Have Fun! Organize Playtime
Preschoolers need a lot of structure. By planning their playtime you will find that a lot of the chaos and squabbling is eliminated. In our family the children out-numbered the adults most of the time. Since I really didn’t want Marshall-Law, I came up with some playtime strategies that really helped keep order and peace in our home. I found that by planning a little, the days would be happier for everyone. I could plan and prepare for my day in about a half an hour. By using that time to prepare, I saved myself, and the children so much confusion later.
Start by organizing the morning. Begin with their usual chores. Help them make their beds. Have them clean up the bedroom floor, putting away all clothes and toys. If they have regular household chores, have them get those done before they play. After the chores are done organize their playtime.
Doing art projects is one of the activities most children enjoy. Plan a project for each day or two. Some that were hits in our family were: finger-painting with pudding; activities from the ‘Friend’ (a publication of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, click here to order); making posters or collages; or butcher paper cut outs of themselves. Art is one of the activities that needs your thought and preparation ahead of time. Remember to keep all art supplies out of reach of little hands when not in use.
Another activity is to have your own preschool learning games. Use blocks to teach counting, magnet letters to teach the alphabet, and work books (for appropriate ages) to prepare them for school. Of course, reading to them is essential and once they know the book let them ‘read’ it to you.
Having time each day to just play with their toys is important. Organize different types of toys in bins. Bring out one or two bins for playtime and when they get bored with them, have them clean them up before you bring out the next bins.
Limit TV time. Decide as a family how much and what types of TV you will allow. Interacting with them as they watch TV is good sometimes, so don’t just put them in front of the TV for all of their viewing time.
Organizing playtimes can be fun and beneficial for you and the children. When children are structured they are happier and less destructive. They will look forward to their time with you and will be more likely to entertain themselves when that is necessary.
Photos from sxc.hu by permission of hortongroup.com