Car games that will make you laugh and get to know your kids

Transform the backseat into a giggle-fest with these silly – and meaningful – car games. When you play these games, there is no need for screens or headphones. Instead, kids will be bonding with you and making lasting memories – even before their vacation begins!

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How to Get Your Kid to Sleep: Playful Bedtime Routines that Work

Getting kids to sleep can be a challenge! But bedtime can actually be the most meaningful time of the day, where we tell stories, sing songs and wind down through relaxation. Read on to learn tips that add a little play and a lot of calm to your nightly routine. Sweet dreams!

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15 Playground Toys That Will Make the Outdoors Awesome

Make time on the playground meaningful with these tools that boost imagination! Here are 15 of my favorite toys under $15 that I can slip into a bag when we go. They are collaborative, creative and physical and will certainly add a spark to your kids’ outdoor play! Plus, watch how the classic “Red Light Green Light” gets a dramatic play twist!

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Sculpture Will Make Your Kids’ Imaginations Soar

Sculpture is the best theater game to spark imagination and literacy. Kids love molding each other (and you!) into creative tableaus. Get creative with the titles to boost literacy. Expand EQ by riffing on themes that matter to their development. Above all, have fun in a screen-free, physical and bonding way!

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12 Parenting Books That Will Make it All Better

Here’s a booklist for parents to help take away the stress! Let doctors and researchers provide helpful solutions to some of our greatest parenting problems. I’ve cut through the advice-noise here: These are my favorite books that help make sense of the challenges we face and foster kindness, grit, and imagination in our kids.

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How to Get Your Kid to Sleep: Playful Bedtime Routines that Work

Getting kids to sleep can be a challenge! But bedtime can actually be the most meaningful time of the day, where we tell stories, sing songs and wind down through relaxation. Read on to learn tips that add a little play and a lot of calm to your nightly routine. Sweet dreams!

15 Playground Toys That Will Make the Outdoors Awesome

Make time on the playground meaningful with these tools that boost imagination! Here are 15 of my favorite toys under $15 that I can slip into a bag when we go. They are collaborative, creative and physical and will certainly add a spark to your kids’ outdoor play! Plus, watch how the classic “Red Light Green Light” gets a dramatic play twist!

Sculpture Will Make Your Kids’ Imaginations Soar

Sculpture is the best theater game to spark imagination and literacy. Kids love molding each other (and you!) into creative tableaus. Get creative with the titles to boost literacy. Expand EQ by riffing on themes that matter to their development. Above all, have fun in a screen-free, physical and bonding way!

12 Parenting Books That Will Make it All Better

Here’s a booklist for parents to help take away the stress! Let doctors and researchers provide helpful solutions to some of our greatest parenting problems. I’ve cut through the advice-noise here: These are my favorite books that help make sense of the challenges we face and foster kindness, grit, and imagination in our kids.

The pretend play game that will make your kids brave at the doctor

Use pretend play to elevate your child’s imagination and help them conquer fears. Watch this game of Animal Doctor and then use it to help prepare for a visit to the pediatrician. The game is great also as a way to inspire purposeful play and storytelling. Learn about scaffolding play and making meaningful connections with your kid.

18 Brain Breaks That Will Make Your Kids’ Minds Happy

Brain Breaks are brilliant ways to energize your kids in the classroom or at home. These short movement activities invigorate kids so that they can learn with calm bodies and focused minds. They tap into imagination and word play too!

11 Picture Books That Will Make Your Kid Read Like Crazy

Use wordless picture books to inspire imagination and a love of reading. These suggestions from my Child’s Play NY theater classrooms will deepen the conversation and the bonding time between you and your children. Watch the video to see adorable toddlers using picture books as a springboard for storytelling, and get tips from a school librarian about the usefulness of wordless books.

Make Listening Fun When You Play This Mindfulness Game

With this theater game, kids develop their listening skills through play – and they don’t even realize all the benefits because it is so silly! Play one-on-one or as a birthday party or playdate game. It is a saving grace on car trips or waiting rooms when you need to focus squirmy bodies! Check out the ways to boost mindfulness through relaxing variations that help with bedtime too.

20 Questions Will Boost Your Kid’s Mental Stamina and Focus

20 Questions can help your kid with impulse control (hello, spring break car trips!), flexible thinking and growth mindset. Kids love it because they can get their “sleuth” on! Parents love it because it is a fun way to get kids focusing in tight spaces!

Inspire Your Reader When You Play “Down By the Bay”

Help your young reader gain fluency with language all through play. Kids make rhymes, invent new words and get confident reading when they act out their new versions of “Down by the Bay”. Watch the video to see all the tips on how to play with this song.

The Kind of Scores You Can Really Love

Need a rainy day game? Turn to musical scores to elevate your child’s playtime. With instrumental music from their favorite films and shows, kids can go deep into characters they already love. Orchestrations will help boost their mood, inspire gross-motor play and provide a great backdrop for imaginative indoor time.

Get Calm Kids With This Simple Chant

You can get calm kids without being the “bad guy”! Use this chant to harness kids’ natural creative energy to get them focused and relaxed. Perks: it boosts executive functioning skills like working memory and impulse control. Use it for building literacy skills too!

How To Get Your Kids To Chill Out? Make An Obstacle Course!

Whether you are facing a long car trip, a rainy afternoon, or just need to release some wiggles - creating an obstacle course is a great way to get to get kids calm and happy.   Research shows that when we change our physical state - through movement or...

Afraid Of “Improv”? Simple Is The Best Way To “Silly”

Improv gets me through the winter with kids!   All those long hours of hangin’ indoors, while fending off the inevitable requests for screen-time, can make a parent go bonkers.  You guys who just had a snow day know what I’m talking about. But sometimes it's best to...

