Spending time together engaging in enjoyable activities does much to create and cement a bond between a foster child and a foster carer. These activities need not cost much, or anything at all. It is all about finding age-appropriate activities for the children in your care that can be enjoyed by all. Below we have provided you with some activities to get you started.
Just as your own children help out with chores around the house, you need to teach these useful skills to the foster children in your care. It helps them to be independent and to feel like a member of the family. Depending on how old a foster child is, you can start with them laying the table for meals.
Even very small children love baking. Biscuits in animal shapes and decorated are the ideal baking activity to do together. Set up all the ingredients and let the child do as much as they are capable of, while giving guidance and praise. Always take things out a hot oven yourself unless the child is a teenager. Burns should be avoided, but make sure you can apply first aid in case of an accidental scalding or injury.
Children can also help with meal preparation. Remember to teach hand and hair hygiene when working with food. Use this as a time to bond with an older child. Encourage them to make choices about meals so that they learn autonomy and to trust their own opinions.
If you have a fairly large garden, children will get a lot of enjoyment playing outdoors. Make sure that they are safely fenced in and adequately supervised. The best way to do this is to join in with their games and take the opportunity for bonding with them. Outdoor picnics are a firm favourite with most children.
If you have a small or non-existent garden, you can take foster children to the park to get exercise and fresh air. You should aim for one to two minimum outdoor sessions a day as children need to remain active. You can replace one of these with combined indoor exercising or physical games.
When the schools are on break, considering taking your children and foster children on a camping trip, bird watching, or hiking. Choose trails that are suitable and manageable for the children. Speak to your social worker at orangegrovefostercare.co.uk about taking holidays with a foster child.
Encourage children to take up school sports they find enjoyable as well.
Foster children may have a reading ability that is below their peers due to disruptions and the circumstances of their primary homes. If you can interest your foster child in reading books together, you can allow them to read a few pages too. This will increase their reading ability, which is critical for all subjects at school. You can make a set joint reading time after school every day or at bedtime.
Enjoying creative hobbies and activities with a foster child will provide yet another opportunity for bonding. This can involve painting, drawing, making puppets and doing a puppet show, or any creative endeavour you can think of. Creativity can be found in any person, although sometimes it takes time to find the one that appeals to a child the -most.
Whatever activities you decide to try, be patient and join in too. Remember that foster children are in need of love, stability, and enrichment so make this a routine. Activities are great times for bonding.