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Mini Moons Staying Active

10 Amazing Types of Play Important to a Child’s Development

 Playing is a crucial part of a child’s life. Did you know there are different types of play important to your child’s development? Find them here.

Every child loves to play. It allows them to engage and interact with the world around them. ‘Playing’ means different things to different children and at different stages of their lives. Hence, there are different types of play important to a child’s development.

Even though many adults associate playing with only fun and entertainment but that conception can’t be more flawed. It is through play that a child is able to work and improve his or her emotional intelligence (EQ). They develop self-expression, learn to socialize, and keep functioning at peak efficiency in an air of teamwork and cooperation.

Like a lot of other things, playing and learning how to play is a step-by-step process and involves several stages. In this article, we’ll take a peek at the 10 fundamental types of play critical for kid’s development and growth.

Meaning of Play

Play is an activity that children indulge in for the sake of enjoyment or amusement, all the while developing important skills including self-awareness and problem-solving strategy. 

Here are 10 amazing types of play that are important to a child’s development

Ranging from a simple act of staring endlessly at a shiny marble to taking part in a football league, play helps children exercise their minds and promotes different types of creativity. It also helps to broaden the horizon of their imaginative skills. Listed below are 10 of the most significant types of play.

Involuntary Play

Also, commonly known as unoccupied play, this type focuses on random and seemingly paltry movements like a toddler waving his arms around and kickboxing in the air.

While these may seem like hit-or-miss movements, in reality, it’s the most basic type of play seen mostly in infants.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Providing child-friendly toys to the child
  • Textured balls and toys

Parallel Play

In this type of play, children tend to play side-by-side but without having their activities intersect with one another’s. Even if they pay a little heed to their neighbor’s specific method of play and implement it in their own games, they usually refrain from interfering in each other’s business. Parallel play is most common for among children who are 2-3 years old. 

Recommended Activities: 

  • Building and sorting blocks
  • Play dough
  • Sandbox and sand toys
  • Coloring books

Harmonized Play

During this stage, kids try to outreach their limits and start interacting with their peers during play. Even though they engage and communicate with each other, there seems to be a lack of a definite type of goal and the play is a little unorganized.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Now is the time to introduce your child to art supplies. 
  • They can be trusted with small pieces of toys like LEGO blocks

Non-Social / Solitary Play

Solitary play is most commonly observed in shy kids and those lacking a playing partner. Children modelling this play do not show much interest in what others are doing and are preoccupied with themselves. This is an important type of play as it teaches children how to keep themselves entertained. Kids who are most comfortable with themselves do well in social surroundings. 

Recommended Activities: 

  • Give them interactive books 
  • Imaginative toys, puzzle

 Dramatic / Fantasy Play

In this type of play, kids fantasize about different kinds of situations and role-play a character (for instance kids trying to imitate Ben 10 or other characters). Nearly all kids go through this stage although the role-models are basically different ranging from Iron Man to Cinderella to even Tom & Jerry.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Try to play with them while maintaining a character. Let them take the lead.
  • Read story books to them to enhance their imagination.

Onlooker / Observatory Play

Children engaged in on-looker play tend to observe others during play and do not participate in the activity. They learn the mechanisms and minutiae of play through observation. Kids who watch and observe prepare themselves for their eventual participation in such group activities.

Recommended Activities: 

  • This is the time to teach the child things you would like them to do – playing an instrument, reading, or any other habit.
  • Be extra cautious of your conduct since the child will pick up almost everything. 
  • Take them to a park and let them watch others play, even if they don’t want to leave you to join them.

Rivalrous / Competitive Play

Competitive play tends to be well organized with distinct sets of rules and regulations and follow a regular course, towards a common goal of winning. For example – monopoly, hide-and-seek, playing tag, Ludo, soccer, etc.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Board games, hopscotch 
  • Try telling them rules of certain plays like chess and play with them.

