When my girls were little they could entertain themselves for hours. They both loved to just play play play. Of course they also had each other to play with which made it easy. This isn’t the case with my 6 year old little buddy. :) Aside from not having a sibling close in age, he also struggles with independent play time. Some days he plays with friends after school, but when we don’t have a playdate going on he finishes his homework in 10 minutes and then instead of coming up with something to play with, he finds it much more fun and amusing to bother his sisters while they are trying to do their homework. Go figure. :)
So lately I’ve been giving him a little after school “schedule.”
I’m sharing this trick today in case any of you have a child (maybe age 4-7) who could benefit from this too! It has been working so well for us.
We started with one or two things and now that he knows the routine he can do five or six things. I simply write down a little schedule of what I want him to work on independently. That’s the key! Choose simple things your child can do on his/her own. I usually include one writing or math activity, one job around the house, reading time and then some independent play time (we set a timer for the independent play time because he doesn’t like to play by himself). Sometimes I’ll include that he needs to put together a certain puzzle or something. Other times like the list above, I just leave it open to “play 15 minutes.” I always end with “hug mom”.. that’s our little ending that shows he’s done. :) If you have a child who can’t read yet, you could draw pictures and set things out for him/her to work on.
This was Kole dusting the stairs during his schedule one day. It’s a simple job he enjoys doing. He rotates different dusters and takes his work very seriously. :)
This “schedule” has worked wonders for us. It keeps him busy so I can help his sisters with homework while also teaching him some independence. When he’s done I feel better about letting him play a quick game on the iPad or computer. Usually by that time we don’t have long before it’s time to leave for afternoon activities and once my girls are dropped off at dance, I can focus on my 6 year old.
Moms often tend to be out-numbered and we need all the help we can get! Just wanted to share this idea in case it helps any of you like it has helped me. If you are looking for more after school schedules/organization you can see our chore charts here.
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Alright friends! Signing off now. I need a good night’s sleep so I’m ready for all of the festivities and trick or treating tomorrow. I have some pretty excited kids. :)
HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!