When my kindergartner comes home from school, I, like every other parent, ask the same age old question, “What did you do today?”
The answer: “play”.
Of all the activities they do; read, write, count, paint, build blocks, why is the answer always simply, “play”? Maybe it’s because they value being able to create, invent, and use their imaginations.
In a January 2012 AAP news report, Dr. Milteer, lead author of a clinical report that focuses on the critical role of unstructured play for children, discussed that a child who plays with simple toys and games learns to develop creativity, resilience, and the ability to get along with others. This is an important message for those families who can’t afford iPads, playstations, and other activities/lessons with high price tags.
According to the report, “Parents of all income levels should use time together at home to engage in both free and unstructured play…Playtime is bonding time for families.”
Through play, children learn to take turns, negotiate conflicts, solve problems, share goals, acquire flexibility, and live with disappointment. These are the skills that allow them to become successful both academically and emotionally.
So remember, if you want to raise an intelligent, well-rounded, emotionally healthy child, there’s no need for high-priced toys or fancy lessons. Just remember to, “play”.
Chicken Tacos: a no-cook recipe
Often, one of the most stressful times of my day is during the “dinner rush”. This is when the kids and I get home from school/work, we’re tired, we’re hungry, and we haven’t seen each other all day. Although I enjoy cooking, this time of day is usually the most inconvenient time to do so. I’d rather just spend my time relaxing and playing with my kids.
The following is a recipe for a nutritious, no cook, low budget meal that you can get on the table in just minutes. Children love to “make” their own food, so let them assemble their own tacos. This is also a great way to get them to eat their veggies!
1 Rotisserie chicken- shredded by hand
Wedges of lime for drizzling
- Heat skillet, drizzle olive oil, toss in chicken with cumin.
- Heat the corn tortillas
- Make a “taco bar”- serve the chicken, tortillas, and other ingredients