L.E. asks from Scottsdale, AZ on October 18, 2008
Need Advice on What to Do After Taking My Kids Out of Daycare!
Hi - I am a stay-at-home mom of 2 lively kids, 3 1/2 and 5. Up until last week they went to daycare/preschool twice a week. Well with the economic downturn we have had to take them out and I have to figure out how to entertain them all day everyday, stay on a budget and try to continue their education, as well. We go to the gym almost every day, have play dates and go to mcd's to play once a week. Does anyone have any more idea's on how to keep them busy and continue with learning? I think I might lose my mind trying to figure out what to do everyday! For some reason it wasn't that tough when I had 2 days off for me. Any and all suggestions would be helpful, Thanks! L.
So What Happened?™
Fellow Mommies! thanks for all the encouragement and advice - sounds like parks and the libaray win! Thanks too for the support, and good advice on enjoying this time with my kids and not stressing out that they aren't doing, seeing and learning enough. This is our last year to spend together before they go to school and I need to step back and just enjoy and watch them grow.
I feel more relieved and actually excited about spending time with my kids!
Thank you all!
J.P. answers from Phoenix on October 19, 2008
To help with entertainment/ education at a resonable price try www.brightervisions.com. I used them, and loved them!!! Fun activities you can do include letting the kids play with shaving cream then hose them off afterwards. Make playdough with them and let them create to their hearts desire. Search on the web for free activities to do with kids, you'll be surprised at how many you come up with. Try www.enchantedlearning.com for more good learning activities for free!!!!
1 mom found this helpful
A.V. answers from Phoenix on October 19, 2008
Your question came at the right time. I just returned from a documentary film and discussion about how play -basic good old fashioned play - is disappering in our culture, and it's literally sucking the joy, creativity, and life skills out of our kids. It's great that you want your children to have play dates, and teach them things, and make sure they are busy. So I'm going to suggest something that has absolutely nothing to do with gyms, and organized playdates, or indoor ANYTHING. Go to the park. It's free. Scottsdale has really nice parks, some with lakes so you can feed the ducks. Take a short drive and explore the woods or the desert. Let your kids have unstructured discovering nature play. Kids learn SO MUCH through play and basic curiosity. I know it's not easy to get to the park everyday, but do you have some basic wooden blocks? Some kids tempura paints and paper? Let them go out in the backyard, set up the play stuff and just let them go. It will take so much stres off when you just sit back and watch their little minds work. They need movement, touchy feely, right brained play. No need to always make sure they are "busy" and learning their abc's and counting to 100. They WILL learn that. You are SOOO FORTUNATE to be able to stay at home with your young children and encourage that yummy unstructured, figure it out myself, cooperative, emotionally heathly play....and able to just run around outside discovering leaves and flowers, and bugs, and rocks!
And while you are at it....just play with them. Follow THIER lead. I PROMISE you that if you just let go of the belief system that we have to keep our kids busy, and go here and do this do that, and McDonalds and preschool is the only way to have fun and socialize - you won't feel like you are going insane:) Your children will THRIVE even more because you are encouraging self motivation, appreciation of our world and nature, a greater understanding of themselves, and they will have a high emotional intelligence - which is WAY more important than a high IQ. I HIGHLY recommend the book "LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS" by Robert Louve. It will inspire you to just let your children play the way they want to play. And you really will find that everyone is much much happier.
If you or any moms reading this want more information on the Documentary film "WHERE DO CHILDREN PLAY", feel free to contact me at ____@____.com. I can give you info on how you can see it and be part of a community movement. You probably can google it as well. The producer is Elizabeth Goodenough (SP?) There is also another great read..."RAISING HUMANE BEINGS" by local Jane Fendelman.
We all want to create a closer, safe,community and raise brilliant children. We all do the best we can with the resources we know and have. It's going to take us, the moms and dads, to stop the insanity of what society is doing to our children and to our families. I apologize if I went off on a rant. And I'm certainly not aiming my overzealousness at you L.. But in my heart I have always believed that the way we have become a culture of go, go, go and be the smartest, prettiest, strongest, fastest, person is stressing our kids out. Just slow down, go outside, and let our children play.
