Studies show that parents who are involved in their children’s lives by regularly engaging in family activities together, consistently have children who show less hyperactivity and aggressive behaviors than parents who are not as involved. If you are looking for activities to enjoy with your child, but aren’t sure what to choose, consider the following five ideas. Some are reasonably affordable while others are completely free. The important thing is to just get involved, and enjoy yourselves!
1. Story Time
Your local library or nearby bookstore should offer these a few times per week. Most are open to all age groups, however, some offer special programs for infants and toddlers. Studies show children who are regularly read to not only develop a lifelong love of reading, but also of learning. The best part about Story Time? It’s free!
Music, dance, tumbling, martial arts- these are just a few! Check with your local YMCA, or a local, private, company, for information on family-centered classes. Art, music, and dance classes expose your child to different cultures, which helps to develop their appreciation for things around them. Tumbling or martial arts classes will burn off extra energy, and help develop healthy habits.
3. Children’s Zoo Programs
Don’t just go to the zoo, get involved! Most zoos offer children’s programs where your child can join the crew behind the scenes, or become a zoo-keeper for a day. Your child will learn responsibility when taking care of the animals, as well as the importance of protecting and preserving their natural environments.
4. Children’s Museum
If you’re lucky enough to live near one, go! These museums are specifically catered to young children and their sponge-like minds. Hands-on learning opportunities in math, science and art abound at children’s museums. If you don’t live near one, check with your local art or science museum, as most should offer special education programs for children.
Your child’s imagination is complex and unique. By joining your child in free-play, you can take the opportunity to throw in educational lessons. If your child loves to play astronaut, use this to your advantage and teach them about space shuttles. Just keep it simple and on their level.
Being an involved, encouraging, and devoted parent is the single most important gift you can offer your child. Don’t waste another minute. The sky is the limit when it comes to fun activities for parents and children. Find something you both love and go enjoy it together.