Make everyday tasks fun.

Chores don’t have to be boring –think about how you can turn them into a game.

Mix it up.

The way you play with your child will be different from your partner or other family members –variety is great for your child’s development.

Match their mood.

Children don’t need to be stimulated every minute of the day – get active with them when they’re fresh and full of energy, and try quiet activities or songs when they are tired or grumpy.

Be involved but don't take over.

Try saying things like “'I wonder what would happen if…' or ‘You seem to be having a problem with … what can we do?'

Talk about what's happening.

When children hear words that match what they’re looking at or thinking about, it helps their language to develop.

Let them choose.

What to play and how.

No wrong way to play.

Problem solving skills are developed through inventing new ways to play with the same toys. Unless there is an obvious safety concern, try not to jump in or interfere.

Set clear consistent boundaries.

eg for noisy or ‘outside’ toys.

Try to be patient.

Repeating favourite activities can be boring for you, but it’s great for their brain.

"Again...again...pleeease?"

You’ve been playing hide and seek for what feels like all morning… and now they’re begging you for just one more game.

While playing the same thing over and over again is probably driving you more than a little batty, it’s good to know that there’s a reason that your child keeps asking for more. It’s because their growing brain connections are stimulated by the repetition which, in turn, helps them to master new skills.

In fact, for children, playing is how they learn best. Whether it’s playing peek-a-boo with your baby, answering your toddler’s pretend phone or full-on imaginative play with your preschooler, it’s all helping pathways in their brains develop and grow stronger.

Tiny Adventures - because fun makes everything better.

These 'Tiny Adventures' are quick, fun, free family activities that take between one minute and one hour. Select a few based on how much time you have, then let your child choose - it only takes a minute to make a memory! (Thanks to Christchurch’s All Right  campaign for letting us share Tiny Adventures with the rest of New Zealand)

Kids not sharing toys or co-operating?

Try:

  • tossing a coin for who goes first
  • setting the oven timer/alarm clock for a set period – then swapping over
  • practicing sharing through activities that require taking turns (like cards or board games)
  • investing 15 minutes of your time at the start of an activity. If you establish guidelines about game rules, turn taking or time frames to start them off, it can help them play happily for longer.

Take your kids on a journey

Maui and his first journey is perfect for story time.

Available as an iphone app or at whakatipu.org.nz/maui