Synergistic / Cooperative Play

In this type of play, kids learn the principles of playing in harmony and collaborating with each other. They enjoy playing in a group, whether it’s building sand-castles or throwing ball.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Take your child to a park and let them socialize
  • Plays like football, tee-ball, building sandcastles fit the age

Symbolic / Representative Play

In this type of play, children perform different types of actions using various instruments and objects like guitar, coloring books, working with clay, etc. It also includes vocal activities such as signing, telling jokes, or narrating stories.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Give your child a musical instrument to play 
  • A fun karaoke set will encourage your child to sing

Constructive Play

Any kind of play that triggers the constructing capabilities within the child is termed as constructive play. For instance, building a block with magnetic tiles or using pillows to construct a fort, and so on.

Recommended Activities: 

  • Puzzle-solving fits perfectly at this stage.

Closing Thoughts

When it comes to the growth and development of a child, play and academics both go hand in hand and are essential in shaping the child into an interactive and independent person.

We encourage you to promote the value of play in your kids by taking them to parks, scheduling playdates with other kids, etc.

Without the benefit of skills learned through play and trial, kids can be at risk of growing up as introverts and shrink back from any kind of social contact.

Categories
Diet & Nutrition Sparkling Stars

Teaching Kids Hygiene Habits to Last a Lifetime

When you teach your children hygiene tips at the right age, it will help them develop a sense of consistency and reflect in other areas of their lives too. Here’s how you can do it.

Have you noticed that for some people, washing their hands before a meal or keeping their fingernails clean comes naturally? Then there are those that need some reminding or coaxing and even some people who ignore and forget about these habits altogether. 

What sets these people apart is how and when they were taught about personal hygiene. It takes a lot of practice or/and a true understanding of the benefits of good hygiene for these habits to sink in. That’s why, starting young and teaching kids hygiene habits to last a lifetime becomes all the more important.

There are a few measures you can take in order to safeguard your little one’s health and safety. One of the best measures is to help them integrate personal hygienic habits into their daily routine.

Now, it can prove difficult to teach your kids the significance of hygiene but there are ways to make the process easy (and fun).

Some of those ways you can teach kids hygiene are listed below: 

Handwashing 101

Hand washing is the most basic, yet the most valuable and fundamental habit when it comes to personal hygiene. It helps protect not just you, but your entire family from germs. Hands should be washed before and after all meals, after being outside or handling mail, after touching your nose or mouth and after using the bathroom. Washing your hand might seem simple but you’ll be surprised to know that according to this study by FSIS, most of the people wash their hands wrong 97% of the time.

You can have a look at this article that accurately details the proper method of washing hands: Hand Washing: Clean Hands Save Lives 

If you prefer to watch a video instead on how to wash hands properly for 20 seconds, here’s the resource: 

20-Second Hand Washing – The Science behind it and why it WORKS

Pro tip: To make hand-washing into a lasting habit, you can try buying either sweet-scented soaps or let your kids choose for themselves. 

You First

Kids are, by nature, prone to imitating what their parents are doing (without ever discriminating between good or bad habits). 

To teach your kids how to remain hygienic, you need to become a role model yourself.

Try and improve your own habits in regards to health and fitness, and then try to channel the same core habits into your kids. Let them see you when you brush your teeth, trim your nails or wash your hands.

Make it Cool

Does your little one fancy singing jolly rhymes or maybe, dancing? How about both? 

Incorporating fun acts like singing, dancing, or role-playing (e.g you can be a germ and your kid can be commander safeguard) makes tedious tasks like bathing and washing hands a lot more cool and interesting for your kids. 

Don’t remember any bath-time songs from your own childhood? No worries. Just check out this short playlist after you’re done reading this article: Bath Time 

Make Them “Want” To Do It 

Forcing your kids to follow these steps or telling them they have to do it because you said so – may only work for so long. Pretty soon they’ll either forget or just do it when you’re around. The best way to make sure they continue to practice these good hygiene habits (even when they are alone or out of the house or all grown up) is to make them actually want to do it.

