As we face the school holidays, mums everywhere are working hard to keep their little ones entertained, but with the rain and cold weather, it can be a difficult task to keep coming up with new, fun ideas.
Research is finding that brain development can be greatly supported when babies and children are physically active. As babies and children explore their environment, their muscle and bones are developing, along with their balance, coordination, body awareness and confidence.
The added bonus of physical activity is the way this exploring stimulates brain development, and is linked with better co-ordination, memory, concentration and behaviour.
So what should I do to help my child?
Many care givers are already doing a lot of the right things, whether its intentional or not, but here are some additional suggestions to add to what you’re already doing that are particularly winter friendly.
1) Singing – Whether it’s baa baa black sheep, or the theme song from Frozen, singing can be fun to do with any number of children and adults. Make up actions to go with the song for bonus movement.
2) Dancing – Use your childs favourite song, and help them create some dance moves to go with it. Saturday night fever works just fine – they won’t care! If your child is too young, hold their hands or feet and help them dance. Or even better, teach older children to help younger children bust a move!
3) Build a fort – Yes this will unleash some chaos in your house, but it gets everyone moving with the fun of constructing a hideaway. Confine it to their bedroom if you want to keep your lounge room in one piece.
4) Treasure hunt – Use something you have readily available at home e.g. pegs, and scatter them around the house, with varying effort depending on the age of the children. Give them 3 minutes to find as many as they can!
5) Build shapes – Play a game with your children where they have to move their body into different shapes, letters of numbers. If you have a few children, get them to work in pairs for added fun. Letters like V and N can be fun.
6) Hide & seek or muscial statues are also fun time-fillers
I hope these ideas have given you some new inspiration. Give anything a go! When it’s all too hard and everyones getting cabin fever, get some raincoats on and head to the beach or park to burn off some energy. Whatever you do, try to keep everyone moving (including YOU!) for maximum brain stimulation, as well as all the added social and physical benefits.
If you have noticed your child has difficulty moving, playing or keeping up with other children their age, send us an email to see if we can offer some advice, or put you in touch with the right person who could help you and your child.