Busy children, however exhausting they might be at times, are a blessing. They have lots of energy and there's definitely no need to negotiate with them to get off the couch and go outdoors to play.
A busy child wants to be active. A busy child likes to be curious. The problem is, if you're a mom, this might feel a little overwhelming at times. Here are 10 tried and tested ways to keep a busy child occupied.
10 Ball games
If your child is good at sports, you might like to spend some time with them outdoors, letting them get rid of some energy while practicing their ball skills. Why not play soccer together? Or set up a mini-golf course in the backyard?
You can put small obstacles in the way and your child can try their hand at maneuvering the golf ball around these. Or kick a soccer ball between the two of you. This is also a great way for mom to get fit!
9 Build A Fort
Building forts can be an energetic, exciting activity that will engage your child’s imagination and get them moving. A pile of blankets, clothing pegs, and chairs is all you will need to build a blanket home in your living room or back yard.
Peg blankets together and to chair backs and position chairs to create either rooms or passageways for your child to navigate. Let them bring their favorite blanket or pillow into the house to make it more comforting and cozy.
8 Let them take photos
Most cellphones have cameras built into their technology. These allow your child to become a photographer at any given time.
Switch the phone onto airplane mode so that there is no risk of accidentally dialing your boss, the dentist or a relative, and give them a short period of time to run around the garden or home, and find the most interesting snapshots they can take. After this, sit down with them and have a look at what they managed to capture.
7 Visit a park
Most communities have a local park which can be the perfect setting for active play. Slides, swings, jungle gyms, jogging tracks can provide an outdoor gym for busy legs and arms to work off all of that energy.
Pack a picnic blanket or fold-up chair and some snacks, and rest with a good book while your little one enjoys the sunshine and the company of other small children who might be there with their moms (who are also coming up with inventive plans to keep their busy child occupied).
6 Visit a pet store
Children love animals. They also love visiting pet shops where they can see the puppies and kittens and fishes in aquariums. Let them walk through the store and see each animal on display.
Most pet store owners will also let the children handle the small puppies and kittens. Tropical fish on display can provide an entertaining hour or two out in the afternoon after school, and kids will be able to look into each glass aquarium and discern how each fish species is different from the next.
5 Visit a bike track
Outdoor bike tracks provide the perfect adventure, as they give the sense of being out in the country and allow for some serious exercise in a beautiful environment. Parks might also have paved paths for bikes which bigger kids can ride along while enjoying the scenic beauty around them.
Groups of children might find this kind of adventure exciting and energizing. They are bound to get fit and return home just a little quieter and more relaxed.
4 Get out the dress up clothes
If a child wants to run around, let them do it in style. Get out the hero capes. Pull out the princess dresses, the crowns, the masks. Go big on the props, like tents, play cars, and horse heads on poles.
Then let them run around and set up an imaginary world, dressed the part. Imaginative play is an important part of learning and growing up. It might look like nothing much, but it is a child’s workplace, in that it is in this arena that a child learns their most important lessons – role play, sharing, socializing, decision-making… the list goes on.
3 Wash the family dog
Kids can be busy. So can family pets. Putting them together means lots of energy and activity and fun! If you have a big tub, why not let your kid wash the dog? He or she will enjoy the splashing and getting wet and bubbly from the soap.
And the dog will enjoy the child’s laughter and the social interaction. This kind of thing is great for sensory play. Besides, it will get the dog washed… and your kid will thank you for it!
2 Cook something great
You don’t have to be a master chef to use pots and pans. Kids will love playing around with metal pots and pans and select ingredients. For smaller kids, you can try something simple, like mixing a soup.
For bigger kids, why not try a cake or a simple dish, like macaroni and cheese. Put them in a chef’s hat and apron, and make sure all the utensils are handy, like big mixing spoons.
1 Try Painting
Big paint brushes, jars of poster paint, and big sheets of paper might be all you need to give your afternoon a splash of color with a busy child. Put the piece of paper on the ground outdoors and let the child splash paint onto it and create his or her own masterpiece.
They can be extra creative with toothbrushes, using the bristles to spray paint onto the surface, or even use their hands to put handprints onto the canvas. Or why not paint leaves and press them (while still wet) onto the paper to leave leaf impressions? Your imagination is the limit.