This is a sponsored post.
As I watch Immy dance around the dining room with the unabashed abandon of childhood I want to bottle this moment and hold it tight as I know this time in our lives called ‘childhood’ will be over all too soon. I just know that one day I will look back with longing for the days when I couldn’t walk two metres without tripping over a randomly abandoned scooter, teddy or baby doll, for the times that we laughed together as the bubbles blown erupted over the rim of a glass of milk, even for the moments when I craved a solo visit to the bathroom. The media tells us that children today are growing up faster than ever and I can’t say that I disagree. What I can say, is that I intend to do my darnedest to make the most of these moments of childhood and give my children the opportunity to enjoy a childhood filled with play, fun and innocence.
Here are 8 ways I intend to do just that….
1. Be selective with organised, out of school activities. The impulse to book my kids into multiple activities is strong, especially as I don’t want them to miss out on opportunities to discover and explore a passion or talent, but we are keeping it as simple as we can by focusing on just one activity per term, at least while they are young.
2. Manage screen time. This isn’t just about the amount of time that my children are using electronic devices or watching TV but also what they are consuming. We are very selective about what our girls watch and pre-record pretty much everything so that they sit down to watch one show rather than sitting down to just watch whatever is on – I think it can be really easy for time to pass and before you know it, they’ve watched an awful lot more than you intended.
3. Teach children to become discerning consumers of media. It is important to be informed about what your children are watching, reading and playing electronically. This provides you with opportunities to talk through what they are seeing or reading, helping them to process and critically dissect advertising and societal issues as they arise.
4. Choose toys that encourage creative thinking and open ended exploration. Even for older children. I am a huge fan of choosing toys that allow children to explore and play in lots of different ways and remember – toys aren’t just for little kids!
5. Cultivate boredom. Kids need regular, unscheduled time to just be bored and find their own fun. Don’t plan after school activities and playdates for every single afternoon, keep at least some time free for just hanging out, electronic free, of course!
6. Wherever you can, make home learning playful. For most of us with children in mainstream schools, homework is not optional. I have never however come across a teacher who isn’t open to you finding ways to engage your child with the learning that they need to do in fun and engaging ways that best suit their individual learning style. So when spelling word or sight word revision becomes a chore with Immy, I will refer to our list of playful sight word learning ideas and we try something fresh and fun. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check in with the teacher first (and for us, it’s an exception rather than a norm) but we have a great system where I just let our teacher know what we did in place of the listed work via our daily communication diary. If you are not sure how to help your child with their homework struggles or homework really is becoming a battle, please speak to your teacher about finding alternative ways to work together to solve these problems.
7. Experience life. The more time you can spend enjoying and experiencing life with your kids the better. Take time away from the chores and responsibilities that threaten to swallow up our weekends and out-of-work hours and just do something fun together.
8. Connect and engage regularly. Make regularly spending time together a priority. Whether it be family meals or a regular family fun activity, this time together is so important for children’s developing sense of connection and honest, open communication, both of which are imperative to mental health and well being.
Encourage Creative Play with My Little Pony POP
This month sees the release of the brand new My Little Pony POP range of toys. Designed to encourage creative play and self-expression for children aged 4-8 years, My Little Pony POP gives kids the tools to build, decorate, style and customise their very own My Little Pony characters. With all of the favourite characters available in the range, children will be able to style their ponies to the max with a fun collection of manes, tails, wings and stickers. The pieces are all interchangeable so the possibilities are endless.
How does My Little Pony Pop work?
… POP …
… DECORATE …
… and PLAY!
The ponies are available in a range of character packs starting at just $6.99 for one pony and accessories set. The My Little Pony POP Multi Character Pack is great as a gift or as an introduction to the range as it allows you to mix and match two ponies and their accessories straight away. The accompanying playsets, such as the My Little Pony POP Sweet Shoppe, takes the play potential one step further as children build and customize their very own My Little Pony POP world of fun.
My Little Pony Pop is available in Australia via all major retailers from September.
One lucky Childhood 101 reader will win a My Little Pony Pop Prize Pack complete with;
- 1 x My Little Pony Multi Character Pack (RRP $24.99)
- 1 x My Little Pony POP Sweet Shoppe playset (RRP $39.99)
Entry is simple. This is a game of skill and entries will be judged based on creativity and originality. To enter, leave a comment on this post in response to this question:
Tell me one way you are making the most of childhood with your kids.
Australian entrants only. Entries close 5PM AEST, Sunday 21st September, 2014.