In my journey of bringing up my kids, there’s one thing about them that has always amazed me. It’s the way their inquisitive minds function. They are always on a quest to observe, learn and absorb. Everything around intrigues them and they are constantly on a lookout to discover new things. Whether it’s the stars in the sky, the butterflies in a garden or the veggies at a grocery store, they are always captivated by the world that surrounds them. It sometimes even makes me stop and notice the fine details that we miss as adults. I have realized that now is the perfect time to harness my children’s innate drive to learn, as it may fizzle out when they grow older. I need to channel their energies in the right direction to ensure their overall physical, mental and emotional development. Here are the top seven activities that I regularly try to stimulate my children’s mind creatively:
- Art And Craft – It’s amazing how wonderfully art and craft activities offer a medium of self-expression and self-growth to little kids! It opens up the kids to a world of refreshing ideas and possibilities. It not only contributes to their creative development, but also hones their emotional growth, fine motor skills, and problem-solving capabilities. The best part is that kids have a natural inclination towards the world of art and craft. All you need to do is light up a spark in them. Introduce your kids to art and craft with simple yet fun activities like drawing and coloring, collage making, and thumb painting. Choose the future activities depending upon the kind of activities they enjoy best.
- Nature’s Magic – Over the past couple of years, kids have stopped spending time with nature as much as we used to, during our days. You must make sure that your tiny tots get enough exposure to the natural habitat around them for their overall physical and creative development. Being connected to nature can work wonders towards providing a great source of creative inspiration, enhancing learning, reducing anxiety, and improving cognitive abilities. Studies even prove that kids involved in gardening and planting, eat healthily and have higher knowledge about nutrition. I ensure that my kids spend quality time exploring the wonders of nature. I take them for nature walks, the zoo, and nursery as often as I can.
- Indoor Playtime – While physical activity and outdoor play are essential for kids’ mental and physical well-being, certain indoor play activities also help stimulate children’s mind. Games like puzzles and other mentally stimulating play help enhance the attention and thinking capabilities of kids. These games are a great way to fuse certain learning concepts with an element of fun. For example, if your child is learning the alphabet at school, you can get alphabet puzzles or word games for him to play with.
- Travel Encounters – We are a family of travel lovers! Right from my husband to my little kids, we all love going to new places and learning about their people, culture, and history. For kids especially, travel and adventure are extremely enriching experiences that widen their horizons in more ways than one. I make my kids maintain a travel journal where they write about all the places they have visited. They draw sceneries, share stories and stick pictures and other cultural keepsakes from each of our trips. The journal not only serves as a great source of creative inspiration to my kids but also as a wonderful educational tool.
- Good Books – No matter how much technology progresses and innovations change the game as far as learning techniques go, we can never disregard the power of books. Make sure to surround your little ones with many good books. Encourage them to read every day and write about their learnings and observations. If they are too young to read and write, you should make it a point to read at least one story to your kids every day. After reading, ask them open-ended questions that make them ponder on the whys, hows and whats of the story. Books greatly enhance the thinking capabilities of kids and stretch their imagination far and beyond.
- Music And Dance – From over centuries, music and dance have been the binding forces of many cultures and people across the world. It breaks all barriers in terms of language and customs. For kids especially, an early exposure to the creative world of music and dance can make them more social, help them express their emotions better, enhance memory, improve motor skills, improve balance and coordination. Encourage your kids to join music and dance clubs in their school from a very early age. Enroll them in dance lessons of other cultures to enhance their cultural awareness.
- Sports – Breaking a sweat at the playground is not only beneficial for the physical health of kids but also their emotional welfare. In addition to making kids healthier, sports also help encourage team spirit, self-esteem, hardwork, persistence and social skills in them. Make sure your kids pick up at least one sports activity of their choice and practice it daily at least for an hour. Being involved in sports will also help your kids fare well academically and have a sound sleep at night.
Along with enriching your children’s life with these activities, make sure to keep a strict tab on their nutritional choices too. Guide them today to become holistic individuals of tomorrow!
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.