The Restaurant is Open

by Heligirl on January 30, 2012

in Mom Tip Monday,Parenting Articles

If you read last week’s post, you know we’re climbing the walls here with the bad weather. This past week the snow left, but it has been pretty rainy on the days I’m home with the kids. We’ve built couch forts, played hallway bowling, designed elaborate ramp systems for Mr. Man’s car collection that breeds faster than Tribbles, and even ran out in our rain coats and boots to jump in puddles.

One thing I’ve been trying to do is come up with activities that I can participate in, but the kids take the lead using cooperation and some form of real life skills as well as a good dose of imagination. Learning to get along and practicing social skills used in real life situations helps prepare them for life. Take playing restaurant for example.

Mr. Man taking his line cook duties seriously.

I started randomly treating lunch time like we were at a restaurant. I welcomed them to “Mom’s Place Diner,” showed them their seats in the dining room, and gave them menus (coloring pages from their coloring book). I told them the options on the menu. They ordered, I cooked up, they ate.

Then they did the same for me with their toy food and kitchen. That was the best part.

They used their imagination, gave me enough food to feed an army, and played at it for quite some time. They were using their proper utensils to cook and flip things in the pans on their stove, and they played very well together.

Of course, my kids are preschoolers. Older kids can jump in and use the real kitchen, making sandwiches for each other or friends, even creating their own restaurant name and designing menus with craft supplies and photos from magazines.

My mom tip today is to try to simulate a real life activity with fun and imagination. Try playing restaurant, school, doctor visit, gas station (great on nice days with Tiny Tots cars or even bikes), etc. Imaginary play is so important in children’s development and when you take a little time to play along, you make these times even more special for your kids. Too soon they grow up and move away. Cherish these times together.

{ 1 comment }

Jessica February 7, 2012 at 11:38 pm

“Too soon they grow up and move away. Cherish these times together.” – This is really true, so we need to give more time interacting with them as long as they want us.
Jessica recently posted: how to ballroom dance videos

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