There are no shortcuts to building relationships. To form a deep and lasting bond with anyone, you must invest time and effort. The same is true for a mother-child relationship. Like other important relationships, spending quality time with your children will help deepen the bond with your child and play a significant role in their cognitive development.
However, life can get busy and stressful, especially for mothers. Managing the house while caring for your toddler is stressful enough, and on top of that, many women today work from home, which can add further stress. Most days, mothers are so busy tending to their children’s needs that they can hardly make time for any other activity. So, what fun activities can mothers incorporate into their daily lives to spend quality time with their toddlers while also providing them with an opportunity to learn? Well, this article will help you figure that out, so keep reading.
What We Know of Quality Time
Before discussing the activities, we must first understand the concept of quality time. Quality time means a dedicated amount of time in which a person’s loved one gets their full, undivided attention. Many parents are afraid they do not spend enough time with their children due to their busy schedules. They worry that it might lead to developmental delays. However, The Washington Post reported a study that showed that the quantity of time spent with your child is not as essential as the quality of that time.
The best approach for a parent would be to engage in fun activities with their children that can aid in their emotional and mental development. If mothers notice any issues in their child’s development, they can take the developmental quiz to determine if their child’s growth is not compromised due to medical negligence during childbirth.
Spending time with your toddlers does not have to be complicated or hours long. Simple, fun activities can positively impact your kids if you focus your full attention on them. Below are some of these activities.
1. Make a Hobby of Reading
Reading is excellent at accelerating your child’s cognitive development. Through reading, your toddler learns about sounds, words, and language. Reading will expand their vocabulary and help them learn about the world.
Fiction books also stimulate people’s imagination and develop social skills in toddlers through observing characters. But, most of all, they are an excellent means for parents to bond with their kids.
If you are trying to develop a habit of reading in your toddler, start with a colourful picture book. These picture books are engaging and easy to follow for kids. The vivid colours keep the little ones interested in the pages. Try using different voices and expressions for the characters when reading to make the story more immersive. Ask your child questions or make them repeat what you say so they don’t become bored.
And lastly, if your child is interested in something, such as animals, plants, or space, try to choose books about those. It will increase the chances of your child enjoying the books you read to them.
2. Let Them in the Kitchen
Many mothers hesitate to let their toddlers into the kitchen area because they may make a mess. There is no denying that cooking or baking with toddlers needs a lot of patience. However, that patience does pay off because cooking can help your child learn fundamental maths skills which come with measuring ingredients.
Cooking can also boost confidence in your child because it gives them a sense of accomplishment. It will be a little chaotic initially, but after some time, your child will improve as they get more comfortable with their environment.
You can start with simple recipes or ask them to help decorate things. Another way to involve them is by handing them small tasks like throwing eggshells in the trash or passing you a container. Then, gradually, start assigning them more complex tasks. You can play music or make up songs for simple tasks to make the process more fun and exciting.
3. Use Your Child’s Organisation Skills
Many parents claim that their kids enjoy organising and sequencing their toys. This results from a child’s attempts to organise objects based on their shared characteristics and distinctions.
Organisation skills are vital to a child’s cognitive development as they build a structured and consistent approach to tasks later in life.
Promote your child’s sorting skills by labelling things in your household to make it easier for yourself and your toddler. This way, you can help your child recognise objects with specific names, which allows them to organise things.
When putting away household items, you can ask your toddler where to place a specific toy of theirs—a car, for example. You can also ask them to remind you where the sock drawer is. Or you can ask them to put the object themselves because “Mommy cannot find the suitable bucket”. These skills will teach your child about helping others and managing responsibilities.
4. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Children love to explore and are innate investigators. You can plan scavenger hunts for them to feed their curiosity. These scavenger hunts do not have to be too time-consuming and can be planned or made up as you go. For example, when you go grocery shopping, look for items in the grocery store that are of a particular colour or shape.
You can also fake losing an object, like a sock or juice container, at home so your toddler can bring it to you. The labelling exercise will also help you here, as you can arrange a scavenger hunt to locate a labelled container.
In today’s fast-paced life, it is easy to forget that growing kids often need your time and attention. Meaningful connections are created by spending quality time, even if you spend an hour with your child every day.
Moms spend so much time catering to their kids’ needs, leaving them with little to no time for themselves. So, one way to relax during your busy days is by doing these fun activities that will be fun for you and your toddler.
You don’t need to complicate things; instead, try to connect with your child in ways that suit your lifestyle and relationship. Toddlers are like moulds; your small gestures can make a significant difference in the long run.