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Lots of mothers like me are stuck with toddlers due to the lockdown. They have no routine, no school, less learning, no socialising, and no outdoor activities, which results in endless hours being spent either watching the television or on mobile phones.
Though I try to indulge him in activities such as painting, colouring, blackboard learning, building blocks, etc. and have bought several activity-based games like sand art, coloured dough, saline, puzzles, etc., we end up spending two hours maximum doing the activity, and in the end, my little one lands up in front of the television.
One day I thought why not sit with him and make him learn through the activity which he enjoys the most. When I started sitting with him during his TV time, he started asking me lots of questions. He would ask me to explain what was happening, how they were doing it, and lots of other questions about the objects he saw on the television. And then, I started taking an interest in his choice of television shows. My three year old loves to watch cartoon and is a big fan of superheroes, especially Superman.
I know their TV time is our relief time, which we can use to clean up the mess, cook, and complete other household activities, but try to take out some time and sit with them during their TV time. You may also choose what you want them to watch because there are a lot of cartoons which are just story-based, and some are learning-based. Choose the ones that teach them good habits instead of being mischievous. For example, the advertisement made to thank the corona warriors, and highlight the importance of washing hands. Through such advertisements/shows, you can explain what is going around and why the schools are closed.
I am not saying we have to make them watch TV all the time, but whenever they watch, it should be quality and learning for them. Toddlers are curious; it is their age to explore. Make the most of it.
Here are a few experiences from my learning:
- Don’t let them stick down to one pattern; change their interest by showing them different channels some times. Alternate between entertainment and infotainment. It is very easy to change their interest just by sitting with them and talking to them about it.
- Relate what they watched to everyday things they do or have access to, such as their toys and books.
- Never give the television control to your child. Let them share their watch time for news with grandpa or grandma’s Ramayana and learn from them.
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