Here are two interesting ways to start:

  • Teach them the basic concepts of germs and diseases and why they should try to avoid them. This article lists some fun activities to make your child more knowledgeable and cautious regarding germs and diseases.
  • Make them understand the advantages of proper health, e.g more playtime, fewer sick days, more people wanting to be around them, etc. 

Make Cleanliness Sound Inviting 

Make cleanliness sound a bit more inviting to your kids through the usage of technical facilities like productivity and health apps, interactive music playlists for kids’ health, and reading relevant books. 

Ever heard of Talking Tom? 

It’s a great (and free) app for kids where they have to take detailed care of Tom (their talkative pet) by feeding him, clothing him, making him use the toilet, and even travel the whole world around and interact with other real-time “Toms” from around the globe. 

By taking care of their virtual pet, your child becomes conscious in regards to their own health, as well. 

Shape Bathing/Washing as Special Events 

What better way to teach “how to remain hygienic and clean” to younger kids than by making special occasions out of such menial tasks (so your children anticipate and look forward to such fun activities)? 

There’s lots you can do here. For instance, buying floating ducks, foamy and fragrant soaps, baby shampoos, flavored toothpaste, and other toys can make even the wearisome chores of personal hygiene sound a lot more fun to your kids. 

Repetition

When it comes to building habits, irregular practice doesn’t suffice. Constant practice is the key to building long-lasting and eternal hygienic habits. 

How to maintain a regular health schedule for your kid along with dozens of your other responsibilities? The answer to the prior question lies in setting timely reminders and notifications that let you know when bath time is approaching or a hair wash is due, etc. 

You can use an app to manage all that. One such app (freely available, of course) on playstore is “To Do List“. It’s a great tool that helps you track records from the minutest detail in your schedule like teeth brushing after dinnertime to even planning for events of the next month in advance. 

Shampooed hair twice a week? Check. 

Bath time for little Ananya at 4 PM? Check. 

Fancy the app already? 

Give it a try! 

Categories
Curious Comets Mindspace

9 Indoor Activities to Stimulate Your Child’s Imagination

During the first few weeks of the pandemic, it didn’t seem too hard to come up with (or search online for) indoor activities for kids. However, for most parents, that phase didn’t last long. Pretty soon the kids were spending most of their time in front of the TV or a tablet, with very few opportunities to let their creativity flow. 

Nurturing your little one’s creative side early on will reflect in other areas of his/her life as they grow. They will begin to think outside the box and come up with multiple solutions for any problem, thus making them more tolerant and with greater self-control. There are many more benefits of sparking creativity in children, but let’s find out ways we, as parents can do that, without having to leave the house. 

Art

Every child needs an art box. Stock it up with everything from crayons and paint to glue and beads. Before you throw anything away, think of ways you could use them to create art. Hang on to some cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, even empty coconut shells. DIY craft projects are great for encouraging creativity but also help in the development of motor skills.

Make Something for Your Nature Friends

Nothing beats sitting inside when it’s too wet, cold, hot, or just plain yucky outside. But imagine all the small animals outside who don’t have the same luxury and how a simple creation would make their lives that much easier. Let your kids’ imagination run wild while they make food containers or shelters for their outdoor friends.

Some great and simple ideas of nature activities for kids include a pinecone with peanut butter and seeds or even a birdbath made from an old painted planter filled with water and hung in the backyard. For a bigger challenge, have your child try their hands at a birdhouse made from some twine, glue, and popsicle sticks. Both your kids and the animals will appreciate this creative nature undertaking.

Grow Your Own Indoor Garden

There are a variety of plants—edible and decorative, that can be grown inside your own home by your child; they not only have many health benefits but can brighten up a room with their pleasing scents and visual appeal.

