Being a parent these days is made more challenging with distractions here and there. Gone are the days when parents have to call out, “Come in now – it’s time for dinner!” Chances are, kids are not outside playing, but locked inside their rooms playing online games or downloading the latest TV series with headphones so loud they block out the rest of the world.
Technology and social media were designed to bring people closer. However, we were all so overwhelmed that our children are reeling the effects, challenging parenting as we know it. Are you one of those parents who wish that their children would also experience and appreciate the innocence in the playground, the thrill in climbing trees, and the joy in making friends… offline?
Start with making parenting fun. After all, you should enjoy every activity as much as your kids. Here are some parenting tips that will make your life much easier and bring back the fun in parenting and the joy in your kids’ childhood.
Time for bath, time for drama?
Most babies and toddlers do not like bath time, making parents dread this ritual as much as the kids. Why don’t you make it fun by putting some plastic toys in the tub? If you have already done that, try keeping them pre-occupied with playing while taking a bath by putting a basket in the tub and tucking your baby, along with his toys, in it. This way, the toys won’t flow away and will stay close to your child.
You can also install a shower rod against the wall of the tub and hang small baskets for toy storage. Doing this will make your child feel that bath time is always play time.
Is putting on shampoo a problem? Does your baby cry when his face gets wet? Get a colorful shower cap that protects his eyes and face but has a hole in the head for shampoo.
Fun in cleaning
Most moms have this dilemma: how to find the time to clean the house while looking after the kids at the same time? Well, why don’t you let them help you?
One clever parenting hack is finding a way to teach kids house chores while having fun at the same time. Make this possible by drawing a square shape on a portion of the floor where your kids can “shoot” all the dirt they can gather. You may also ask your kids to “shoot” all their toys in a box to help you get rid of clutter. Fun, huh?
If your baby is still in a crawling stage, make him into a baby mop. If he is going to crawl around the house, he might as well help in the cleaning, rather than making himself dirty.
If your toddler is a fan of the swing, why don’t you make him one inside the house? All you need is a woven babywearing wrap (not just a blanket) and a table to create a hammock under the table. Give him books and educational toys to keep him busy.
Camping at home
Does your kid’s childhood lack adventure? Get a blanket and fan ready, and build him a tent in the bedroom. Slightly tuck the blanket in the bed and blow it up with a fan. You can also sew two blankets together and leave a hole for the fan. Not only does your little adventurer get to camp, he also gets enough air.
Invite kids from the neighborhood and let them play campers. This genius parenting tip will make kids remember you as the cool mom and dad next door.
Back to basics
What better way to revive the fun of childhood by taking the kids to a real playground? The benefits of outdoor play are endless – from developing motor skills to emotional skills. Moving from one playground equipment to another helps kids stay fit, and taking turns improves the way they deal with other children. They learn to share, compromise, and make decisions.
There is also a variety of durable indoor and outdoor playground equipment available online, such as playgroundequipment.com, that you can put in your backyard or take inside the house when the weather is not so good.
Tired of bringing all sorts of bags for your kids’ stuff? Traveling should be a lot of fun – not hassle – so let a shoe caddy do the trick. Tie a shoe caddy at the back of the car seat to hold all their toys and snacks. It is important to keep them busy with entertaining games for kids while on the road, so you can also enjoy the ride.
Ice cream and popsicles are among the kids’ favorite desserts and snacks. It’s not the parents’ favorite though. Parents always worry about ice cream dripping all over the clothes and getting the child’s hand all dirty and sticky. Problem solved with a muffin cup.
The rewards rule
If you have kids old enough to do house chores, but are spending too much time in front of the computer instead, make them earn every minute on social media the fun way. For example, post a note at the computer screen that says, “Want the wi-fi password? Make your bed first.” Or if they want extra allowance, text them and let them know there’s an extra $20 hidden in their bedroom, and they would easily find it if they would clean their room. It’s like playing “find the treasure”, but in a clever way that will also make parenting easier. Reward them with what they need, not what they want.
Your kids will fight and hate each other at some point. Face it. Leave them with no choice but to patch things up with a get-along shirt. Make them wear it when they start to fight. This will make them feel a little ridiculous and find ways to be kinder next time. Take a picture – this should be a fun memory for everyone.
What to do with the crib?
Your babies will eventually grow out of the crib that you put every penny into. Why not make it a part of their school life when they get older? Turn the crib into a study area. Take one side off so the rest can serve as a table. Hang a blackboard, place a cork board where they could pin up their artwork, and put colorful storage for pens and books. This does not only save you money and space in the house, it also teaches the kids to be resourceful and creative.
Parenting is a daunting task. But with a dose of creativity, there are many ways to make parenting fun. Make your kids’ childhoods full of precious moments for them to remember and for you to draw fun memories.
Jeanette Anzon is a graduate of Architecture. She enjoys photography, sketching, arts, film, writing and continuous education. To get to know her more, you can follow @jeanetteanzon
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.