Keeping Kids Busy
Indoor Fun for Kids
Sometimes it is hard to get out of the house, whether because of the weather, sick child or sometimes young children can only handle so many outings in a day. After spending the morning out at the park, playing hard sometimes life calls for an easier, more artsy afternoon. As the kids nap, take a rest or eat a snack/ lunch prepare an art festival or other fun activities.
- Creating a 'thank you' card for someone who sent the kids a gift can be fun. Depending on the age the card can be had written, painted or have stickers to represent what your child is trying to say.
- during the holidays a great activity is creating tree decorations with clear plastic bulbs from Michael's just poor in some paint and glitter and swish it around. Also chanukiah are easy enough to make with a board of wood and some nuts from home depot or lowe's
- getting balloons for the dollar store and blowing them up either in a group or individually can add lots of fun-play a game of keeping the balloon from touching the floor
- Get butcher block paper and cut it to shape the top of a coffee table or end table is perfect. Then bring out the paint. Allow the kids to pick their color, and let the creativity begin. I suggest for the younger kids either having an old t-shirt or even letting them go without a shirt. Watch out though! That last choice can lead to body painting!
- play dough and clay are always fun-when working with clay you could use it for a holiday gift, or just ask them to make their favorite character-you can keep these over the years and see the changes
- buy a canvas every six months or once a year and have the kids paint to for wall hangings
- cook! kids love making things in the kitchen depending on the age you might have to do most of the prep work but every aged child enjoys helping in the kitchen
Activities for kids
Whether you are a stay at home parent, nanny or working parent looking for activities over the weekend keeping kids busy and active can be a challenge. We must remember that keeping the kids active, especially outside when possible is the best thing for them. When children are active they are learning, they work on their problem solving skills, muscle development and socialization with others. Kids who feel good about accomplishments they achieve in either play outside or activities inside have higher self esteem. Children that are active outside and play regularly stay away from weight problems which are plaguing the country.
Here is a list of things you can do with your kids that are fun, physical and outdoors:
- visit the zoo
- go to neighborhood playground, either a favorite one or something new to switch it up
- find an orchard or farm to visit and pick fruit/veggies
- go to a local farmers market, buy some fresh fruit and veggies and have a picnic with them
- find a city spray/water park- they are usually free unless you rent them for a party
- play tennis on the patio
- have a water balloon fight
- go sledding in the winter
- have they kids help you rake, shovel snow and work on the garden
- find a river and spend the day swimming and having a picnic
Kids are able to help with lots of things. They enjoy using tools they see their grownups using. Do not hesitate to give them tools which are safe. Let them learn what it is like to shovel that snow, pull out the weeds. By taking advantage of the desire for children to help you can begin to create a healthy way of living and being part of the family. This helps them feel good in the moment and it will help you feel good when they are older and know that they will of course help out with everyday life.
Physical activity and Behavior
Have you ever witnessed a kid acting out at the store,bank or church/synagogue? We all have either witnessed it or been a part of it. When you know you are going to places where kids cannot run freely, especially the young ones try to plan a physical activity before going to that store, library or synagogue. Some churches and synagogues have play structure kids can play on, go a little early and have them run around a bit before expecting them to sit down and be quiet. Before running errands go to the playground and let them run, jump and climb before having to go food shopping.
Adding physical activity before a slow, sit down and be quiet activity will help your child be able to handle the situation and it will relieve some of the stress you feel by constantly reminding the child/children to be quiet or stop messing up the groceries in the card or sit down and read a book in the library. We all need to run errands and live our lives but it can be easier if we just add a little bit of outdoor play time before the regular life activity.