5 Alternatives That Beat
Resorting to Your Remote
Dear parents, grandparents, and nannies, too,
We’ve all been there, whether we’ve been running around all day, at a playdate, the park, or the bookstore, and we return home feeling exhausted! (Us, not the kiddos, who are still beaming with energy!) So, what do we usually end up doing? We resort to the TV. Why? Because this is the easiest (not the best) form of entertainment to keep the kids occupied while you’re preparing dinner, cleaning the rest of the house, doing the laundry, or just needing a little break (sigh).
Take a deep breath (Ahh)! Being a caregiver, particularly a good caregiver, takes enormous amounts of time, energy, patience, and your undivided attention. It’s definitely okay to want some peace and quiet; however, while we said the TV was easy, it may not be the best thing to use all the time. Here are 5 alternatives to resorting to your remote:
Dress-up box- Collect a bunch of old clothes, hats, scarves, ties, halloween costumes, etc. Dress-up play, even without a playmate, is a fun and stimulating alternative to keep your child occupied. It’s easy, fun, and activates their imagination.
Books/Puzzles- Whether they’re actually reading the words, or just looking at the illustrations, they will be swept away into an imaginary world. While they may not like this idea of relaxing and keeping quiet, you can make it fun for them by allowing them to sit in a special spot, with a blanket, or even under a fort!
Playdough- This is simple! Give your child some playdough and some plastic utensils! That’s it- what a relief! Now, you can sit and relax or finish up some of your daily chores (phew).
Un-toys- Here’s a great idea! Give your child some stackable bowls (non-breakable, of course), tupperware, boxes, etc. Sometimes, the coolest toys, are un-toys. Kids can get sick of playing with the same toys in their home. So, why not give them an un-toy. It’s easy for you, and fun for them!
Chalkboard and sponges- Give your child a chalkboard, a bowl with just a bit of water, and different shaped sponges. This is relaxing and exciting (because there is NO paint, this is not messy at all!) Dip the sponge into the water, squeeze it out, and press it onto the chalkboard. The image will appear, but will disappear quickly as it dries.
All of these examples are a part of what is called Self-Directed Play. Self-Directed Play not only gives you a break from entertaining, but it also allows for the kids to develop skills such as creativity, problem solving, independence, and self-discipline.
Thanks for reading, and we hope this helps!
Ashley and Brittany