The festive season is the perfect time of the year to step aside from our mundane routine and indulge in some uninterrupted playful time with our kids. Uninterrupted here never means to put them in front of their iPad, it means to play with them. Unfortunately, today kids spend more time of their lives in front of screens. Most of this time is spend without family and friends in “mindless” screen-based activities.
While screens can be very beneficial in child development and learning, parents need to find the right balance between the two extremes. Here are six playful tips for you to engage your kids for a frisky Christmas.
- Self-initiated and unsupervised play
Any activity that your child indulges in must be self-initiated and unsupervised. Any game that your child plays must be a hands-on activity. That should engage them completely and must have multi-sensory engagement level. Most importantly, that play or activity must be real. It should aim to connect your children to the real world outside them. Being physically active is not the only aim here, your child must be completely involved exploiting their range of senses in the activity.
- Recognize your main resources
Is play expensive? Real play is not expensive because it only requires your energy and enthusiasm. The actual resources at play are the child’s natural imaginations and power of creativity. Ever since the play originated, the child’s capacity to play has always been driven by his abilities and simple materials. There are many activities that you can do without spending a lot such as playing with sand, painting, climbing trees, hide and seek, and role play etc. All our kid needs are some time, energy, and laughter.
- Encourage them whatever they play
Not all play activities are alike. While you will find some to play unstructured, there are also some structured games like specific puzzles and some screen-based games. All these games offer not only good play time but also have some value in them. Though they may not engage your child physically and socially, they can have some positive benefits for your children.
- Zero screen time is not your goal
It will be unfair to pronounce screens as bad. They are only harmful when used the wrong way. Evidence shows that when children spend unusual time on these devices or do activities on them that are potentially harmful, that’s when devices have a deleterious effect. Parents must set appropriate screen time limits according to the age of their kids. Using a monitoring app can go a long way in controlling the screen time. Xnspy is offering 40% off as part of its Christmas promotions. It’s the best time of the year to teach your kids about screen time while saving big.
- Spare time for outdoor play
What kind of games your kids play depends on what amenities are available in your area. Parks, playgrounds, and gardens are not everywhere and vary in towns, cities, and country sides. Whatever is available to you, you must seek out to those spaces and find out what facilities they offer. After identifying an outdoor facility, spare some time every week for your kids to play. Try only to supervise their safety and not the content of their play. As long as they enjoy playing a game, the only extra requirement is to dress them up in warm clothes. As long as they have enough protection, children love cold as much as the sun.
- Don’t make it sound educational
Christmas holidays are meant for festivities and fun. Any activity that you do with your kids must not sound educational. Don’t boss around, instead let them play in their natural form. This will contribute to your child’s development in different ways. Children develop overall if play involves physical, emotional, cognitive, and social aspects. The play has its own importance as compared to the studies. When a kid plays with interest, their enthusiasm for academic activities grows as well. So avoid forcing it. Play is naturally educational.