Having your child make a list of things to do independently can help your child and you a ton!
This summer has been quite an adventure with Daniel (our 9-year-old) and I both home together. The first two weeks of summer consisted of him constantly asking me what we are going to do next or where can we go all day long. I myself am also an extrovert like him, so I understand his want to be around people all the time. Sometimes he has a hard time figuring out things to do by himself while I am doing something around the house.
Our children in the 21st century love playing on electronics. We believe electronic time should be limited to a certain amount a day to allow for creativity and healthy brain development. The rule we have set for our home is 2 hours of electronic time a day during the summer. During the school year it is 1 hour a day on school days and 2 hours a day on the weekends. Family electronic time such as watching a movie or a game does not count towards this. When he is not on electronics is typically when he asks me constantly what can we do.
Robert and I had Daniel make a list of things he can do independently, and things we can do together as a family (pleas check out our upcoming blog post for the family ideas). We want to spend time with him especially in the way he desires, and we also want him to be able to play on his own as well and not depend on us constantly for entertainment.
Independent Play Ideas
Draw or color – We got our son a few coloring books at the Dollar Tree and some colored pencils. Coloring is also very therapeutic. If your child is not into cartoons anymore, you can find great adult coloring books at Dollar Tree too.
Electronic time – He typically chooses to play xBox or watch Masterchef Junior.
Write a story – My husband has written 2 books and is working on his third book. Daniel bought a small little notebook at the Dollar Tree and began writing his own story about a football player. You can even order blank comic books on Amazon to keep them busy for hours.
Listen to music and play – He loves to put on K-Love or the JoyFM on his radio and play basketball in his room. This is actually what he is doing right now as I write this post.
Exercise – Daniel typically likes to exercise with one of us, but exercising by himself is on his list. You can even create a little workout routine for your child to do on their own such as jumping jacks, sit-ups, and push-ups.
Read a book – We go to the library at least once a week and pick out anywhere from 4-6 books for him to read on his own. I allow him to select fun fiction reads and then at least one informational book. Sometimes he will go out on the back porch for a change of atmosphere while he reads.
Playing outside – I take my chair and sit outside and watch him ride his bike, scooter, and run. We also do outdoor activities together, but that will be in our next post.
Gardening – I have taken him to the store to buy seeds to grow. Every couple of days, he enjoys watering all of the plants in our back porch. He is currently growing peppers.
Have your child(ren) make their own list or you can use some of our ideas. This will help your child stay entertained and flow in their creativity.
Please comment below with any questions.
Stay tuned for our upcoming post on different ideas for spending quality time as a family.