Stages Of Play Development In Children

For little children, they see the world through play. Experts would refer to play as the work of children. Play allows the child to discover and to experiment the world around him. Moreover, play has several benefits. One, it builds the child imagination. Two, it Promotes social skills. Three, it develops the child's learning and development. Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky, a Soviet psychologist and the founder of cultural-historical psychology, believes that play has a major part in the child's development. From his studies, a child developments abstract meaning separate from the objects in the world. At pee-school age, a piece of wood begins to perform the role of a doll, and a stick becomes a horse.

As children grow and develop, children go through distinct stages of play. It is important that when planning activities for kids, consider how play affects their learning and development. In 1932, Mildred Parten developed the stages of play, each stage is described below.

Unoccupied Play
This is the stage when the child is not engaged in playing and just observing. A child can be simply standing in one spot observing his surroundings.

Solitary
It is also referred to as independent play. In this stage, the child separates himself from others with no reference to what others are engaged to. Experts believe that children at this stage are simply not interested in playing with others because they are ego-centric. Ego-centric is where a person is not able to see a point through another person's perspective. In return, the child individually plays with his toys. Moreover, children between the ages of one and two are very much engrossed with the world around him. During play time, parents will notice a lot of banging, noise-making and imitating.

Spectator
This is the stage when the child is about two and a half year. The child begins to be on a lookout for people around him. A child may show interest on what other children are playing, however the child does not want to join in. A parent will know that the child is in this stage if the child shows interest by pointing or squealing at what others are doing.

Parallel
This stage typically occurs when the child is between two and a half and three years of age. The child may see another child playing and would sit down and play next to him. They are contented to play side by side even without interaction. The reason behind this behavior is that children at this age do not possess yet the skills necessary for playing together. The term cooperation is yet to be learned.

Associative Play
This stage occurs between the ages of three and four and this is the first category that children engage in strong social interaction during play. Furthermore, the child will start to see the benefit of playing with another child.

Cooperative Play
When the child reaches four years of age, he is ready to learn to play cooperatively with other kids. Typically, the play is structured and there is a one clear leader in the group. At times, conflict can raise and it can be easily resolved with less disruptive play. Also, in this stage, children interact and work together towards a common goal.

Modern schools believe that Parten's stages of play has greatly contributed to our understanding of play. It is widely used by parents and child psychology experts to understand children's development. By and large, play therapy is employed in children ages 3 to 11.

Play provides an opportunity for children to express their feelings, emotions and experiences through a natural, self-guided process. Encouraging play is very important because it helps children to communicate. It thus becomes a vital medium for children to recognize and acknowledge themselves and others.

Is There a Lot of Risk Investing in Bonds?

Every investment you go for carries a certain amount of risk. The question is whether you are happy with a large amount of risk, or you would prefer settling for a smaller amount. Investing in bonds is no exception to this rule, and this means you have to think carefully and work through the facts before you decide whether to invest or not.

When you invest in bonds you need to be able to accept that part of your bonds or possibly even all of them may be lost. So if you are investing money you do not want to lose, you may be better off looking for a more secure investment.

Of course you can make a decent profit on a bond investment – it all depends on the nature of the investment, how risky it is and the various conditions in place at the time.

Generally speaking there are different types of bonds available with different goals in place for them. So if you do not like to take much risk you can think about investing in a bond that is more secure. If you want to go for more profits you need to opt for one that also offers more risk. This is how the bond system works.

The best position to start from then is one of knowledge. For example you need to know how settled you are with the idea of ​​risking your money. Some people save up a certain amount to invest in bonds, knowing they are not relying on this amount of money for any other reason. In this way they will know that if the worst happens and they do lose the lot, it will not affect their life in any way.

One thing to bear in mind with the risks associated with bonds is that they are generally safer as an investment vehicle than the stock market is. So if you find stocks unappealing because of the risks involved, bonds provide the next step down and it could be enough to make you feel safer in investing in this way.

Finally, look at the yield for any particular bond to gauge how risky it is. The better the yield is heralded to be, the more risk is involved with it. You can use this as a yardstick to figure out whenever you have found the right bond investment for you.

Employer Branding – The Secret to Attracting Job Applicants

It's the key to finding and retaining employees in today's hotly contested labor market. IBM uses it. So does L'Oreal, Deloitte, American Express, Starbucks, Research in Motion and Intel. Quite simply, people want to work for them. But why? What is their secret?

Employer Branding. It's the way they sell themselves – not their products – to potential employees. It's the way they communicate to job seekers all of the perks and benefits of becoming an employee. It's the way they position themselves as an "Employer of Choice" – the first company that springs to mind when somebody thinks of working in that industry.

But Employer Branding is not just for the giant multi-national corporations. Any company can take advantage of it – big or small. And now, more than ever, Employer Branding is necessary for all companies to attract and retain the employees that are needed for success.

Selling the Company – Not its Products

In short, Employer Branding answers one simple question – why should someone work for a certain company instead of any other company? How can a company differentiate itself from its peers and attract new employees? It's quite simple, actually. Employer Branding is all about marketing an entire company as though it were a product. However, instead of selling computers or cappuccinos, the product that is being pitched to the consumer is the people and employee experience that can be found at that company.

