Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Focused Play

    Within our daily schedule is a time set aside for Tennyson and I to have one-on-one focused playtime. I feel like this time is important for the following reasons:
  • Although we are together and interacting throughout the day, my attention is often split between Tennyson and a task. For example, I may be doing dishes or folding laundry while also being with and talking to Tennyson. It's important that at some point I give him my undivided attention. I schedule this time so that I'm not having to choose between housework or child(ren). Both are given a proper time in the day.
    • Without this time children may begin to misbehave as a means of getting your attention. They don't differentiate between positive or negative attention, but aim to gain any attention. Giving them a time each day that they know they'll get your undivided attention helps ease this behavior problem.
    • A set time also curves sibling rivalry. Each child is given an adequate turn for them to have your exclusive attention. The other children will learn good character qualities as they wait for their turn. They don't have to compete with one another for Mama's attention, and you don't have to feel pulled by everyone and everything at once.
  • Focused playtime teaches a child the ability to be still and play quietly. This is part training children for proper behavior. Practice at home will make going out much easier (ie sitting in church, doctor's offices or other places in which they can't be running around and yelling).
  • We intend to homeschool at least the early years, and so establishing a focused playtime early will help us ease into having school time at home. I will have already been accustomed to planning and preparing activities, and he'll already be well practiced at having to sit and play/work for a period of time.

     At this stage of his development we're focused entirely on exploration through the senses. Activities are very, very simple and intended just to be fun. My goal is to do a new activity each weekday, but it depends entirely on the course of the day. Right now, I like to use Productive Parenting for activity ideas. As he gets older I plan to add exploration bins (aka sensory bins) and activity bins (aka busy bags). When he's two years old, we'll incorporate activities from Before Five In a Row. Then, later full preschool homeschool. But, again, right now my focus is just in establishing the focused playtime together each day and us having fun.

     I thought it might be fun to record and share some of our focused playtime activities here on the blog. We'll call it "Focused Play Fridays." Look out for our first post this Friday :)

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