How to Keep the Children Entertained (Part Two)
Join in their play
Sometimes, I join in or participate with my children while they play. Playtime gets their creative juices going, and their imagination runs wild. Their play ranges from everything from a tea party to den making. Kids often need to be reminded of what they have, and sometimes you might have to kick start the play, but it’s important that you encourage them.
Make use of the outdoors
When the weather allows, imaginative play sometimes gets taken outside and the ‘minibeast’ and dirt are parts of the main characters of play. In our household, the kids know that they can only play with their tablets from Friday afternoon/evening (after we have completed all of our activities) until Sunday. The exception is during a home school break or when mummy is very poorly. There is very limited TV time as well.
Have a good and accessible setup
In our home, the dining area is usually set up so that my kids can easily access arts and craft tools and resources. My daughter goes through at least three papers per day, every day of the week. They are usually making, drawing or writing something which taps into their creativity.
Have a variety of resources
My kids have one folder each, in which they keep the best of their work that a lot of thought and time went into as well as all their certificates. So, needless to say, my dining table always looks crazy. We also have a large whiteboard that my children use the bottom half of as they cannot reach the top (that’s the bit I use). We have pencils, markers, crayons, colouring pencils, cards, paper, glue, paint, puzzles, lollipop sticks, pipe cleaners and cheap arts and crafts stuff which can be found at the pound shop.
It’s okay to be bored sometimes
It is okay to be bored from time to time; it is not the end of the world. I tell my kids that they can always find something to do or I set them a task to keep them busy. Often, I get them to write about something that they find interesting. One day when we were in town, we had just left the library after meeting with other home school families. Unfortunately, we witnessed a bike robbery gone wrong. There was shouting “stop him, my bike” and someone being knocked off a bike and the thief running off. Then, cheering and thank you followed. Wow, this was better than a movie and it was real life, the kids asked a lot of questions and when we got home, I told them to write and draw what happened. This was an eye-opening experience for them.
Get children writing
I remind my children to use describing words so that we are continuously learning and applying adjectives to our writing. Another activity was when they wrote a little book talking about everything they did over the summer holidays, their favourite activity and what they wanted to do in the autumn.
This helped me plan for the autumn months and meant that the activities met the children’s interests. As you can see, I didn’t take on educating my children as an easy task. It’s a positive challenge through which I am learning and growing with them. We have our ups and downs, but what matters is that we are living the life that we want.