With there being more and more pressure on parents these days to enroll their toddlers in different types of innovative learning programs, you can often find yourself constantly on the lookout for games and activities that will excite your little one and get them away from the TV and tablet at the same time.
As we know, nothing has quite the pull as the TV or the tablet, and so, getting them interested in such activities could be a bit of a challenge. It is, however, not impossible – if planned and executed well.
Did you know some of the best learning tools for your kids are right at your fingertips, literally! We as parents are the primary carers and therefore the first teachers of our children before they start school. Without all the classes and activities that we could pay for them to do, just playing simple free child games, your kids will get all the stimulation and encouragement that they need to get the best start.
There are a host of non-tech extra-curricular activities that are up for consideration and we have put together, a list to help you out.
Telling stories to children promote language, listening skills, and imagination. Don't feel confined to reading from books; tell your children a special family story that helps them to know their place in the world. How mum and dad met, how great grandpa sailed in a tall-ship to start a new life in a new country or the story of their birth. These tales will delight them time and time again. You might have photos to help them put faces to names. Storytelling is also a good way of developing your child’s listening, speaking and overall language skills. It also encourages creativity.
This is a great activity for kids as they create and become their characters, in their own world, for a play or story. Pretending to be dinosaurs, truck drivers, doctors, zookeepers or even mum can keep children entertained for hours. The more props the better so be sure to have a store of blankets for cubbies or tents and assorted boxes for cars, dolls beds or wherever their imagination takes them.
Children love a chance to dance and jump around. By the age of three, they will already have some favorites which will probably have actions to match. Given the opportunity to march, stomp, clap or any other loud action will be happily accompanied by any musical instruments that you have around the house. Dance also builds confidence, coordination, and kinesthetic skills in your child. Don’t worry if you don't have any proper instruments, as a pot and wooden spoon will do just fine!
By using recycled materials you just need some glue, a little inspiration, and your child's creativity will do the rest. Materials can be used to create collages, space rockets, animals and a whole lot more. Keep a ready supply of recyclables like cereal boxes, toilet rolls, sweet wrappers, magazines, and yogurt pots. Other crafty ideas can involve play dough, paint, crayons, chalk and modelling clay! The ideas are endless.
Board Games and Card Games
This could be a fun activity for the whole family or just two bored kids looking for something to do on a rainy day. For younger children these games help them with numerical skills, taking turns and gamesmanship, as well as the concept of chance and that anyone can win the game. Board and card games are also super for holidays as they are easy to set up and can last for hours. There are many card games to learn, from easy kids’ games right up complicated ones for teenagers and adults. Best of all, the only equipment needed is a deck of cards. Board games like Scrabble and Monopoly have been played for generations and will continue to be, in spite of there being a computerized version.
Depending on the age of your child, this could begin with play cooking and gradually progress to real cooking. It is, after all, a life skill, which would play its part in helping our sons and daughters become independent and self-reliant. Learning to follow the recipe, mixing new ingredients, learning about nutrition and appreciating new dishes are just some of the perks of engaging in this activity. Cooking is a creative outlet and your child will definitely feel very proud of what it will have created.
Having your toddler participate in sports, will provide regular exercise and practice, which in turn will boost your child’s learning in school. Sports will also improve your child’s physical. mental and emotional well-being. so a ‘win-win’ situation!
Building with blocks or other materials
There are quite a number of benefits to building blocks e.g. Hand-eye coordination – The child has to learn to place the block on the block tower in such a way that does not topple the tower.
Teaches kids early maths and engineering skills through hands-on learning. Your child will certainly learn better when they can feel objects and the best way to learn geometric shapes is to feel each and every corner. They get a sense of weight for the blocks and they also learn exactly how to place the block in order for it not to fall.
Spatial awareness, Improves fine motor skills, enhances logical thinking capability – it provides mental stimulation and teaches kids cause and effect. For example, if your child places the block too close to the edge the tower topples over.
Most of these activities will be known to you, but have you played them all? If not, then get out there and enjoy some tech-free child games with your tribe, they'll love you all the more for spending some one –to- one time with them.
By providing them with an enriched environment with free activities based around your home and neighbourhood, you will get more quality time with your children while enhancing their imagination and creativity. Have fun!
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