There isn’t a parent I know that doesn’t start to count down the days leading to school holidays. As parents we are full of plans and love the change of routine that school holidays bring. Whether it be no more lunchboxes or later sleep in’s or just not putting on that school uniform everyday! We aim to spend more time with our children and to do the days a little differently to make it count, to make it memorable.

istock_000019776330xsmallIn reality the days much longed for quickly fly by in the usual whirl of washing, work, meals and tidying. All too quickly the holidays draw to a close and we haven’t achieved what we wanted to which is too spend more meaningful time with our children. Meaningful time is really just connecting. Connecting with our wonderful kids, you know the time where you really listen or just be together and look deeply at each other without jumping up to flip the dinner, feed the cat or hang out the washing. In actual fact to really connect with our kids it doesn’t take heaps of time it can take 10 or 15 minutes. That connected 15 mins will be the 15 mins that they remember about their day. They won’t remember the washing, the meals, the tidying but they will remember you sitting down with them and gazing at them and really listening to what they are saying, making or sharing.

These 5 tips are centred on adding an educational aspect to your connecting time. Writing is part of our daily lives and for your child to learn to write well the fundamentals are set down in the early years from the age on one onwards. So make your connected time count and use activities that boost their pre-writing skills. Art and writing skills are all the same.

5 Tips on how to connect with your child quickly!

  1. Simply sit together and draw. Whether it be scribbles for 2 yr olds, shapes for 3 yr olds or tracing for 4 yr old and colouring in school kids.
  2. Grab the playdoh, add a placemat and get busy having fun. Try asking your child what it is they want to make and let them take the lead.
  3. Take in some fresh air and play outside: find a ball and kick, throw, bounce and catch, kids of any age love this time.
  4. Pick up a bucket of chalk and find a piece of concrete or pavers and draw. What to draw? It can be a road to ride their bike on, a shop, their name to trace over, a picture of them.
  5. You can make car travel your connecting time, spot words on signs, letters on number plates, brands on cars.

Connecting is simply spending time with your child where all your focus, your eye contact and your play is directed just at them. No other distractions. Believe me it can be hard when you first start but quickly you will feel the connection and love the time you spent together. Ask them at dinner what they enjoyed about their day and it will be the time you spent together connecting.

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