Get your child involved in everyday activities
When you're washing up, let your child join in – for example, by washing the saucepan lids. When you cook, show them what you're doing and talk to them as you're working.
Getting them involved in the things you do will teach them about taking turns to help and being independent. They'll also learn by copying what you do.
Sometimes things have to happen at certain times, and it's important that your child learns this. But when you're together, try not to have a strict timetable. Your child is unlikely to fit in with it and you'll both get frustrated.
There's no rule that says clearing up has to be done before you go to the playground, especially if the sun's shining and your child's bursting with energy.
As far as you can, move things around to suit both your and your child's mood.
Tips for playing with young children
- Get together lots of different things for your child to look at, think about and do.
- By making what you're doing fun and interesting for your child, you can get your household jobs done while they're learning.
- Have times when you focus completely on your child. Talk about anything and everything, even what to put on the shopping list. By sharing as much as possible, your child will pick up lots of new words.
- Give your child plenty of opportunities to use their body by running, jumping and climbing, especially if you don't have much room at home.
- Find other people who can spend time with your child when you really need to focus on something else.