A friend of mine mentioned to me this weekend that she is running out of things to keep her 2 boys entertained when TV is off limits. I couldn't help but come up with a list of ideas in my head. As someone that loves crafts I completely feel that kids should start crafting at an early age. It teaches them to use the imagination and creativity. While crafting is great there are tons of other things you can do with them from baking to even just reading a book. Its never to early to teach your kids to love reading! Here is a list of the ideas I came up with to keep kids busy and learning:
Crafting : Oriental Trading has tons of great crafting projects that you can go with your kids. It all ranges in prices but sometimes you can find some great art projects that are on sale. Sometimes you don't even have to order it, just get the idea and you might be able to find similar things around the house that you can turn into a great art project (Oriental Trading). You might even want to try current catalog. Sometimes they have fun things for kids (Current Catalog). If you don't want to order things online you can always check out your local craft shop.
Reading: Find a book to read to them this will help develop their language skills and maybe even teach them new words. If you are feeling adventurous try acting out the book. Let them dress up and pick the character they want to play, get the whole family involved. Definitely a great thing to do to help develop their imagination. If you do this right before bed time it might even get them to sleep faster by them using up all their energy!
Cooking: With kids sometimes Google can be your best friend. If you go onto Google and search for kid-friendly recipes your bound to find more links then you know what to do with! There is even a recipe to make play-dough. When you are making dinner for the family you might even have something that you can put your child to do that will help you out and get them involved. You would be surprised to find how happy they feel knowing that they helped create something! Kraft has a great section on their website called "Kids can Cook" (http://www.kraftrecipes.com/yourkids/kids-in-the-kitchen/generalsafetyrules.aspx) you can go there for some great ideas to start off with.
Board Games: When you go to the store there are tons of board games to play with kids. The best part is the games have the age range right on the box so there is no guess work. This is an easy way to keep kids entertained without too much thinking. I remember as a kid we had game night on Fridays and we would sit down as a family and play a board game. Family time should be fun and its up to you to make it fun! If choosing a game in-store seems a little daunting. Take a few minutes to go online and research what other moms suggest. Store websites like Target,Walmart, and even Toys R' Us have product reviews from people who have purchased the item already to help guide you to the right decision.
Do yourself a favor and don't use the TV as a babysitter. The best thing for you and your child is to spend time together. Make memories that will last and enjoy them while they are young. We all know how fast they grow up. Doesn't it feel like just yesterday that we were in their spot.