I think it is so important for a kid to get to “be a kid”. I always had the opportunity to have fun and just play when I was little. This unstructured free form of play helps children to be creative thinkers and problem solvers. Sometimes I get so caught up in “life” I feel like we aren’t doing enough. These are some things I try to incorporate into our daily lives so we don’t get too bored!
1. Role Play/Pretend: I want my children to be imaginative and creative. We will often role play or pretend. I really enjoy getting down to their level to get to know them better. Some of the best thing I remember from my child years were pretending to me somewhere else or be someone else. It is fun to see what my kids come up with!
2. Cooking/Preparing Food: My children always want to help when we are cooking and preparing food. I think it is great to let them help. They love the quality time they spend with us doing something useful, it keeps them occupied and what better way to learn than by doing!
3. Cleaning: I always try to make cleaning into a game. This gets my kids excited to help and they often end up doing much more than if I just tell them what to do. My daughter (5) loves when I give her two cups. One will be filled with something such as marbles and she has to pick up something for each marble and then move it into the empty cup. When the first cup is empty she will come and tell me and is so excited to show me what she has got done. It makes her feel like a big girl and is fun at the same time.
4. Getting Dressed: My kids are not the best at picking out clothes ;o) Everything is always mismatched and they look ready for Halloween. On laid back days I will let them wear the things they picked out. It doesn’t hurt anyone and that is what they like. On more important days, I will lay out a couple outfits and let them choose. This gives them the decision (but they don’t pick out something scary!)
5. Reading: I think it is SO important for kids to be read to each day. Sometimes it is hard to get the kids to settle down and seems more like a chore. On these days we will go cuddle up in bed or get the blankets out and make a big bed on the floor. This gets them more excited to read and when we lay there they calm down and want to listen to the story.
6. Errands: My husband and I will often pick one of our children to get to go with us to go places like the store or the post office. With all three children it is usually a big headache. When we let one kid come they usually behave better and feel special. There is no fighting over who gets to turn the key or get out first! We all really enjoy this one on one time.
7. Everyone Helps: It is never any fun when it feels like you are doing something all by yourself. When we are having a hard time we like to get the whole family working on it, such as cleaning the living room. It goes by faster and is more fun with someone to talk to!
8. Music: We have musing going in our home a lot. This can be us singing or playing a cd. It is fun to dance around and just let loose. I admit it, I have even jumped on the bed with them!! :o) Music always cheers us up no matter what else is going on.
9. Outside Play: We go outside everyday! I think we would all live out there if we could. Sometimes we will read or do homework outside. This is a good way to get the kids in some exercise and who couldn’t use a little sun!?!
10. Bed Time: We like to make bed time “family time”. We all help the kids get pajamas on, they like to pick a book or two out and we also like to use this time to ask how their day went. I think they enjoy bedtime a little more knowing they get to spend some time with mom and dad. When asked, OK that would be every night, we will time the kids while they get jammies on, brush their teeth etc. They love to race! A little secret I learned from my dad- You can tell them they same time over and over and they don’t notice for a long time! ;o)
These are just some of the things I do to help my kids have a little more fun! These don’t cost and they are not hard to do. I would love to hear your ideas. I am always trying to squeeze a little more fun into our lives.
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