Parents: Exploring the World Around You
Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada
As a Dad, you play a really important role in your child’s life. Your time and attention influences how your child learns, behaves, and interacts with the world around them.
Exploration Children love to be part of the world around them. They learn so much by exploring and trying new things. When you take your child places with you they learn how to act by watching you. Playing in a park, planning fun activities, and going to new places stretches your child’s imagination and builds confidence.
Risk-taking Trying new things, going to new places, and meeting new people all take risk. This allows children to test themselves and to learn about their strengths, skills, and what they love to do. When your child tries new and risky things it is important that you keep them safe by staying nearby, offering words of encouragement and direction, and being ready to step in if help is needed.
Creativity Chances to be creative encourages your child to be flexible, to wonder what might happen next, and see how things work together. Let your child lead activities and look for ways to allow your child to express their creativity.
Problem-solving Children often find themselves in situations that are challenging for them. If you notice your child becoming frustrated with what they are doing, watch as your child tries to find a solution. Offer help when your child’s frustration starts to become anger or sadness. This will help your child become a creative problem-solver.
Mystery Children often enjoy puzzles and mysteries and love to anticipate a surprise. Participating in activities that provide a bit of a surprise can be exciting for your child and shows them that you can be fun.
You have the chance to form a unique bond with your child by exploring your surroundings.
Fun & Easy Activities
Tummy Time Place colourful objects at different distances that encourage your baby to reach for them, either from their tummy or sitting up.
Sing-song Lay your baby on your lap facing you. Sing action songs, like The Wheels on the Bus, The Itsy-Bitsy Spider, or Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes. Do the actions gently with your baby as you sing.
Bubblefest During bath time, make some bubbles with bubble bath. Talk to your toddler about how the bubbles feel, sound, and float.
Noisy Pans Place aluminum pans on the floor. Show your child the noise that is made when the pans are kicked or hit with a spoon.
Slime Make some jello. Pour unset jello into a stove pot, add some tapioca and boil it for a few minutes. Allow to cool and put the mixture into a large bowl. Add plastic insects, dinosaurs, or other things to the jello/slime. Let your child explore the mixture with their hands.
Mystery Box Put a bunch of different things in a box, like socks, a favourite toy, some pebbles, or grapes. Have your child reach in and guess what they are touching. You can also put in pictures of your family or some things around the home. Have your child guess what is coming out next.
Store Trip Take your child to the grocery store when they are neither tired nor hungry. Let your child feel the items you buy and talk about how things feel. (“This milk is cold. This apple is smooth.”) Talk about what you are seeing, what you are buying next, the colour and shape of items, etc.
Adapted from “Daddy and Me: On the move”, Best Start Resource Centre, 2012
The Public Health Agency of Canada gratefully acknowledges the collaboration and expertise of Dad Central Canada (www.dadcentral.ca) and their national network in the development of the Nobody’s Perfect tipsheets for dads.
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