In our first "Words of Wisdom" column, our Advisory Board member Dr. Steve Blaustein has some great tips and thoughts about the benefits to be had from unstructured time.
Involve kids in your life. Cooking can be a social interaction. Cleaning can be an a social time spent with children. One of my friends told me that his granddaughter's favorite activity is when they wash his car together. Have you ever washed a car on a warm day- It's wonderful! The laughter and the fun is filled with language that can increase vocabulary. It doesn’t need to be sitting down and practicing being social, because we live in a social world: make it social.
There can be rich, quality time simply driving in a car. It used to be a great time for the family, talking and engaging in conversation. Now, how many cars do you now see with screens in the back so the kids are entertained? How do children learn to regulate being bored if we don't give them the chance to figure it out? What ever happened to games of " I Spy" or finding different state license plates? We’re missing social opportunities all around us. So, when we are surrounded by our families and friends, let's just make it social! Build vocabulary, play games, talk about emotions, talk and, share experiences.
Dr. Steven Blaustein, PhD, is a speech pathologist and Associate Professor at Touro College. He is on the Advisory Board of The Meeting House.