The twenty-four hours we have at our disposal every single day of our lives do not seem to stretch at all, and they even appear to shrink, to the point that we might often think that days have only 15 hours, if not less.
Time management is an art, science perhaps, that few of us are able to master, although we all try in different ways to put a leash on it, to tether it; but time is a slippery eel hard to get hold of.
Priorities might be the answer to our woes regarding time. What is important in your life? Most will reply: “My family,” and by “family” we usually mean our children and grandchildren. They are our top priority in life. Children need coaching, affection, tender love and care… and that means time. And when we spend an hour with them we relax, enjoy ourselves, feel positive, laugh, giggle, and smile at their ways and quips. And we forget our woes. We also learn from them, mind you.
Let me propose some games to play with our children, the old fashioned way of interacting, of teaching them, of exercising the lost art of togetherness. Put the new technological gadgets away for once, and let us play, let us be the homo ludens we are all at heart.
Also read: 5 Reasons to really appreciate grandparents
These games are a wonderful opportunity to practice a first and second language.
- Fifteen questions. The child or adult thinks of a person, writes the name down –to prevent possible cheating- and the questions begin. The answer can only be “yes” or “no.” The parent will correct the grammar or even teach how to ask a question. The mystery person may be a family member, a singer, a baseball of soccer player.
- Memory game. On twenty index cards we will write verbs, nouns, prepositions in the second language. One player will try to retain those words. The player will close her eyes and the other player will shuffle the cards and remove one. The cards will we set on the table for display and the player must remember which word is missing. On the second round, two cards will be missing. In the third round, four, and so on. This is more fun than meets the eye. This game has many language possibilities.
- Making up sentences. On index cards we will write verbs, pronouns, negatives, possessives… and each player will try to put them together to make as many sentences as she can. This has many possibilities.
- Question asking. Again we write several verbs we wish to teach the children on index cards. Each child must take one card and ask a question using the verb written on it. The other player must answer.
- Word guessing. Names of objects will be written on cards. Each player will give a definition of it –in the second language- and the other players must guess what it is.
The idea is to spend time together and strengthen family bonds, which are for life. Investing in time with your children and grandchildren will always bring in happy returns. The family that plays and spends time together, stays together.