Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The color debate

Artificial food dyes have been around for years, and many forms are actually approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Recently, there have been more studies linking food coloring with hyperactivity in children.  The FDA is currently reviewing food dyes and considering banning some.
There is no conclusive evidence that food coloring causes nor increases hyperactivity in children. There is, however, some indication that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be more sensitive to dyes that other children.

For more information read up on the FDA's released analysis of 35 years of scientific studies.

My two cents?  An elimination diet, when it is not too restrictive nor severe, is never harmful.  Use natural products and avoid colored drinks and food when possible.  Keep an eye on your child's behavior during this time.  Whether or not you see a difference, you would have introduced a healthier diet to your child :) 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Eid عيدكم مبارك

Inspired by the ad, I sought out the original Sesame Street song in Arabic. As far as I know, there are two Arabic versions of the show, an Egyptian production and one made for the Gulf countries in classical Arabic (which is the one I'm posting). It brought back many childhood memories... What a wonderful show to teach manners, skills, and very importantly, the Arabic language.
Have a lovely Eid...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Little Mr. Angry

How do you usually deal with your little angry child?  

Call it tantrums or "terrible twos"...We often feel powerless and embarrassed by our young child's temper outbursts.  This post is targeting verbal kids around the ages of 3-6 years.  Here are some tips to try with your Mr. Angry...  

  • Make sure your child is not hurting himself or others around him.  If he is, hold him close and whisper calming words to him.
  • Label his feeling, e.g. "I know you are angry", then allow your child to express it in a safe environment.
  • Consistency is key, do not give in to the tantrum and you will soon see it subside.
  • Have your child express anger by squeezing some play-dough, punching a newspaper (one sheet) or pillow, or by playing a physical game.
  • Distract your child by attracting him to an activity.
  • Walk away when you feel unable to control your own anger.  Tell your child you will talk to him after he calms down.

Educational toys

Every opportunity is a learning opportunity... Use this Eid holiday to practice spelling, shapes or numbers in a playful manner.  Try writing on sand in the shaleah, or in water while bathing or swimming, and talk about colors by naming cars passing by while you're driving.  Use fingers, toes, sticks to make the most of your children's muscle memory.  You can also enhance their creativity by using dry pasta, nuts, and any materials you have in your house.  You end up playing and teaching without having to deal with the "homework nightmare".

For educational toys and games, one of my favorite places to go to in Kuwait is Early learning Center (ELC).  I have often used their items in my therapy sessions at Soor Center.

There are four different locations in Kuwait:

Avenues- Kuwait - ELC
Al Rai Area
Avenues - Debenhams, ELC
State of Kuwait 
Opp Al Fanar Mall
Opp Al Fanar Mall
Al Salmiya, Kuwait
Tel: 00 965 571 2559
00 965 571 2566
Fax: 00 965 571 2545
Rawda Co-Op
Al Rawda Co-Op
Rawda, Kuwait
Tel: 00965 2560458
00965 2560459
The AVENUES- Kuwait
Al Rai Area
State of Kuwait
Tel: 00965 4954646
Fax: 00965 4954643


Nothing's more special and enjoyable than hearing the sound of laughter... Unleash your inner child and find intuitive and innovative ways to play.  Research has often supported the vital role of play in children's cognitive, emotional, social, physical and linguistic development.

Play can be: 
Physical through sports or games like "catchers"
Educational through the use of puzzles, books and educational games
Creative through the use of acting, art or music
Nurturing though tickles and massages

Most importantly, play is expressive.  It unleashes your child's inner thoughts and feelings and is a fun loving way to interact with your child.

Good night... playful dreams...