As parents, we’ve had a rough year. National lockdown left us without the support of childcare or playschools, leaving us to find ways to keep our toddlers stimulated and learning. Now with holidays fast approaching and localised lockdown on the cards for a number of regions throughout the country, families are once again advised to practice more rigorous physical distancing.
We’ll be on the look-out for great ideas to keep our children engaged that enable us to also relax and have some fun, especially when it comes to our busy toddlers.
Childhood Development innovator, Meg Faure, who is a best-selling author and
co-founder of Play Sense, reminds us parents that play is the intense work that
toddlers do. “It’s through their daily
play that they are moving forward to tick those developmental milestones such
as the gross and fine motor skills, and attaining language, while also making
progress in developing vital ‘super sensory’ capacities such as creativity and
imagination, problem-solving, emotional intelligence and collaboration, amongst
others,” she says.
Meg recommends four fun, money-free ways that parents can keep their little ones not just occupied over the holidays, but actively developing and learning in the best ways:
Get outdoors into nature The summer holiday is the ideal time for being outdoors and physically active every day. Playing in gardens, walking on beaches, in mountains and forests, at your child’s comfortable pace, allows plenty of stimulating time to stop, look, discover and explore
Build and construct activities From playing with blocks to putting up tents and creating forts, these sorts of projects engage little ones in solving problems and collaborating in a team or partnership
Make-believe games A box of pretend play items such as feeding bottles, spoons, and sippy cups, as well as clothing items such as hats and socks or old handbags, phones, and glasses, can be a treasure trove that enables your child to test out their understanding of roles, interactions, and life through play
Join the four-week online Play Sense Playcation Access a wide range of easy-to-use, fun activities across four different themes. Registration is free and the program, which runs from 10 December 2020 to 11 January 2021, has been developed by occupational therapists to nurture essential skills in 2 to 4-year olds. You’ll be part of a holiday community with opportunities to upload videos of your activities to the website and chances to win prizes