• Five tips for motivating your child

    June 7, 2016

    Let's face it - being a parent is a tough job. Your children rely on you for guidance and motivation through various tasks. However, sometimes they don't seem to want to do their tasks - whether school or pretend play - so we've  compiled a list of ways you can motivate your child to learn.

    elsa frozen apron

    1. Homework Rewards:

    Homework is something most parents struggle with, often resulting to the ‘bribing’ technique. ‘Finish your homework and I will allow TV time,’ or ‘Study for half an hour and you can have that bag of chips’ are dialogues most parents are familiar with. While it sure sounds tempting, it is definitely not a good idea in the long run. Studies have shown that kids tend to lose interest in the things they do if they are not getting ‘rewarded’ for it. This can even happen with things they love, if they get used to getting a reward at the end of it.
    Quick Tip: Make sure you offer rewards for doing good work, but it's not a direct result of homework.

    2. Talk It Out

    Communication is key for adults and children. One of the best ways to motivate your child is to sit down and have a good talk. Children are curious, and love to explore new things and ideas. Take a walk, sit for an evening snack and have a small chat. Remember to keep the conversation age-appropriate and engaging.
    Quick Tip: Ask questions - why, why not, why don't you?

    3. Set Goals

    This is crucial for adults and children. As your child starts growing, you will need to start teaching them the importance of setting goals. Goals keep both adults and children motivated. Show them experts in their interests and expose them to various levels of their tasks so that they can strive to achieve.
    Quick Tip: Get your child to create a list of her short term and long term goals in a scrapbook.

    4. Celebrate

    However big or small task, celebrate your child.The idea is to appreciate the progress and make it a point to celebrate the minor and major achievements - whether receiving a B instead of C, or an A instead of B. This will make your child want to strive for more.
    Quick Tip: Keep the actual rewards, like buying a special toy, for a bigger achievement.

    5. Be Enthusiastic

    There's a reason your children love bringing you their crafts to hang on your fridge! They love showing you what they can accomplish so being excited for them goes a long way. We all get busy but showing support and enthusiasm for your child is important.
    Quick Tip: Try and accompany your child to their hobby class.

    Bonus: Be Inspiring

    You are your child's role model, especially during developing years. Make sure you practice the ideal behavior and are someone your child can turn to for inspiration.


  • Contest: WIN Meiya & Alvin Collection Infant Toy

    June 7, 2016

    Earlier, we introduced The Meiya & Alvin Collection - first ever-infant toy collection designed to promote infant development combining natural, quality materials and commitment to the environment.

    Now, we want to help put one in your hands!

    infant toy

    Our collection is uniquely designed for newborns and young children. Babies recognize and are reassured by the familiar scent and soothing touch of natural rubber. Toys are easy to grip and ideal for teething. The gentle, soft cotton of each toy in the collection is pleasing to the touch. It provides emotional comfort and reassurance, and enhances sensory awareness. Stuffing used inside our products is reclaimed from recycled plastic bottles that save energy and reduce green house gas emissions, while providing a superior alternative to natural materials, which dry poorly and have a greater risk of forming mold.

    The concept came to Mano Sheriff, a Sri Lankan woman, who envisoned a world of innocence where children can just be who they are – a world where the air, and water are clean, and the purity of childhood remains uncompromised. With that, Mano’s first picture book, “A Day at the Park with Meiya & Alvin”, and the The Meiya & Alvin Collection were born.

    The Meiya & Alvin Collection embodies the values of the world in which these adorable characters dwell. Natural, sustainable and recycled materials and manufacturing make our products safe for babies and children of all ages, and good for our world. All the products in the collection show great respect for the environment. We realize that by respecting our environment, we respect our planet and prepare it for future generations. Here’s to a better world for all our children!

    WIN Meiya the Mouse Soft Toy. 

    Our adorable Meiya the Mouse from the book, "A Day at the Park with Meiya & Alvin" has a natural rubber head, sustainably harvested from the Hevea tree, and is ideal for teething. Meiya the Mouse Soft Toy has a flower printed dress that is soft to the touch and is made from all natural cotton fibers. This toy is a winner of the Dr. Toy Best Green Award for 2015.

    meiya the mouse toy

    To win comment on this post with your favourite thing about being a parent.

    Contest closes July 5th, 9am EST.

  • Parent Hacks to Make Caring for a Toddler Simpler

    May 7, 2016

    Parent hacks are meant to make your life a little easier. And when is the time you need hacks the most? The crazy toddler years!

    toddler photo
    A parent hack is any tip that  makes your life as a parent a little easier. It can be as simple as putting the ketchup under your toddler's hot dog to minimize the mess; trapping your baby into a forward-facing carrier when you need to trim her fingernails; or stashing your wallet and keys in a clean disposable diaper at the beach, because who would ever poke through what looks like a used diaper?

    Parent hacks are essential for toddler years when your little ones are balls of energy constantly on the go, and sometimes the only way to keep up with them is to tweak how you do this or how you manage that. Here are a few tricks inspired by site Parent Hacks.

    1. Bedtime

    Place a rolled-up towel or a pool noodle under the fitted sheet on the edge of the bed to keep your little one from rolling out.

    2. Screen time

    Limit TV time by starting shows in the middle. Toddlers typically don't notice!

    3. Mealtime

    Active toddlers need more mealtime coverage than a small bib provides. Slip a large T-shirt over your kid's clothes as a washable smock. Peel it off when the meal's over and wash it as usual, or if you're on the go, seal it in a Ziploc bag to wash later. It definitely helps!

    4. Dining out

    Keep your toddler entertained in the coffee shop by turning cardboard cup sleeves into "superhero arm cuffs" or "spy goggles."

    6. Chores

    Give your toddler a damp microfiber cloth and let him dust and wipe down surfaces. Or encourage pretend play - arm them with a cape and a cloth and send them on an empowering journey! Plus it makes them feel involved in household jobs.

    7. Shopping

    To minimize kids' repeated request for toys, suggest they make a request for Santa later.

    Thanks for the inspirations! 

  • Our Products are Proudly Made In Canada

    May 7, 2016

    "At Great Pretenders, we are very proud to design all of our products and manufacture a significant portion of them in Canada. Producing locally is meaningful to our company and our community - we want to be leaders in bringing manufacturing back to North America. We know that for every 30 people we hire inNorth America, there are another 120 people that also benefit locally from raw material suppliers to truck drivers.

    Since we know how to construct a dress up outfit, we use our expertise to design high quality, soft, size flexible and machine washable products that survive lots of happy pretend play time. Our talented team is adept at designing and quickly manufacturing products that offer great designs, great quality and great value!" - Pat Willmot, President

    We recently had the pleasure of CTV London stop by to spotlight our factory, employees and chat why it's important to support and shop local! Click below to view.

    Ctv london great pretenders

  • Limited Time: Use SPRING15 to receive 15% off

    April 16, 2016

    Spring is here!

    And we have great news for pretend play lovers. Just in time for spring play, you can use the code SPRING15 during your check out from to receive 15% off.

    sale great pretenders code

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