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Old May 17th, 2018, 06:30 AM   1
Mum (Mom)
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I feel useless at entertaining/educating my 3.5 year old.

I have a dd aged nearly 6, and 2 ds, 3.5 years and 8 months. My oldest son has additional needs. To be concise, he has physio, occupational therapy for fine motor skills, speech and feeding therapy, plus he has recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Life is tough and busy. I do everything I can, but sometimes I feel like we never just have time to just play. Don't get me wrong, his therapy is done through games, but there is so little time for it. I really don't enjoy myself with him most of the time and there is always something else stressful or therapeutic to be doing. We are good with doing physio. He is very outdoorsie and I enjoy taking him to the park or gymnastics. It's indoor activities we struggle with. Time is a factor and also motivation and interest. I really want some ideas for fun activities that he can also learn from. I feel like I never teach him anything or just play together. With my daughter we used to do so much, but my son is very different. I feel like im failing him. I don't know what to do with him half the time. We have so many toys - too many! But every time I look at them with the intention of getting rid of some they seem so good individually and therapeutic. I've bought a lot for that purpose but there's no time to ever play with them. Please any advice anyone?

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Old May 18th, 2018, 07:52 AM   2
petite ping
Mum (Mom)
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Location: Paris, France
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You sound really busy and trying really hard. Have you ever thought of letting him play by himself without a plan. Sometimes you will be surprised what kids can get up to when they are not orientated by an adult. You could encourage him to use his imagination by using toys that act as a medium for their ideas.

Toys like kinetic sand and playdoh or even a box of dried pasta are great for that and has an added sensory value that pleases kids. Both DD1 and DD2 can play for hours with stuff like that even when they are alone. It is a bit of pain to tidy up but it really keeps them occupied. Then there's stuff like kapla and the mosaic. The girls use them to build houses for the paw patrol or spend hours lining stuff up....

Otherwise there is the good old cardboard box. If you have a big one you can make a cabin, if you have a few more, a 3 bedroom appartment. You don't even need to paint or anything - the kids use their imagination.

Do your other kids play with him? You could try yoga cards for kids, they are always a good laugh if when they don't get it right.

You could ask him and DD to help around the house like matching socks and folding clothes or cooking/ baking - DD1 and DD2 like to help me measure stuff or cut up stuff (like mushrooms with table knives).

As for the toys, if they are toys that need adult guidance, in my opinion it's an education tool and not really a toy. If it is not something he will gravitate to naturally, you should put them away and bring them out later for DS2.

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