Children, no matter how noisy or troublesome they are, all parents feel that they grow up too soon and go their own way seeking their fortune. As long as they are small and with you, make the most of their childhood. Make their childhood memorable by actively participating in activities with them, around them. It is important to select an activity based on your child`s developmental level, temperament and inclination, instead of your own! While some parents are lucky to have extra-curricular talents, that is not essential. Everybody is good at something. Here are five simple activities you can do with your child. They do not require great investment in terms of time or money yet they would be a great source of joy for you:
- Cycling : While your neighbourhood is still asleep, it can be fun and invigorating to take your child out on his cycle while you accompany on yours. Cycling has many benefits. In addition to building endurance and strengthening your child, it also energizes you. Cycling is a very interesting way to build your child`s confidence too. It gives them a sense of navigating in traffic as well as being independent and taking quick decisions wherever need be. As you start gaining more interest in the activity, you will be able to discover newer dimensions about it. A cycle ride can be a unique bonding activity you can share with your child.
- Swimming : For those hot summer months where you cannot think of doing any physical activity, take a plunge into the pool - enroll your child and yourself in a swimming club. It is refreshing, cooling and above all, a great fitness mantra! Just like cycling, it builds your endurance and boosts your muscle strength without causing strain to the joints. This makes it suitable for all ages. Swimming can be deeply relaxing if you let yourself go. Floating in water can be amazingly calming to your mind and very rejuvenating for the spirit. Your child will learn skills for life through these activities, which are not possible to teach in any other environment.
- Gardening : Gift your child a garden and watch him grow with it! Whatever the amount of sunlight or space constraint you may have, there is always room for a few greens in the house. Learn about indoor plants and get some for your house. Mint and coriander are easy to grow herbs that are used abundantly in our kitchen. Let your child grow these herbs in a small kitchen garden. If you have a balcony, ask your local gardener what is most suitable for that space. Have your child paint the flower pots too! The presence of green plants in the house is a beautiful way to create a positive and healthy atmosphere. Teach your child to take care of his little garden. In addition to watering, let him help in activities that are required for the maintenance of the garden. The child will learn how to be responsible and take care of another living thing. And it helps him find a connection with Mother Nature. As for your efforts to maintain the garden, it will be very rewarding when you see it blooming.
- Reading : Reading is one of the most repeated suggestions to parents. It is not without a reason, because reading is extremely fulfilling, intellectually and emotionally stimulating, yet physically least demanding. You can indulge in a quiet hour with the child even after a long day`s work. A book and a cozy seating is all you need. Even toddlers can respond to stories. For those who have the special talent to read aloud, it is an added joy. You can have your child play a part in the story while you play another!For those whose children are older, and who no longer need to read to them, you can read in one another`s company. Set aside a time dedicated to reading. A good read is always followed by a great conversation as there is so much to share. Listening to your child`s perspective and interpretation would be greatly enjoyable. No matter how old your child is, and even if it is the first time in years that you have picked up a book, indulge yourself in the pleasure of reading.
- Journaling : When your child has a special experience of traveling, meets an eminent personality, or undertakes an activity like going to the museum or to the theatre, how do you preserve the moment` Encourage the child to write a journal. Some children dedicatedly maintain an everyday log of events. If that is slightly beyond you as a beginner, try for a weekly one. Journaling is as much about writing as it is about observing, remembering, expressing and the discipline to do it routinely. Blogging is another interesting way to journaling online, where you can attach the pictures to share with friends and relatives. Over the years you would discover that your child`s skills in language and expression to have evolved. For smaller children whose writing skills have not developed yet, scrap-booking would be an alternative way. You can help your child to recreate images and experience by cutting and pasting pictures from old magazines and newspapers and labeling them creatively. It is a fun way to impart a priceless skill of keeping a record of one`s experiences and learning.