I still remember when my dad was helping us to build a cubby house for my son, who was 2 years old then. My son was so excited and he would sit outside and watch my dad hammering the nails and joining the wood together.
Most of the time my son would join him with his toy- hammer and chatter away… "Ah Kong, knock here"… "Ah Kong you missed this…"… He was so eager and enthusiastic to help out and would spend the whole day (apart from his nap time) in the garden watching, interacting and involving himself with the woodwork or whatever my dad was doing.
Children love to be near you; they love to interact with you. Children love to do whatever you are doing… basically, they just love to be with you and to enjoy your company.
If possible, involve your children in your daily chores, such as vacuuming the home, folding clothes, cooking, grocery shopping, washing the car etc. Firstly, it is a great way to connect and bond with your children through daily interactions. On top of that, through the interactions, your child will develop social/interaction skills, physical skills as well as language skills.
How do you get your child to participate or be involved?
From my own experience, young children are always interested in what you do. They will find ways to contribute and participate. Initially, they may sit and watch, and once they become comfortable, they may join in to whatever you are doing.
Alternatively, if you invite them and give them a child friendly set of tools, they will be more than happy to join you in whatever you are doing.
For example, you may ask them to hand you the clothes from the laundry basket while you hang them on the clothes line. Or as in the image above, you can hold on to the ruler and ask your child to help you draw a straight line following the ruler.
How can you child benefit from helping and interacting with you?
- They learn to develop their motor and social skills through interacting with you.
- They learn about themselves.
- They learn to problem solve.
- When you discuss and get them to contribute, they feel proud and confident about their abilities.
- Interactions build connections and better understanding between you and your child.
Though daily interactions with your children, you are creating opportunities to connect and bond, while at the same time empowering your child to develop crucial skills for their development.
Involve your children from a young age- the younger you involve them, the easier it is to get them to "help out" when they are older.
Involve and connect with your children through shared experiences while empowering them with the love of learning at the same time.