Build brain power by bonding with your kidsWritten by Bioharmony
With an ever-increasing number of mothers trying to balance demanding careers and family life, it sometimes seems difficult to find time to spend with our kids.
The truth is, while your son would welcome an hour playing ball, this “all or nothing” approach is adding unnecessary pressure on parents. Kids don’t expect much; a little time out with you goes a long way in their lives. Even a few minutes to connect each day will do wonders.
Below are a few games you can play with your kids. They’re brain boosting games that help kids learn through repetition and they also develop problem solving skills. Play them in the car on the way to school, when you’re trapped inside thanks to rain or when you’re waiting for a waiter to bring your food at the restaurant.
License plate mathematics
Ask your child to add up the numbers in the license plate of the car in front of you. For older kids, try subtracting, multiplying, dividing. If your child struggles with number or is still young, keep an abacus in the car to help him with sums.
Ask your child to spell words of things you see around you. Teach younger children to learn letter sounds by getting them to concentrate on the first letter. E.g., “Sky starts with a ssssss. Can you hear that? Sssssssky.” Get the child to repeat after you until she learns the letters herself.
This old favourite is always a hit. For younger kids, vary the game slightly so they can take part. For example, “I spy with my little eye, something that is green” or “I spy with my little eye, something that is furry with four legs”.
What am I thinking of?
Give your child clues so they can guess what you’re thinking of. E.g. “I am thinking of a fruit, it’s red and it starts with an ‘a’”. Make the game slightly harder for older kids.
Think of a person and tell your child to try figure out who you’re thinking about by asking 20 questions. Guide your child to learn what questions to start off with, such as, “Is it a boy or a girl? Is it someone in our family? Is it a child or a grown up?”
Carry a set of dice in your handbag, this will come in handy when you’re sitting in a restaurant. Throw the dice on the table and ask your older child to add, multiply, subtract or divide the numbers on each dice. Ask your younger child to simply count all the dots on the dice.
Tell a story
This fun story telling games encourages your child to think creatively. One person starts the story with one sentence, the second person tells the next sentence, the third person adds a sentence, and so on. If you have a child who is learning to write, consider writing a short story with your child. Take turns writing a sentence, to create an illustration for the story. This can be an ongoing project, something that could become a family treasure.
Try this approach for a week or so, and we’re sure you’ll see positive results. Calmer, more connected children mean calmer, more collected parents.