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Help Your Child Learn Communication and Social Skills
Checking work email, scrolling your social media feeds, and answering texts from friends and family can take up more time than you think. Not only does this time spent on your smartphone take time away from interacting with your family, but it may also be limiting opportunities for your children to learn important communication and social skills.
Between the ages of 3 and 5, your child will begin learning:
- Cause and effect
- How to use language to convey emotions and thoughts
- How to ask “why,” “how,” and “when” questions
If you’re already feeling crunched on time, don’t worry. You don’t have to spend hours on end doing elaborate art projects or epic hikes to help your child develop these and other skills. Simply turn off computers, smartphones, and televisions for a little while each day, and enjoy exploring the world around you.
Ideas to Engage Your Kids
Lessons and adventures to spark your child’s interests and imagination may be found in your own home or neighborhood.
- Cook or bake together. Preparing a healthy meal or special treat is a wonderful way to review colors, numbers, shapes, and words with young children and measurements with elementary-age kids. Preparing food can also be a helpful tool to teach your children how to follow directions and understand cause and effect.
- Embrace literature. Let your kids choose books that interest them, and read them with one another. If you have a small child, set aside 30 minutes to read the books with them each day. If your child or teen is older, get two copies of a book they want to read. Read a chapter independently every day, and then get together for book club style discussions in the mornings or evenings. Be sure to ask how the story makes them feel to help foster conveying emotion through words.
- Get outside. Your backyard can double as a classroom for a number of subjects. Gardening can help your child learn about the “why” and “how” of plants, while a game of family softball is a fun way for everyone to enjoy physical activity.
Embrace Summer Break Boredom
Kids have more free time during summer break—and hearing them complain about being bored is not uncommon. However, having nothing to do actually offers valuable opportunities for the imagination to roam.
When you and your child are not busy rushing to a practice or dialing in to social media, you may be inspired to dream up and write a story together, build a birdhouse, or invent a game to play as a family.
Need inspiration for activities to engage with your family? Specialists with Carson Tahoe Health Nutritional Therapies can help you create a healthy meal planning strategy.