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  • Leanne Ammon

Growing and Developing your Child's Interests!

Budding tennis player? Little Picasso? Unicyclist extraordinaire? Our hopes and dreams for our little ones know no bounds and quite often come attached with the hopes and dreams we had for ourselves. Maybe not the unicyclist but possibly the tennis player. But how can we grow our little genius’ interests and develop their skills in the areas they seem to be enjoying?

Exposure and opportunity: fitting activities in to days that are sometimes already bursting with things to do can be hard. It is however worth making time for if you want to allow your little one to explore what makes them tick. Get some play doh, some paints, some pencils. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just enough to let them have a go. Creative things like this are fantastic for letting your child explore cause and effect, develop fine motor skills, and to give them the opportunity to express themselves when verbal communication is still a way off. Part of the morning or afternoon spent like this is worth it’s weight (and mess) in gold.

Going to the park is equally effective in providing opportunities to try out new skills.

Throwing and catching a ball, or rolling it along the floor is a good way to develop an early interest in sport. When they’re older you can progress to letting them try out balancing a ball on a bat and seeing if they can bounce it. A good old run around can become a way to hop and skip and jump, with the introduction of skipping ropes or a scooter once they’re old enough. Foraging for leaves, acorns and pine cones can develop an interest in nature and wildlife. Bring a collection home and they can develop their creative skills by making a collage out of them. Display it on the fridge, or even frame it!

Exposure to different activities is a great way to help your child explore what they’re interested in, and providing as many opportunities as you can within your week will help develop their skills.

Watch and listen: Sounds obvious but it’s amazing sometimes how a tiny spark of interest can go unnoticed in our busy days, busy lives and busy laundry basket. Try to carve out some time when you can really devote your senses to your little one. You might be out playing in the park, inside reading or painting, or at a baby group. Engage in the activity with your baby, really engage. Ask them questions about it. Do they like it? Would they like the red paint next or the purple? Was it fun climbing through the tunnel? Look how far the ball went! And then answer them when they respond. It is such a restorative way for you, as a tired parent, to reconnect with your little one and spend some time marvelling at what they find amusing and how they react to certain activities. Feeling listened to will boost their self esteem and confidence too.

It’s very easy to get to Friday and wonder where the week went. If you’re working, it’s difficult to juggle time that is already stretched. But just an hour here and there, or if you can spend a day at the weekend to create some exploratory moments with your little one, will really pay dividends. For you and your baby.

Please visit to find out more about our wonderful Children's Nursery in Upchurch Kent!

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