Reading a book together, playing a board game – these activities will never get old. However, in the 21st century, there are clever gadgets that can help you not only entertain your child but also develop certain abilities.
Film club on the ceiling anywhere on Earth
We watch a film or cartoon together. Seems like a banal evening scenario? But it all depends on the repertoire and on where and what to watch. For example, CINEMOOD portable cinema “MULTI-CUBE” projects a picture on the ceiling or wall! Inside the cube there is a whole library of media for the whole family – online services with TV series and movies, a collection of good Soviet cartoons from Soyuzmultfilm, the latest innovations of modern animation, such as favorite “Mimic,” educational series Qyusha for teaching kids counting and geometric shapes, lullabies and even cartoons. The device is easy to turn on anywhere and can be taken with you on your holiday, for a movie club in your hotel room or in your tent in the countryside.
Try to be close to your child during the cartoon show. Place cushions on the floor or make a tent out of blankets and get cozy together. Remember that your ‘involvement’, physical closeness, lively reactions, impressions as they watch is important to them. It is important to choose exciting material, with good music and lyrics. Suitable are “Baby and Carlson”, “Moomin-troll and the Comet”, which are easy to read by role, involving all those present. Or an educational documentary about animals: find it on YouTube on your smartphone and project it on any surface with CINEMOOD, using the “repeat screen” function. Can you imagine how impressive the birds and animals on the wall would be to a child? Generally speaking, a projector is not a TV; it really is a mini cinema trip in the comfort of your own home. So CINEMOOD is also a great excuse to bring the whole family together and create a new tradition that brings parents and children together emotionally.
After watching a film, try, like true film critics, to discuss what you have seen. What is the film or filmstrip about, what did the author want to say? Give your child the opportunity to retell the highlights. Together, look for answers to questions he may have: analysis develops speech and thinking. Dialogue teaches your child to hear and listen, to defend their own point of view, to reason, and to communicate their thoughts to others.
Arrange such “cinema sessions” on a regular basis, for example every Wednesday. Plan the programme each time and help your child prepare for the conversation. In fact, it’s a game for any age. Wherever you are and however you get together, you will have an interesting evening.
An ordinary tablet won’t surprise today’s children, but there is a special one that will help develop their drawing and fine motor skills. As with the Multicube, it’s not enough to hand the gadget to a child and leave them in another room, it’s the parents’ interest and involvement that counts. You can start, for example, by choosing any world masterpiece and tell your youngster the story of its creation. For example, Van Gogh’s famous ‘Starry Night’ was painted in the hospital where the artist ended up. But the illness didn’t stop him from creating this and several other masterpieces that became the highlights of his life. Sad details of Van Gogh’s biography the child will learn later, but the story of victory and overcoming will be remembered today.
The next stage, however, will require a tablet. Try it with your child to replicate the outline of “Starry Night”. Your skill level doesn’t matter. The tablet is also good because you can always undo the previous step, but erasing even a pencil mark from the paper is much harder than pressing a button.
With the AquaBoard tablet the task is more non-trivial. It is possible to draw on it with water, it is more difficult, but much more interesting. By dragging a brush along the surface, a child makes the same motions as a real artist. The creators of Aquaboard assure you that their tablets allow you to experience an “artistic moment” and try different techniques without spending money on paints and brushes: the long strokes of Van Gogh, dots, or big stains of pointillists.
Your child may not become an artist, but he or she will learn to understand painting from an early age. And when they grow up, trips to museums and art galleries will be ordinary things.
A puzzle for everyone
A Rubik’s Cube used to be in almost every home, but not every child could complete it, and champions who could solve this puzzle in a matter of seconds, were looked on as magicians. The toy has recently undergone a reincarnation. Now you can get to the end by following the instructions – a special app delivered with the cube allows you to scan its facets and get hints. And you can turn an evening with your child into an intellectual contest to see who can put the puzzle together faster. To give your child motivation and some head start, let him get his instructions first. Confused? You can scan the cube and get the clues again. No matter who wins, the main thing here is to develop spatial thinking and exercise in combinatorics.
A castle for a princess
We build it with a 3D pen, so the game will be fun for both girls and boys. First we need a design – construction, floors, rooms, façade, georeferencing. Grab a sheet of paper and draw. You can look up examples online: castles in the Loire valley in France, or the German Neuschwanstein, which appears on the screensaver of Disney cartoons. And when you’ve got your design ready, arm yourself with a 3D pen and start building in full. Help your child build graceful spires and cogs, and explain how rooms are arranged, why they were built this way and not that way, and how people lived there. You’ll have to find out for yourself first, but it’s well worth it. You can put Transformers or Barbie dolls in the castle you have built.
The oven, mixer and blender are all self-explanatory. Cooking lunch or dinner with your child is a great way to spend time in a healthy and enjoyable way: emotional moments are more often remembered with your loved ones, and food is one of the main sources of pleasure.
It would be great if such a cooking evening became a weekly event in your family. For example, every Thursday, you could cook a national dish together. And at the same time, you can tell your child about its history and the culinary traditions of its people and how they differ from ours. But first, take your child to the market to choose quality products and teach them how to communicate with the vendors. Tell them what things cost and how much they cost, and show them how to spend their money wisely.
Most importantly, remember that it’s not about the gadget as much as it is about your participation. The key word here is “together. Togetherness and relaxation are important in shaping your child’s personality. Your interaction with your child now determines how he or she will relate to others when he or she grows up.