I’ve never been particularly good about setting up little activities for my daughters. But in an effort to encourage their creativity and discourage screen time, I’ve swallowed my anti-Martha-Stewart-pride and made the necessary adjustments, especially after a day like yesterday, which was filled to the brim with birthday parties and swimming and too much cake and ice cream.
Here are 10 quiet activities that are engrossing enough to keep even the rowdiest kids peaceful for awhile:
Painting: The self-enclosed sets with the paints and the pictures are the easiest to manage and relatively inexpensive.
Drawing: Magnadoodles rule my family’s world. Enough said.
Puppet Shows: Sock puppets behind the couch are a great way to give the kids a chance to put on a performance or for you to show off your puppet Joan Jett routine.
Edwina Scissorhands: Give your kids some kid-scissors and paper and ask them to cut out shapes or animals to decorate and then glue onto some posterboard.
Library: In this game, we play that one of the girls is a librarian and the rest of us check out books and then have circle time while she reads to us in her sing-song voice. It’s incredibly relaxing.
Baby and Mama: If you play your cards right you can play “baby” and “take a nap” while your kid, the “mama” takes care of you. You might be able to catch a little shut-eye in the process.
School: Like library, this game is quiet and fun. Pretend your child is the teacher and you’re the student and study the alphabet or basic math.
Puzzles: In a time when Wii and dvd are taking over most family rooms, simple pleasures like puzzles can get lost in the shuffle. Putting together a puzzle as a family is fun and soothing.
Baking: Using a toy oven or a real one, involving your child in making cookies or muffins can be fun and relatively easy (though not mess-free).
Sewing: I don’t know how to sew much besides hems and buttons, but there are some wonderful and reasonably priced sewing kits with big sewing cards and yarn, that even the tiniest hands can enjoy.