It has been an awesome journey parenting my little one all these days. Since her birth until now, I have seen her blossom into a new flower at every stage.. while in her newbie stage she was a sweet jasmine, she soon became a rose, with of course a pricky stem! She is in her troublesome twos and keeping me on my toes these days!
At every stage of motherhood, I have had one thing done all the time in my free time.. Seek advice from my best buddy – Mr. Google. Starting from “how to tie a nappy like a pro” kind of searches till “how to handle the toddler tantrums“,that was my recent search! It is a quintessential thing to do at times when you know, yet ,you feel you don’t know!
I always remember a dear friend of mine when I talk about toddlers. He used to say, ” I love kids.. only those under 3.. after that they are angelic monsters.. phew!!” So true, isn’t it? Well, thats all true when you aren’t the parent.. but when you are, you really have to go through all the ups and downs, and especially for the mom, it’s a solo journey..
I dedicate this post to all parents and especially to the worried moms who spend almost an entire day , willingly or unwillingly, with their kids and thinking of how to keep their little devils busy..just joking!
Let me just share with you some activities that I have found for myself that has helped keep my little one busy. I hope it is of some use, and would like you to throw in comments and suggestions later on.
1. Books– the best friend.
Every parent should invest time and money on books for themselves, and for the kids. It not only teaches them but also helps them visualise many things that they have mostly heard but never seen. Another reason is, it helps them learn the words and the usage. A picture book with stories or just books like 100 first words would be a good buy.
2. Recite rhymes– music makes learning faster and fun .
Sing the popular nursery rhymes to them, and with actions. This not only teaches mind and hand coordination, but also teaches them a lot of basic words, animal sounds, day-to-day usage words etc. Counting of numbers, several expressions, emotions etc can be learnt as well. Even if you think of it as not so useful for teaching, it surely is a good time pass for the parent and kid.
3. Toys– choose the best for the age.
The market today has a zillion brands and zillion toys under each brand. Choose from them wisely and invest on them. your job doesn’t end by buying it for your kid. Until they get the hang of it, we need to play with them and show to them how interesting it is. There might be more than one way to use that toy, use your and the child’s imagination while playing. Stay cool if things go out of hand especially when the choice was not a success. The mantra is to keep trying different toys and discover the lil one’s favourite.
4. Colouring– opens eyes to colours and imagination.
I have loved colouring ever since I was a kid myself.. and I see that most kids, just like my lil one, love to colour. For most, it only means scribblings, but for few born as artists, it might mean a little more. It is for sure, a task that can get your surroundings messy. Have patience e and have fun as those teeny little fingers make their masterpieces for you.
Some suggestions- you may wish to make them wear an apron while playing with paints.beyter would be to stick to crayons and pencils until they are older. Buy them books and not sheets, this helps to keep all the mess/work in one place.
5. Clay art– develops dexterity and imagination.
Dough is a versatile toy. I can spend an entire day moulding something or the other and I can never get tired or bored! So is my little one. From making model houses to dinosaurs, we have done it all and not bored yet! The colours and mouldability gives us a million ideas to imagine and implement.
Be careful with the clay, it might be mistaken to be food by your kid. Stay with them as they make or mould it. You can think of safer options like the dough you make for rolling your bread. It isn’t colourful, so might not be a hit. Nevertheless, it is a safe bet.
6. Paper craft– with colour paper or even newspaper.
You can use your childhood memories to recollect some popular paper craft- that you did. Or, look up the internet and learn it yourself first and make your kid sit with you as you both do it together. It is fun and something you can proudly exhibit among friends and family.if your little one permits, it can be preserved as well.
Sometimes, some of this may involve sharp objects like a paper cutter or a pair of scissors. Please be careful with their usage when the inquisitive little one is around you.
7. Vegetable art or painting– gives instant designs and is easy as well.
Have you tried painting a flower from a cut okra? Or making a crocodile from a bitter gourd? Well, time for you to do all that now with you little artist. It introduces them to vegetables, and helps in using them in their activities. It is simple and interesting.
(This link has some great illustrations veggie painting)
8.Pretend and play games– best use of everything in the house.
I have seen my kid as a doctor, as a fireman and in several other roles and professions already. and believe me, she is good at all! So, why not make your little one a jack in all trades now?
Pretend and play is interactive and turns their imagination on. It helps them understand the roles in the professions that they often see around them. It helps them in learning how to interact and communicate with their co-players to achieve a certain objective.
You can either choose to buy a play set, or use some of the material available in the house to play. Of course with safety in mind.
9. Take them to toddler groups in your city.
This helps in socialising for you and your little one. it might become the stepping stone for the preschool training.
In my city, most toddler groups are run freely, while some charge you a meagre amount. It is surely worth it since most are stay-n-play sessions where you are there to monitor your kid personally.
10. Talk to them– they need your time more than anything else.
Keep talking to them as much as you can. It is hard for many of us to just keep talking, I know it very well. But that is a very important thing to do to gel well with your kid, to be able to become their confidant, to be able to be their first friend and teacher.
It is also proven that children develop speech faster if they are in an interactive and talkative environment. They will pick up speech, manners and behaviour if you are expressive of all these. And, it is the best fun thing to do, you know!
Above all these aforementioned activities, there are many more things you could do such as putting them in coaching classes for swimming, sports, karate and the like. I didn’t include them in my list since I wanted to list only the ones that was economical and the ones that are achievable indoors. I hope to have listed a few, but good ones out there. I ain’t saying these are out of box ideas..infact, they are all doable and done by many. But listed here for the benefit of all needy moms.
P.S. consider safety aspects on whatever activity you do. Safety first, fun next!!
(Picture courtesy : Google images. Pictures used are randomly picked and totally unintentional , unbiased.)