An educational blog in collaboration with Mothercare Malta and M & Co Malta
The world really is one big classroom for toddlers. They love to master new concepts, so it’s the perfect time to lay the foundation for future skills like reading and counting and just being creative. At home, apart from allowing Luna to play with her i-pad and watch educational videos, we love to play with toys and things that make her use her own creativity and we encourage her all the time to try out new things and we cheer her progress all the time.
All parents out there, if they’re really honest, want their child to be a bright spark. So they all look out for toys to encourage their intelligence while remaining fun and holding their attention for more than like five seconds.
There are a lot of toys out there, ones that come with all sorts of promises. It’s a minefield for parents. The toys we have chosen all aid the developmental stages in childhood through play. This is important for supporting brain development and cerebral skills – play allows children to use their creativity and encourages imagination, physical and motor skills, be that by giving them instructions to follow in a fun way, the ability to process information, express emotion and solve problems, or opportunities to create.
Use Simple Blocks to encourage creativity
Blocks are widely considered the perfect creative learning toys, since they allow children to build and invent without direction or boundaries. These are fun because they allow kids to learn how to sort them out by size or colour. They also get to create shapes in different ways, flat on the floor, horizontally or vertically. But building toys are just one way to unleash your child’s imagination. To raise a creative child, you need to think out of the box yourself and that is sometimes challenging but so much fun too for us parents.
Unplug Their Play.
To reduce TV and ipad viewing, try to keep the remote out of reach. We have slowed down on the electronic toys too now that she turns 3. We find that basic games and story telling are what bring out the best playfulness and feedback from our daughter: Play peekaboo and hide and seek with your baby, and let her bang pots and pans to make music. Cut window flaps in a cardboard box so your toddler can make believe it’s a house or a bus. Or put some water in a plastic bin and leave out some washable baby dolls, a towel, and fresh outfits so your preschooler can pretend he’s bathing his baby.
Tell Them Stories
Hearing us read books and make up stories gives our children the tools and inspiration to come up with her own flights of impressive stories. We also try to use different voices for each character and she laughs so much when we do that. Once your child knows a particular tale well, have her invent a new ending. You can also make up a story together — you start, and have her take over when she’s ready. Read through some interesting books together and get creative. One new book we just got this week is the one called “New Super Heroes” and I will soon tell you more about it as it is such a great concept that is designed to teach kids empowerment and ownership. Grab a copy as it launches this very week!
Get Out of The House.
Truth be told, you don’t have to go far to stimulate your child’s imagination. Try Taking a barefoot walk across different surfaces – a fluffy carpet, damp grass, warm sand — and ask them how each one feels. You can try going on a treasure hunt in the backyard. Have your little explorers look under leaves and rocks and describe what they find. Take along a box or a cute beach bucket so they can save their new treasures for another game the next day with mummy and daddy.
We also enjoy taking Luna out to animal parks where she can recognise the animals she is used to seeing in her colouring books and on TV and we repeat all the time the names of the animals and their colours and we do some counting exercises.. How many yellow birds can you see? How many orange fish can you see, so the outing is an educational playing field for her and a pleasure for us too.
Have fun teaching your kids. They are blessings in our lives, so all we can do is be the best parents we can be and pave their way in their huge new world that has only just begun!
Hope you enjoyed this feature with kids in mind.
Love and light to all!
Credits are due to the following people or companies: