Boost Your Child’s Communication Skills

Kids come home from school and plop down in front of the television, play video games, or surf the Internet. What happened to reading a book, coloring, or writing in a diary? As these hobbies fall by the wayside and more passive forms of entertainment take over, children’s written, verbal and social skills can take a tumble, too.

“Laying the groundwork for good communication skills is essential,” said Dr. David Brinkman-Sull, clinical child psychologist at Laurelwood Counseling Centers. “Making it fun for kids to share their thoughts and feelings helps them learn one of the keys to developing healthy relationships in their lives.”

American Greetings and Nickelodeon have teamed up to help kids develop communication skills while entertaining them at the same time. Their new product line, Nickspressions, uses the interactivity, games, and Nickelodeon characters they love. Products like Chatterboxes, Smell-a-Grams, and Mini-Note Totes were created with Nickelodeon’s trademark elements of surprise, irreverent wit, and whimsy in mind.

“Nickspressions was born as a relative to those little classroom valentines kids love so much,” said Jeffrey Conrad, American Greetings creative director and mastermind behind the program. “We wanted to give kids that excitement all year-round.”

Other Nickspressions products include:

* Fashion Statements: These funky interchangeable “slap bracelets” hold a jewel charm with tiny notepads inside, featuring instant messaging lingo.

* Secret Message Decoder: Complete with two decoders, mini pens, code card storage, and card reader, this clever kit enables kids to give their friends notes only they can read. Decoders can be clipped to backpacks for on-the-go fun.

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