Free Entertainment

Are you constantly trying to figure out what to do with your children?  Are you searching for good ideas of things to do with them?  Do they have too much time on their hands?  Is summer dragging on?  Are they begging you to take them somewhere or do something with them?

You do not need or have to be a cruise director or a free entertainment committee for your children.   One of your parenting hats is not concierge.  Your job is not to keep them constantly engaged in activities.

Yes, please plan some fun activities to do with your children.  But do not do so all day or every day.  Playing is important work for children. They need some down time too.  Down time does not need to equal screen time. They need to use their creativity to make their own entertainment.  Their imaginations may surprise them.13528782_1068874339865950_646158366432066594_n

“I’m bored.  I have nothing to do.  What can I do?”  My children rarely said these words to me because I always had many ideas for them.  Most of my ideas for conquering boredom involved doing household chores.  Instead, I told them to use their imaginations and find someone (a sibling, a neighbor, or a friend) with whom they could play.  I also encouraged lots of outdoor play except in extreme or dangerous weather conditions.  Yes, my children got quite dirty most days and often had minor injuries from play.  We all survived.

in a treeToday’s child generally has a plethora of toys with which to play.  Help them have a balance of indoor and outdoor toys.  Legos seem to be an inside only toy because of the easily lost tiny pieces, but many other toys are suitable for outside play.  I suggest a  supply of bikes, roller blades, skate boards, all kinds of balls, golf clubs, cones, bats, a swing set, a tree rope, and even, guns (see My battle Against Guns:   https://dianesergeant.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/my-battle-against-guns/) with which to play.

 

There was one area in which I failed to follow my own advice.  I often (perhaps too often) found myself driving one of more of my children to the home of a friend or a cousin or picking up a playmate for playtime.  I may not have planned their specific activities but I was involved in helping them reach their destinations.   When they were old enough and the distance could be reached safely, I encouraged bicycling.

Disclaimer: When my grandchildren come to visit me, I do plan many activities just for them. We stay extremely busy for the few days we have together without their parents.  I recently had four grandsons with me for four days.  We went to a beach, visited a waterfall in which we played, went canoeing, roasted marshmallows, went swimming, played games, watched some movies and played mini-golf.  We had a blast without spending much money.  But even with them, there was some time that they just entertained themselves.  One evening they played a game which they created; beanie baby freeze tag.  I really don’t know what the rules were even though I watched them playing.

How does your child keep occupied?  Do they play alone or with siblings or neighbors?

IMG_3378

3 thoughts on “Free Entertainment

  1. Diane, I agree with your point in this post. Did you have any times that you did intentionally ‘play’ with your kids on a regular basis? I am wondering about this for my kids.

    You probably know from facebook, but Talia is about 6 wks from giving birth to our 3rd boy:)

    Robert

    Like

  2. Thank you, Robert for reading and commenting. Congrats on the soon arrival of a third son. When Tom was born, Uncle Mike, entered my hospital room humming the theme song to the television show My Three Sons, which was a great show. He also gave me a box of Little Debbie snacks when Deb was born.

    I played every day with Dan until Dave was old enough to play with him, and then I played less and less. Brothers are better playmates than parents. As the kids grew my play became less often and the things I did with them changed. Later we played board games. I think it is somehow easier for moms to play. Many dads have to be intentional. Just interact every day – it can be working, exercising, playing, planning. I have sadly heard that many children receive less than 10 minutes a day of dad’s attention. Dad’s relationship to his children is critical in their formation.
    P.S. you also make deposits in your wife’s “love bank” when you are involved with your children.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s