Monday, April 8, 2013

Parenting with a Purpose: A Change Refreshes

As a parent, days can get long and I know, I know, sometimes it is just easy to turn on the tv to entertain our kiddos and I don't think there is anything wrong with that, if you are careful about what they watch and limit their screen time it can be helpful.  But, in case you were looking for a few other ideas I wanted to share some things we have tried around here that are cheap, fun and easy.

One of our goals as parents is to inspire creativity in our children and challenge them.  I think relaxed free time is nice, but too much of something isn't the best choice for anyone, and it doesn't take long for free time to turn into mischief.  Having quick ideas on hand to pull out can save your sanity most days, and as my mother in law always says: "A change refreshes."  So when things start to get crazy, change it up, give those little minds a challenge, here are some ideas:

* Make Play dough, HERE are some fun recipes to try, even edible.  And you'll want to check out MY POST on why it is ok to let go and let them mix the play dough colors.  Another option is just get out the set you own, grab cookie cutters, butter knives and if you are able, sit down and create with them.  For older kids do play dough charades (you must guess the phrase/person/action by what they sculpt. And if you find your play dough is dried out, make a Volcano and throw it away when you are done.  Just grab baking soda and vinegar, my son LOVES it.  Click Here to see our Volcano day study.

* Give kids a bubble bath, grab boats or squirt guns to make it interesting.  Who says baths are only before bed?....Break up the day & routine.

* Go on a color scavenger hunt inside or outside, Click HERE to read about the out door one we did.

* Take an unplanned trip to McDonalds play land, local park, the library.

* Have some shaving cream fun.  Just squirt it all over the table and let them go at it, be sure to have them wear short sleeves.

* Grab a coat, umbrella or just throw on shoes depending on the weather and go on a walk, snow, rain or shine.

* Fun with dried beans or rice.  Grab casserole dishes, fill the bottom with beans or rice and throw in cups, toys and funnels, they have the best time sifting and hiding items.

* Bubbles are always highly entertaining.  You can do bottles and let them go around blowing them, or growing up I did table bubbles with straws a little water and dish soap.  Just be sure they don't suck up the mixture, yuck!!

* If it is warm, let go and just give them a water hose, endless entertainment!

* Grab your phone or tablet and make videos of your kids "performing." Singing, reading a book, dancing, doing tricks. Kids love to watch themselves on video, over and over.

* Put on funky music and have a dance party.

* Build a fort.

* Make cookies, click HERE for my tips on easy & fun baking together.

Really, anything you can do to break up the day, the tv watching, the boredom.  Have activities on hand to pull out or direct your kids to any time things are getting stir crazy.  Just a little planning and creativity can go a long way.

I would love to know if you have tried any of these, or if you do, let me know how it goes?  What activities do you like to do with your kids to break up the day?

See how other bloggers are encouraging Intentional Living: