Learn and Play with Mrs A Podcasts

Monday 29th of July 2013
Screen time has become a concern for many parents and caregivers. Are digital devices supportive for children's development or not? Parent and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Creating A Social Network, Angela Crocker teaches about using technology. She confesses to a "healthy addiction to tech gadgets" and shares her experience and perspective of kids and screen time.
Monday 22nd of July 2013
Will your child be going to kindergarten? Are you asking if your child will be ready? Guest Kerry Murdoch is a parent with a child starting kindergarten and a kindergarten teacher. She shares a perspective from both sides. Mrs. A includes a general readiness checklist and developmental milestones.
Monday 15th of July 2013
Children need connections to nature, and what better time than summer vacation? Jacquie Fisher, founder and CCO from KCEdventures is the Learn and Play with Mrs. A guest for ideas for nature play in the summer. Jacquie shares both Adventures and Edventures of summer nature fun for kids with ideas for hands-on, sensory, and nature play and learning.
Monday 8th of July 2013
Summer time, and the kids .... need something to do. On this show, Kelly Cornall St. Clair interviews Mrs. A for ideas to do in communities and right at home, inside and outside. There are suggestions for sensory play and tools to get the most out of summer days. Does your family like a bucket-list plan or to go with the flow? Here are ways to have both. This play-of-the-week turns into a whole summer of fun.
Monday 1st of July 2013
Education for all children begins within a child's family. Between one-third to one-half of children will spend time in a step-family situation. The changing family dynamics can create challenging issues for children, both to learn and to unlearn. Guest Dianne Martin is a step-family counselor and step-mom. With both training and experience, she answers questions for parents and caregivers with tips, tools, and techniques for supporting children in any family situation, and especially step-families.
Monday 24th of June 2013
Would homeschooling be right for your child? How can you tell? Is it doable for you? These are just a few of the questions that parents have as they consider homeschooling. Guest Susan Malphurs will help answer some of your questions. Susan is a homeschool parent and a cofounder of The Homeschool Village. Currently she is working with Real Science 4 Kids at Gravitas Publications, supporting families on their homeschool adventures. While only a small percentage of students are homeschooled the number is growing every year. Is this an option you are considering for your child?
Wednesday 12th of June 2013
Summer is more than vacation; it is also holidays and other major events. Sandy Fowler, parent, blogger, speaker, and business owner, joins Mrs. A to talk about the importance of these special holidays in children’s development. For ways to add fun and learning to summer holidays and events for young children, tune in to this heart-filled conversation with two hosts, Mrs. A and Sandy Fowler, host from Heart Filled Holidays, for a heart-filled conversation about kids and summer.
Monday 10th of June 2013
Did you know that the human brain is hard-wired for stories? Stories are a powerful tool for all kinds of teaching and learning--at any age and imaginations can go anywhere. Learn and Play with Mrs. A's guest, Dr. David Ward, is a parent, story-teller, author, teacher, and college professor who uses the magic of stories to touch hearts and minds all across North America, and beyond. Tune in and listen to the story...
Monday 3rd of June 2013
"Everyone can be a father, but it takes a lot to be a daddy." Daddies are special members of Team Family. The father's voice is a powerful one for children from even before they are born. Today's guest on Learn and Play with Mrs. A is Chris LoPrete, who writes on The Daddy's Den. Currently, Chris is a writer/producer for the Comedy and Reality Promo Team at ABC Television. As an actor, he has performed in tv, and film and now will be on radio. He shares with us his take on being a dad. Take Special...
Monday 27th of May 2013
Young children need to be physically active for both healthy bodies and healthy brains. Sports is one way of doing that. Join Mrs. A as she talks to parent and coach, Jeffrey Ralston who also coaches parents on how to be a coach, in case you get “roped into coaching.”
Monday 20th of May 2013
Did you know that gardens are great places for growing fun and learning, besides growing seeds and plants? Children are fascinated with plants and how they grow. Since kids love to play in the dirt, they are already enthusiastic gardeners! Barb McMahon is a School Garden Coordinator and today's guest. She shares ideas and tips for what to seeds to use, how to encourage a No-Squish policy, and ways to grow both kids and gardens.
Monday 13th of May 2013
When it comes to kids, have you ever wished for a book of instructions? "Help! My Toddler Came Without Instructions" is the name of Blythe Lipman's newest book and, as today's guest, she shares practical suggestions and tips that are both child-tested and parent-friendly. Join Blythe and Mrs. A for a conversation about toddlers and help celebrate Blythe's brand new book.
Monday 6th of May 2013
Nicolle Nattrass, actor, mother, writer and performer of the solo comedy, Mamahood: Turn and Face the Strange, is the guest on Learn and Play. Join the conversation to talk about the crazy, special world of mamahood and, of course, kids.
Monday 29th of April 2013
Almost half of the children in military families are under the age of 5. Kids in the military face both typical and extraordinary challenges. They need strategies and resources to help them cope. Here to talk with us about how to support children is guest Judy Davis. Judy Davis, aka The Direction Diva, is a motivational speaker, Military Spouse, author, blogger, and entrepreneur. Judy shares T.I.P.s: Tools, Information, and Perspective. Join Mrs. A as she talks with Judy about how to support military children facing extraordinary challenges.
Monday 22nd of April 2013
Lea Keating, from Sensory Street Kids, shares the story of her journey with a child with special needs and learning challenges. We all have similar stories from family or friends. Lea and Mrs. A talk about the importance of sensory stimulation and Lea has some great, practical suggestions for calming and coping activities plus some helpful resource recommendations. Lea says: "I realized that combining these sensory activities with a developmental approach to learning was not only successful but really fun, too." And this podcast is fun and learning.
Monday 15th of April 2013
Yes, even very young children can develop this habitual way of responding. Is it a power struggle? Attention? Why do kids procrastinate? How can we help? For answers to these and many other questions, today's guest is well-known speaker Rita Emmett, author of THE PROCRASTINATING CHILD: A Handbook for Adults to Help Children Stop Putting Things Off. Today, with Rita, we'll talk about how you can support your child to learn "a better way." (Some of it might rub off on us!)
Monday 8th of April 2013
"Play is the brain's favorite way to learn." (Dianne Ackerman) But is play itself at risk? Is there enough space and time in children's day for play? How can families squeeze in play? Trading in her dissertation for diapers, Stephanie Haass is the mom of two-year old twins. When born premature, Stephanie began researching stimulating development thru play. Join the two (plus two) of us for some fun and learning and come out and PLAY.
Monday 1st of April 2013
Delaying Kindergarten For A Year? Today’s guest is the author of 1 2 3 Kindergarten, Everything Your Child Needs To Learn Before Kindergarten. As a kindergarten teacher, she has been there for the school start of about a thousand kids and families, so has experience with answers that may help you. The guest is Barbara Allisen, also known as Mrs. A, (and usually the program host. Brenda Nixon,author of The Birth To Five Book and former host of The Parents’ Plate is guest host. Two experts in conversation on the advantages and disadvantages of what is sometimes called red-shirting or delaying the start of kindergarten, means double the resources for you.
Monday 25th of March 2013
Author and childcare director, Karen Foster-Jorgensen joins Mrs. A with some guidelines to help you choose a care facility for your child. Karen knows how they work first-hand and has looked behind the doors of hundreds of places nationally and internationally, as both owner and consultant. Mrs. A is ready with your questions, and Karen is here with answers. Choosing care for your child doesn't have to be one of the hardest decisions you will make, even though it will be one of the most important!
Monday 18th of March 2013
Is your child a picky eater? Have you run out of ways to get your child to eat veggies and fruit? Kia Robertson, from Today I Ate A Rainbow, has solutions for you and a whole banquet of ideas, because "kids thrive when they eat 5 colors of the rainbow everyday." Join Mrs. A as she talks to Kia Robertson about how you can have some "peas of mind" and help your child develop healthy-eating habits and make good nutritional choices.
