Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Incorporating Fun into Your Child’s Daily Activities

Having three girls that are now in their twenties, I feel sometimes that I failed miserably when they were little girls and young teens. As a young mom who worked full time and commuted a long distance, I just didn't have the energy to devote to them as I should have.  I was fortunate to get a do-over with our now almost three year old.  This little girl keeps me laughing (even when I should be scolding).  Everything is a game for her. 
When she was a few months old, we started teaching her to communicate with us via sign language.  By the time she was 8 months old she could tell us she wanted milk.  At a year old she could tell us she wanted milk, water, juice, to eat, or wanted more, please and thank you.  Unfortunately, a friend of mine also taught her to sign "it wasn't me, it was her".  Yeah, she has used that one as well!  Children are so amazing and such sponges.   With her being able to communicate with us, it eliminated a lot of frustrations.   My oldest was so impressed she decided to do this when she had a child.  Her son is now learning to "say" milk.
The little girl loves to sing.  It can be anytime or anywhere.  She had me join her in song as we walked through a Wal-mart.  Heaven forbid if I forget my “microphone”.  But not to fear!  She will pull one out of her make believe backpack and hand it to me.   We sing songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle, Twinkle, The Alphabet Song, you know the normal stuff! Microphone in hand!  Anytime, anywhere!   What a great way to help with memorization!
We also love to have tea parties.  She will crawl up in my lap and ask me if I would like some tea.  Why yes, I would!  So she reaches back into her handy dandy make believe backpack and wah-lah!  I have a nice cup of tea.  She is quick to warn me that it is hot and I need to blow it and be careful.   The tea is scrumptious and really hits the spots!  We use this time to work on table manners. 
We have taught her to count to 30, sing her ABC’s and spell her name all while getting dressed and putting on shoes to go “to work”.  You see, we run a few home businesses from our house and one of them is putting flamingos in yards of unsuspecting “victims”.  She helps us count the “critters” as we place them in the yard.   Helping us collect them at the end of the rental is another venture in counting.  This little lady will be counting to 50 before we know it!  She can already count by two’s up to 10.  Did I tell you she is only 2-1/2?
Left and right is no challenge for her anymore!  We have her tell us which way we should turn when we are driving about.  While sitting at a light, we will ask her which way we need to turn.  Do we turn left, or right?  She nails it every time!  One day she saw something at a store she wanted.  We were trying to ignore it and she was adamant that we look on the left and see it.  Guess what... it was on the left. 
Cooking is always fun with her.  Play-doh is our friend!  She can come up with the most delicious looking delicacies.  Bringing us dinner while we work is her greatest joy!  Her pizzas are the best in the house!  She can get a little possessive of the rolling pin sometimes, but that’s ok.  We are working on the sharing issues!   It is also a great time to reinforce learning colors.  She is learning that yellow and blue make green!  Also learning all colors mixed together turn a yucky brown!
Her garden was amazing this year.  She had her own little plot and was diligent to make sure it was weeded, watered, and basically well taken care of.  Her Abby-Cadabby gardening set was top notch in helping with weeding!  She looked so darn cute in her gloves.  The joy in her face as she was able to finally pick her first tomato and cucumber was priceless!  Talk about a feeling of accomplishment!  She got to watch these plants grow from seedlings to food on her plate! 
Cleaning time is fun time as well.  We make it a race to see who can pick up the most toys.  The winner gets a high five!   At one time she was afraid of the vacuum cleaner but we have coaxed her to help us push it and now she enjoys helping us suck up that dust bunny!   The step stool is always nearby when we are unloading the dishwasher as her job is to help put the dishes away.  While it does take longer than doing it alone, the pride she feels in helping is worth that time!
She helps us take care of our little dog, Mickey.  We take him for a walk a few times a day and she enjoys telling me the colors of the cars that pass us.  Sometime we call out the numbers on the mailboxes.  She is a sharp little lady.  We try to make everything an opportunity to learn. 
Speaking of our dog, she will use him as her shopping buddy, as her baby (and wrap him up in a blanket), and as her best friend.  This little dog is amazing with her.  I’m still waiting for her to try and bottle feed him!  She will be quite a mommy when she grows up!  She will read to him and quiz him about what she has "read".  Not unlike us.  We take turns reading.  She enjoys "reading" back to us.  She runs her finger under each word as she speaks.   
While we don’t have a lot of inventive new ways to play, we enjoy the time we spend with her and learning from her as well! 

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and The Hub blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.


Lindsay said...

This is why I love Discovery Toys mom I will be able to play with monster all while helping him learn

StarFireBoutique said...

Great post. You are an awesome Momma! I try so hard to incorporate as much fun time with my son as I can. I too commute a long way. I hate it, but I have to work and I do thankfully love my job. I play with him every chance I get.I try to make even the basic everyday things fun. he loves to help me cook, and clean. Well for now that is.

To Mommies and Beyond said...

Great information. I discovered your blog while hopping. You sure are a busy mama. I think that it is wonderful adding as much fun as possible!I am a new follower! PLease visit me @ http://www.mommiesandbeyond.com