by Caitlyn Stace
Every April 14, "Reach as High as You Can Day" rolls into reach. Today's the day to stretch for the stars, go for your goals and let you and your family's imagination soar. The sky's the limit!
We've heard that this offbeat holiday has its roots in reality and reach back to our childhood.
Imaginative play and an secure connection with a parent can set a child's creativity free.
Plant seeds today that will sprout and encourage your child to reach for his or her goals and dreams. It's also your turn to stretch up on your own tiptoes, reach for your dream and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done, too.
Stretch and Aim High
Reach for the sky -- literally! Play this game with your baby regularly. Say, "How big is baby?" Then respond with "So big!" Raise baby's arms up high as you say, "So big." Soon your tot will reach for the sky whenever you say the phrase.
Games like this one help build a safe haven for your child. She will feel free and secure enough to take creative risks. You've got the connection. Your child feels comfortable trying new things. What's next?
Let Imagination Soar
Give your child's imagination a tiny nudge when you read Dr. Seuss's "If I Ran the Zoo." Young Gerald McGrew finds himself bored by the animals at the zoo. He decides to open his own much more interesting zoo by taking a trip around the world to find rare and exotic animals. Can you and your child find a few more unusual additions for Gerald's zoo?
How about helping your child build a new way to turn off the light or make a car from spools and a wooden block? How would you make this toy more fun to play with? What do you think would make this picture better? Encouragement is part of nurturing.
Kids are inherently creative thinkers. They have the ability to look at things and use them in new ways. Provide your child with their own "inventor's box," filled with everyday objects like tape, straws, string and lids and see what creativity bursts forth.
Reach for Your Goals
Most of us have things we'd like to accomplish. Your list might include starting a business, getting a new job, learning Japanese, planting a vegetable garden, making a baby quilt and building a business (but not necessarily in that order). Next comes turning your dream into reality. These steps can get you started on the path to success.
Believe in yourself. Know that you can make your dream come true. You already do this for common things like making dinner and driving to the store. You have the skills (or can get them) to reach your goal.
Plan ahead. Figure out each step needed to achieve your goal. Then, imagine yourself doing each step; living each instant of them. As you accomplish each part, you can see if you've forgotten any important steps along the way. When you actually start your project, the routine becomes familiar and feels easier to complete.
Dream about it. No, really! When you mentally walk through the steps before going to bed, you dream about them. Your creative mind works overtime overcoming hurdles and perfecting routines.
Reach out to your network. Share your goal with others. Talk about the steps you're planting with your friends. Some might offer tips and technique that make obtaining your goals easier and quicker.
Strive and stretch. Goals won't happen without work. Stay positive and focus on being a problem solver. No one has ever achieved anything without past failures or setbacks. Keep pushing -- you'll be amazed at what you can do.
Whatever your dream, if you reach as high as you can, your dream can become reality. You'll never know unless you try.
Will you be reaching as high as you can on April 14? What are some of your goals and dreams you want to accomplish?