Monday 11th of March 2013
Author of Stop Raising Einstein and Mom Entrepreneur Extraordinaire, Tara Kennedy-Kline is Mrs. A's guest for the topic of social skills for young children. Which do you think is more important for success: social skills or academic ones? Tune in as Mrs. A and Mrs. K discuss how to support young children to learn early behaviors such as sharing and taking turns, coping with the challenges of having to wait, and how to interact positively with others. Tara is an informative and entertaining speaker. Here is a sample of her humor: "Fun works! Instead of nagging and yelling and correcting constantly, try something goofy!" Once, tired of the cries for "MOM!" she told her kids she was changing her name to "PLEASE"! And raising kids needs parents that can laugh and have fun! Join these two moms for some practical and inspirational answers to your questions about supporting children as they learn and play.
Monday 4th of March 2013
Guest MaryAnn F. Kohl has filled more than 20 books with ideas for creative, hands-on play for kids. She says, for kids, "it's the process that rivets their creative spirits." Explore with Mrs. A and MaryAnn Kohl ways that your child can play, learn, and explore right at home. Ordinary materials and everyday moments can become exciting adventures into the world of the imagination. More than art, MaryAnn has hands-on creative ideas for science, cooking, math, snacks, and even mud. Come have fun with Mrs. K and Mrs. A and inspire your ideas for your child's play and learning.
Monday 25th of February 2013
Yoga offers some tremendous benefits for early development. Plus, yoga also includes an element of play and adventure, making it appealing and fun. Today's Learn and Play guest, AJ Aiken, shares suggestions and resources for yoga with kids. Her information will help you choose a class or program for your child and give you ideas for including yoga at home. Tune in and hear how pretzels, jungles, animals, and airplanes can be part of yoga for kids.
Monday 18th of February 2013
For children, do the numbers 20/20 give enough information about children's vision? What are some clues that a child might be having difficulty seeing? Does vision affect behavior? In this podcast, Mrs. A asks parent and optometrist, Dr. Michael Kellam, about young children's early visual development. Dr. Kellam talks about concerns that parents and caregivers have and suggests ways that we can help support the visual aspect of development and how it impacts children. For great information and resources, join the conversation with Dr. Kellam, for talking about seeing.
Monday 11th of February 2013
Science is all about exploring and asking questions. Sound like kids! Guest, Dr. Rebecca Keller, scientist and author of the popular Real Science 4 Kids series, helps parents and caregivers with their questions about kids and science. You'll hear simple and fun activities for kids of different ages. Want some great reasons to play with food? What science concept uses jello? Discover this great play-of-the-week radio show and tune in for the fun and learning.
Monday 4th of February 2013
Were your children born with an “art gene?” Artist and art therapist Karen Wallace reassures us that kids are born artists. Art is another way of creating and sharing stories about life, a process of expressing ourselves in color, paint, dance, music, words and many other ways. She shares some ideas for including art in the lives of children, from babies to school, and beyond, and explains how this process is used in art therapy to explore what is troubling and blocking in lives of children...and adults.
Monday 28th of January 2013
Children's health and wellness impacts their learning and development. Nurse and parent Martha Sanchez talks about: some typical challenges, clues that indicate a child may be getting sick, suggestions when dealing with stress, resources for adults and kids, tips for developing healthy habits, and more.
Monday 21st of January 2013
Kids do not need to be born with a math gene to be good in math. Even if you find math a challenge or say you are not good in math, this show has lots of fun and play so you can help your child learn about math. Guest Cathleen Alexander, a math teacher who's taken kids out to the playground to jump for math, will help us increase the math fun and decrease the math phobia with sum gr8t ideas.
