Between grocery shopping, cleaning, and managing a demanding schedule, it can be easy to put your preschooler down in front of their favorite T.V. show to entertain them for hours on end. But when you have the time, it’s essential to actively engage with young children to promote trust, bonding, and mental development. If you’re looking for simple ideas on how to spend time with your child, here are five easy activities that you can use to engage your preschooler.
1. Read Out Loud
Not only is reading beneficial for a child’s growing mind, but it also provides bonding time with parents. Make sure to pick out a book that’s at your child’s reading level and read the pages out loud together. While reading, take the time to look at the pictures and talk to your preschooler by making up stories or pointing out colors or characters. Reading will allow your child to use their imagination and creativity and can be a fun experience for both parents and toddlers alike.
2. Encourage Activities
Keeping your preschooler active can promote good physical health, muscle growth, and social skills with other children. Whether you enroll your child in activities such as dance, soccer, or gymnastics, or meet up with other families for regular play dates, any physical activity on a regular basis is beneficial. Remember to talk positively about active play time and encourage your preschooler by participating in activities yourself. If sports aren’t your thing, go on a fun nature hike or create an obstacle course in your backyard.
3. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Planning a scavenger hunt for your preschooler can provide them with both mental and physical exercise. As a bonus, it’s fun and relatively easy to set up. A simple scavenger hunt can include cutting up a few different solid colors from magazines or construction paper and helping your child find an object around the house of each color. You can do this indoors, outdoors, and even on a car ride!
4. Create Holiday Crafts
Spend time making crafts for an upcoming holiday, whether it’s a big or small occasion. And if you’re running low on art supplies, be creative! Turn paper plates into snowflakes or use leaves from your backyard to make a collage. Then, display your completed crafts around your house, encouraging your child’s creative abilities.
In addition to tea parties or playing house, there are many other themes to roleplay for fun. Use what you have around the house to make up costumes, such as making robots out of construction paper and tape or by wearing a button-up shirt and a hat to go on a safari. Use your imagination to help spark ideas from your child, building your relationship and developing their creativity at the same time.