As much as we love our kids we also need some time out to keep us sane. It is easy to reach for an iPad or the TV remote but guilt plagues us and in our exhausted state, we don't have the mental capacity to find other activities. Not only do we draw a blank on what activities to give them, we also can be faced with our kids pleading with us to let them spend more time watching TV and playing games on their devices.
All families are different and the amount of screen time you allow is certainly not something anyone should be judging you for but if you are trying to find a better balance we have listed a few activities your kids may be able to do on their own.
As a parent I am sure Kmart is one of your favourite places to shop. I recently visited my local store and purchase a few activity books for my kids. You can spend as little as $2 for each book which is an absolute bargain! A few of our favourites are Factivity, Origami Activity Book, Word Search and Zen Colouring Book.
Arts and crafts
Our little miss regularly loses track of time engaging her crafty side and often watches Mister Maker to follow along with his projects. YouTube is another great source for craft inspiration or let your child use their imagination with a collection of everyday household items such as toilet rolls and empty boxes from the pantry.
Trying to get your kids to enjoy reading can be a mission so finding books they love is key. Our kids are hooked on Dr Seuss and Harry Potter right now and makes for no fuss when bedtime rolls around as they look forward to their reading time before going to sleep. A few Dr Seuss titles I purchased recently on Amazon are Scrambled Eggs Super!, If I Ran the Zoo and The Sneetches and Other Stories.
If you are after the holy grail of kids entertainment then lego is one activity that has never let us down. Our kids regularly receive lego as gifts and also opt to spend their birthday money on lego sets such as the Elves or Friends range. Provided they are age appropriate, these sets have kept them entertained for hours as they work through the instruction booklet by themselves putting it all together. Storage can become an issue so either make some space on a shelf in their room to display their masterpieces or invest in a lego mat with a drawstring which has been a great addition to our household.
I recall growing up with only two free to air television stations so if we weren't playing outside, we would be pulling out the boxes of games such as memory, puzzles and dominos. There are so many cool puzzles available now so you shouldn't have any trouble finding a design your kids are interested in or maybe you can suggest that they try to replicate one of those clever dominos videos that are making the rounds.
When the sun is out and the kids have spent way too long on their electronic devices, ordering them to play in the backyard is just what the doctor ordered. There are some things that just don't go out of fashion such as chalk drawings on the driveway, making bubbles, building castles in the sand pit or kicking around the footy. Even better if you have a trampoline so the kids can practice their somersaults or a swing set so they can see how high they can swing. The sunshine and exercise will do them a great deal of good!
These ideas aren't new or innovative but they still appeal to kids so why reinvent the wheel? School holidays are not too far away so if you want to avoid them becoming zombies glued to the TV or constantly harping on about being bored, give some of these ideas a try.
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