For a child’s development, it is incredibly important that parents regularly take the time to actively engage with him or her. However, it is neither necessary nor right to constantly entertain the child. In this article, we will give you valuable tips on how to use and organize time with your children.
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Keeping Busy With Your Children
Spending time with your child is important for parents and child alike. Time together is the foundation for a close and emotional relationship between children and their parents. Regular play and cuddling nurtures and continually develops this relationship.
Only when children sense that their parents are giving them attention and are interested in them will they trust them with important things. This, in turn, is important for parents to get to know their child properly, to recognize his or her current needs and concerns, and to respond to them appropriately. But how much time is appropriate to build a good relationship with the child?Also interesting:
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How Much Time Is Right?
How much time you should ultimately spend with your child can’t be pinned down to exact amounts of time. However, the most important thing is how you arrange the time. Quality is more important than quantity. Half an hour of intensive play is much more valuable than spending several hours with your child while you do the housework.
Children don’t need to be kept busy all day, nor do they need their parents’ undivided attention every free minute. On the contrary, an excess of attention can have negative consequences. For example, such children have been found to be much more prone to periods of defiance, sibling squabbles, childish tantrums, and the like.
Parents in particular, who have to deal with a stressful working day during the week and also have to run the household, often lack time for their children.
They are plagued by a guilty conscience, and so they like to go all out on the weekend to offer their child a great leisure time together with the family. In principle, there is nothing wrong with a family outing to the zoo, the children’s theater or a picnic in the woods. But what many parents forget is that such a program does not always meet the needs of the child.
Therefore, you should look carefully and pay attention to the current needs of your child. Sometimes children just want to play in peace. Especially when things have been particularly chaotic at daycare or school has demanded a lot of them. If there is also a busy schedule on the weekend, your child may be overwhelmed.
Important: Regular And Active
Children notice when their parents are preoccupied with playing together because they don’t have time to spend with them. This is neither pleasant for the child nor for the parents.
Instead, be actively there for your child and consciously take time to play, chat or read to him or her. Leave the household, the television and the telephone to the left during this time. Such activities don’t always have to last for hours, but they should be regularly scheduled.
This can be achieved, for example, with a fixed playtime that you and your child have together every day. Knowing that you will give him your undivided attention during this agreed-upon time will make your child more balanced and peaceful. However, a child does not need to be constantly entertained. Sometimes it is enough for him to be able to participate in his parents’ lives or to know that they are around.
Integrate Time Together Into Everyday Life
Actively engaging with your child every day and meeting his or her play needs is not always easy between jobs and deadlines, but it is possible with a few tricks. It’s good for children to feel that their desire for more playtime with their parents is being taken seriously.
And there are always ways to spend time with the child in everyday life. One simple way is to involve the child actively and playfully in the work around the house. Even young children can help with cooking, washing up or shopping. Children like to take on tasks that are usually only done by adults and are happy when they are allowed to get involved in the everyday life of the “grown-ups”.
In this way, you can hang up the laundry together with the child and ask him or her to pass them the clothespins, for example. Even the youngest children can help with cooking, washing up or shopping.
When it’s time to prepare lunch while playing together, you don’t have to come up with a strategy for getting out of the game. It is helpful to integrate the game into such everyday activities and, for example, peel the potatoes for the hungry pirates while the child can continue looking for the treasure.
Children love to play, even together with their parents, they have a real need for it and always demand playtime with mom or dad. So playing is a great way to actively engage with the child – in all weathers and seasons.
Play And Child Development
Why do children love to play and play so much? Playing is not only a lot of fun for children, it is also incredibly important for healthy development. Children learn a whole range of important skills while playing. In this way, play drives development and sets the course for later life.
Playing is therefore a fairly simple and at the same time very effective way for children to develop steadily and grow mentally. Especially when playing with other children or with parents, the learning factor is very high: they learn how to deal with their own feelings, such as aggressive impulses, when the game doesn’t go the way they thought it would.
In the process, they also learn to know and respect their own limits and those of others, especially in conflict situations such as a fight over a shovel in the sandbox. They also learn how to deal with success and failure through play. In this way, children develop greater emotional intelligence and social skills.
The learning success is particularly great in free play, where there are no guidelines or fixed rules. The children have to think up the framework of their game themselves and decide what and how they want to play. This is very conducive to creativity and thinking skills.
The Role Of Parents In Play
As parents, you can play a significant role in supporting your child’s learning processes as he or she plays. This begins with providing the necessary space and opportunities for play and allowing the child the time he or she needs.
In addition, parents are the ones who buy and offer games and toys to their children. They, therefore, make a certain pre-selection as to what the little ones play. All the more reason, therefore, to pay attention to games that are appropriate for the child’s age and stage of development. Otherwise, the child will be overwhelmed by the game and will not enjoy it.
Parents also have a role model function when it comes to playing. Children learn primarily through imitation and therefore they look very closely at the behavior of adults during play. Therefore, it is very important that you react to victories and defeats in the way you expect your child to.
Play itself can be multifaceted, from quietly reading books to playing with building blocks to fast-paced games of tag. A child gradually learns about this variety with the help of his parents.
Every now and then, it is necessary for parents to set guidelines for a game, for example, by excluding the kitchen or other certain areas of the house for children’s play and romping, or to provide ideas for a game if the children can’t think of anything.
However, parents should interfere as little as possible, especially in free play, and leave the child room to create his or her own play. This encourages them to keep themselves busy in the future and to come up with their own game ideas.
Play Ideas For Every Age Group
There are many great play ideas for every occasion, every weather and children of all ages.
