Let’s face it, sometimes life gets busy, and we can forget to slow down and be in the moment. Being present with your children and set aside quality time as a family is essential for healthy growth and development. Children learn and thrive when they have strong, loving, positive relationships with their parents. Have a fun family activity planned; spending quality time together can create lasting memories while building your relationship.
There are many activities you can do with your children to promote healthy interactions. Cooking a meal together, reading a book, doing a craft, playing board games, or outdoor activities are great ways to implement quality time, while also having fun. Growing up, I always cherished time in the kitchen helping out with dinner or baking a delicious treat with my parents. It was a time to talk about our day, what’s going on in life, and have a good laugh or two.
Since the pandemic hit a little over a year ago, it may be challenging to find new and fun ways to include family time while being at home. Being stuck at home may have brought more screen time for your children, such as watching TV, being on the computer, or playing on IPad’s with friends. You may be feeling it’s challenging to interact and engage with your child. Try Theraplay! Theraplay is structured play therapy for children that involves parents. The main goal is to boost attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and provide positive enjoyment. Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. Theraplay can help children who have experienced trauma begin to heal. Theraplay can also help children with developmental disorders feel more comfortable with social interaction and help families experience happiness and connection. The activities are designed to be simple, fun and interactive, and better yet, can be done at home!
Here are a few activities you can do with your children at home that meet the essential qualities of Theraplay, which fun and relatively easy:
- Balloon Balance: Blow up a balloon. Spread out in an open space and see who can keep their balloon in the air the longest. Make it more challenging by just using one hand or no hands at all! This activity can help children focus and work on patience.
- Hand Stack: Take a seat on the ground or in a chair facing each other. One partner starts by placing their hand palm side down. The other partner places one of their hands on top and continues doing this repeatedly, essentially creating a tower. Go until you cannot reach anymore. This activity helps children learn to take turns and wait.
- Up We Go: Partners sit back to back, with their elbows linked, and try to stand up. Once standing, try to sit back down while elbows are still linked. This activity helps children practice teamwork as well as communication skills.
- Balloon Tennis: Blow up a balloon and use ping pong paddles or racquets made out of paint stir sticks and paper plates. Volley back and forth as long as you can without the balloon touching the ground. This activity enhances the development of motor skills.
During your next family night, try out one of the activities and pay attention to how your children react and how you interact as a whole. Supporting your children and having healthy interactions through quality time creates healthy relationships. As they say, children grow up in the blink of an eye, make the time you have a memorable one.
This blog post was written by Post Adopt Intern, Greta Stanton