When children are born, they have no expectations of the world around them. They come to understand life through their tangible experiences. As a parent, it’s vital to your children’s emotional, social, intellectual, and physical well being that you expose them to as many positive experiences at a young age. In doing so, you do your part to help your children grow into well-rounded human beings with a variety of interests and talents, who will undoubtedly find continuous happiness and success throughout their lives. When your children are still young, you should:
1. Go to the library
It’s no secret that reading with your children is incredibly beneficial to their development. Even if the last time you set foot in a library was during your freshman year of college, when you become a parent you should make it a habit to visit your neighborhood library weekly. Spend some times in the kids’ section with your children browsing books you cherished when you were younger, and exploring new books they come across. Check out a book for yourself, as well; this will instill in your child the idea that reading is an activity for all ages. See if the library hosts story time sessions and invite other parents to join you.
Creating a community full of adults and children who love to read can be an incredibly rewarding experience for everyone involved.
2. Cook or bake
When it comes to food, children are either incredibly easy to please, or an absolute nightmare to deal with. Either way, involving them in the process of preparing meals will typically strengthen their love of food. Or, it might just cultivate a change in that fickle appetite. Allow them to choose meals to prepare (from a pre-made list, of course), and involve them in every step of the process. Include them when making the grocery list, take them shopping, and give them the chance to prepare part of the meal (taking safety into consideration).
If children are part of the entire process, they will end up enjoying foods they had never tried before — simply because the meal was something they produced. And, of course, it wouldn’t hurt if they helped with the cleanup, also!
3. Draw or color
Your children most likely love to color, but when’s the last time you actually sat down and colored with them? Take a break from your busy lifestyle and let your children see your creative side. Even if you’re not the best artist in the world (ahem), show them that sometimes it’s not your talents that matter, but your willingness to try something new — along with perseverance — that make something worth doing. Not only that, but coloring is incredibly relaxing.
It will definitely bring you out of the funk that many adults find themselves in while working through their daily grind.
4. Play music
Music is the one true international language. And, like coloring and drawing, you don’t have to be great at it to enjoy it! Even if you don’t have any real musical instruments, you can always make your own. Play music with your children just for the fun of it, or start teaching them how to play an instrument you wish you had started playing at a younger age.
Learning a new instrument requires perseverance and dedication, but it’s an incredibly rewarding experience for your children.
It’s in your children’s best interest to get in the water as soon as they’re ready. Swimming is not only a great way to get some exercise, but it’s the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day. Children who are exposed to natural waters at a young age (especially the ocean) tend to form a life-long bond with nature through their swimming experiences.
Most importantly, learning to swim at a young age strengthens the survival technique that may one day save their life — or the life of someone they love.
Featured photo credit: Outer Banks / milky via farm4.staticflickr.com