Winter is a season with drooping temperatures, frosty mornings, steamy cups and annoying illness particularly if children are present in the family. But, have we ever thought from the perspective of a child. Winter for them is a celebration. They play in the snow; jump in the mud, splash the rainwater, and when the winter begins, a few days the school will definitely be shut, which is again a festival for them.
As parents, we need to continuously evaluate ourselves if we are spending quality time with our children. The answer most of the time will be a ‘no’. We often focus on buying all the luxurious things for the child but eventually fail to sit with and play with those small hands and tiny lap. All they need is our time and not expensive toys. Let’s make this winter memorable by executing a few activities along with them.
1. Little Hands and Big Learning:
Never underestimate your kitchen goodies. They never fail to rescue you, when you need to engage your kid with an inbound activity. We can make umpteen number of Do It Yourself (DIY) activities within just a few minutes. For example, consider an egg carton in your refrigerator. Instead of just discarding it, we can make several simple activities out of it. Cut open each individual egg carton. Now we can color each carton differently and match them with objects of the same color to make them learn colors. Also the same can be used to write the alphabets, numbers and match with any objects like plastic letters, flashcards for easy relation.
Similarly, potatoes can be inserted with tooth sticks, and beads can be joined in the tooth sticks. It is used for counting activity, sorting colors and many such. Dry pouring of dal or any pulses from one vessel to another vessel without spilling helps to improve the child’s concentration.
2. Bubbly Bubbles:
This is one of the easiest yet most enjoyable activities for both the parent and the child. All we need is detergent liquid or detergent powder and a used refill pen body part without the refill. Just make a solution of detergent with the water and start blowing bubbles with the pen body part to create memorable moments. Blow them, poke them, capture them and giggle away with your kids.
3. Sensory Bin:
This activity is most effective for kids, because it stimulates all the senses of the kid. It is simple to create a sensory bin. We need a big container or a box so that it will be easy for the kid to insert hands and explore. After choosing the container, place several small bowls and put whatever you want the child to explore like sand, clay, water, various sized balls, cooked pulses and wooden sticks in different bowls.
As the child touches and feels, various textures are learned through touch sense, learn various colors through eyesight, sense smell through aroma, senses sound as the things hit the floor to make noise. Every parent must try developing a sensory bin to stimulate the children for sensory development.
4. Cut, Craft, Create and Repeat:
Every handmade arty and crafty touch in our home speaks a lot more about us. It is again an interesting activity, on the other hand, has wide options. It is very productive when done with adult guidance. It can be learning origami to make butterflies, cup and saucer, and a lot more. Make a nameplate for your house with cute little figurines. They are lot of crafts with papers, card boards and clay etc… You can encourage them to up-cycle the chopping boards, broken utensils and detergent bottles, etc…You can use this opportunity to talk about sustainable and eco-friendly living. Match stick sticking to make images like fishes, house and basic shapes can be learned using it. All we need is Match sticks, glue and few A4 sheets to stick on it.
Several tutorials are available to teach arts and craft activities like the basics of knitting, learning to make puppets, acrylic on canvas, etc… Arts and crafts supplies like pompoms, goggle eyes, glitters are time stealers, which can be used for hours together to engage the child during the winter season.
5. You can use an extra little hand:
Involve them with your daily chores. This can be started when the child is very small, anywhere from 2 years of age. They copy whatever we, as parents do. It can be anything from helping the parents drying the clothes, folding the dried clothes and making them put the dirty and used clothes in the laundry bag. We can make them sort the vegetables after a visit from the market. This is an excellent way to make them understand the texture of various veggies; get to know their colors and what the name of the vegetable is. An opened green peas pod can be given to the kid and made to collect the peas, which aids in a pincer grasp.
When siblings are there in the family, parents can actually develop bonding between them by making the elder one choose dresses for the baby, bring nappies for the baby, and engage the baby.
6. COLORS and Fun:
Coloring is the most favorite activity for any kid. Coloring can be with anything like crayons, watercolor, color pencils, acrylic colors. Coloring can be done either by providing worksheets or several DIY activities that can be done with coloring. Bring int the creativity in you to give them a variety of options like making them paint on planters, plain laundry baskets, and switchboards, etc… Acrylic colors can be mixed in a bowl and painted to the dough with different colors and several models like dolls, animals or birds can be done.
Also, pasta can be tried for a variation. Different acrylic colors can be mixed in different bowls and the pasta is mixed in different colors. This after drying can be mixed all together, and the child can be given a spoon to sort the different colored pastas in different bowls. As winter is arriving, we have seen a whole lot of activities and ways to engage your kid without playing or spending time outside. This will come in handy when we need to stay indoors. Let’s create opportunities for the kids and start playing with them.
“Time spent playing with your children is never wasted”.
Let us catch up with another interesting parenting article!!! Smile until then mommies and daddies