Christmas and school holidays are just around the corner and soon we will be immersed in the silliness of the season.
Even for those families who do not celebrate Christmas, the holiday season that accompanies Christmas impacts on us all.
If you are among the lucky ones who have a break from work at Christmas, you are especially blessed, and if you are not I hope you can still find time to have some kind of break, no matter how small.
If you participate in gift-giving at Christmas then it is time to think about what you might choose for children.
The shops are already full of toys, all competing for your attention with bright colours, sounds and lots and lots of advertising.
It’s easy to think that your children’s happiness depends on them getting the biggest or the most popular toy of the moment. However, the reality is that there are few toys that last much beyond the summer season.
Children play with them, grow tired of them, and before long they are one of the many lying around the bark garden or inside the house driving you nuts.
The best toys are those that offer many different play affordances – that means toys that can be played with in lots of different ways and can be used to do lots of different things. Wooden cubed blocks can build towers, or cars, or make a bridge for a toy car, they can take being built up and knocked down time after time after time, and will even survive being thrown at an annoying sibling.
Balls can be hit, thrown, bounced, used to play a range of different games, solo and group. A doll that can be dragged around by the hair, thrown in the bath, dressed and undressed endlessly, be part of pretend play as a patient, a baby, a monster, a best friend offers more learning opportunities than one dressed in the most beautiful dress which has to remain sitting on the bedside table.
The best gift you can give children is your time. Time when you play together and enjoy each other’s company.
Get down on the floor and build towers with the blocks for your baby to knock over, and laugh together as the blocks crash down. Quarantine the lounge room floor and build a huge speedway with your children using their blocks so you can race the toy cars around it.
With your children, cut up some old clothes and make clothes for the doll – they don’t have to be sewn perfectly – a rectangle of fabric held together with a few rough (large) stitches your child has made is a great skirt, a square with a hole cut in the middle for the head makes a great cape. Experiment with different fabrics, colours and textures.
There is nothing that can be more fun than running around outside on a hot summer day (with sun protection as appropriate of course) playing ball and perhaps dancing in and out of the water from the hose.
Rather than break up the game and come inside for a meal, why not have a picnic outside, perhaps using paper towels as plates so we don’t have to worry about anything getting broken.
I know that school holidays can often be stressful as children complain they are bored and parents worry about all the activities they cannot afford to offer their children.
None of those activities really matter if you are able to give your children time. Time to go down to the local playground and run around, time to swing together and laugh together, time to make your own children’s garden together, time to sit together as the night comes on and see the stars coming out, time to snuggle together and tell stories.
Use the time you have to be with your children, to interact with them, to play with them. Best wishes for a happy family holiday time.
Source : https://www.armidaleexpress.com.au/story/5785433/giving-the-gift-of-your-time/