How You Can Organize Fun Activities for Your Kids at Home
Watch and listen to Ann McKitrick give suggestions for how to organize fun activities you can play with your toddlers while at home.
Kid Friendly Activities
In the days and weeks to come, I’m going to be sharing with you some ways that you can play with your young children to get you through this difficult time. Maybe you are at home with your children, where normally they were going to childcare or to a sitter while you went to work. For those of you who are normally stay-at-home parents, you might need some fresh ideas on ways that you can manage your time since you can’t go anywhere right now.
The Importance of Routine and Schedule
I think it’s really important to mention that routine and schedule is very important for very young children. It’s important for all of us, but it’s especially important for infants, toddlers, and threes. We need to keep things very predictable for our children so that they know that we are there, that we’re taking care of them and that we are going to provide a great environment for them in the confines of our home right now.
Let’s think about each stage of the day, from wake-up time, meals, playing, naps, all of those things. Map out what time you think that all of these things would happen. You probably already figured this out for your kid and they don’t change very much. They get hungry and sleepy at the same time each day. What you do with that in-between time is what I’m asking you to think about when creating a schedule around on what you’re going to do at certain times.
One thing you might want to try is a visual schedule. We use this in preschool classrooms, or in early childhood programs, where we have pictures of what is coming next. The children can look at that and know what’s going to come next, which gives them a sense of security. I know that I like to know what’s coming next for in my day.
How to Organize Toys
The first thing I’d like to suggest is that you rotate out your toys, if you’re not doing that already. Most homes have a lot of toys, and a lot of pieces to all of these toys. Take some time to organize your toys, pull about half of them out, or maybe even two thirds, so that you will have a pretty minimal amount. What you’ll see is that children will play with them more if there’s not so much to choose from. After about a week, you can rotate those toys. The ones that you have out, put them away, bring out some new ones. And that way it just creates a little bit more interest for children when they don’t have the same things out every single day.
Another thing to think about is that any toy that has a battery or has only one function, will be the most tossed aside. Oftentimes, they are very captivating for a little while, but then children lose interest because there’s only one thing that you can do with those toys. You want to find some open-ended materials that you can put out. This might be:
- a bunch of scarves
- empty boxes
- pasta and straws
- pots and pans
- wooden spoons and plastic bowls
Those kinds of things that you have in your kitchen, you can just pull out those and let them play with that while you are doing something in the kitchen, like preparing a meal or cleaning up or something.
These are just a couple of suggestions for now. I hope that is helpful and we will have more to come.