From Monday to Friday, since both of us are working and Kah Yen goes to full day childcare, the only family time we have is after dinner. It is usually between 8pm to 830pm, latest by 845pm I will have to rush her to shower and bedtime routine starts.
Usually it is a time of free play. We don't do any teaching of ABC or 123 at home. She is not even three years old after all. I don't think I will do any coaching or schooling at home till she goes to primary school. For now she has spent the whole day in school, there is a lot of structured learning there. In fact too much for my taste, I always thought they should have more playing than learning for children of this age.
TV is totally out. We try not to switch on TV when Kah Yen is awake. Not that we are trying to be Nazi parents, we have learnt out lessons a tough way. We have never let her watch TV for the first two years, then slowly Daddy felt guilty and brought back DVDs from the library occasionally, Sesame streets, Finding Nemo and Madagascar. They are all fun to watch, the content are not bad at all. In fact we enjoyed watching together with her and seeing her all excited. BUT, we are almost never able to switch off the TV and get her to shower without a meltdown from her and much scolding from us.
It usually takes me two minutes to get her to the shower room, but if we watch TV, it takes fifteen minutes. TV is a devil.
Most of the time Kah Yen plays with her toys, and we try to join in, from cooking to building blocks to Lego to picnic. Sometimes I switch on the kiddy music, and together we sing and dance to our hearts' content. Almost every other day we read a few pictures books together. I did not set aside reading time with her every night like what we did in the past, since now her bedtime is getting later, we usually do with the kiddy bible before lights off. What makes me glad is Kah Yen will almost always pick a book or two towards the end of her play to ask us to read to her. It is also a perfect way to end playtime and transit to shower.
Daddy loves to engage Kah Yen in drawing and coloring, especially when seeing her not able to focus playing with her toys. Drawing and coloring is a perfect way to train her attention span, of which she is quite lacking from our observation.
I'd usually leave the two alone when they are doing drawing and coloring, I love to watch them from the side.
Her coloring skills has improved a lot as you can see from the Nemo and the Seaweed, she is able to color within the lines finally. Dory is colored by Daddy.
Sometimes I am not sure if we have done enough with her, for her learning and development. Especially I have friends with children of her age signing up for music classes, mandarin classes and doing a lot of home schooling. But that thought only came to my mind for a second then to my relief, it is gone. I know exactly what we want to give her for now - our time, our undivided attention, and our love, lots of love. Our family time, though it is very short, is the best part of my day, and I know for sure it is Kah Yen's too.