Archive for February 4, 2014

Finding Fun and Unique Activities for Kids

I have been observing kids through the lens for most of my life. One thing I’ve discovered is that children love having fun. They also love exploring themselves and discovering new things. Anything that’s fun will do and, will surely keep them busy. Otherwise, they’ll be busy wrecking havoc. As a parent, you might want to find unique and fun activities for your kids to engage in. but how does an activity qualify as fun and unique. Here are some tips.

paintingConsider your child’s age

As children grow, they tend to shift their focus from one activity to another. For example, a toddler might be interested in artwork such as my little pony coloring pages. As he grows older, he shifts his focus to toys and mind challenging games. I have observed this in my kids and, by considering age, I was able to find unique activities for my children.

Your engagement

Besides being a parent, I was also my children’s first best friend. They relied on me to be there and share the fun with them. Whether they were painting or playing ball, my presence gave them assurance and confidence. I always ensured to be part of my kids fun activities especially when they were young. I didn’t necessarily have to be active but giving credit for their efforts, my children had the confidence to continue having fun.

The educational part

Fun and unique activities for kids shouldn’t be only about enjoyment. It should also be a learning experience. As an art lover, I usually encouraged my kids to try out art. They loved it and learned a lot. A simple drawing enables your kids to develop cognitive and motor skills. In addition, the kids will get to earn about social skills as well as discover more about themselves.

The child’s interest

Kids are naturally curious about new and fun activities. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the child will be interested in any activity introduced to them. That said, its not recommended that you try and force and activity on your kids. Simply introduce them to a new activity, such as this, and watch how they respond.

Complexity

How complex an activity is will determine whether your child will remain focused on it or not. Kids tend to get bored fast. This is especially so if the activity engaged in is too simple or complex. The key to selecting an activity that’s just right for your children is considering their age and level of motor and cognitive development. For example, a toddler will find crayon more interesting than paints for artwork. The reason for this is that a toddler’s motor and cognitive development hasn’t reached the stage whereby he can easily apply paint on canvas.

The Nature of Growing Old

It is an exhilarating experience walking in nature, the tranquility of the surroundings, the chirping of birds and the swoon of the calming wind passing through the leaves of trees and blades of grass. The skittering of random squirrels and the fluttering of butterfly wings brings peace. A bee zapping from flower to flower and a caterpillar hastily building its cocoon signaling life is abound. The marching of ants and the ripples atop rivers, constantly popping up, brings mystery to whatever it is underneath. I love these things. I grew up adoring nature and everything that relates to it. It is with nature that I started my life, lived my life, and will eventually give my life to when it is all over. But that time is still considerably distant to warrant contemplation. To that I say, not yet.

But life is too short for us mere men. Time brings drastic change to whatever it is that dances with it. Our once dark, bountiful mane of hair turns coarse and gray, Our once supple young skin gives way to dry, thin, wrinkly skin, eyes that can see beyond the horizon becomes strained, if not blurred, looking afar. Remembering things easily becomes just a memory. Our once lithe, robust body becomes weighted, laboriously doing anything, which does not warrant any effort, back in the days of old. Teeth falling off, joints always aching, we are humans and that is our fate. Yes we can delay the inevitable, but for how much and for how long?

I must defer, and I do resist, but it is what it is. I must confess that somehow, unbelievably, age is getting on to me. Walking has been terrible lately. Pain is felt on my hips every time I take a step. Hormonal imbalance or a pinched nerve I silently imagined, but a recent visit to the GP exhibited hip flexor pain. The hips, do they do that? I mused myself. But a stern warning from my doctor surprised me. He said that what I am feeling could either be just a strain, or worse, a symptom of some other illnesses like arthritis, tendinitis or muscle tear. It can also possibly be fractures in the bones of the hip and even osteoarthritis, he said matter-of-factly.  Several tests must be done he said, before a diagnosis could be dispensed. He also advised me of anterior hip precautions to take, to minimize aggravation of the pain that I am feeling, and suggested several exercises and stretches to do to relax the stiffness in the area. The consultation ended with some over the counter pain medicine to take the bite out of the pain.

Reality crashed through the window of the car while I was driving home. I remembered naughtily jumping over a fallen log, in one of my leisurely walks, as I was trying to avoid a troop of ants going about their daily trade. Of the awkward way that I landed on a stone and the cringe I felt afterwards. Yes that was it, I said with a sigh of relief.  Fear of my still unknown sickness slowly vanished, replaced by the commitment that I should take better care of my actions. The ride home went happily after that, even though my hips were still aching.

Walking again, a somber realization surrounded me; that I am a man, a temporary and frail being in this world of change, always hanging by the threads of fate and is destined to death even while unborn. Yes, we are one on this journey. But its end is hopefully not near. Not yet.