Let’s face it, having a baby or toddler is exhausting, delightful, all-consuming and at times really dull and boring! Some days you feel trapped, you can’t even leave the house without a major mission and at the moment there’s all the worry about even IF you should leave the house. 

So you stay in.

Right now, that’s pretty much all there is to do, isn’t it?!

There are very few distractions and it feels like it’s one round of feeding, nappies (where does all that poo come from?!) and then there are the endless hours that need to be filled entertaining your child.

What do you even fill those hours with? And how do you know if you are filling them with the right stuff? If you are doing it right?

Some days you wonder if you are:

  1. Cut out for this parenting thing,
  2. if this will ever end and
  3. if you even are a good mum or dad!

I get you!  

Parenting is a tough gig! It is unrelenting and you do it all on no sleep and sometimes after a major operation (think C-Section at this point). When else does that ever happen? Like, when do you ever have a major op and then not get the chance to rest, sleep, and recover? … Yup, when you have a baby.  

And that is just when you have a newborn…

With toddlers it’s a whole other set of challenges, isn’t it?

tired-mum-toddler-and-baby

The tantrums, the questions, the repeating the same thing over and over again, and the endless playing of the same games, when all you really want is a hot cup of coffee in silence and to have a wee alone!

Well, this week we are going to show you how you can at least feel that you are doing a fab job; we are going to show you how to feel like you have a brain and how to feel that you are actually doing something amazing ('cos you are!) because this week we are talking about playing with a purpose.

So what is playing with a purpose and why is it so special?

Playing with a purpose is using play to help your baby learn, and it can be used to help them learn anything. It doesn’t need a heap of new, expensive baby toys or even toys at all. It is about being intentional about the play that you are doing. It is about thinking before you play (or even while you play):

  • What’s the point of this?
  • What is my baby getting out of the play that we are doing?
  • What are they learning?
  • What am I showing or teaching them through the play that we are doing together?

mother-reading-to-toddler

How do you play with a purpose?

Well, the first thing to do is think!

I want you to think about what your child is choosing to do themselves and what you think they need to do next based on that. What is it that they need to learn, practice, or master? 

Once you have that sorted, you then plan an activity or game that will help your baby or toddler do that learning or mastering, and you make sure that your language helps move on your child’s learning on.  

So why would you bother doing this?

All this might sound a bit planned, a little bit too much like hard work and all a little bit pointless, but the fact of the matter is that what it is actually doing is HUGE! Doing this with your baby or toddler every day will grow their brain and help them reach their full potential. It will make sure that you are doing the very best for your child that you can do. 

It’s also going to help you. You are going to feel like you have a purpose, you are going to know what you’re doing and WHY, and that’s going to make you realise that that you are doing a brilliant job and that you are helping to grow your child a strong foundation for their learning. By understanding WHY you are doing something, you know what you are doing is worthwhile. You feel more invested in the game you are playing and there is a reason for spending time doing it. And the upside of all of that is that you feel more confident, you have a structure to your day, and you have a purpose. 

father-playing-with-baby

It’s going to help your baby or toddler by giving them some focused activities during the day; you will be helping them to learn, understand, consolidate all their new skills; they will learn something new, and have time and the opportunity to practice what they have learned. They will be learning skills that build on the previous ones. This, in turn, will mean that they will develop faster, develop better and develop more confidently and they will be on the right path for learning. All of this will lead to them being more able to reach their full potential and do better at school and in life when the time comes. 

What’s not to love?

So how do you know what to do? Well, each day look at the skills your baby was learning yesterday, think about what they need to do next on their development journey, and design an activity to help them with the next steps. If all of this sounds just a bit too hard and if you have no idea what your baby or toddler should be learning next and how to do it, then don’t worry because here at Oliiki we have done the hard work for you! We have created an app that is going to help you every day, from the very first day you are pregnant right through until your baby is 2.

We have created an activity for you to do each day. We show you what to do and how to do it, and we then show you WHY you should do it. We also include the science behind it and finally, we show you what your child has learned by doing the activity so that you don’t need to worry and can just settle down and play with your baby or toddler. 

The best thing of all is because the activities have been written by teachers and educational researchers, you know the learning can be really relied on and it’s easy to use!

If you want to be like this Oliiki mum who left this review for us last week...

I LOVE this app. I honestly never thought I would need or use an app to help me and my baby but I'm so glad I did now. I absolutely love the activities, it's easy to use and the extra information for parents wondering why these activities help their babies is fantastic. On a personal note, I was really struggling to get my little girl to nap and then this week one of my activities was rest, I read through it and gave the activity a go and to my absolute astonishment, my little girl had a nap and is still having naps through the day because of the rest-activity. I LOVE YOU Oliiki!!!!! I cannot tell you how good I feel right now! I also want to add that I had to contact Oliiki because I was having an issue with the app and within hours I had a reply and my issue was resolved there and then! Brilliant customer service and an awesome app! Oliiki Mum May 2020

...then download the Oliiki app today and start playing with a purpose. Find out more here: http://ow.ly/BlJv50zxBum or download the app using the app store icons above.

 

Join us for our weekly lives on our Oliiki Facebook page, every Wednesday at 11.00, or drop us a message; we always love to hear from you!