Much like a company markets its products as being the best, it must market itself – its goals, values ​​and attitudes – as being the best choice for potential employees. People do not want the hard sell. They do not want brochures and statistics and numbers. They want to know what it really feels like to work for a company. A strong Employer Brand, which carefully captures the essence of a company and projects this message to potential employees, can successfully attract the right applicants and keep them there for the long run. After all, people would much rather work for a company with an excellent reputation over a company with a poor reputation – even if they were offered a higher salary.

Follow the Leaders

An Employer Brand is just like any other brand. Just the product is different. Companies should borrow from the successful marketing techniques used by the world's largest Consumer Brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike and GAP. Most often, it is the use of emotional drivers, rather than rational drivers, that attract people to these brands. If people can connect to a company emotionally, they'll be more inclined to work there.

One of the more notable leaders in Employer Branding is L'Oreal. Its Careers website outlines in great detail how to get involved with the company and exactly what it's like to work for them. Their message is geared to a specific audience – university students and recent graduates – and contains video testimonials, detailed job descriptions and in-depth profiles of several L'Oreal employees. These profiles provide a rundown of that person's daily work, their achievements and how their career has or will advance at L'Oreal. To a young job seeker, this information is exactly what they are looking for.

By providing what their target audience wants, and introducing it in an upbeat manner using the latest web design technology, L'Oreal knows exactly who they want to hire and is focusing their recruitment efforts to achieve these goals.

Recruiting a Relationship

Recruiting is all about forming a relationship, rather than completing a transaction. The message a company sends out to potential employees about its goals and experiences must be consistent with the real thing. If a new recruit receives exactly what was promised to them, it will serve to strengthen that Employer Brand, which will in turn attract even more candidates and retain the employees already on-staff.

The days of the hard pitch are gone. Companies must learn to rethink the way they reach their target audience. To succeed in today's market, it is cruel for companies to take a long, hard look at what makes them tick – the goals and experiences that make them unique – and to present that story to the public through the eyes of its own employees. In the age of Employer Branding, the slick, polished pitchman needs not apply.

How to Plan a Luxury Cruise Vacation

A luxury cruise vacation is something most of us dream about. Sailing the ocean under sunny skies, our every want and need anticipated by attentive staff, food and wine everywhere we look, not a worry in the world. Well, what's keeping you?

Three-quarters of the earth is covered by water. What better way to explore our planet than in style on a cruise ship? Today's luxury cruises run the gamut from small vessels that carry 8 or 10 passengers to giant ocean liners with every amenity you could imagine, and a few you could not.

If you want a smaller, more intimate luxury cruise, look into small-ship luxury cruises. These all feature the service you would expect at a 5-star resort. You'll use fine china for dining, eat outstanding cuisine prepared by highly-trained chefs, and enjoy a selection of activities and destinations.

The smallest luxury cruises are actually aboard chartered yachts, and you can have the ship all to yourself – or your group. Ships that sleep 34, 42, up to 80 can be chartered to travel at your whim.

However, there are several cruise lines that specialize in small-ship luxury cruises. Regent Seven Seas features four different luxury ships: the Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator and the Paul Gauguin. The Seven Seas Mariner was the first all-suite, all-balcony cruise ship in the world and was such a hit she was quickly followed by the Voyager. Both the Voyager and the Mariner sleep up to 700 guests, while the Navigator can accommodate up to 490 travelers and the Paul Gauguin can travel with 330 guests.

Crystal and Cunard are two other cruise lines well-known for providing luxury on cruise vacations. Crystal's luxury liner the Crystal Serenity can accommodate 1,080 guests and typically sails in Europe and the South Pacific. However, she's scheduled for an around-the-world tour departing from Los Angeles in January of 2008 and arriving in Southampton, England, 110 days later.

Cunard Cruise Line was founded in Britain in 1838 and has been sailing successfully since then. They are well-known for both safety and luxury. Currently, the Cunard Line sails three luxury liners, the world-renamed Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), the Queen Victoria, and the Queen Mary 2.

The immortal QE2 is 963 feet in length and can cruise with up to 1,778 guests aboard. She has logged 5.5 million nautical miles, carried over 2 million guests, and is still the fastest merchant ship in operation. Definitely one of a kind!

The Queen Mary 2 is one of the most magnificent ocean liners of all time. At 1,132 feet she can sail with up to 3,056 passengers in full luxury. Billed as "your sanctuary at sea", the accommodations and dining are first-rate. A luxurious ballroom, planetarium, and sports decks will all keep you occupied. The spa will relax you when you're all done.

Launching in December 2007, Cunard's Queen Victoria will sail her maiden voyage to New York. At 964.5 feet, she'll accommodate 1,980 passengers on 12 decks with typical Cunard service and cuisine.

There are many, many choices for luxury cruise vacations, but no matter which ship, line, or destination you choose, you'll remember that cruise for the rest of your life.