Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.
For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide
range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.
Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.
Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.
Host: What should parents consider when looking for toys with a long shelf life?
Rene Hackney: Looking for the longest shelf life for your toys, things that children will come back to overtime are looking for multiuse. Things like blocks and balls where children can use them in a wide variety of ways with a set of blocks, when they are little, they might just stack them as they grow bigger they might build buildings, as they grow even bigger it might expand in the whole cities and so there is a real wide variety of ways to use those blocks. As they get older you might incorporate the blocks into your math and into learning about math and proportions and the fractions of things. Looking at multiuse also, looking at multiage, things that children can use when they are two, and use when they are six, things like art supplies where kids can use them when they are really young and then they just use them in more evolved ways as they grow.