Hey guys! Nice to have you tune in again. I know you are just chomping at the bit to know what the topic is this time. We have for you our tried and true suggestions for getting your child to put down the remote (or game controller) and do something else for a while! Yay! Awesome!
Okay, truth time. I am not the best person in the world to offer advice on this topic. We do not have cable in our household. I don’t tell you that because I’m all goody goody about it. We just decided we couldn’t afford to have cable about five years ago and never looked back. We don’t miss cable. We get our news and weather from the internet. Shows we “have” to watch are eventually available on DVD, and we do own a DVD player (and television. Don’t be weird.)
That being said, I plop my kids down in front of it daily. I am a stay at home mom. I am a homeschooling mother as well. If you work 9-5, you get a lunch and breaks. Afterwards, you get to go home and presumably stop working (or at least work on something different). If you are a stay at home mom or dad (and do not homeschool), you likely send a kid or two off to school during some part of your day. Me? My job is 24-7. I have both my kids ALL the time. Kids are fighting with each other or bombarding me if I have to pee, I’m the one to get up in the night if the kids need me, and my lunch is usually an after thought when I realize I haven’t eaten and that is way I’m feeling sick to my stomach. While my kids mean the world to me, they are not my entire world. I need some time for myself as a person too. I challenge anyone to listen to as much high-pitched screaming as I do on a daily basis and not want to throw in the proverbial towel. I will let them watch a movie to save my sanity, yes yes yes.
Cheerio Champ gets video games as well as a movie each day. *gasp* The horror! Yes, well…not every day. He earns them. You heard me. He has chores and knows that we expect a certain caliber of behavior from him. If he doesn’t keep up his end of the bargain, too bad so sad. That means if there is a movie that day (and usually there will be at least one), it is mom’s pick and it will be educational. (Sometimes that is a good thing, sometimes not so much. There was a recent “naughty” day in which his movie was a lecture on DNA. While he did take away a bit about protein bonding, he would have much rather watched Frozen).
I do my best to make sure they have other things to occupy their time. They do a pretty good job of keeping themselves busy (when not demanding things from me of course). Even when there is a movie playing, the kids like to run off and do something else before making their way back to whatever was on. I like to think they occupy themselves in part because I have never been one to plan their entire day. Certain things are set in stone (bedtime, lunch, etc.), but outside of that, whatever.
I told you all that so that you would know more about the reputability of your activity planner. Take or leave what I have to suggest to you here, and feel free to comment about some of your favorite busy-making for kiddos!
|Princess Cheerio and her art|
- Art. I completely agree with Leslie here. Cheerio Champ has never been much for drawing or coloring, but he loves to paint. Princess Cheerio loves everything to do with art, but she doesn’t enjoy coloring books. She likes to have a blank sheet of paper to put her scribbles to, and as a result, she has a massive amount of fine motor skills. She is two and regularly holds a writing utensil correctly. I highly suggest leaving out paper, pencils, markers, and crayons where your kiddos can get them, preferably on a little table or something of that nature. Insist that the supplies stay there if you like the current color of your walls, floors, carpets, and furniture.
- Reading. Again, agreeing with Leslie. My kids have loads and loads of books. They spend hours pouring over them. Cheerio Champ can read and has recently picked up chapter books. Princess Cheerio can’t read yet, but she loves turning pages, looking at pictures and words, and having someone else read them to her. Sometimes her bubby even reads a book to her, which melts my heart. Use your local library if you don’t have a lot of books at home, or if they are getting tired of the same books. We get each kid ten books a week. They love it!
- Go outside. This sounds like a no brainer, but many families never do this. You don’t have to plan an activity! When we first moved to our new house, my mother wanted to buy the kids a swing set. I didn’t want to get one just yet, as I hadn’t planned out where my garden or shed or anything was going to be and had no idea where I wanted a swing set placed. She exclaimed, “But what will they DO?” Um…play? Outside? While enjoying nature? Why is this so hard to comprehend? That floors me. I played outside for hours on end as a kid. Granted, I did have a swing set. While all of us kids spent a lot of time on it, I have more memories of chasing each other around, looking for bugs, and exploring. Cheerio Champ spends time in his garden patch, watching birds, and playing with designated outside toys. Princess Cheerio looks at everything. Our neighbors have horses, she loves bugs, and she likes to pick dandelions. During the summer, kids can have fun with water. Snow is great in winter. Leaves to play in during the fall. There are countless things to enjoy.
- Cooking. My kids love to help cook anything at all. Great jobs for them include whisking, adding pre-measured ingredients, slicing things with a plastic knife, counting, and getting out ingredients from the refrigerator or pantry.
- Get them active. Okay, so this may or may not be away from the tv. We have some exercise DVDs aimed at kids that we let them watch, but you can also show them how to do it without the movie help. We also have a home gym, but you don’t need one to share fitness with your kiddos. Any kid will dance along if your Zumba song comes on the radio. Our kids love the trampoline. Jump ropes are super fun and a learning experience. My family had several pogo sticks when I was growing up. Go for a walk or a hike or a bike ride. Try a yoga DVD together (we love Gaiam’s YogaKids series). Play tag! Play Simon Says or dance the hokey pokey. Go swimming or sledding. Have a tickle fight! The sky is the limit (unless you are into hang gliding, and then I guess it isn’t).
|Here, hubby is teaching Princess Cheerio and Cheerio Champ about tai chi posture|
That’s it for me! If you have any topic requests or comments, we would love to hear from you! Comment below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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