Whether you’re a happy homemaker or you work at an outside job, chances are good that integrating fun and educational activities into your child’s day has become something of a thorn in your side. There’s no shame in admitting that it’s difficult to constantly invent new and exciting ways to entertain your kids. After all, they have a lot more stamina than you and it sometimes seems like “why” is the only word they know. But they are like little sponges sucking up information and you want to encourage them to pursue as much knowledge as possible while they’re primed for learning. So here are a few tricks to keep you going when it seems like you’ve exhausted every idea.
- Try activities outside the house. For example, museums and zoos are a great place for kids to experience a new environment, and it can be a nice break for you. Let someone else do the teaching. Petting zoos offer interaction for your child while a natural history museum can spark their interest in dinosaurs, insects, or things that go bump in the night (overnight adventures!). And almost all types of museums offer activities for kids. You can also look into activities and outings offered at a local community center. A hike or picnic with other moms could help your children acclimate to other kids (as well as offer you a chance at some adult conversation). And guided hikes specifically catering to kids will often include education on indigenous animals and local flora and fauna.
- Look for early learning classes. In addition to mommy and me type classes you may want to check out the YMCA or local community center for lessons in music and art, or physical activities like karate and swimming for all ages. Even at a young age, your child can begin to learn skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. And maybe you can squeeze in a little nap!
- Check out the Internet. If arts and crafts is your thing, but your kids refuse to make one more macaroni painting, look for some other options online. There are a multitude of websites dedicated to activities that will work on both your child’s motor skills and expand their creativity. And most of them are easy enough even for parents who claim to lack a creative bone in their body.
Like many aspects of parenting, there is absolutely no reason you have to do it on your own. We all want to be super-mom, but who needs that kind of pressure? Don’t hesitate to take a helping hand. While you benefit from a much-needed break, your kids will enjoy avenues of learning that you may not have been able to provide on your own, and really, a well-rounded education is worth the effort.