Playing with your little ones is always an awesome way to bond and keep your kids entertained. Not only do you spend quality time with your children, but you also help nurture their skills. Here are some examples of fun games and activities perfect for mother-daughter bonding and productivity from Nikki Garcia and her girls, 5-year old Alex and 4-year old Ali!
“Alex is shy, creative, sensitive, and curious. [She] enjoys physical activities and is very tactile [and also] enjoys arts and crafts, and [playing] different sports,” says Nikki. For kids like Alex who love working with their hands, arts and crafts is a great way to enhance their creativity and fine motor skills, even with activities as simple as drawing shapes or cutting out patterns. You can even work together to plan and make artsy projects!
“Ali enjoys role play. She enjoys fixing her toys and pretending she is a princess. She is more of an observer and takes the lead of her Ate and friends when she plays.” If your child loves playing as different characters like Ali does, you can also use role-playing as an opportunity to teach your kids empathy and how to engage in real-life scenarios like, grocery shopping for example. This is also a great way to harness their imagination and creativity as they step into the shoes of other characters, tell stories, and act out pretend situations. Practicing their speaking skills is a plus here, too, because of the dialogue and conversations they can come up with within their role-play scenarios.
“With water play or sensory play, they can both do their own thing and no competition is involved, because there is more than enough material to go around. Sensory play is also a relaxing form of play. They are much calmer when they engage in this way, too.” Nikki and her daughters enjoy playing in the water, especially when they give their dolls baths! Sensory play like this helps ease restlessness, boredom, and over-stimulation in kids, because it allows them to get busy discovering different materials and textures. This type of play is also great for teaching your kids more about how to use their senses.
“I enjoy baking [with my kids], because I can really get myself involved. It serves as an awesome bonding activity.” Baking with your kids is a fun way to introduce them to different kinds of tools, food, and flavors. You can even try to teach them any family recipes you might have and maybe practice their math and science skills while you’re at it. The whole process of baking can also teach your kids the importance of following instructions to accomplish a task properly. This activity encourages more conversations between you and your kids, as well, making baking an opportunity for them to ask questions and share stories. More importantly, they’ll get to have some fun quality time whipping up delicious treats with you!