Nurture - March 25, 2020

5 Fun Ways To Bond With Your Toddler Right Now

It’s been almost two weeks, and many of us are still figuring out how to work from home while having the kids around all day. It’s no easy task, but this bonus time together does allow parents extra opportunities to bond with their children. Life, as we know it right now, can feel confusing for our kids, especially for toddlers. They can quickly become anxious from the lack of routine and structure, and overhearing news reports and adult conversations can add to their uneasy feelings. Carving out one-on-one time and forging a tight bond with your toddler is imperative right now. Not only will intentional time together help reassure your children, but it will also open the door for conversation.

Here are my favorite ways to bond with my toddler.

Cooking Together 

Cooking is most likely something you’re doing a lot of these days, so why not use that time in the kitchen to create learning opportunities and meaningful moments with your little ones. Not only is there lots of fun to be had in the kitchen, but there’s also the chance to educate through experience. Get those little hands digging around in bowls of ingredients and expose your toddler to textures. Use spices to introduce new smells and tastes. Teach your younger little ones fruit and veggie names, play a counting game, and review colors. Cooking together also allows you to pass down family recipes and talk about anything from old traditions to current events.

Reading Together

We all know how important it is to read to toddlers. It helps expand their vocabulary and builds early literacy skills. Reading to your child also helps stimulate their imagination and inspires them to be more creative. Cozying up with a book, giving your child undivided attention and answering all those questions encourages intimate bonding moments between you and them. It’s a great way to have some real fun together and also a useful tool to wind down and relax after a hectic day.

Practicing Self-Care Together

Usually reserved for Mama’s alone time, practicing self-care with your children every once in a while is a beautiful way to bond. Modeling how you value self-care teaches your toddler healthy habits. Showing them how you take care of yourself, whether through beauty rituals, exercise, or eating choices, sets early examples that will later encourage them to prioritize themselves. Indulging in self-care with your toddler gives you solid one-on-one time to chat and laugh together. It’s also incredibly entertaining.

Scheduled Time

Is it just my kid, or do your kids also want to do the 100-piece puzzle right when you need to join a Zoom meeting? Making an appointment with your toddler might sound funny, but having a scheduled date is a great parenting tool. Dates with your little one show them how committed you are to spending quality time together. The simple act of agreeing on a specific time, following through and engaging in one of their favorite activities makes your child feel important and helps strengthen the trust between you and them. Using a smart device to set a timer and alert everyone of your special date adds extra fun and structure. “Alexa, remind us to build a fort at 5:30 p.m.”

Throw Sleepover Party  

Children love sleeping in their parent’s beds, and they seem to find their way in no matter what, so why not try inviting them into your bedroom. An invitation into your bed for a movie and a special sleepover might help your child feel secure during these uncertain times. Throw on some cute pajamas, jump around in bed, and have a pillow fight. It will feel like a celebration! After all the fun, cuddle up and catch up, this is the perfect moment to ask your little one how they’re feeling about life right now. Don’t forget to share how you’re feeling with them too!

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