Spending time with children is a hugely important role, to enable children to learn and develop. Allowing children to spend time with you allows them to learn a range of skills needed for their daily lives. This includes language and communication. Along with building trust and a bond, and learning ways on how to express themselves. 

Parents often forget that children are like little sponges and they feed of information, children don't always learn by being taught things, they see the behaviours and responses from their parents or siblings and tend to copy that behaviour. That's why its important to make sure you demonstrate the behaviour you wish your children to learn, and teach them skills that will help them throughout their life. 

Children are never too young to learn and they pick up information from the moment they are born. This is why they bond to their mothers and caregivers as they need to trust you and rely on you for food, and their basic needs. As parents, we can simply forget how important teaching our child is, as they grow older and forget that giving them a routine is just as important in the development stage.

Normally we all have a routine for Breakfast and Dinner as we all have busy lives. However I have found that having a routine and structure in place is great for children of all ages and learn to know what's expected of them, and they look forward to knowing the routine. Parents often forget how structured places like nursery and school are that we often forget to have that at home. As a parent of special needs children, I have found that's important to try and have structure and a routine in order to make things smoother when in half terms. 

How do I plan Activities to do with the children? 

Well in order to plan activities you need to think about what is realistic for you, what is realistic for the child or children and also, what activities are the child or children going to enjoy. It's pointless to plan activities when you are then going to create a battle on your hands and struggle to put the activity into action. 

Yes, the first few days of activity planning might be a struggle, because it's new, and like new things, it takes time to get into a routine and used to the new schedule. It won't happen overnight. 

First things first, Make a list of your normal daily activities so this might be getting breakfast and ready for work, and then look and see when the best time is to schedule some activities, is this before or after work. If your a stay at home mum, then maybe building a daily schedule and activities is best for you to get into a routine. If your children are starting school soon, or in school then you could adapt the school day putting lunch at the time the children will have lunch at school so that they are used to this, then place breakfast and dinner when you will prepare this for them when they start school. 

Once you have worked out activities you like, and have thought about maybe following the school timetable, you can then work out, when you want to plan the activities, so if it something you know the children will become over-excited doing like crafting, there are some great free activities you can plan with children if your child is into cars, lorries and motorcycle svg then there are some great craft activities you could do. you can simply find some great then this can be something done before they have free play, or go outside to play and love soccerball svg then you can easily plan activities around this, as they would have been sitting down to do an activity and need to run off some steam. This also needs to be considered with the activity as you don't want the children sitting down for too long, as they will need to burn off the energy in some way, and allowing an activity to do this will also help them feel tiered at bedtime and sleep better. 

Make a list of your planned activities, and you don't need to stick to times unless you want to, but also be ready to adopt this, as if your child is really enjoying an activity and has there attention on it, its best to allow them some more time to do this activity, you could also engage with them to help them play, or learn new skills. The same as if an activity isn't working too well, give it some time and then if it's not working and you are become stressed out, do not let it reach a point where you need to shout at the child, as this will make that experience negative and they will see this activity as a negative, you can always come back to it, as your child grows they may like it. If you are stuck on ideas then google is a life saver as you can simply do a search for activities and find ones you may not have thought off. 

Like everything activity takes time, and you may find that an activity you thought your child might like they may not. You may also be tiered one day and need some time to chill out, and using a perfect activity your child likes, but allows you time to have some space could be the perfect answer. 

When planning activities make sure you have the items needed for that activity there is nothing worse than trying to plan something to find you can't do it, or only half the job because you didn't have the tools available. Before telling your child you do an activity, its important to make sure you have everything needed. Also, make sure the child is in the right mind. There would be nothing worse than forcing your child to do an activity that they can not cope with, or making anxiety worse because they feel they need to take part in it. 

All Activities should be fun for you, fun for the child or children and you should be able to include your child or children in the activity planning. If the child expresses they really like and enjoy the activity they praise them and also tell them they can do the activity again, making sure that they are able to do an activity weekly at least. This can also be a good time to ask the child, what other activity they would enjoy and express why they like the activity they are taking part in. 

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  1. So important to make the time - surprising how much of our daily tasks we can encourage children to help - win win situation


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