Today’s families and their children always seem on the go…soccer, dance, swimming, piano, and this is after a full day of school, day care, and work. As a parent myself, some days I feel as if I never get enough time to just sit with my baby and give him my full attention.
Since this way of life seems inevitable by many standards, parents need to be purposeful with the time they have with their children. So where can you squeeze in some time to have teachable moments with your child?
Thanks to Vroom, “Every parent has what it takes to be a brain builder.” Vroom offers ideas and opportunities for parents to turn “shared moments into brain building moments.” Whether you are driving in the car, eating dinner, or giving your little one a bath, there is always a way to build on your child’s knowledge.
You can access their website at www.joinvroom.org, where you are able to download a variety of activities. The activities are broken down by age range and offer endless ideas of things to do with your child while you engage in everyday activities.
They also offer a downloadable app for your smartphone called daily vroom. Here you are able to create a profile for your child, age birth to five. Based on the child’s age the app will give you a daily activity or you are able to pick your own activities based on your current activity or task:
We’re at home
- Changing diapers
- Getting dressed
- Cleaning up
We’re on the go
- On the bus or train
- On foot
- In the car
We’re out and about
- At the store
- At the park
- At an appointment
We’re up for anything
- Anytime, anywhere
Some examples from the website include age range activities:
3 – 5 years — Imagination Station
When you’re waiting at a stoplight or on the subway, make up a story about someone across the street or on the opposite platform. Where is the woman in the hat going? What will she do when she gets there? Try to elaborate on your child’s ideas.
0 – 5 years — Copy Cat
Like you, your child experiences many different emotions every day. Make faces that mirror how your child seems to be feeling. Talk to them about why you’re making those faces. “You are smiling and seem happy and I am smiling and happy too.”
1-2 years — Toothy Wonder
When you’re brushing your child’s teeth, look in the mirror together. Talk about how your teeth are the same and different from his/hers. For example, you have more teeth, and bigger teeth, but you both can make funny faces. Follow your child’s lead and talk with him/her about what he/she notices.
3-4 years — Big Foot, Little Foot
When you’re doing laundry, have your child help you with simple sock matching. As you do, talk about who has big feet and little feet in your family. Have a conversation about which socks go together and why. Do they have the same color, pattern, or size? Help your child hold the socks next to his/her feet, then your feet and talk about the differences. When you are putting away laundry, have your child find the places in the drawers or shelves where the clean clothes go. If your child guesses something different than where you would put it, talk about your reasons for putting it somewhere else. When you’re cooking, have your child help with simple tasks like adding an ingredient. Ask your child what he/she thinks will happen when you add the ingredient (like pouring a cup of milk into flour) and then talk together about what actually happens.
Their video says so much about why we like this resource. We are fed a steady online stream of amazing and “simple” enrichment ideas for our children: crafts, healthy recipes, early education products and activities, so many of which involve the time, money, and resources we’re tapped out of by 9:00 a.m. It’s too easy to find ourselves feeling inadequate, like we’re letting our babies down. Vroom reminds us that we are amazing moms, dads, and families.