Monday 14th of January 2013
If words were pennies... Pennies go in piggy banks and words go in brain banks. Did you know that children hear millions and millions of words a year, that brains use for making connections and developing thinking? Mrs. A talks with speech and language specialist Lynne Patrick about supporting children's development. When do babies start talking? How can parents get toddlers to use words instead of just pointing? What if a child's speech isn't understandable? These are just a few of the questions that Lynne will answer. And how can parents make more word deposits in children's brain banks? Join Mrs. A for an "enriching" show.
Monday 7th of January 2013
Are your children getting enough physical activity in a day? Adults likely have more exercise as a New Year's resolution. But how about the kids? Join me for a conversation with Serena D'Eath, a parent and fitness coach, who gives answers to questions: what kinds of activities, how much to do, rainy day ideas, why it's important and more. Serena connects activity, health, nutrition, and reality for families, as we connect with you. Movin', groovin', and learnin' for young children.
Monday 17th of December 2012
A sense of belonging, is more than social/emotional. It is not just part of our hearts but built into our brains. Babies arrive with this attachment and interaction-need already in place, literally pre-wired into the brain and it’s crucial to how the brain develops. Research is now proving that positive parent and child interaction is a key element in children’s early development. Mrs. A talks with guest Don Power, parent of 3 children, and editor of Sprout Insights, about supporting children’s early development in the family. Don is a social media consultant/speaker and shares from his own experiences of 'hands-on reality' meeting the 'theory of parenting books'. Don has 3 key points that guide him and will open the doors for you to support your child’s early development as he and Mrs. A talk about the importance of family for young children.
Monday 10th of December 2012
Very young children are learning not just how the world works, but also how they work. They need to learn about themselves on a physical body level and also on an emotional level. When it comes to young children and emotions what are some of the basics? Join Mrs. A as she talks to guest Loreli Rozzano, a family counsellor, foster parent, and author of the book Gracie's Secret, the story of a little girl coping with family conflict. Helping learn about emotions is not just key part of early development but also a piece of the life-long puzzle.
Monday 3rd of December 2012
Mrs A welcomes guest Pam Renzi as she reads her new book The Global Christmas, then Mrs. A shares Now You Know The Secret by Beryl Wearne. The Global Christmas invites us to a special celebration of joy and peace all around the world. Now You Know The Secret is a grandmother's wonderful answer to her granddaughter's question: Is Santa Claus real? Mrs. A has even penned a new version of the Night Before Christmas with parents struggling with instructions and themselves waking up the kids--on purpose! "Follow the children, they'll show us the way" ... and tune in to The Christmas Story Hour.
Monday 26th of November 2012
Toys are more than playthings! They are the tool that children use to explore and learn about the world both beyond themselves and within. What kinds of toys are appropriate for different ages? Which ones are more fun than the box they came in? Are some toys better for girls or boys? For answers to these and more questions about toys, join Mrs. A as she talks with Jeff Johnson, author, parent, childcare provider, and toy designer from Explorations Early Learning for ideas, suggestions and advice on kids and toys.
Monday 19th of November 2012
Music impacts children's learning and development at a deep level, even before they are born. Richard Leighton, musician, songwriter, performer and producer, joins Mrs. A and shares practical ideas for including music in everyday activities. From making a shaker with a plastic bottle and pebbles, to songs and singing, and some suggestions for first instruments, Richard and Mrs. A invite you to tune in and support your child's early development with some music fun and learning.
Monday 12th of November 2012
In the words of Sir Ken Robinson, "Creativity has become the new literacy." Creativity is needed more and more, yet children are losing this ability with each year. How can you nurture your child's creativity? Join Mrs. A as she talks with guest Heather Boyd about protecting and encouraging children's creative thinking, learning and play.
Monday 5th of November 2012
Are holidays from the heart on the wish-list for your children and family? Guest Virgina Brucker, author of Gifts from the Heart, Simple Ways to Make Your Family's Christmas More Meaningful, shares some tips with Mrs. A and listeners on kid-tested crafts and gifts, traditions that you begin with young children, ideas for discouraging the want-monster and avoiding the gimmies, emotional challenges of loss and grief, and creating holiday fun and learning for little ones.