For children from the age of three, in addition to quiet games, the first movement games are interesting in which they can train their motor skills, for example “scavenger hunt”. One of them hides messages in the form of small paper slips for the other players in the forest or in the house. The first message gives clues to the hiding place of the second and so on. The goal is to find the way to a hidden treasure with the help of the messages.
For children six years and older, games of skill and concentration are high on the list. This can be, for example, a long row of dominoes placed in such a way that when the last domino is bumped, all the dominoes fall over one by one. It becomes more difficult when the dominoes have to cross obstacles.
A popular concentration game is “I’m packing my suitcase.” The first player starts with the sentence “I’m packing my suitcase and taking with me…” then adds an item he wants to take with him. The next player also starts with the sentence, repeats the first player’s item, and then adds one himself. The game continues in this way. The player who can remember the most terms in the correct order wins.
For children aged nine and older, the games can be a bit more difficult. These can be letter games such as “Hangman”, strategy games such as “Sink ships” or knowledge games such as “City, country, river”.
For “City, Country, River,” each child draws seven columns on their sheet of paper and labels them with the words city, country, river, animal, plant, name, profession. Then one player spells out the alphabet in their mind until a second says “stop.” This establishes the initial letter of the game round. Now everyone fills in the boxes as quickly as possible. The first person to finish everything calls out “Stop.” Then each child names his or her terms. One point is awarded for multiple names, two points for unique terms, and three points for a term in a category that no other child has filled in. At the end, it is added up. You can also swap out categories or add more.
Doing Crafts With The Children
Sometimes children don’t really feel like playing. Then you can use the time together with your child to make something nice. This is great fun for most children and a great creative activity for the whole year.
How Crafting Promotes Child Development
Crafting allows children to let their imagination and creativity run wild and work with different materials. In this way, their imagination and creativity are encouraged, as well as their ability to concentrate. They learn that you can make great things out of all kinds of things – fabric, paper, felt, wood and things they’ve found outside in nature.
With the help of their parents, children practice tracing craft templates or cutting them out, thereby training their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. In addition, holding a pencil is an important exercise for learning to write.
Crafting is usually a very colorful activity. Therefore, it is a good way to expand and promote the child’s understanding of color. If the craft projects are also linked to special occasions, you can teach your child valuable knowledge about the animal and plant world, as well as about holidays and seasons, while he or she is doing creative crafts.
Craft Ideas For Different Seasons And Occasions
Crafting is a great shared activity for parents and their children that is fun all year round. That’s because there are always new craft ideas for different seasons and even special occasions.
To decorate the house Easter, Easter bunnies, chicks, and flowers can not be missing. There are many different ways to make them: from paper, from toilet rolls, or from wood, which the children can paint colorfully.
A classic at Easter are brightly painted or colored eggs, which are blown out beforehand.
Depending on how skilled the children already are, there are even more ideas what can be crafted with empty eggshells. Filled with some potting soil, an eggshell becomes a small flower pot. You can plant cress in it with the child or stick small flowers in the soil. An empty, colorful egg is also ideal for making an individual candle out of it. Simply attach the wick in the bowl and pour the melted wax into it.
For autumn crafts, you can use many things from nature that you can collect during an extended walk with your child. You can make pretty figures together from stones or chestnuts. Colorful leaves can be used to create autumnal pictures.
In autumn, it’s also time to make lanterns for St. Martin’s Day. Even the little ones are proud when they have their own lantern with them at the St. Martin’s procession. There are so many motifs that you and your child are guaranteed not to run out of ideas.
Then there are great craft ideas around Halloween. In addition to bats, ghosts, witches and spiders, creepy monsters and pumpkins can’t be missing. A great craft fun is a self-carved pumpkin as a decoration. In front of the front door, it looks especially good as a decorative tea light holder.
Especially in winter, when it’s cold outside, Christmas crafts make a great change from playing outside. You can make stars with your child from paper, beads or straw. There are also a wide variety of instructions and craft options for snowmen, snowflakes, fir trees, and angels.
With the self-made works, window panes, tables, free-hanging branches and, of course, the Christmas tree can be decorated artistically. Another great idea is a homemade Advent calendar made of decorated paper bags, cloth bags or small boxes wrapped as gifts.
Handicrafts For Different Age Groups
To ensure that your child has fun while crafting, the craft project should definitely be age-appropriate so that the child can perform at least the majority of the steps independently.
If possible, parents should only intervene in a supportive manner and take over work steps in which the child could injure itself, for example when working with the hot glue gun or when something is cut out with a knife.
If possible, parents should only provide support and take over steps in which the child could injure himself or herself, for example, when working with the hot glue gun or when something is cut out with a knife.
- Crafting With The Youngest Children
A child’s first creative works are done while painting. Finger paints, crayons suitable for small children or chalk are best suited for this. Since children at this age still put a lot of things in their mouths, the materials must be non-toxic.
From the age of two, this usually stops, so that other craft materials such as clay or plasticine can be added. Your child can use these materials to try out their first shapes and create figures. To be on the safe side, clay and plasticine should not contain any harmful substances.
- Crafting With Kindergarten Children
From the age of three, children can handle scissors and glue and already do more complex crafts. Adhesive pictures made from cut-out motifs and pictures made from dried leaves and flowers are particularly popular. Simple handicrafts made of paper can also be done at this age.
- Crafting With Elementary School Children
At elementary school age, children can gradually do more and more sophisticated crafts. They are able to fold figures out of paper using the origami technique and implement folding and gluing patterns. Craft projects using absorbent cotton, wool or natural materials such as straw, nutshells, pine cones or sand are also suitable for elementary school children.
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