Creating Special Time at home

How do you manage distractions and create Special Time at home?

  • Home should be a fun place to be. It’s a place to relax, to play in, to be with family. It is also a place of learning. Most of this learning happens informally, but sometimes we want to enjoy playtime with our child or teach a new skill that requires concentration.
  • We want to help our child learn new things but sometimes they, like us, can be easily distracted when overloaded with lots of information.
  • The good news is, we can do simple things to help them to concentrate just for a few minutes when we need them to listen and learn.
  • Home by its very nature can be noisy, especially when several children are playing, chatting and having fun all in the one room. You wouldn’t expect anything else!
  • However, there are times when we want to make sure children are having the best possible chance to learn at home. There are some distractions that are within our control to manage.
  • One of the best ways is to provide your child with ‘Special Time’, even if it is just for 5–10 minutes every day. This is challenging when you are in a large household. But if you can do it, it will really help develop your child’s relationship with you as well as their talking and social interaction.
  • Dad and son high-fiving


    Top tips for creating Special Time at home

    a) Try to find time where other children can be entertained by another adult or engaged in their own activities.

    b) Turn off your phone, listen to what your child is saying, and follow your child’s lead. Don’t try to structure this time. Just enjoy being with your child and letting them choose what to do and be in control – as long as it’s not unsafe!

    c) Turn off all distractions that you can, e.g. TV, tablets, phones, radio, etc.

    d) Choose a time of day when your child isn’t going to be tired or hungry. This will be moveable!

    e) Don’t compete with other (possibly more interesting) activities such as a favourite programme another child may be watching.

    f) Use a timer so that you and your child know when Special Time ends … that’s what makes it even more special!

    g) Special Time can happen outside too. If you are in the park, try and give some uninterrupted time to your child.

    Web links

    Check out these pages to find lots more information and great ideas.

  • Special Play Time – an important way for parents to spend time with their children
  • Aha! Parenting
  • Tips for spending quality time with your child
  • Hand in Hand Parenting, how to make the most of special time with your child
  • Talking and Listening activity: children 3–6 years

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    Last modified: Friday, 15 May 2020, 2:23 PM