Today I’m going to branch out and talk about something I have only been planning for a relatively short period of time: activities with my girls. For the first few years of my career as a SAHM I used to let my time with the kids be almost completely led by what they wanted to do. This does work in the short run, but I noticed each girl would always ask to do the same activities over and over. Madeline could paint all day long, and Clara could have a dance party every afternoon. As much fun as these activities are, there are so many fun (and simple) things the girls and I could do that will help them learn new things about the world around them.
To start, I spent some time on Pinterest researching activities to do with toddlers and preschoolers.
I was completely overwhelmed.
There are so many options it almost shut down my desire to plan activities for the girls.
Fortunately I stumbled on a few very helpful websites for easy kids activities. First was The Stay At Home Mom Survival Guide. The activities are usually done with materials you already have in your house, are quick to put together, and keep my girls’ interest for a good chunk of time. Another website I loved was Intentional by Grace. This blogger sets up an early version of homeschooling for her young son, so most of the activities are educational.
My favorite go-to activities to do with my girls are:
- Magnetic letter matching
- Nature walk and scavenger hunt
- Read books
- Sing songs, especially ones with hand motions
- Do chores together
- Work in the garden
- “Wash” dishes
- Make Play-doh letters
- Make Play-doh animals
- Have a tea party
- Go “grocery shopping” in our spare bedroom
- Color coloring books
- Build block towers
- Build things with Legos
- Play with our princess Lego sets
- Pull the pillows and cushions from the couch onto the floor and jump on them
- Play musical instruments
- Paint toenails
- Cut or rip paper to make confetti
- Play Simon says
When I sit down to plan my week on Sunday evening, I write down two different activities to do with the girls each day. Some days we go on a play date or go to library programs. These would count as an activity for that day.
I find that during the course of my day my brain moves very quickly, and I can’t stop to think of something creative and fun to do with the girls. If I have a couple of activities written on my to-do list for the day, I can quickly get something together that occupies, entertains, and even teaches the girls.
What do you do with your children while you stay at home/work at home? Do you plan the time you spend teaching your kids each day?