What belief systems do you have for yourself? How do you "think" a parent "should" raise their children? How do you FEEEL that you want to raise your children- REALLY want to raise your children - in your instinctual inner wise woman truth? Are you willing to move out of the ordinary comfort zones of conformed parenting, socializing, and learning? I am not asking these questions because I think I know more than you, or because I think you are a lousy mom for taking your kids to MCD's. I really don't care that you take them there or to the gym. Please don't be offended. I ask these questions to you, and all moms, so you can listen with your belly heart to your children and to yourself - "How can I raise truly amazing, emotionally healthy, inner peaceful, self sufficient, self confident and respectul children, who value creativity, and love, and nature, and interdependence? Children who will change our world for the better?"
It doesn't happen in a conformed, stressed out, busy bee, high tech toy, chicken mcnugget eating society.
I wish you lots of energy for many joyful and peaceful play DAYS with your children.
mamma of 4, Birth and Parenting Mentor
1 mom found this helpful
M.J. answers from Phoenix on October 19, 2008
We live in Scottsdale and as someone already mentioned check out the libraries! They have great singing, dancing and story time activities. Also, they have kids areas in the libraries we have been in so even if you are not in a class you can use their computer games, play with the toys (puzzles, puppets, etc) and read books. I think Barnes and Noble and other bookstores sometimes have story times too.
A.W. answers from Phoenix on October 19, 2008
Your 5 year old could definately be doing some activity books (letters, numbers, connect the dots, shapes, color activities). They are available almost anywhere - target or bookstores for less than $10. My 3 year old even does them. Also, as if they were in school, see if you can find the schedule/routine the classroom followed and try incorporating some of that into your day - like free play, activity time, and outside play. I try to hit a variety of activities during activity time like playing board games or making tamborines from paper plates. Depending on your budget, Learning Express (by PV Mall) has wonderful resources for preschool ages.
J.R. answers from Phoenix on October 21, 2008
When my kids were that age, I loved just love taking them places. We were exploring. For instance: most museums have one FREE day a month, the libraries have great resources so pick up their schedules, take walks and hikes along the canal and numerous mtns here; ride bikes, play lots of wonderful music around the house, we used to go to the airport before 9-11 and ride the escalators and watch the planes take off and land, however, I know that the PHX airport is easy to still look around and ride the escalators. You can even ride the shuttle buses around the airport. Go from one terminal to another, or take the shuttle to the rental car agency and back. The kids will think this is huge. And teach them to shop for items at their level and help cook at home. Teaching them to spread butter/jam and pour liquids is time consuming and potentially messy and hazardous. Practice pouring in the bathtub first.
If you can afford a zoo membership, I'd recommend that for your age children and definitely make that a weekly visit. We took our bikes there. I'd get my walk and they rode. And their playgrounds are very cool.
My two youngest are 3 years apart and I spent a lot of time teaching them to be respectful of each other, to respect each other's 'no's; how to take turns, you don't have to share items right away when someone wants what the other has, they can give a turn later. So it has paid off in a big way....my kids are delightful to be with and I so enjoy their company. And they get a long, still with some mommy management.
K.P. answers from Phoenix on October 19, 2008
Your local public library does story time that is absolutely free. I live by Metro Center and our library has 3 separate times each week. Tuesday is for kids of all ages and they read books, do puppet shows, sing songs, and bring out all kinds of cool toys afterward for the kids to play with. Wednesday is baby time,for kids under 2 years. Thursday is toddler time for 2 year olds. Every day the time is the same - 10:30 - 11:00am. I would check with your local library for times. Another added bonus is that you can borrow books and movies to use at home and it also gives you an opportunity to interact with other parents. I am a SAHM of 4 ranging in age from 15 down to 3 months - we are on a strict budget so anything free is greatly appreciated. Good luck!