Let them keep track of watering and feeding their plants in a notebook so they can develop a better appreciation and love for all that nature provides us. They can grow plants using recycled items—egg cartons, eggshells, coconut shells, and even empty cans. Simply fill them up with some soil, plant the seeds then place them in sunlight. Remind your little nature lover to water them when the soil is dry to the touch.

Edible plants can be used in your cooking and your child will love to know that they are contributing to their meals in a wholesome way when they can begin to profit from their harvest. To take it a step further, your child may like to try sprouting dried legumes in a jar covered with cheesecloth or paper towel, just soak with water then drain, twice a day, and watch your healthy legume sprout. Store in the fridge until you are ready to eat.

Photography

Similar to painting, the art of photography is an easy indoor activity that any aspiring photographer can accomplish with the help of a cell phone. Have them snap photos of their favorite corners, people, their room, foods, or whatever interests them.

Let them print the photos; they can even enhance them beforehand using some easy photo editing apps. Then, let them hang the photos up in some nature-inspired frames around the house or place them in a photo album.

Plan Their Next Exploration Adventure

If your nature-loving kid loves to explore unknown places but simply can’t do that right now, how about having your child plan out their next exploration? Borrow some local, or even non-local, field guides and maps. Research far-off places online and jot down all the places they would love to see.

Let them plan out the trip down to the date, the route they would take, the supplies they would need, and draw it out on a map so they are ready to go when you can get outside. Introduce them to topographic maps during their planning to help them better understand the terrain of where they want to explore (this will also help them be better prepared). The farther away and more exotic the place the longer it will take to plan; the sky’s the limit.

Embrace the Nighttime Sky

A telescope is a wonderful way to see what is hiding beyond the naked eye in the night sky. Grab a book on astronomy or print up some constellation charts from online and teach them to chart the stars they see.

Constellation viewers are a fun and creative way to track the stars and can be made from some recycled paper towel tubes, paper for the end of the tube, tape to hold the paper down, and a pencil to poke the holes of each constellation into the end. After they have charted the stars why not have them recreate the night sky on their bedroom ceiling with some glow-in-the-dark stickers?

Develop a Collection

Those who love nature tend to want to keep and hold onto the wonderful things they find in the great outdoors. Why not let your nature lover keep all their interesting treasures in a box or container that they help to design and decorate?

Recycled shoe boxes are great for collections and construction paper can be used to create dividers for all their finds. For the top and sides of the box, they can decorate it with paint, or they can cover it with leaves, flowers, seashells, or even rocks.

When their box becomes too full, they can recreate another one or they may choose to put some of their favorite finds on display or even make something special out of them, like a wind chime. Attach some shells, rocks, or even sticks onto a string and hang their decoration where the wind will make it dance.

Go on a Camping Trip

It doesn’t matter if you have backyard space or you pitch a tent in your living room, your nature-loving kid will love the idea of sleeping in a tent when you serve up this idea with a delicious side of oven-made smores and some hotdogs.

Maybe you are lucky enough to have a fire pit in your backyard or you can display a YouTube campfire on your tablet or T.V, either way, be sure to add this to your indoor adventure. Bring out the sleeping bags, put nature sounds on in the background, and settle in for a night of telling some great stories while stuffing yourselves with some delicious camping treats, and don’t forget the flashlights.

Nature Journaling

The idea behind nature journaling is drawing and describing your favorite aspects of nature in one spot, a personal journal. If your nature lover is fascinated by the outside world then this is an ideal way for them to do some research and draw the outdoor scenery, animals, and plants they have seen, and even have yet to see.

They can expand on their journal to include leaf, flower, or tree rubbings, a simple task of placing their nature finds under some paper and rub the paper with colorful crayons to bring out the textures. They can include poetry, inspiring nature quotes, animal tracks to look for, and wildlife characteristics.

Then, they can group their interesting finds into categories, such as flowers and the seeds they find within them. This nature activity truly allows them to be creative about one of their passions and is something they can work on for years to come.

