Lately, I’ve been guilty of letting my little one use gadgets more often just to put her attention on other things for me to accomplish some chores in the house. I want to encourage more time off the tube or gadgets. Therefore, here are five activities that can help encourage play instead of spending hours in front of the computer or TV.
- First on my list is playing clay dough. It encourages creativity. I make sure to allot 30 minutes to an hour of playing clay. It also means some quiet time in the house. She tends to be very quiet and focused on what she’s doing. She makes shapes from round and square-shaped objects. I even learned to enjoy moulding dough into cartoon characters and unleashing that once creative kid inside me.
My 3 year-old is also fond of Peppa Pig. She likes making the round clay for the eyes and buttons.
We made Olaf the Snowman from the movie Frozen. Olaf is supposed to be white with orange carrot nose. Since we ran out of these colors, we made a yellow Olaf instead. We have fuchsia for its nose and purple instead of brown for the limbs and buttons.
- My daughter loves to paint. Second on the list is watercolour painting. I bought her watercolour papers and 3 types of paintbrushes. It teaches her about colors. Although she already knows her colors too well, her motor skills get improved. Painting is good for hand-eye coordination. She learns what surface to paint and what not.
- Reading out loud her favourite bedtime stories is something we look forward to. We usually read books before bed. During day time, we play with stickers and stick it in books. She especially loves books with animals in it.
- Encourage kids to play outside. Since we just moved in to this new place in Imus, we checked if the subdivision we live in has a playground. There’s one nearby but it needs cleaning and repainting. The swing is rusty and dilapidated. Same with the see-saw. Also, three blocks from our place is a gated playground. It needs mowing. The grasses are almost knee-high. Stay away from grounds where dengue mosquitoes might be lurking. Meantime, we will visit playhouses in malls near Imus and Dasmarinas. I should write about the different playhouses around this area in my next blogs.
For now, we love to explore outside with her magnifying glass.
5. Let them help out with the chores. You see their faces brighten up if you ask them for help. When I make pancakes, her favourite, I ask her to help mix the batter. Then, I praise her for being such a good help. It’s one way of boosting their confidence.
There are many activities to introduce to kids so they won’t live a sedentary life staying in front of the computer for hours. My little one is not yet in school. Therefore, I think of ways for her to enjoy time at home incorporating learning. I still allow her to have some tube time. Less than 2 hours won’t hurt. She likes to watch Play Doh surprise eggs where kids and adults unbox new toys. I also recommend to parents Super Simple Songs channel in YouTube. Parents must supervise what kids watch on the PC or install parental control software.
Build blocks with your little one. Even before my Mikheila turned 1 year old. She plays with colorful building blocks more than clay. With it she stack up structures according to her own imagination. She plays pretend with it making a house or toy car. She spends hours with blocks. Our kids can play blocks with other kids too.
Let me know what activities you enjoy with your kids. Please feel free to ask questions and post some comments.