  10. Valentino

25 unique baby girl names that mean strong

Less common but still powerful and beautiful, these girl names that mean "strength," "mighty" or "power" include vintage-sounding names ripe for a comeback, like Maude and Trudy, as well as modern-sounding names with strong meanings, like Bree, Aila and Bali.

  1. Adira
  2. Aila
  3. Asta
  4. Audra
  5. Bali
  6. Bedelia
  7. Bidu
  8. Bree
  9. Britta
  10. Drusilla
  11. Fortney
  12. Gertrude
  13. Imara
  14. Imiza
  15. Irie
  16. Isa
  17. Maude
  18. Melisande
  19. Millicent
  20. Philomena
  21. Rainey
  22. Riella
  23. Rita
  24. Trudy
  25. Zenobia

25 unique boy names that mean strong

Looking for an alternative to the perennially-popular boys' names with the meaning "strength"? Some of these boy names that mean strong are old-school favorites that have become less common in recent years (like Gerard and Howard), while some have a more modern feel, like Brycin, Chasin and Fort.

  1. Abelardo
  2. Anders
  3. Arsenio
  4. Azaiah
  5. Bernard
  6. Brycin
  7. Chasin
  8. Conall
  9. Egon
  10. Ermentrude
  11. Fort
  12. Gavi
  13. Gerard
  14. Howard
  15. Kwan
  16. Mandla
  17. Maynard
  18. Osiris
  19. Oz
  20. Uzi
  21. Uziah
  22. Valens
  23. Warrick
  24. Zane
  25. Zeke

10 gender-neutral baby names that mean strong

Whether given to a boy or a girl, these gender-neutral names that mean "strength" evoke power and resilience.

  1. Baldwin
  2. Barrett
  3. Dree
  4. Drew
  5. Evander
  6. Everett
  7. Griffin
  8. Kiah
  9. Quillon
  10. Zale
Celebrate the strength of motherhood

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Unique Baby Names