Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Keep Your Kids Entertained While Getting Something Done

We all know that we shouldn’t use the TV as a babysitter, but we all do it once in awhile. Some days we just don’t feel like playing Barbie and other days we might just really need to get a load of laundry done. However, some days it seems nearly impossible to come up with anything to keep our children’s attention. When you need a quick, no-mess activity, grab some stickers, crayons, and a paper plate. Sit them at the kitchen table and let them decorate their plate with stickers and drawings. It will amaze you at how long they will focus on such a simple task. You may even be able to unload your dishwasher, without someone hanging on your leg. Easter egg hunts are also fun and entertaining. Hide 20-30 eggs in your child’s room and give them a basket. While they are having fun, sit outside their door and fold some laundry. You will be able to see and hear their delight and still get something accomplished. If your little one insists on helping you, make a pile of socks for them to match. This is a fun task for them and a helpful one for you.

Books on CD are great when you are trying to prepare dinner. Your children can stay in the same room as you, hear a great story, and you can actually cook! Every few weeks I take the kids to the library to pick out some books on CD. They work really well for during “nap” time too. Even if your child won’t sleep, they will at least get some rest. Dance parties are also fun. While you are cooking dinner, turn on some music and let your kids perform for their dolls or stuff animals. Not only does this keep them busy, but it also helps them get out their excess energy so they sleep better at night. My kids are now at the point that they don’t even need me to turn on the music. They just make their own!

My girls also love to do puzzles. Although this is usually entertaining enough, sometimes a little variation makes it even more exciting. When they need a little extra fun, I let them put together a puzzle on the computer. Websites, such as Webkinz and Nick Jr., have online puzzles made for kids ages 3-99. These types of puzzles also help develop fine motor skills and eye to hand coordination. Another variation on puzzles is to let them create their own. Give them a coloring book and crayons to use while you are getting your chores done. When they complete their picture, help them cut their picture into pieces. Then encourage them to put the picture back together. If you want the puzzle to last longer, glue the picture to cardstock before cutting.

How do you keep your children entertained while you get your chores done? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!


jackie said...

This is a great post with a lot of great ideas! I never even thought about books on CDs, and my son LOVES books. That would be perfect for when he goes to bed.

I keep him entertained with puzzles, play-doh, and coloring books. He also loves to draw. If I'm busy and he gets bored of these things, I have him help me with whatever I'm doing. He loves learning new things so even helping me cook, pick up the laundry, or cleaning is fun to him.

Kathy said...

Great ideas! My problem (which isn't a bad problem to have - I know this will change too soon) is that my kids want me to be involved in everything. It's both awesome and incredibly frustrating!

Puzzles sometimes work but we have to have the perfect moods. Drawing works well for us.

I love the bedroom hunt idea!

Helga said...

I'm following you back, sorry it took so long :o)

My Aunt and Uncle just gave my sons books on CD and so far they love them. I think they are a wonderful idea, kids love to be read to and this is better than me being stuck in the room with them reading the same book 200 times a day. Now I only have to read it about 10 times a day instead :o)

Cop Mama said...

What good tips! I love the egg hunt idea, I'm going to try it!

Hattie said...

These are great ideas! I bought some fridge toys from leapster and they seem to keep the baby busy while I cook b/c he has to be in the kitchen when I'm cooking!!!!

Anonymous said...

These are great tips!! I am bad about letting my DD watch a little too much tv some days. But I have been trying to make an effort to cut the tv time down to less and less everyday. We have been working on coloring and puzzles and she even likes to help me do the choors around the house!

Summer said...

What cute ideas! Thanks for the tips! I ran across your blog and it is just presh!
Have a fab day
Summer :0)

Debbie said...

Great ideas.
I love doing the online puzzles! They are fun.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I put water into a bowl with flour and let her whisk it. She can do that forever!

Kel said...

I love everyone's ideas! Thanks for taking the time to share them with me!

Shell said... mean I shouldn't just use the tv? ;)

Puzzles, playdoh, crayons, running around outside.

Mama (Heidi) said...

I frequently fill the sink with soapy water and let my son run the water through funnels and play with cups. In the end he is soaked usually, but will stand their for about an hour.