This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Coolabi. All opinions are my own.
See how a combination of watching educational TV and a little encouragement can keep your kids entertained for hours.
I remember when I was growing up some of my fondest memories were the games I played with my brother and friends. We would play everything from Restaurant (where we would look through the fridge, make a menu of what we had, and then take our parents’ “order”) to Zoo (where we would all decide what animals we would be and live on the safari together). These games would keep us entertained for hours and I hardly remember every playing video games or sitting in front of the TV; except for when Wishbone was on!
These days it seems like all kids want to do is stay home and play video games. I remember going over to one of my boys’ friend’s house for a play date. His older brother was home from school and the entire time we were over there (at least 2 hours) he was playing a video game. Sadly, this is becoming the norm. Now I’m not saying all video games are bad, because they are not. What I am saying is that the kids of today are learning more how to use remote controls to have fun than they are learning to use their imaginations. I don’t want this to happen to my boys so I am starting early with helping them learn to use their imaginations for fun.
I’m not saying I’m perfect and my boys never watch TV because they do (in fact they are watching it as I type this). What I do do though is try to only have them watch fun, entertaining shows that they can learn something from, like Poppy Cat. It’s about this cute little tabby cat and her group of friends, the adventures they take and how they use their imagination to save the day. We started watching it on Sprouts but moved to watching it on Netflix after my boys started wanting every toy they saw on the commercials. After the show is over I like to ask my boys what it was about and we usually make a game out of it.
Like in the episode when Mo loses his keys. I hid their set of keys and we had the search the house to find them. They also love to play with their puppet show set, which was a yard sale find at just $5. My oldest, Rohrl, loves to reinact stories he watches for his brother. It’s always cute to see how he interprets the shows meanings and characters.
I’ve also shared my love of the “Restaurant” game with my boys. Thanks to Target’s Dollar Spot and the fun food toys they have in there, I get a gourmet 3 course meal (consisting of eggs, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and cake) a few times a week! What I’ve found is that my kids like to be just like the people they around the most. So they always want to cook to be like me and want to work on things to be like their daddy. Play tool sets can be expensive so we let them use plastic spoons and forks for wrenches and screwdrivers.
Another good way to get your kids to use their imagination is to start asking them questions about what they learned or saw during the day and how they would have done things differently. My favorite was when they showed me how they think I sound when I’m on the phone. You can really get a good view of yourself by asking your kids what they see.
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on toys or games to help your kids use their imagination. And you don’t have to be a super mom and interact with your kids 100% of the time. Let them watch a few shows, watch how they play and interact with each other and friends and grow from their. How do you like to help your kids imaginations grow? Want to learn more about Poppy Cat or get more ideas for imaginative play? Follow Poppy Cat over on Facebook.