Expert Tips: Keeping Kids Busy

One mom wants to know:
On our Kidlutions facebook page, a mom asked a question about keeping her 6 year-old-son busy for the coming six weeks when he would be home on break.  She is a busy mom, finishing up her Ph.D. and has lots to get done.  She wants to be an attentive mom and provide her son with meaningful activities, while at the same time being able to attend to her studies.  She's like most moms.  So, whether you are busy at-home mom, a homeschooling mom, a working mom, a full-time student mom, or a mom that wears many hats (and let's face it, we all do), this post is for you.

I reached out to some of my fave experts, all of whom are moms, for some fresh ideas, and here is all the goodness that came out of it:

Dr. Lynne Kenney, Pediatric Psychologist and Author
Dr. Lynne Kenney, known for The Family Coach Method recommends:

1. I'd set up the home like a school. Circle time, sports time, friends time etc. Have some parallel activity times where mom studies and son build legos, plays w friends etc.

2. I'd have a teen help 2-3 hrs 3 days a week. Children age six need a lot of interaction. She wants to love her son and still get her degree so it's time to call in the troops and get some playtime help. 

Dr. Kenney recommends:The kid coach is a teen/young adult who implements My Very Own School @ Home.
The Kid Coach helps a child develop skills in specified domains such as educational enrichment, social skills, behavioral compliance and daily responsibilities.

The coach meets with the child or children two hours two-three days a week during 4-8 weeks in the summer to accomplish enrichment goals. Each family defines the goals with the coach and the coach executes a written plan with goals in four-week segments. 

The Kid Coach encourages the parents to continue My Very Own School @ Home throughout the year as desired. The Family may choose to meet quarterly with Dr. Kenney to make sure programming is consistent with other life development goals for the family and children.  For more details, go here.

Louise Sattler, Nationally Certified School Psychologist

Louise Sattler of Signing Families recommends:

Nothing beats a box with leggo friends and other plastic creatures. Add to the creative juices yarn, scissors, and all kinds of junk from your closet. Even holiday twinkle lights and voilia you have yourself a castle, fort, hogwarts, etc. Whatever the imagination can bring.

Shara Lawrence-Weiss, Biz Expert and Work-at-Home Mom of 4
Shara Lawrence-Weiss of Mommy Perks, biz expert and work-at-home mom of 4 young'uns suggests:

My quick tips to keep him busy while she studies:
1. Play-doh. My kids will usually sit at the table for about 45 min. if I give them new play-doh with kitchen utensils & play-doh toys (I make my own dough).
2. Reading tent or fort. If we pitch a tent or fort & I give them books and flashlights, they will stay in the tent/fort for a while reading.
3. Sand box. We have a sandbox on the back porch & they can play out there alone if I can see them & they don’t run off around the deck.
4. She will need to set a very routine bed time so her son knows when he is going to sleep & she can then count on that time to study.
5. Co-op. Find another mom to trade a day with. Each mom would get one day per week (when the other parent has her child) to get a break & it doesn’t cost $ for either of them. This mom could use her day to study.

Shara also recommends the following article:

Ava Parnass, Therapist and Author

Ava Parnass of Listen to Me Please says:

A lot of 8th and 9th graders love to be mother's helpers and play with kids, I would look for one.

Also, trading play-dates is a great way to get study time and have kids play with friends!

Here's a sample schedule recommended by Ava:

Play for 3-4 hours in morning.  Be active.  Swim or bike with your child so their emotional and physical needs are met.

Structure a 3-4 hour alone play time to study. Then 3-4 hours play time together again .

After bedtime mom can study /write again.

Here are 20 more ideas that Ava wrote with Shara from :

How do you keep your kids busy when you absolutely, positively MUST get things done?  Tell us about it below!

As always, from Kidlutions, we wish you Happy Parenting!


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