No matter your child’s location, encouragement is key and what will inspire them to keep their love of nature alive, even when they can’t express their enthusiasm for nature outside. 

Categories
Playful Planets The Cozy Indoors

9 Fun Indoor Activities for Tweens

Staying at home doesn’t have to be boring! Stimulate your tween’s mind with these fun indoor activities!

We can’t always expect a Cat in a Hat to come entertain the kids when they’re stuck at home. Whether it is health, weather, or any other circumstances that make your tween sit inside the house, fun indoor activities come in to save the day. 

Here’s a list of 9 fun indoor activities for tweens

Tweens are full of energy and in this article you will read about fun indoor activities that will keep them engaged and entertained. So without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?

Fun Workout Activities for the Win

Your tween is stuck inside the house and for some reason can’t go out? All you need is a little music and a good workout activity like dance or even yoga to keep him or her entertained as well as fit. This way your kid will not only have fun, but it will also ensure that your tween burns off excess energy. 

Engage them in Creative Activities

Staying creative is equally important for tweens as it keeps their mind active and healthy. Indulge tweens in a unique craft activity or keep them busy by making them try something different like knitting or creating their own journal. Few other suggestions would be making origami with them or free painting.

A Little Extra Help in the Kitchen!

For some odd reason, kids always get fascinated by what goes on in the kitchen. You could use this opportunity to get a little extra help as you can ask your tween to wash the veggies, or you could do a baking session with them to have fun in the kitchen. 

Keep the ingredients ready and ask your tween to mix everything well—you can make brownies, sponge cake, or cookies. It will not only pass their time, but you might also end up making a delicious dessert. 

Board Games Can Never Be Boring

When there’s nothing to do, your tween can always count on card games, puzzles, or other board games to have fun. Keep a few enjoyable games in handy for when this situation arrives, and you will thank us later. Playing board games will keep your tween busy, and it is also healthy for a child’s brain as board games are tricky and they act as brain teasers. 

Make Them Your Assistant for the Day

Tweens are like fireballs of energy and they just love doing something or the other to burn their fuel. You can ask your tween to clean the closet or set the room to keep them busy for a few hours. This trick will also secretly make your child a helper as you won’t have to do these tasks later. Another good thing about this activity is that your kid will learn to help around the house. 

Choose the tasks creatively for them. You can use this opportunity to instill a habit of doing their own chores.

Picnic in the Balcony Sounds Like a Plan

Do you have a lawn at your place or a balcony? You can plan a fun picnic with your tween in the house itself! 

Spread a sheet, get some snacks, and just sit, relax, and talk with your tween while you all enjoy the pleasant weather. Have your child talk about something that happened at school, or his or her favourite character in a book. This gives you both an opportunity to spend quality time together. Throw in some board games to make it more fun.

Call the Fashion Police!

Let your kid mix and match clothes and experiment different looks.

We are sure that your kid will look super cute in all those outfits, and you can also create a full-fledged fashion show out of it! Make your child walk the ramp, cheer loudly, play good music, and create a whole new vibe at your place. Little things like this develop an unbreakable bond.

Give it a Personal Touch With a Letter 

Letters give a personal touch and hence, they feel special. Make your tween write letters to their friends, grandparents, or loved ones who might not necessarily live around you. You can also have a letter-writing session where you exchange letters with each other. 

Writing letters will keep your kid occupied and it will also make those who receive the letters extremely special.

Set the Strings

Apart from being a fun indoor activity, a musical instrument has tons of benefits. A five-year study concluded that musical training contributes to faster brain development of kids. Along with this, it also helps them in their decision-making process.

It can be a hobby that will keep them engaged for a long time. And they will certainly enjoy it!

These are a few of the many indoor activities that your tween can indulge in to ensure that they have an incredible day inside the home. We hope that you got what you were looking for!