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Busy Schedule? Here Are 4 Clever Ways to Keep Your Kids Occupied

Busy Schedule? Here Are 4 Clever Ways to Keep Your Kids Occupied.

Too busy for the kids? You are not alone. 

There are times when you must find ways to keep them occupied. You may work at home in addition to managing the house and family. Or, you may just need some downtime. Parents magazine says, “Each day with young kids feels like a week, each week like a month.”

Children are creative, energetic, and curious. They may have short attention spans or seem demanding. But it’s their way of telling you they need engagement and entertainment. The youngest enjoy activities that bore the older ones. But parents have developed ways to strike a balance.
Here are four clever ways parents keep their kids occupied:

1. Post a schedule: When the children are old enough to pitch in, you might plan a menu of activities. It’s an opportunity to teach them collaboration and negotiation. With the right input, you can even make their chores seem fun. The trick to creating a menu that works is sticking to it.

You post the menu where everyone can see it. That means making several copies, including one for their respective rooms and one on the family computer for computer-savvy kids. And, you should reward them for fulfilling their end of the bargain.

2. Run a reading contest: Any plan should include cognitive growth experiences. You can hold a contest for the most pages read. You might connect it to a summer reading contest at your local library or integrate with their school reading assignments.

You should require reading actual books, but you may also encourage the use of audiobooks. After all, your kids live in a different digital world than you, and they can now stream books that interest them. You should remember any contest is driven by significant prizes, so gold stars won’t work.

3. Play games: There are indoor and outdoor games, and any schedule should drive the children outside. You might schedule outside play with other parents turning play dates into outdoor fun. Outdoor play does require oversight and monitoring, but you will find you need that outdoor break, too.

Indoors, children can play table games, but they can also benefit from controlled time playing PVE (player versus environment) video games pitting their focus and imagination against “monsters” instead of unknown unseen players.

For example, the best Nat 4 Summoners War pits children against creative (and not very scary) animated monsters. This game does away with realistic violence encouraging dexterity and strategic decisions.

4. Structure play: Children’s imaginations hunger for stimulation, so you should feed it. With the right stimulation, you can occupy their interest and grow their minds. Left alone, they will find things to do. But you’re better off setting up their opportunities. Plan a day or part of a day for creative play.

One parent creates a “black box” container with items from which they have to create something. It might be crayons, glue, paper, and scissors, but you could include fabrics, buttons, blocks, and small toys. Another parent assigns children to write stories based on some old family photos or pictures cut from magazines. And, yet another has the kids create a play or puppet show with their stuffed toys.
Enjoy the break!

Today’s Parent notes there “come the moments when you want (or need) to pour yourself a cup of tea or glass of wine and read the newspaper.” While busy children are children at their best, it may take some planning and some monitoring, but you can find clever ways to keep your kids occupied.

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