Play is an essential part of your kid’s motor and socio-emotional development, but did you know that it can also be a way to strengthen your bond with them?
During the first few years of life, your kids develop an attachment to their primary caregivers. This early bond greatly influences how they relate to others, how they view themselves, and the world around them as they grow up.
So it’s so important to be mindful of your parent-child activities, no matter how simple they may be, because they are so special in your child’s eyes.
Here are five attachment-based activities, or trust building games, to enjoy with your child today!
1. Playing copycat
As early as infancy, your child will already enjoy mirroring expressions. As they get older, they’re still masters of imitation, copying words and gestures. They also enjoy when you playfully copy them.
Maintaining eye contact, smiling, while mimicking your child’s gestures encourages the beginnings of a healthy bond between the two of you. It also enhances the feeling of attachment. Other activities can be combined with playing copycat, like playing with your kid’s favorite toys.
2. Piggy-Back Rides
This oldie but goodie enhances bonding through fun and physical contact. As a baby, your kid needed all the loving touch and closeness his parents had to offer. This doesn’t change as they get older, as it reassures them of love and safety, often even more so than words do.
3. The Bean Bag Game
Using a bean bag or any soft toy, engage in a balancing exercise. This is a great idea for toddlers. Instruct your child to tilt their head to drop the bag or toy in your open palms. Use signals, like sounds or blinking, to encourage your child’s ability to cooperate.
4. Massage with lotion
Again, touch enhances attachment. Use lotion to reduce tension and promote relaxation. It’s also a fun bonding experience! Even babies can benefit from gentle massages. This is especially fun if you and your baby are ticklish, as laughter will surely abound!
5. Brush each other’s hair
Gently brushing each other’s hair benefits both mother and child. It promotes connection and increases affection. Even as adults, having one’s hair brushed is a comforting experience. For kids, it is even more nurturing, as it reassures them that they’re loved, valued, and truly cared for.
What bonding activities have you tried with your child? Let us know in the comments below!
sources: PsychCentral, CHLSS.org, Today’s Parent