Kids require stimulation as they grow and develop. Introducing fun and educational games and toys will help boost their creativity and keep them busy. Here are 5 ways to stimulate your tot and spend quality time with them.
It’s so simple – just sit on the floor and play with your child by;
- Rolling a ball back and forth between one another.
- Building anything; Lego, blocks, towers, stacks. Building does amazing things to the brain for logic, maths, ordering and grouping, and fine motor skills. Why not build a ‘track’ with your building blocks for you to race toy cars in?
- Playing with animals, stuffed toys, anything that involves both of your interaction, conversation and focused attention.
2) Table time
Train tots to sit and stay on a chair by a table (not a high chair or car seat) – this kind of self-discipline will stand them in good stead for school. Learning how to sit still and focus is a skill of such value it should be called a ‘gift’ rather than a skill.
Do this during table time
- Puzzles – fantastic for logic and maths and a sense of accomplishment. Peg board puzzles are great for little fingers, and when they are two or three years old you can start expanding to three-to-fifteen piece connected puzzles.
- Play dough – cheap to buy, super easy to make. Here’s a great recipe.
- Drawing – ‘fat’ wax crayons are great for little fingers. Chalk is fun as well.
- Painting and finger paints
- ‘Host’ a tea party with you and the dolls.
3) Outside time
No matter how cold it is, outside time every day does great things for health and imagination.
- Fill a basin with warm soapy water and let them ‘wash’ their tea set. Don’t worry about them getting wet; it’s part of the learning process.
- Water painting – use a paintbrush and water to ‘paint’ on the outside wall, driveway or paving around your house.
- Pavement chalk – such a fun way to create art outdoors.
- Kick a ball
- Climb a tree
- Play Catchers
- Have a picnic
- Play peek-a-boo
- ‘Camp’ with a blanket tent or a real tent.
4) Outing time
a. Buy your groceries and then fetch the kids, or
b. Fetch the kids and then buy your groceries?
We know most of us do option a. It’s just so much easier! Sadly, we rob our children of valuable tools in life if we always do the hard work while they’re away.
- Social skills Ask your child to smile and greet the cashier, and thank you as you leave.
- Task order and completion They’ll see you with a shopping list, keeping to the list, and finishing shopping with groceries in hand from the list.
- They learn that different behaviour applies in different places The shops, church, Granny’s house and library all have different ‘rules’ that we need to abide by.
You don’t have to buy groceries every day, so find other things to do to get you out of the house with your kids…
- Go to the Library •
- Visit family and friends
- Go to the park
5) Bored time
Thankfully, it’s not a mom’s job to stimulate your child every minute of the day! ‘Boredom is the father of creativity.’ Embrace it, and if need be, plan it.
There are lots of other activities that are toddler appropriate that won’t cost you an arm and a leg!
Email [email protected] if you need some more tips.