Between sick days, snow days, days off of school, and many other reasons you may find yourself having the kids home all day. Or you may be a stay-at-home mom like myself, constantly trying to find ways to give each day some structure. But without a children’s activity planner you may find yourself asking:
What are we going to do all day long?
I highly encourage you to make a plan ahead of time of different activities for the children to be entertained. Having a plan in place prevents a lot of last-minute scrambling and stress for you and keeps boredom and fights to a minimum for them.
In my post about helping your toddler adjust to a baby, I recommend having a “busy bag” for your toddler when feeding the baby. Having a children’s activity planner definitely helps with coming up with ideas for busy bags. If you would like to read more about that post, check it out here.
You don’t need a ton of money to keep kids occupied. I actually would argue that the opposite is true. Simplicity is best.
Having a written down children’s activity planner handy is also very helpful to any caretakers that come to your house when you’re not there.
I created 6 categories that would help fulfill our children’s natural need for exploration and creativity.
These categories are:
- Outing/Connect With Nature
When I first started reading up on sensory bins, I was super intimidated by the name. But it is so much simpler than we realize.
Do you have a box, storage bin, a bowl? Throw in some crushed cereal and some spoons and a cup and you have a sensory bin!
Of course that is the most basic, no prep sensory bin that there is but I don’t know what your budget is. If you have the time and resources to do more elaborate bins please do!
The main point is that so many things are within arms’ reach to help satisfy this need without having to run to the local craft store. The best site without a doubt to find infinite sensory bin ideas is Pinterest.
We all know that kids are balls of energy, but that gets tough especially when you’re stuck inside.
If you’re up for it, throw the couch cushions on the ground to make a crash pad! Play kids music and let them go wild.
Need it quieter because you live in an apartment or the baby is asleep? YouTube offers a lot of high-quality yoga videos for kids. You may need to repeat these activities multiple times a day to get their wiggles out before bedtime.
Children are like little sponges, aren’t they? My kids’ appetites for learning have really grown in the past few months. It’s been so much fun to really break down what they see, hear, feel, etc.
Take advantage of your local library! Our story time in town is the best; the kids absolutely love it.
If you haven’t ever been to a children’s museum, you seriously should check one out. I think my husband and I enjoy them almost more than our kids do!
This one is tricky nowadays. You obviously have to do what feels safe and comfortable for you. But social interaction is so important for children as it is for adults.
My children on a day-to-day basis usually don’t see other kids. So I definitely strive to give opportunities for them to interact with other kids.
The church we attend has a wonderful nursery. It is such a blessing to have somewhere for the kids to get to know other kids while my husband and I attend worship.
Playdates are always great too. Sometimes you may be the only parent in your current circle so you may have to branch out more. For example, a local recreation department nearby organizes formal play groups for people. It does cost money, but it gets you out of the house!
Children seem to be born with endless creativity, and us adults tend to stifle it (even when we are trying to facilitate it!).
I think the most obvious creative activity is to do painting, but it’s a good one! There is so many ways to spice it up with whatever medium you choose to use.
But don’t forget music! Music is so important and so good for little minds and bodies.
Whatever you decide, I encourage you to do the least amount of “teaching” as possible. The best part about creativity and art is that there’s no rules!
Outing/Connect With Nature
When possible, it is always good to get out of the house. That is especially true with being outside. It’s amazing how much some fresh air will calm a toddler down.
Outside not an option? Even just going to run errands is still good to do. There are days when all we do is go to the carwash and come back home. It’s still enough to shake up the routine.
During colder months, I make an extra point to take the kids to a local nature center. There is usually plenty of interactive exhibits and some live animals too. Plus, they are typically FREE!
I hope this gives you a good starting point to planning your days with the kiddos. Sometimes you are limited by transportation, where you live, climate, budget, or all the above! If that’s the case, I truly get it. It’s not easy so commend yourself on making this huge effort to enrich your children’s lives. But it will pay off in the end because your kids will be exposed to all these varied experiences and skills. What more can you ask for?
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