Monday 29th of October 2012
Monday 22nd of October 2012
A complex and sometimes controversial topic for parents and caregivers. Guest Kerri Isham, an educator with advanced training, explores with host Barbara Allisen such questions as: When to tell to preschoolers about reproduction? What information do kids need to know about themselves and their bodies? Is it okay to be naked in front of kids? How to deal with incidents of private body parts show and tell? and most importantly, How to build abuse-resistance? Plus, more resources and answers so your child gets the information from you, not the media or playground.
Monday 15th of October 2012
Did you know that missing sleep as a child can make for a grumpy, moody adult? Poor sleep can affect learning and behavior. Leslie Black, from A Kiss Goodnight Sleep Consultation talks with Mrs. A and shares some sleep solutions for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and kids in kindergarten. Sleeping well increases brain power!
Monday 8th of October 2012
Our children are at risk of developing what Richard Louv calls "Nature-deficit disorder". Mrs A talks with forester Andy Hall on ways that parents can help kids learn about and connect to nature. In any city, there are hidden nature-pockets that Andy can help you discover and explore as you connect your little critters to nature's.
Monday 1st of October 2012
Robin Rivers from Our Big Earth joins Mrs. A. to talk about Books for Treats and National Costume Swap, two programs in the U.S. and Canada to put a little green into Halloween. Find out more information about these family-friendly Halloween programs that will appeal to all ghouls and goblins.
Monday 24th of September 2012
Because 4+4=ATE. Getting kids to eat is one challenge; what to make is another. Join Mrs A as she talks with Kimberly Plumley about what to put in lunches, ways to get kids to eat breakfast, and shares some family-friendly recipes. This is a podcast for tweeting and eating!
Monday 17th of September 2012
Parent involvement impacts children's success in school: their attendance, grades,social skills, self-esteem, achievement and risk-taking. How can you be involved? Explore the issue of Parent Involvement with Mrs. A and guest Ann Morgan James of How to Raise a Millionaire. After all, 5 years before school starts, 13 years in school, that makes 2 decades for you to be an involved parent and make an absolute difference for your child.
Monday 10th of September 2012
Did you know by reading books to your child you build familiarity with 5,000 books by the time your child comes to school? Reading is the most important activity you can do at home. Join Mrs. A and guest Terri Mack from Strong Nations, who will have trucks delivering 80,000 books, as they share ways you can help your child build a vocabulary brain-bank account and foundation for reading.
Monday 3rd of September 2012
Forest Fisher, a 7-time national gold-medal winner and rocket scientist on the Mars rover Curiosity, talks to Mrs. A about helping kids be the best they can be. Curiosity, determination and balance are important factors for both adults and kids. Forest Fisher and Mrs. A are another winning combination.
Monday 27th of August 2012
Many parents wonder how sending their child to kindergarten this year or waiting a year(redshirting)? Barbara Allisen debates this with Blythe Lipman of Baby & Toddler Instructions. Points to consider, support, other alternatives, and how to tell if your child is "ready or not".
Monday 20th of August 2012
Will your child be starting preschool or kindergarten? Here are some tips for The First Day. Barbara Allisen talks with mompreneur Leah Jantzen about helping children separate from parents and important issues for kids' healthy independence and self-care.
Monday 13th of August 2012
2012-08-13 PLAY!Join Mrs. for a magic school bus ride through a child's brain to see all the learning that happens during play and ways to play in every room in the house. Discussions about boys playing with dolls, young girls and Barbies, boys playing with dress-up dresses,independent play, rough and tumble, nature time, pretending and risk-taking.
Monday 6th of August 2012
2012-08-06 Mrs. A talks to Ronda Fisher about the importance of physical activity for kids' brain development and the body-brain balance.
Monday 30th of July 2012
2012-07-30 show, introductory show; Jill Martin interviews Barbara Allisen aka Mrs. A, on helping parents support children to become powerful learners.