Back then, in my childhood I used to always play outdoors, of course it’s India and the weather is always favorable for outdoor games and yes weather plays a main role in engaging kids. Here in Germany, after having my daughter I realized, how hard it is to engage a kid in home especially in winters. Her terrible two drove me crazy and I was constantly thinking for ideas to engage her. Kids have a lot of energy to let out. Being a minimalist parent I don’t want to invest more on toys or expensive stuffs, while we have a lot of things around us which bring joy to our kids. So, Parents here you go, take a look at some of my ways to engage kids indoor.
Be with your child. I know parents, not always have time to spend with their kids. But, when you do have time to spend with your child, do things that they enjoy. Giving your time is a big thing for kids. Even simply sitting near them and staring at what they play matters a lot to a kid. In case if you are working parent, avoid bringing work home with you. In case you have to, allow your child to sit with you and do some coloring or doing puzzles etc. But all they need is your presence.
Fun Reading sessions. My daughter loves books in any form. Sometimes she take my novel and start pretending to read :). Reading sessions are really a good way to engage kids and also make them to start their interest in reading at very young age. Since early on, I have been reading books to my daughter. After I finished reading a story book to her, I would always tell her it’s quite time now for mommy and you to read the book by ourselves. And she will just stare the pics of the book and keep saying the words from the stories which I read. It’s a good way for improving their memory and creative thinking.
Involving kids in household chores. I would say it’s one of my favorite task because it always makes my household chores less stressful by seeing the cuteness of her doing those chores. Give chores which excite them. For example, I say my daughter to clean the television because it shows you your favorite cartoons or wipe the mirrors as it shows your beautiful face everyday to you etc. Involve them in kitchen for putting veggies in respective baskets and cooking. My daughter roll her own tiny Chapathis (Indian bread), sometime peeling carrots with my assistance and baking with kids are always fun. Involving them in house hold chores make them to teach cleanliness, discipline and also how to look after themselves and the house.
Painting. Which kid is not the fan of painting, be it hand painting or with brush. My daughter sometimes do it on her face too. It’s okay to be messy while having fun. Creativity starts from colors and using them on papers , so encourage kids to paint more and don’t forget to encourage them by showcasing their creativity on walls or doors or like me by hanging it in a notice board.
Doing exercise together. It’s a great way for both to have fun. We laugh a lot while we do mommy daughter exercise. There are a lot of videos out there which you can play in TV and just do by seeing it. It is quite a good way to be fit and also incorporate healthy activity for the kid in indoor. For us sometimes exercise sessions will change to dance sessions too :).
Make use of old cardboard. Before you throw away those cardboard of your new washing machine arrived in, you need to check out all of the brilliant things you can make with them. Amazing play houses for no cost can be made for your kids. My daughter used to stay in that for whole day and play. It doesn’t need to be so perfect (your kid doesn’t need that too).
Do a magic show. I made her a backdrop with two chairs and said mommy is ready for your show, that’s it my daughter got so excited to make her own show. It made her to think all interesting things for the show like shadow puppets, magic toys arrives from shopping basket etc., which was so fun and it really encouraged her creativity.
Role play. Every kid has their favorite story and favorite character in it. Find the stories which they are obsessed with and start playing a role play, It’s not only fun but also helps them identify good from bad while encouraging bravery. You can choose a superhero or a fantasy characters such as unicorns, dinosaurs, princess tales etc. Along with being fun, using imagination in their play improves their creativity. It’s not necessary to buy those costumes, just make those with what is available near you. Kids will never complain about it for sure.
Do try these methods, they are cost-effective, develop the skills, bonding and also engage them in home. Please do share you experiences in comments which might help a lot of people out there.