Observe – Stop and smell the roses! When was the last time we adults actually stopped our busy day to smell the roses growing in our front yard?
Kids do it all the time and its pretty magical to watch. Observe your child playing and try to not interrupt them. Kids are busy playing even if they are just gazing through the window and watching the birds in the sky or walking through a water puddle or just simply counting their toes. Kids do not need to be constantly stimulated by mommy or daddy. When kids or infants get the opportunity to listen, smell and feel the world around them that is when they get to think and independently learn how their little bodies work and simply how the world goes round.
Independent play time at any age will increase your child’s attention span and help raise critical and thoughtful thinkers.
Limit Distractions – Teaching your child to BE present in what is going on around them will increase their attention span.
Often parents distract their kids with a toy while changing their diapers, a cartoon during dinner time or an iPad while strolling down the aisle at the supermarket. All these gives your child the green light that its ok to not be present in what is going on around them. Activities that seem boring and unengaging to you are fascinating to a child especially if you include them.
If your baby is crying or your toddler is whining and you just distract them with a new toy, you are teaching your child to not be present not only to the world around them but also to their feelings and thoughts. A distraction is a quick fix but will later on create a child that is not an attentive listener and is easily distractible.
Keep The Toys Simple – Yes there is such a thing as too many toys 😉 Kids get over stimulated if they have too many colors and toys in their room or in their preschool classrooms. Create a space for your child with simple objects like balls, dolls and puzzles. Simple sticks from your garden or some leaves from your tree will fascinate your child a lot more then that squeaky battery operated expensive toy. Keep it simple. Let your child use their imagination. Let them play and explore creatively for a long period of time without the stimulation of an electric toy.
At our preschools, every toy has its purpose and its space. The walls have neutral soft colors and are empty canvases for the kids to fill them up with their creativity and imagination… their arts and craft are what is displayed on the walls, their toys are kids pots, pans pretend brooms, puzzles and blocks. The neutral colors and simple wooden toys create a space for endless imagination.
So, don’t rush to buy every toy that is on the market and if you already have than this weekend could be a great cleanup and donate weekend.
Keep it simple….Observe, and teach your child to BE present.
Sophie Le Petit Gan
Elevating Child Care a guide to respectful parenting by Janet Lansbury is a wonderful book I was recommended by my pediatrician Dr. Rachel Kramer. Its a simple read for every parent.
Our Preschool Playroom