Top Tips For Dad – Easy Ways To Be More Involved @ Home and Playgroup

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Lately I’ve been thinking about all of the wonderful things my husband – or ‘dad – does with, and for, the kids.

Top Tips For Dad

And at the top of my list is his playfulness – his ability to ‘show and do’ rather than ‘teach’.

Dad knows how to play

Last night he managed to involve all three boys in hanging a bathroom mirror. One found the ‘level’, another sorted through screws to find two that matched and the third got the drill.

I stopped myself from giving any sage ‘mother’ advice about whether they should help at all. It’s such a ‘grown up’ job for such small kids – isn’t it?

It might have taken a bit longer to get the kids involved but the mirror is ‘on’ the wall. And the kids are super proud of themselves. So, well done dad!

Then they tidied up and moved on to some rough play as a reward for a job well done.

Dad simultaneously tickled and wrestled all three boys until they were so tired they fell into bed.

Of course I was on the sidelines wondering if the wrestling was too energetic; would someone get hurt; would they even go to sleep after all that fun?

But I stopped myself from interfering and trusted ‘dad’ knew what he was doing. He did and all was quiet in the house within minutes of the boys being put to bed.

Keeping mum

Learning to be quiet when ‘dad’ is being dad is the easiest thing to advise and the hardest thing to master.

After many years of sandwiching myself between the kids and ‘dad’ I just let them do it their way.

It’s not my way but letting a ‘hands on’ dad actually be ‘hands on’ can have many rewards (one of my top sellers is the kids now regularly call out for him at 4am for cuddles after a bad dream, leaving me snoring away in bed!).

And if you’re ‘expecting’ a little one soon or you’re already the proud mum or dad of a newborn – here are some of my top tips for getting ‘dad’ involved with the kids at home and playgroup from the get go:

Here are the tips for dads!

At home:

  1. Get dad involved right from the start, while you are pregnant. Attend ante-natal and exercise classes together. This will give you both the opportunity to learn about your new baby and don’t forget to encourage him to take an active role in the birth!
  2. Let dad have time alone with your baby/child. His way may not be the same as yours BUT it’s probably just as good, if not better.
  3. Encourage dad to take his baby/child out for walks or regular trips to the park or swimming pool.
  4. When dad’s bathing baby or reading a story don’t interfere, let them enjoy themselves together.

At playgroup:

  1. Encourage dads to attend playgroup on their ‘day off’.
  2. Invite dads to social events, meals out, picnics and barbecues. One playgroup has started a regular Friday afternoon session (5pm to 7pm) so dads can come along on their way home from work …
  3. Explore having a weekend session once a month so dads can attend with their baby/child and meet their little one’s new friends!
  4. Include dads in your playgroup Busy/Working Bee.
  5. Invite dads to make equipment and repair toys and remember to send a thank you or shout out on social media for their contribution.
  6. Read stories to the kids in which dads are involved in everyday activities and household chores.

And if you’re looking for more Play Ideas for home or playgroup you can search our online catalogue now or call the Hotline on 1800 171 882 and ask to speak with a Development Officer.

Kath is a mum of three who works part time and enjoys writing and catching up with other stressed out mums in her spare time. Usually she’s racing against the clock to make her boys (+ husband) arrive anywhere on time and feels quite the talented mother when two out of the three make it out of the house with shoes on!