How do you keep a 6 year old entertained during those waiting times? We have smartphones but we make it a point not to create a habit where Bea needs an electronic gadget to keep herself entertained. It’s a personal decision for most parents and I do think if a good balance is struck, electronic gadgets are not EVIL… but that’s the problem isn’t it? It’s hard to strike a balance.. just think of all those times when you are itching to check Facebook on your smartphone just to see what people have posted! Why would a young child be able to resist what adults can’t? It’s a common sight to see bespectacled kids playing Minecraft on their parents smartphones – yes, it’s better than something violent but isn’t there something magical about reading the good old book that opens up a world bigger than the World Wide Web?
I spent a good amount of my childhood immersed in adventures of the Famous Five, Nancy Drew and even the Hardy Boys. Many an afternoon was spent daydreaming about pixies and fairies in the garden (I still have a soft spot for pixies!) I still imagine little pixies wearing green leaf hats sitting on the rocks having tea when I trek along the upper regions of mountains where the air is cool and moss grows on trees and boulders.
So, I’ve made it a point to actively cultivate a reading habit in Bea, from modeling the habit (my favourite part!:)) to making books easily available to her. I have to say, a tip I read helped too – at first I kept her books in closed bookcases (because I wanted to minimise all that dusting!) but I realised that she wasn’t taking the initiative to take the books herself, so we went for open bookcases (as recommended in Montessori literature) and that did the trick. She became alot more active in taking books out to read without any prompting.
I try to expose her to a variety of genres and sometimes. Earlier this she was really into Thea Stilton of the Geromino Stilton series. I liked it for it’s exposure to world geography and culture although I still cringe when terms like “famouse” instead of famous, fabumouse instead of fabulous are used. There is an overplay of words with the word mouse in it because the stories are centred around the adventures of a group of mice. Nevertheless, it has been engaging and I think she is ready to move on to another series!
Here she is reading her book while waiting for our takeaway fish noodles!