Keeping the kids busy is one of the biggest challenges that any busy mom faces, especially busy moms who have a habit of spending a lot of their free time blogging about their family life. How can you entertain your children while at the same time having enough time and energy to make a bit of money online, if not a living? Take a look at these killer ideas.
Give Them A Cardboard Box
Giving children a cardboard box might sound like the ultimate in penny-pinching. But kids don’t have the same material expectations as adults. Most young children will be just as happy to play with a cardboard box as the latest toys or a new bicycle. What’s more, boxes allow them to explore their creativity, pushing them to come up with new and exciting games. It doesn’t matter what state the box ends up in after the playing session – kids can draw all over it if they like – reducing stress for mom and keeping costs down. What’s not to like?
Cable TV services these days come with a plethora of channels. It’s not all cartoons and reality television shows: there are some seriously high-quality educational programs out there these days. If your kids have a thirst for knowledge, the TV can be a great resource. You can introduce them to wildlife in a nature documentary, or educate them about the importance of proper nutrition by watching a documentary on food. It’s amazing what you can learn.
Build A Fort
Did you ever build a fort when you were young? Was it fun? Building a fort is not only free, but it also teaches your children crucial spacial awareness skills. They’ll learn how to crawl through small gaps, construct forts that don’t fall over, and generally have a lot of fun creating new buildings from their imaginations.
If your kid has an artistic streak, then playdough may be the perfect entertainment for a lazy day. You can buy all kinds of tools for your kids to manipulate the dough into interesting shapes, including cookie cutters, plastic knives, and stamps.
Granted, painting is a messy activity. But it is also the sort of thing that can entertain your children for hours, as long as they commit to what they’re doing. Your kids could paint anything, from randomly splatting paint on a sheet of paper to the visage of Henry VIII. Stick to watercolors, if possible, as these are safer and easier to clear up afterward.
Here’s one for a rainy afternoon: puzzles. Puzzles are an excellent way for your kids to think logically and rationally about how to solve problems. Putting a puzzle together is a challenge for young children, but also a valuable skill. Once they learn how to do puzzles, they will carry that skill with them for the rest of their lives. Start with puzzles with fewer than 50 pieces and then work your way up from there. Most kids’ puzzles top out at around 200 parts.
*This is a contributed post.