Saturday, August 6, 2011

10 Ways to Keep Kids Busy, Part 1

As a classroom teacher, I have summers and holidays off to spend with my children.  I love being at home with my kids and enjoy finding activities to keep them entertained while offering opportunities for learning.  I have found that when my children are occupied, engaged and excited about what they are doing, I have fewer problems with behavior and listening.  My experience in early childhood education has led me to believe that young children learn best through play and child-centered activities, so I do my best to offer my children this type of learning experience.  I prefer activities that are inexpensive or free and do not require a lot of preparation on my part.  In this series of articles, I will offer inexpensive thoughts and ideas for how to keep your children busy and excited about learning.
1. Local parks--We visit the park at least once a week to play on the playground, take a walk, watch people playing sports or have a picnic.  During the summer, our local parks offer excellent free educational programs for children.  We have seen everything from puppet shows to magicians.  Our town even offers free outdoor family movies once a week during the summers.  Some programs are offered year round for the entire family.  Not sure what your town offers?  Look up your city's website and find the parks section to see what programs you might be able to find.  If you can't find great activities in your town, try another town near you.  We often attend festivals and activities at a large park in the next town over.

2. Local library--Another great place to find children's programs is the local library.  Our library offers storytime throughout the school year, as well as special shows during the summer.  Even if your library does not offer programs, this is still a great place to take your children.  Give your children a chance to pick out books to check out and spend time reading in the library.

3. Crafts--My daughter loves crafts and will often ask when we will be doing our next craft.  I use lots of different resources to find great craft activities for kids.  Blogs such as Come Together Kids and Skip to My Lou offer many different projects, some of which cost little to nothing to create.  I also enjoy using Pinterest to find crafts and activities for my children.  You can see the ideas I have added to my pinboard here

Stay tuned for more great ways to keep your kids entertained!

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