Are you about to lose your sanity because you’re home with kids all day? Whether it’s due to being a Stay-at-home-mom, Work-at-home-mom, or because the kids are home on school vacation, being home with the kids all day can be trying for parents.
I’ve put together a list of ideas that just may help you stay sane and keep things running smoothly when you’re home with kids. (This post was first published in it’s original form as a guest post for 2 Crochet Hooks.)
Have a routine – Kids tend to have a better attitude when they know what to expect. I recommend having a loose, not rigid, daily and weekly routine as a way of setting some flexible guidelines for the days ahead. A weekly routine could include things such as outings on certain days (library, playdate, church, zoo, playground,etc…) and chores, family time, and other things on other days. A daily routine could include things such as morning chores, quiet time, outdoor time, meals, etc…) If children know ahead of time, what their day will look like, it should go more smoothly. Incorporating a visual calendar would be helpful too. We like this one. – (Affiliate link – see disclosure statement.)
Do a chore together – The goal here is to keep kids occupied, and teach them to be helpers in the family, while you get at least one chore done around the house. Even toddlers can get involved in helping out, just don’t aim for perfection. Little kids can help with laundry by matching socks or folding washcloths. Or give them a baby wipe to dust baseboards while you dust up high. For years, my daughter’s favorite chore has been “cleaning” the sliding doors with a squirt bottle of water and a Norwex cloth.
Get involved – getting kids involved in programs around town helps them focus their energy on meeting goals and achieving accomplishments. Check your local library, bookstores, craft stores, church, YMCA, and Parks and Rec to see if there are any programs that would be right for your kids.
Get out of the house – We all know that when kids are cooped up for too long, they become a little stir crazy. Avoid that by planning family outings. You can have regular outings (such as trips to the park), but change things up periodically by going on a different type of outing. Some examples include a nature hike, treasure hunting at yard sales, water park, zoo, beach, children’s museum, bike ride around the neighborhood, etc…
Plan indoor fun – Due to the weather, the kids are going to be stuck indoors at times. Have some activities ready for just such occasions. Here are some suggestions. Have a dance party (turn on iTunes, Pandora, Youtube, a CD, or even just the radio and boogey down), build a domino chain, make a blanket fort, have a tea party, do a craft, play a board game, bake cookies, put on a puppet show, or explore busy bags created in advance. Follow me on Pinterest for lots of ideas like these.
Incorporate the arts – Keep the children stimulated by providing opportunities to explore the arts. This can be as simple as doing some tape resist art or free form painting. (Check my Pinterest board of art activities for kids.) Craft and home improvement stores often offer projects that kids can make. You can also check your local theaters to see if they’re offering any live performances for kids.
Plan an excursion – Whether it’s a trip to the dinosaur exhibit at a local museum or a trip out of state, get your children involved in the planning and preparation of the event. You can do online research together about what you’ll see, check the weather to decide what to wear/pack, and create some sort of countdown for it. Sometimes the anticipation is half the fun.
Schedule in quiet time – This is a lifesaver! School age children may not need to take naps anymore, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need time to rest. Everyone will feel better if the kids get some quiet time everyday. The children will be rested, and mom can have some time to herself to get stuff done (or just put her feet up). Quiet time will look different for different age groups. It might include sitting and reading in a comfy space, playing quietly with puzzles and such in the bedroom, or coloring, drawing, or writing, etc… If quiet time becomes part of your daily routine, children will know to expect it and not fight it, and you, the parent, will hopefully reap the rewards of a calmer environment.
Use these ideas as basic guidelines to help you stay sane when you’re home with kids. Be sure to share them with other parents and caregivers you know.
And if the kids have too much pent up energy check out these posts.