Mother Goose sure knew what she was doing when it came to nursery rhymes. These often short ditties are loved by kids because they are rhythmic and fun! Think about when you recite nursery rhymes to your child; you are sitting right next to or facing him/her, both of you are actively engaged and focused on each other. What a great bonding moment that strengthens attachment. Children respond to rhythm because they spent nine months in their mother’s womb listening to the beat of her heart, the rhythm of her breathing and the rhythm of her body. It is very familiar to them. “Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake” is great for building attachment because it is also a clapping game which involves very active involvement between child and parent. You both need to be looking at each other and very aware of each others actions. Then there are those moments when you miss each other’s hands and this usually evokes lots of giggles – more positive interaction. “This Little Piggy Went to Market” and “Round and Round the Garden” are other games that, apart from being enjoyable for the child, help with attachment. Let’s not forget “Peek-a-Boo”. “I Spy” is a favourite with children. Change it a bit so that what you “spy” is something on each other and then you have a game where there is a great awareness of and focus the other. Yes, you’re building attachment.
“I spy with my little eye something that is (a colour) / something that starts with the letter ___.”
Here are more games.
“Air” Hockey with Smarties: Place a Smartie on the table and using bendable straws, move the smart around until one person scores a goal. The person who scores the goal is fed the Smartie by the other. Licorice Race: You and your child each put an end of the same liquorice string in your mouths and chew, chew, chew to see who can eat the most of the licorice string before it “runs out”. ”
Stacked Hands”: Place your hand flat, your child’s hand on top, yours over top of your child’s and then your child’s on top of all that. Remove your hand from the bottom and place it on top of the stack. Then it’s your child’s turn and just keep stacking the hands. For an extra challenge try this with more people.
Hide and Seek: Especially if you are making comments like “I wonder where my wonderful Billy is?” “When I find Sally, I’m going to give her a big hug!” ” I hope I find Joey soon, I love to see his big, bright smile!”
Do not Drop the Donut: Place your finger through the hole in a donut and have your child see how much of the donut s/he can eat before the donut falls.
There are many other games that have the added bonus of building attachment and I’ve listed just a few. I’m sure that you can even make up some of your own.
Do you have any games that you would like to share with the rest of this parent community? Feel free to post them!