As your family grows, finding time to connect can be challenging. As life takes you on a whirlwind trying to manage everything that must “get done”, it’s easy to lose sight of what is important when it comes to connecting with your family. There are a myriad of ways to connect with the various ages of your children which will be discussed in this blog. I will categorize the ages into three different groups: Preschoolers (3-5 years), Middle childhood (6-11 years), and Adolescence (12-17 years).
Preschoolers (3-5 Years)
This age group advance their gross motor skills with active play. Their language is play and toys are their words. If you have ever felt frustrated with engaging in a conversation with your young child, it’s due to their inability to carry on a conversation as an older child. They become excited about dancing, jumping, running, skipping, kicking, tumbling, etc. Their improving their fine motor skills empower them to draw, paint, cut, paste, etc. They are learning to understand themselves and express emotions.
Dancing, exercising, running, swimming
Play dough, painting, drawing
Dressing up, acting out with figurines, singing
Playground, jump house, library
Middle Childhood (6-11 Years)
During this developmental stage, the brain grows exponentially as well as their bodies that become more athletic and muscular. You will notice growth spurts and motor skills significantly improving. Play is vital for learning skills such as self-esteem, confidence, communication, sportsmanship, and critical thinking. They begin to gain independence and learn social skills to gain more long-lasting friendships.
Organized sports, playing house, camping
Charades, freeze tag, red light green light
Card games, board games, checkers, dominoes, chess
Library, museums, parks, skating rinks
Adolescence (12 to 17 Years)
The phase of ‘teenage’ years introduces the onset of puberty and physical maturation. An adolescence’s brain continues to develop resulting in their eagerness for independence and understanding of their own individual self. At this stage, they are turning into young adults and do not play as much. However, this is the time that they want their family more than ever (even if it doesn’t feel or look like it). Their major influences are their peers, so parents should pay close attention to include their activities with their teens in mind to bring the family unit closer together and provide positive independent thinking.
Provide your home as the place for them to hangout at with their friends
Restaurants, shopping, church, beach
Walks, bike rides, hikes
Volunteer at shelters, events, charities