With the Jewish holidays behind us and school days off ahead, parents are finding themselves with time on their hands, the kids at home and not a lot to do.
Parents are wondering, “How do I keep my child busy and happy while also keeping my sanity?” With a little planning and some super-fun activities, you can expand your child’s creativity and constructively pass the time. You’ll also teach them new skills and bond with your kids all in the comfort and warmth of your own home. To get you started, here are some ideas to jump-start playtime:
Spot On: If you are fresh out of ideas, think about the lessons your child learns at school that hit the spot. Recently, at a local pre-school, they learned about the colorful artist Yayoi Kusama. The children’s classroom was exploding with a rainbow-colored world of dot art everywhere. Dot stickers are readily available at your local craft stores or online and you can transform anything at home into a piece of art, Kusama style. Have your child use the colorful dot stickers to decorate a cup, paper plate, placemat, or even their school backpack. Kids can also stick the dots onto paper and create animals, their names, or a dot design.
From Fairylands to Forts: A child’s mind is exploding with imaginary friends and magical places. Whether climbing Mt. Everest after breakfast or jumping over the unicorn river, the latest playroom décor item includes covered foam shapes like the ones from Nugget Comfort. These foam, great-big structures are perfect for imagination play. Building tunnels or tents and mazes or bridges is only the beginning of exploration with your child. Use Facebook as a resource for Nugget Comfort groups full of enthusiasts posting different ways to build your cushions, ideas to engage your children and create endless amounts of fun. https://nuggetcomfort.com
Picture This: Children as young as three can learn how to take a photograph. Check out the child-friendly digital cameras like the one from Kidamento, a kid-cool camera company. Make a list of things to search for and have your child take a picture of everything they find on the scavenger hunt and, instead of collecting the items in a big pile, this camera automatically prints it out or can digitally display it. This is a great way to keep the house clean and succeed in turning something ordinary into extraordinary. www.kidamento.com
Appily Ever After: Sometimes moms are just so tired, they rely on technology to pass the time. There are great ways to utilize technology to your advantage and to calm your child while you sit down for a few minutes to recharge. These educational-based apps will teach your children matching, colors, counting, sequencing, and more. Some favorites include PBS Kids, ABC Mouse, Learning Games and 123 Toddler.
LOVEVERY Thing About This: If you shy away from technology for your little ones and prefer Montessori-style, the LOVEVERY subscription boxes include everything you could dream of, making it very easy with pre-selected developmental and age-appropriate toys. These boxes will peak your child’s curiosity and keep them engaged for hours, igniting a multi-sensory experience. There is no doubt this box will teach your child to engage with toys in a unique and meaningful way. https://lovevery.com
Making Sense: And if all else fails, here’s a last-ditch effort. Create a DIY sensory bin and throw a bunch of toys, Play Doh, sand, or other objects in a large container and have your child bury, sort, build and create. They’ll love making a mess in the box. Guaranteed fun for restless children.