Do you think it is very expensive to engage a very young child at home?
- They absolutely do not need hundreds of toys that light up, play “music” or require batteries.
- They do not need the latest gadget in the market
- They do not need many different pricey outfits which doesn’t let them move comfortably.
Do you know all they need is simple list?
- They need physical nourishment. You show a special liking towards fruits, veggies and our home made snacks. Children learn to love them eventually.
- They need clothes they’re allowed to get dirty. They need aprons to wear so they can help you in the kitchen. They need your old dresses and old hats and scarves to play dress up.
- They need time with their parents and siblings. They need to play outside. They need to go to a zoo. They need to visit a farm. They should visit an art museum. They need to feel the kiss of the waves in the beach. They need to get messy. They need to go swimming. They need to walk quietly on a nature trail. They need your cuddling and tickling, joking and gentle teasing. They need to be around many different kinds, types and ages of people. They need grandparents or great-grandparents to spend time with.
- They need to ask questions. They need you to teach them how to find the answers in a book or by observation. They need to hear you say, “I don’t know. Let’s find out.” They need you to say, “That’s a great question, I’m glad you asked.”
- They need to explore. They need to climb too high. They need to swing so hard the swing set rocks. They need to poke things with sticks and lift up rocks. They need to splash in some water. They need to be out of your sight, a part of the day. They need to solve their own conflicts. They might need to wrestle or jump on a trampoline. They need to run until they’re out of breath. They need to take some object apart (an old radio? a clock?) and try to put it back together.
- They need sleep. They need to go to bed in time to be rested for the next morning. They need time with no screens flickering in their faces. They need to build a pillow fort. They might need to pitch a tent outside and sleep under the stars. They need to stay up late for a special occasion and then sleep in the next morning. They need a quiet time, when they can hear their own thoughts. They need the chance to be noisy, with drums and marching and loud singing
- They need books. They need adults to read to them. They need to read to each other. They need gorgeous books to admire and funny books to laugh at. They need rhymes to jingle in their minds.
There are only a few things children really need, and most of them don’t cost too much money. They may cost more of our time, or some of our sense of safety, but in the end those things may be a small price to pay