There’s always a concern about the hobbies your kids have, and whether what they’re doing is not actually beneficial for them in the long run. While you could spend a lot of time finding the right toys that stimulate their mind and dexterity, sometimes you need to have something that will keep them occupied for hours, but will benefit them properly. So, if you are a busy parent, what are the best ways to keep your children occupied, but also gives them cognitive benefits?
Learning An Instrument
The great thing about an instrument is that there are so many resources online to help you progress. From sites like www.musicianauthority.com to various Youtube tutorials on the guitar or the piano, there is so much out there, that once your child has reached a certain level, they can progress all by themselves. Learning an instrument is, of course, beneficial to them in social situations, not just in terms of their cognitive ability. It’s vital that we get every child to learn an instrument at some point, because their mental skills will develop in so many different ways.
Now, not just any TV, but there are great resources of television, depending on the age of your children. There’s a decent list on theschoolrun.com of TV shows that are educational for children. Lots of preschool television shows are fantastic to help your children develop their language skills. Dora The Explorer is a great way to introduce your children to Spanish, basic numbers and problem-solving, to shows like Blaze And The Monster Machines that is very mechanical and mathematical. There wasn’t much problem-solving in Transformers or He-Man back in the day! So if you feel guilty about putting your child in front of the TV, just make sure it’s the right TV show.
Playing In The Garden
Don’t forget, your children playing anywhere is great for their cognitive ability. It seems that now, most children are happy to stay indoors and play video games. If you can get them out into the garden, they will be doing more than the average child these days. Which is why it’s important for you to encourage it early on. Toys aren’t a bad thing if it gets your children out into the garden, but it all depends on their age. If they are 10, sports might be a better way to get them out there, or a trampoline if you have the space! But if they are younger, they are more inclined to go out and explore anyway. It’s important to keep nurturing this as they get older.
As they discover more things in life, the temptation will be to sit in front of the computer or the video games console, and while this does occupy them, it’s not incredibly beneficial to their cognitive development. The goal is to ensure they are self-sufficient in their hobbies, and so, if you are a busy parent, and you need five minutes to do something, if you end up putting them in front of Netflix or a video game for too long, it becomes a lifelong habit. Instead, encourage good quality habits early on, that is actually good for them and they will stick with these habits for life.
*This is a contributed post.