Since screen time is to be limited, parents need ideas on how to engage their children in positive, participative activities. The aim is to keep your child active and enjoy what he/she is doing.

As a new parent, especially a new parent who has re-joined the workforce, time can seem like a very limited resource. It becomes even more imperative now to maximize this limited time that you spend in your child’s company.  Apart from the routine activities of bathing and cleaning your child, aim to creatively incorporate fun games and moments. Keep your child involved in what you are doing and vice versa.

A baby who is a few months old becomes more aware of his/her surroundings, starts to look around, and is curious to know about his/her surroundings. Talk to your baby while feeding, changing, and any other routines. As far as possible, try and make all these routines more like a fun activity rather than a chore. Apart from this, a bedtime story starting at 4-5 months old is something which adds a lot to the baby’s sense of love and security and bonding with you. For toddlers who have started to walk around, give them a tour of the house and speak of everything there. These are activities that need no investment, learning, or special enrolment anywhere. The key is your creativity as a caregiver.

Involve your child in household tasks like bringing stuff to and from a place. Children love to feel helpful and it’s great to improve their cognitive skills. Letting them know the importance of cleaning, reading, and having scheduled fun time is important.

Once your child starts developing his/her own unique interests, at about two years old or so, go to an activity club for children, exposing them to a variety of sports, music, painting, craft, bubble blowing, and all kinds of fun children’s activities. Observe what seems to be their favourite, where they seem to be challenged, and move forward accordingly. For physical activity, going for a walk in the neighbourhood with your child or cycling around the block or in the park, taking him to a skating rink for toddlers are all enjoyable activities to develop your child’s motor coordination.

Getting children involved in lots of fun physical activity keeps them healthy. It’s easy when you help them find activities that they enjoy, and that you can do as part of everyday family life.

Variety is important, but remember not to overload your child with toys and choices. It’s best to introduce a new toy only after he/she seems to have exhausted all possibilities with the older ones.

Be active yourself, encourage and praise your child every time he/she attempts something new. To avoid passivity or excessive TV time, be sure your baby has enough fun things to do indoors. Hand painting, puzzles, play dough, blocks, or activity toys all will keep baby busy, help to develop cognitive skills, and keep baby away from gadgets or screen.

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