14 Reasons You Should Play Hide And Seek Right Now

Hide and Seek is a classic kid activity, but it’s not just fun and games.   Hide and Seek is amazing for our kids’ brains, hearts and bodies!   It spans cultures and times, and we all know how to play - but let’s talk about why you should play.  I’m also offering ways...

How To Talk To Kids About Big Feelings

Give kids mastery over their emotions. Let them identify and communicate about their feelings by talking “to” them! If they give voice (literally) to parts of their brain, they gain mindfulness and perspective over their worry.

How To Be Silly And Boost Mindfulness At The Same Time!

Here’s a game I love to enhance mindfulness, brain power and at the same time get some great laughs out of your kids! The good news it requires very little “stuff” to make this game fun. Like most of the dramatic play tools I can offer you, this game can spark your child’s creativity using things you already have on hand. I call it “Test Your Touch!”

How To Make Clean Up Fun

Using positivity and playfulness you can transform even the most annoying task of clean up, into a game! Watch this short video I made about the Clean-up Game!  I use this tactic in my classrooms and in my living room.  Learn about positive discipline techniques to...

Moms Talk On Women Killing It

Journalist Mom interviews Jocelyn Greene about Child’s Play. We learn about saying “no” to stuff you don’t want in your life and also about the power of play for families.

Make Reading A Game With These Simple Tools

Soup up your story time: turn your books into games when you do reading the Child's Play way! One of the perks of growing up with actor-parents is that story time was...awesome.   My mom and dad picked great books, threw themselves into the dialogue, lifted up the...

Tips On Getting Cozy With Your Kids

It is a rainy-snowy weekend for us in New York and I have just learned a new word:  Hygee It’s Danish, but I’d like to start working it into my English.  Pronounced “hoo-ga” - it is more a feeling than a word and is purportedly impossible to translate.  But let’s say...

Breath Games For Calm Kids

When I was a kid in the 80’s I used to accompany my mom to her yoga class.   This was before yoga was the phenomenon it is today.  The class was taught by a Swedish woman named Ulla and it was light on sweating (we never did chaturanga) and heavy on breathing. So for...

6 Toys That Inspire Creativity And Communication

Are you fielding requests for a hard-to-get-hatchimal? That’s all well and good, but it’s important to add toys under the tree or next to the menorah that can provide some lasting creative impact in your child’s life.  These six toys are springboards into dramatic...

Freeing The Voice Through Play

To free the voice is to free the person - Kristin Linklater, Master  Freeing Voice Teacher Since my casts of Jungle Book Kids and The Witches, have their shows this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about Baloo’s advice to Mowgli. “Go ahead, give me a big bear...

Six Holiday Books You Want To Read With Your Kids

The holiday books are an amazing opportunity to reflect on family, charity and compassion.  These books all explore these themes in different ways - some comical, some with adventure.  I also love them because they tie in with the seasonal weather all around us and...

Toys (You Already Have) For Awesome Indoor Play

“Without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.” - Carl Jung I will never cease to be amazed by the creativity of the parents I know.   Yesterday, I went to three...

Practice Listening With Story Clap!

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is upon us! You may be already preparing the brine, buying cranberries in bulk or finding the perfect wine pairing for poultry.  I’m looking forward to four days away from the routines of school and work. And I’m grateful for the time...

Move Your Body, Stretch Your Imagination With Animal Yoga

Playground season is over.  It’s officially cold.  Let’s all have a moment of silence.  And then a moment for a silent scream as we contemplate all those after-school and weekend hours that we are about to spend indoors. If you are reading this from California or some...

MAGICAL ELEVATOR – A Portal Into Playful Teaching

Travel the world.  Go back in time and forward to the future.  Venture to new lands.  And don’t leave the room… Teach your students about science, history, and make your literature come to life.  All you need is masking tape and a will to play! Like most of our...

Need A Laugh? Play “Silly Chins”!

You may have done this with girlfriends on a sleepover in the 80’s.  I know I did.   You may have done this as part of a talent show at camp.  Yup. But you may not have thought of doing this with your kid. Here’s why you should play... It’s funny: This game is the...

Kids Can’t Sleep? Try This Mindful Bedtime Sensory Exercise

Oh, Mr. Sandman? Bring my kid a dream.  Really.  Please? I’m a mom who likes to have a plan.  But try as I might, there is something about bedtime - after bath and brushed teeth and books - that drifts over into the vague.  Not my favorite time of night.   If those...

Speak And Listen To Your Kids – No Words Required.

In 1989 my parents made a VHS recording of Into the Woods when the B’way show aired on PBS. That tape must have been made of strong stuff since I probably watched it 100 times.  I knew all the words, made up secret handshakes with my best friend to the Sondheim lyrics...

Getting Into Character: 4 Games For More Compassionate Kids

Getting into another character’s shoes is the best way (that I know) to build empathy. These simple exercises will get kids out of their own heads and into the hearts of their character. The theater gives us these essential tools to boost empathy and emotional intelligence in our young students.

Kids Get In Touch With Emotions – Here’s How

Tongue twisters warm up the voice...Yoga can stretch the body...But what about our character’s feelings? I use “Pass the Emotions” to get my students primed for their rehearsals in our Shakespeare productions at Child’s Play NY.  In these plays, the stakes are so high...

Making The Most Of Halloween Through Play

“Life is a journey, not a destination,” said poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Replace the word, “life” with “Halloween” and you have a pretty compelling argument for having fun this month without being too fixated on the day itself! Probably not Emerson’s original...

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