Seven fun-chores that will keep your kid entertained and productive
By Waithera Mbuthia
Well, the long holiday we never asked for continues. We’ve literally ran out of ways to keep the kids occupied. By now we have mad respect for their teachers, personally I have. We don’t know the kids anymore, every day we are solving fights among them, it’s either this or that. You just can’t keep up with their energy level. Don’t forget their eating- I have no words here.
But we are the parents for a reason. We have all the solutions to their problems- at least that’s what they think. So, below are a few ideas, like we promised, we'll help you keep them busy, as well as help regulate their screen time:
Create an idea box
Brainstorm ideas with your children about what they can do to overcome boredom. Write down their suggestions, and put them in an empty box. Then, the next time they're bored, have them pick out one of their own suggestions. Given that it was their idea; they'll be more willing to actually do it.
That space behind your kitchen, where you put all the things you should throw away, yes, that one. You can turn it into a small vegetable garden, then let your kids take care of it. Simple ways you can use, is to just dig up the place and plant something, like spinach, onions and others. If the space is small enough, get and old tire, basin or a sack, fill it up with some loam soil and plant the vegetables. Let the kids water them, weed them and tend to them. They can take turns to do this, or work together. This will help them be responsible and have teamwork. It will also reduce your budget for greens.
We have shared a few recipes here that you and your kids can do together. Allocate duties during cooking, for example one can slice the vegetables, another can cook one dish. Another can do the dishes. Find simple recipes that your kids can cook themselves, of course under supervision. This will make them feel as if they are in control and also learn new skills while at it.
Host/plan a play date
Work out a deal with a parent or two in your neighborhood. When you need some alone time, send your kid over to play with their kid. To be fair, you'll have to let them send their little ones over sometimes, too. When two kids or more kids play together, they keep themselves distracted.
Fill a box with things your child can play with alone—items like coloring books, playing cards, or easy puzzles. When you need to keep your kids busy, give them the box. While your child might resist a bit at first, the more you do it, the more they'll accept “game box time" as part of their routine. This will also keep them busy as you attend to other chores.
The current period presents a great opportunity for parents to learn about their kids’ gifts and talents. Drawing and molding is a good place to start. Instead of watching cartoons all the time, have your children make their own. Give them a piece of paper and some crayons, and ask them to draw you a hero and a bad guy. When they're done, let them come back and tell you their hero's story. Molding clay is readily available at the stores, buy some and let the kids mold things they want, like people, things etc.
Dirt is good and so if you can access sand, challenge the children to get their hands dirty building sand castles. If indoors, give your child a few pillows and a blanket and challenge them to turn the couch into a fort. No child will turn down the chance to make a secret base—and they'll be much more likely to play independently once they're inside. My boys love this idea of building a fort and it never gets old.
Remember to give them chores that are suitable for their age and energy levels. Rewards come in handy for jobs well done, and motivates them to do better next time.
Keep busy and stay safe.