Nevertheless you have got a yard by the house, a playground nearby or a comfortable flat, there will be a need of a space for your kids to play around. And if you happen to live in the parts of the Earth where there is more than one season (meaning summer) you will have the need of a suitable place for the toddlers to play along safe, learning and fun. It’s quite easy in the yard. You adjust a rubber swimming pool for them, you put some swings, some stuffed animals, a ball and some action figures and there you go- you have got the perfect idea for a time well spent with the children.
But since there is no chance for you and the kids to play outside during the cold seasons, there we go with some tips and tricks for creating a perfect playground are at home, behind closed doors.
When you start planning it, think that the space should feel nurturing and familiar at the same time as inviting children to explore and investigate by capturing their attention and provoking their interactions.
Start with the floor. There are different types of floorings which can be made or bought from some special stores in any kind, imitating famous child’s games. They can imitate street with all the lights, cars, pavements, lanes and the obligatory stuff which a youngster should know when crossing the street outside. Just draw their attention and the results will be swift.
Include spaces for drawing, modelling and other technical activities, suitable for the toddlers. Everything should be constructive and in the same time pleasant for them.
Encourage children to read (and write) or something visual as both enjoyable and useful from a young age can be achieved by engaging them with interesting texts. For example, a child who is less interested in story time may enjoy looking at and talking to you about the map of a zoo from a recent outing.
Music is a great way to communicate. Not only when we are grown-ups. Kids have often find singing fun. There are plenty of toy musical instruments which will get their attention and why now form a little imaginary rock band of theirs. With you as the producer of course.
Teach them to store things properly. Creative materials provide children with the opportunity to express their knowledge, ideas, theories and feelings about the world. Having a system and space for using and storing pencils, paints, crayons, glue, scissors, etc, will make the use and clean up easier and more efficient. This will save you the effords to run around them and clean the mess they sometimes create.
Don’t forget about nature. Introduce them to the natural environment as soon as it is alright with you. And not only by some books with pop-up pictures, no. Bring some plants with you and teach the little ones how to take care of them. In other words- show them how life works. If you are brave enough and ready you can provide some small animal (in a cage) like a hamster for instance, or an ant farm. So this way the little guys will learn how to take responsibility towards another living beings.
Toys and board games for example can be practical as well. They have to be fun of course, but it will be no harm if your little fellow can learn something new through them. These are they toys which will be worth the spent money as they will offer an infinite number of new play scenarios, and not just now but for many years to come.
It is very important that you can provide space, where children can learn to play alone. The parent control which you may use over them is not always the good idea you tend to think it is. Children need their own time and space to play both alone and with others. By setting up an activity at a small table with just one chair for example, you will provide an indication of how that space should be used by him/her.
Think of games that work in progress. Leave something from today’s game for tomorrow. Building the Lego blocks can be finished tomorrow, no need to hurry or stay late. Coloring the books is also something that can be continued the next day.
A most funny way to engage kids in something useful for them and build the bonding with parents can be cooking. Yes, cooking. Think of simple things, which will be fun for the both parts. Sandwiches, toasts, salads, creams, and puddings- they are all kind of fun to be prepared. Don’t be hasty and leave them to mess a bit the kitchen. After all, they are kids and that’s part of their job.