When children are playing with one toy/item, I’m always trying to think of ideas for the next activity. I find that being prepared with ideas for them equals happy and engaged children, instead of bickering and complaining children.
My latest strategy has been to set out 3 activities on the dining room table, and let each of the 3 children choose which activity they’d like to do for a block of time. They might choose one activity to do all together, or they might each select a different activity.
I try to rotate activities among different categories: learning centers, art, imagination and physical activities. This reminds me to engage various parts of their minds and bodies.
I’ve also started keeping a list of activities that fit within the 4 categories, so the wide variety of activities can always be ‘in my back pocket’. I’m going to post this lists on the refrigerator or at my desk, so I can see them often. I can also let my oldest child read the list to choose his activities.
I’ll share activities from the 4 activity centers over the next few days.