Contributed by Dr. Alicia La hoz
If you have children, your patience may be tested as you enter into a second day of school closings due to the weather – not to mention having them for the holiday break. And even if you super bundle-up your kids, it’s even too cold to take them out so they can burn off some of their energy. Just like the enchantment of the Christmas toys have begun to loose their entertainment value, your children’s sporadic cute phrases and adorable smiles are not helping to taper off your frustration with their tantrums, boredom, and demands for you to entertain them. Besides popping in videos or letting them spend endless hours on electronics, here are some additional ideas to entertain your kids and to keep your sanity:
- Make edible art. Take out your crackers, cream cheese, peanuts, carrots, jam, jellies, peanuts, etc. and let them decorate crackers making shapes, faces to their hearts desire. Then everyone can eat his or her work of art.
- Take out the board games. Board games can be a fun way to pass a couple hours while also helping to teach your children some helpful skills: to think on their feet, to think strategically, to learn to lose.
- Work on a challenging puzzle.Puzzles are great for the brain and they also provide endless hours of quiet entertainment. The human mind has two separate hemispheres or lobes – right and left-brain – with each one dealing in different functions. Right brain deals with emotions and performs tasks holistically while the left-brain functions in linear fashion. When you are able to use both the sides of the brain, you will find that as you try to put together a jigsaw puzzle, you harness both the brain powers.
- Listen to an audiobook. Having a book read to you is a great pleasure and helps your children with comprehension, listening and your non-readers may even begin to appreciate books. There are great audiobooks (many you can rent for free via your public library) that the whole family can enjoy.
- Dance. Turn on the radio and blast on some fun music and have your kids go at it. Make sure to join them.
- Work on an album. For older kids or adolescents, have them help you put together an album of the holidays, birthday or season. You can even do this electronically in websites like shutterfly.com.
- Happy Crappy App. Download our Happy Crappy app and work on the activities suggested with your kids. Download gloo here and check out Happy Crappy.
Additional Parenting tips:
- For younger children, keep a room clear of toys and have them bring one toy or activity at a time, as this helps them to focus and will play longer with their toy.
- Help your get started on an activity child for a couple of minutes. This will help them become interested in it and they will be less demanding of you throughout the day.
- Instead of just saying “No” to things, try to get in the habit of redirecting them to what you want them to do or how to act.
What other ways or things are you doing to survive being cooped with your children?