- Family and Parenting
A Great List on How to Get Your Child to Entertain Themselves
I am a creative mother of five, ranging from 9 years to 23 years old. So I know everyone loves to spend every second of everyday with their always polite and wonderful children. NOT. There are times in our ever so busy lives that we as parents just want some time to ourselves. Maybe, a quickie or perhaps you just want to watch a movie without someone talking through it. I also like a quiet bath sometimes and don’t always have time after the kids go to bed. There are also different tricks for different age groups. Do note, I do not recommend leaving young children alone and if you are taking a bath or something have them sit right outside the door or perhaps have a child older than 9 help supervise. Never leave children alone, in baths or outside in a front or unfenced yard. On to the fun list!
Here are the some easy ideas for younger kids, I would say for around three and older depending on the child.
1. The best, I think, is having them color. Not only do you get some time alone you get some awesome art work from your child. Now this can backfire if you do not have the correct colors and pictures available. I buy lots of coloring books but I won’t pay more than $2.00. Most of them are bought at a dollar store. Same with the crayons and backups available. You can ask for a specific picture or two or three with your favorite colors or encourage using their imagination and change the picture by adding flowers or something.
2. Second best idea is to read a book. I know most three year olds can’t read, but they love pictures and making up stories. Ask them to look at the book for a few minutes and then tell you the story when you are ready. Downfall to this is they may be ready much sooner than you are.
3. An easy art project. Say you need to do up some dishes. Your child can sit at the table and cut out snowflakes, or a paper family, maybe even some of their colored pictures and glue them to construction paper. I had my kids help cut out scrap book stuff which made the book even more special to me.
4. Put on music and have them help clean and dance make it fun!
Here are some helpful ideas for older kids, perhaps up to age ten or so.
1. Always my favorite is asking the kids how many times they can run around the outside of the house or apartment building before they get tired. And try to beat previous times.
2. Older kids do still like to color. I get older kids superhero or print pages off online. There are a great many coloring pictures to print for free online.
3. Board games are great for getting some time alone. This doesn’t require a sibling. Have them “challenge” a stuffed animal friend for practice.
4. Chores are great for teaching responsibility and helping get the house clean but they can be fun as well. I assign reading and outside time as chores as well. My kids love to read so it’s like a free pass.
If you have a fussy or clingy child, find ways for them to help you and feel useful. The way you say things matters as well. You can’t just tell a kid go outside and play, you have to say hey if you play outside for 30 minutes I will give popsicles or game time or whatever you feel is right. Yes, this is bribery in a slight form but I’m OK with my kids having popsicles anytime. Especially if it means me getting a needed time out. These are just a few suggestions so get creative and have fun, if you’re not laughing you’re not living.