5 ways to engage your kids without gadgets and actually have fun!

Engage your kids out of gadgets- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Which seems more natural? A baby with an iPad or one watching bubbles?

It’s rightly said that the “parenting days are long but the years are short”. While each day seems to drag on, the years are melting by.  A 3-month old is 3-years old too soon and shunting off to preschool. That makes the time that you do have with your kids even more precious. As easy as it may be to plop them with an iPad or TV to free some time for you, engage with them for more fun. Here are 5 ways to make the most of your time with them and have fun doing it.

1. Crafting – Hello Pinterest!

There are so many sites out there that detail how to do fun stuff with your kid when time permits, simply by repurposing stuff you’ve probably already got lying at home – egg cartons, bottle caps, cardboard, crepe paper and finger paints among others. You can make everything from simple pom pom spiders to complex rail road networks. Look at something your child would love and start there. And here’s an opportunity for your kid to learn scissor skills, gluing etc. So much fun!

crafts

Source: Creative commons, Google images

 2. Reading/ Music

Both these hobbies have been proved to have extended benefits in children who’ve been exposed to them early on in life. You may love reading or listening to music or both. Reading age appropriate books to your kids early on is very rewarding. While an instrument may not be for everyone, the love of music certainly is. Studies suggest that listening to classical music as early as from the womb promotes smartness in kids though this is up for debate. But no harm in developing good tastes, eh?

 3. Head outdoors

This is perhaps the easiest way to de-gadgetize – the great outdoors. Going out and playing is becoming obsolete the way kids these days “get exercise” from playing the Wii. What happened to the good old days of street cricket or hopscotch? When weather permits, head out to the parks, beaches or hiking. Nowadays holiday resorts offer the respite of having enclosed surroundings with the illusion of being out. So while the parents relax, the kids are free to play with minimal supervision.

 4. Bring out the inner sous chef

This is one of the things I’ve found most gratifying with my 3 year old. He loves to assist me in cooking. He narrates bits and pieces of a “recipe” as he guides me along. Be it an omelette or a cupcake, my little sous chef accompanies me in whisking, mixing, etc. And we have a blast together. I also find he likes to eat whatever he assisted in more than something I spring upon him. So it’s a double treat.

ChildChef

Source: Flickr, creative commons

 5. You know your child best

This means you should do what he likes most – be it painting, crafting, modeling PlayDoh or just messing around with blocks or trains, become a part of his world and see it from his eyes. Everything looks fresh. And I promise, you will eventually forget “The wheels on the bus..”!

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