Help! What can I do to entertain my child all day?
There are indeed lots of lovely toys for children among the swathes of less useful ones. However, that is a topic for another day.
Today, we are going to look at the idea that we do not need to entertain our child with toys, games, ipads or television. Instead, a young child actually enjoys just being part of our daily life.
It can be activities like making breakfast together, doing the washing or simply getting ready for visitors – where your child can take part in our lives, be with us, and engage in “real life” activities.
It can be walking at your child’s pace to visit the supermarket, heading down to the tram stop to meet mama coming home from work, or visiting the airport when visitors are coming to town.
It can be watching the birds on the balcony opposite your house, watching the rain hammer against the window panes, or (a personal favourite with kids) watching all the construction vehicles at the building site on your street.
It can be taking the recycling to the bins, making our beds, setting the table, or watering the plants.
It can be watching the washing machine go around and around, helping to bake some cookies for your neighbour, or just watching the clouds pass overhead.
It can be listening to the sounds in the city around us, looking up the bus timetable to get where we are going, it can be saying hello to the tram driver, and helping ask at the market for the weekly fruit and vegetables.
Sometimes you want to go a little further afield and you pack a small bag together that they can manage themselves. And head out for an adventure on the tram, bus or train. Or take a bag of stale bread to feed the ducks down at the canal.
I hope you get the idea. It is not about putting the kid in front of the ipad while you cook the dinner. Wear them in a carrier when they are small, let them climb on a step ladder when they are a bit bigger, and let them help prepare the meal.
Let them take part in your daily life. They will love you for it.