There’s no doubt about it, raising kids is overwhelming! The simple day-to-day routine takes so much time that it’s easy to forget about helping our kids develop in other ways.
But encouraging whole-body development is well worth a few extra hours when you have them to spare! Start by focusing on developing their five senses. It’s a great way to ensure they’re aware of their bodies and also let you know as a parent that there are no underlying issues you may want to look into.
Wondering just how to do that? These tips are a great place to start!
One of the easiest, and yet most important, ways to help your kids develop their senses is simply by playing with them! After all, kids are much more likely to take part in activities if those activities are fun.
Consider setting up a sensory box so kids can explore different textures. Play games like “I Spy” to help encourage colour recognition. Or, let your child cook with you so they can smell and taste different fruits, vegetables and other ingredients.
It all helps your child learn how they can gain new information using their eyes, ears, nose, mouth and hands!
Caring For Sight
When it comes to sight, there are many easy things you can do to help ensure your child’s eyes are developing properly. Start by always making sure your child uses proper lighting for their activities.
And don’t skimp on time outdoors! Spending just two hours a day outdoors significantly reduces the chances of children developing nearsightedness! Limiting close-up work, like staring at a phone or tablet, may also help reduce potential eye problems.
Finally, make sure to schedule that yearly checkup with an optometrist! In most Canadian provinces, yearly appointments are free for children, so take advantage of that!
If your child is one of the many that does need eyeglasses, let them pick their own so that they’re excited about wearing them. Check out local shops or look here for online options, then get your little one excited about choosing the perfect pair!
Looking After Hearing
When a mother is just halfway through her pregnancy, the sense of hearing has already developed in her baby. One of the earliest kids senses to develop, hearing is also one of the senses that can be the most easily damaged. Teaching some healthy habits can help avoid that damage, so make that a priority!
First of all, teach kids to avoid being around excessively loud sounds for extended periods. Machinery is the biggest culprit of hearing loss, but loud concerts or blaring speakers can be detrimental too.
If your child loves using headphones, invest in a pair that limits maximum volume to protect hearing. And have a pair of child’s ear protectors on hand for when your child might be exposed to excessive noise (when you’re doing yardwork or home repairs, for example).
Of course, just like with eyes, getting regular checkups is a must for proper ear health. Children can be prone to ear infections, so make sure to visit the doctor if your child is suffering from ear pain. If you have any additional concerns about your child’s hearing, or if their speech is a little delayed, a complete ear test may also be beneficial.
Smell & Taste
For the most part, parents likely won’t have to worry too much about a child’s senses of taste and smell. But helping kids develop a broad palate can lead to much healthier eating habits in the future, as well as more adventurous eaters, so give it a try!
The process is as simple as exposing children to a wide variety of foods with different tastes, scents and textures. And encourage kids to take their time when eating so that they can appreciate the scent and flavour of their food!
If a cold or flu causes a temporary loss of taste and smell, herbal tea or a spoonful of apple cider vinegar may help.
Because touch is tied to proper blood flow, one of the simplest ways to ensure the sensitive nerves in the skin are working properly is simply through exercise. Getting the heart pumping helps move blood through the veins and keep skin glowing and healthy.
And of course, don’t forget to teach kids about the importance of sunscreen to help ensure their skin stays healthy for a lifetime!
Developing sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing helps your child better experience the world around them. And keeping your kids’ senses sharp will help them enjoy a rich and fulfilling life!
Luckily, it’s quite simple and fun to ensure a child’s senses are at their best. So schedule that eye appointment, cook up something new and explore the world with your little one using all five senses!