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5 activities to boost learning and bonding with your child

Learning doesn’t have to end at the school gates. We look at the educational games and activities you can do with your children at home, while bonding with the little ones.

Your quality time with the littlest ones is precious. For a secure bond helps your children feel safe and loved, while building a healthy sense of self. It’s important that you keep the parent-child bonding going strong, as your time together can affect how your children interact with adults and peers.

Yet there are also learning opportunities to be had, even while your kids are having fun. After all, parents and primary caregivers are their children’s first teachers. You’re the first adults to interact with your child and you’re also the role model that your child follows.

Make learning part of your bonding time. Whether it’s through a bedtime storytelling session or a baking session with the kids, there are so many fun ways you can integrate life lessons as well as useful skills while spending time with your family.

Introduce the kids to gardening
Share the joy of gardening with your little ones. This can help cultivate a nurturing spirit in your child, as she watches the plants grow. Give her a pot or planter box of her own to care of, so that she has ownership and the responsibility of caring for the plant. Take her through every step of the way, from planting the seed to how often your child should water the plant. Growing vegetables can help your kids appreciate their greens more too, when they see the effort that goes into growing vegetables from mere seeds (or plant cuttings) to the food on your table.

Have help from the kids in the kitchen
If your child is curious about what goes into making her favourite dish, why not rope the little one in for your next baking session. Start by planning to go grocery shopping together. Point out the different ingredients that you need, while stopping to chat about the healthy food you see along the way.

During the actual baking or cooking session in the kitchen, your child can help with simple and age-appropriate tasks such as mashing the potatoes or sprinkling grated cheese and other toppings onto the dish. Getting the little one to chip in with the “adult work” can help build your child’s confidence and her ability to follow instructions.

Get creative with the little ones
Cater your shared activities to your child’s personal interests. If she loves art and crafts, scrapbooking could be a fun parent-child activity that you can do together. Compile your family’s most recent holiday photos and decorate the pages with your kid’s creative input, whether through stickers or doodles. It will make for a cute souvenir too!

Preschool-going kids can give the Go Go Mazes workbook a try. Targeted at kids from ages 3 to 5, this workbook contains activities on puzzle solving, counting, creative art and drawing. Give encouraging hints, for your affirmative words and praises can help spur her on; the book also comes with stickers to reward your child for her effort. You can download the free samples of the Go Go books here.

Do a science project together
Go beyond the textbooks and encourage your kids to learn more about science by doing mini projects at home. Get the Science Kits for a hands-on approach to learning, while spurring your child’s natural curiosity about the world around her. There are 36 experiments which provide your kids with all the tools they need to conduct the mini experiments, with adult supervision of course. Take them through the steps and help with some assembly work, if necessary. Your kids will get to learn about simple scientific concepts, all while having fun with soap bubbles magnets and other tools.