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What We’ve Been Up To: Encouraging Creative and Independent Play

Toddler Art

It’s been a while since I last published a real blog post. By real, I mean, not an advertorial or a press release. That’s because I’ve been very busy ironing out the changes I will be doing on the blog. Yep. There will be changes. Clue 1: A new design. Clue 2: I’ve been painting. Clue 3: I’ve been having (and loving) lots of coffee!

I’ve also been very busy spending quality time with the minis.ย I felt really guilty after reading Janet Lansbury’s article about creative alternatives to our kids’ TV time. Although I am aware of the dangers of using “electronic pacifiers,” I still use the tv, iPad and iPhone to keep the kids busy while I cook, clean, work or rest. These things have been very effective, I tell ya! I can do my thing for hours if I wanted to without the minis bugging me. BUT, it’s not very healthy.

I started making an effort to encourage good ‘ol creative and independent play in the past days. The minis didn’t welcome it at first (they constantly asked for the tv!), but eventually started to enjoy our activities.ย Well, that’s the case for my 2-year old. She is a born artist like her dad so getting her to paint or create stuff from paper is not very hard. She can go for hours with just a used, blank folder (teach recycling to your kids early on!), a paint brush and her watercolor paint.

The Little Man, however, is a different case. He doesn’t seem to enjoy painting, coloring or playing with his trucks. He just wants to, well, watch tv. In fact, would you believe that aside from Mama and Dada, the other word he learned to say is TV? NOT GOOD. He does like taking long walks with his dad — but usually on his stroller because he doesn’t like walking too much. He also likes to dance with his sister and I, but that only happens when Hi5 is on.

I have yet to figure out what my boy is really interested in. Perhaps he’d enjoy making music, like me? I’ll definitely give that a try as soon as I get my violin’s strings changed.

Anyway~ I’m enjoying all these artsy stuff we’re doing. Our activities are taking me back to my childhood days when I used to paint, draw and try crafts I used to see on Art Attack. I am happy to see that our princess enjoys the same thing A and I love. I just hope our boy will start appreciating these things too. If not, then that’s fine. I’m sure he’ll discover his own passion in no time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh! And while the minis are learning to enjoy creative and independent play, I have also made it a point to learn a few things. I’ve been reading a lot about photography (and practicing a lot too!) since one of my goals this year is to go on complete manual mode with my SLR. A is teaching me various painting techniques as well because I really want to improve my painting skills. As of this writing, we’re working on wash paintings! I also enrolled myself in Maya Adam’s Child Nutrition Class and have challenged myself to #JustCook. I’ll write more about the course after I finish it, so watch out for that.

That’s what we’ve been up to! What’s keeping you busy?

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16 Comments

  • Reply Exploratory Learning Activities That Worked For My Kids

    […] #3: Watercolor Painting and […]

    May 26, 2014 at 10:30 AM
  • Reply Johnson's Baby Active Fresh Encourages Active Play Through the Shadow Playground - Mom On Duty

    […] the start of the year, Arjay and I started implementing limited screen time in our householdย to encourage creative and independent play. The change did not just apply to the minis but also to […]

    April 1, 2014 at 8:41 AM
  • Reply Pretend Play with The Super Minis - Mom On Duty

    […] wrote in a couple of posts that A and I have been limiting the minis’ screen time and encouraging them to really play. I’d like to think that we’ve succeeded in lessening our kids’ screen-dependence […]

    February 4, 2014 at 2:01 PM
  • Reply Mitz Leviste

    Like all the moms above, we implement a gadgets ban too! I believe kids should go (out, if possible) and play. We try our best to encourage them to pursue other activities. When they have no access to gadgets, surprisingly they find other things to do naman pala. ๐Ÿ™‚

    February 1, 2014 at 1:11 AM
    • Reply Kim Reyes

      Yes~ I read in an article that by limiting screen time, kids are encouraged to use their imagination when they play. This is very good since their brains are still developing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      February 1, 2014 at 9:05 AM
  • Reply Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen

    WOW! You are a very creative family!
    You know, I used to be gulity of using electronic pacifiers before but not anymore. Ykaie is now enjoying active play with our kid neighbors.

