Let’s be honest: when you’re tired (which is usually!) or need to get something done, an app, digital game or Netflix is nothing short of a life-saver.

 

However, we also know that too much screen-time is never a good thing.

 

Which is why it’s vital to encourage our little ones to learn through play – play that doesn’t involve staring at a TV, tablet or smart-phone.

 

Here, MummyPages looks at six REALLY easy ways to get your children discovering more about themselves and the world around them through play...  

 

 

1) Get sensory:

 

Play-Doh, kinetic sand, pasta, rice, flour, a sponge, paint in a sandwich bag, beads – the sensory list is endless! And giving children new things to discover only encourages learning, making them delightfully inquisitive in the process. 

 

2) Talk to them!

 

By simply asking questions you are encouraging your child to think outside the box. For example, when they’re playing or drawing, ask them the likes of ‘what does this remind you of?’; ‘how can we make this different?’ and ‘what are you thinking about?’

 

 

3) Get moving:

 

Learning shouldn’t only be about books or sitting down at a desk. Running, jumping, and climbing are all vital activities for our little ones – it teaches coordination and motor movements, and allows them to understand better how their bodies work.

 

4) Choose toys wisely:

 

Kids love Messy the talking monster! And we love Messy because he encourages kids to get involved and interested in science. Available from Okido – the website furthermore has some great activities such as maths doodle worksheets.

 

And if you’re looking for a Christmas present that lasts all year, Okido has a fantastic arts and science magazine for three-to-eight year old children which is designed to get them interested in scientific discovery.

 

 

 

5) Play dress-up:

 

Getting your child to put themselves in different scenarios fosters their imaginations and improves communication skills. So make sure that you put aside some time every week to have your little one dress up and act out imaginary situations.

 

 

6) Tidy and sort:

 

Little ones love to sort through boxes of toys – and as parents it’s a great way to see how different children processes information differently. For example, some will sort by colour, others will opt for size. But no matter how they arrange the items, the activity does wonders for their concentrations skills.

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