    January 31, 2014 at 12:29 PM
    • Reply Kim Reyes

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I think most parents made the mistake of using electronic pacifiers because everyone’s doing it anyway, right? That’s why it is extremely important for us to start being vocal about limiting children’s screen time so other parents will do the same.

      January 31, 2014 at 12:47 PM
  • Reply Media Management At Home: After A Week of Limited Screen Time - Mom On Duty

    […] is a huge milestone because if you read my previous post about limiting screen time, I was having a hard time getting our boy to play with real toys. Good […]

    January 31, 2014 at 11:26 AM
  • Reply anursesdiary

    I am also guilty of the abovementioned pacifiers! Shoot me! Huhu. But really I can’t help it due to the situation. What I can do is to limit the TV time as well as the use of ipad. My son knows that he cannot touch my ipad nor his itouch when he is not allowed to do so. What I do with it is I take it away from his sight so he won’t remember using it. Another thing is, sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t buy them the real toys (i.e. kitchen playset) but I am quite surprised when he uses his imagination by using other alternatives and have tea party inside their room! Haha!

    January 30, 2014 at 6:11 PM
  • Reply Janice Lim

    I’m not so strict with the technology ban at our house. I allow my girls (ages 11 and 12) to use their cellphones and watch TV only when all of their homework are done. With my little boy, the TV or his tab usually does the trick so I can do my WAHM duties. But I just make sure that his other non-techie toys get used a lot too. So for me, the key is in trying to find that balance. ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 29, 2014 at 7:35 PM
  • Reply Patty

    I’ve imposed a gadget ban at home on weekdays for my little boy. It really, really works. That means no computer, no iPad (we don’t have one anyway), no PSP and no Xbox on school days. On weekends, I’ve started allowing him to play Xbox a little, but only Kinect Sports and those dancing games. It helps that he gets to expel energy, and it’s a great workout/bonding activity that our whole family does.

    January 29, 2014 at 4:29 PM
  • Reply Mall Sale Lover (@MallSaleLover)

    tablets are definite no for schooldays for my daughters. I notice that when we become relaxed on this policy, their grades really tend to go down. tvs and tablets do something bad in long terms.

    January 28, 2014 at 2:51 PM
  • Reply Camille Aguila

    I banned iPad na din after I read na it can cause ADHD to children. I let my son watch tv because he’s really very visual. most of the things he learned from tv. But after a movie, he’s on with playing his hotwheels. Same with yours, my little girl (younger than kuya) prefers books and pens over toys and tv so it’s not that hard.

    I like your #justcook challenge ah! I hope I can do that too once I get to be the queen of the house. hehe ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 23, 2014 at 11:53 PM
    • Reply Kim Reyes

      My kids have a long way to go since I’ve been using the tv as a sitter ever since we moved to a new place. Wala kasing yaya so I had to juggle everything myself — and the tv worked best in making them stay put.

      We’re going without tv an hour less a day. Hopefully they’d get used to independent play eventually.

      And correct. I couldn’t do the #JustCook challenge when we were living with my mom. Haha! It’s hard to control food choices kasi when you’re not the one in charge of the household.

      January 24, 2014 at 8:32 AM
  • Reply Rae

    On youtube, I saw a vlog of a couple who brings out just one or two toys for the kids daw. So they actually play with it, and encourage imagination. I know this is quite different since Caleb doesn’t actually touch his toy truck but I’m sure you’ll find something to do for him.

    January 23, 2014 at 4:07 PM
    • Reply Kim Reyes

      He used to love playing with his trucks and cars. But now he prefers the tv. ๐Ÿ™ I tried giving him a cardboard box earlier this afternoon. He enjoyed crawling through it and putting stuff in it. Lol. He played with it for about 25 minutes. Pwede na rin. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      January 23, 2014 at 5:04 PM

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