View Full Version : OT Question - how to occupy kids 2, 5 and 7
09-04-2007, 04:47 PM
I am looking for ideas of how to occupy 3 kids while I teach violin in my home. I have a 2 y/o and my parents will be bringing my niece and nephew, 5 and 7 to my home so they can watch the 2 year old while I teach. This is in the late afternoon after school for about 2 hours. I need relative peace and quiet. Last week was a bit chaotic and I feel my parents need to do some structured activities, otherwise the kids run around nily wily and it gets pretty wild. Do you know of any websites that have craft activities or something that will help entertain these guys and keep them relatively calm? Last week TV didn't really even work!
09-04-2007, 06:13 PM
Try Family Fun. it is actually associated with Disney and I get weekly (?) emails from them with suggestions for crafts games and activities. They are even seasonally appropriate. Not sure how I got on their email newsletter list, but I bet if you go to their website there is a sign-up. They also have a print magazine that you might be able to take a look at. Also, try your local public library, aside from having magazines like Family Fun they should have books with craft and activity ideas.
The big problem is the age ranges...the 2-7 is a pretty wide range to keep occupied with the same activity so you will probably have to line up a number of things to do. What a challenge! :confused:
09-04-2007, 06:41 PM
Is there any way you could take the baby to your parents home and let them keep all the children there? i think it will be quite difficult to keepthem all quite and stop the two year old from wanting to find mommy. Outside fun might work well. Maybe a snack time. Lots of open ended art supplies that each can use at thier own level. Maybe they can go to the library a few times a week.
Good luck. Great you can work from home.
09-04-2007, 08:34 PM
Yikes that is a challenge! How many times a week are you doing this? I agree that some activities out of the house would be best! If they stay home, I would think you need a new activity every 1/2 hour. Here are some ideas:
* play with playdough -- make sure to have rolling pins, cookie cutters, etc.
* make tents and forts w/blankets and couch cushions
* have an early supper picnic ready to spread out and maybe one parent can give 2yo a bath while older kids watch a show/ do homework/ play video games
* have a handy supply of "new" DVDs (from library, swapped w/friends, or use "On Demand" if you have it) when quiet break necessary
* story time/ puzzles/ coloring
* buy a bunch of Christmas tree ornaments the kids can paint or color w/markers for them to hand out at Christmas
* become an AVID reader of Oriental Trading Company for project ideas ( I agree w/pp that Family Fun has awesome ideas too)
* make puppets out of paper bags and do puppet show
Some ideas for out of the house:
* send them to the park
* send them on a walk - create a scavenger hunt/ list of items to find, etc for them to do (in all your spare time!!).
* sign up 2 yo for class at Y/gymboree or some such place during that time and have grandparents and cousins watch
* buy membership to museum, indoor playground, etc and see if parents will take on outing
* send to McDonalds w/indoor play area -- grandparents can have a coffee, kids a yogurt parfait or apples and play away
I also think if your parents don't bring the cousins everytime, it may be less chaotic (are they watching cousins too?). I also think it is great you can work from home and have such great support in your family. Good luck.
09-04-2007, 08:40 PM
I spent six years home with the kids, and did lots of tutoring in my dining room.
I hired some local teenagers to act as Mother's Helpers. Actually, "the girls" were quite young when they started: 12 or 13. (But remember: I was downstairs.)
During weather like this they would play with the kids in the yard; when the weather got a bit colder, they played upstairs in the bedrooms. They taught my kids to play hide and seek and a million other things.
(And they left for the start of college on Saturday.:sad1: )
But they were worth every dime. I was able to concentrate on tutoring, and my kids were safe and looked after while they played.
09-05-2007, 05:07 PM
In addition to playdough--which was my first thought! Mix together equal amounts of cornstarch and water. This is amazing stuff--when you apply pressure it changes to a solid and when you release it, it turns into liquid. This keeps my kids busy for ages. Watercolor painting is a good one too as are board games or go Fish or something similar. With my littlest we always teamed up so mom or dad was with him and everyone else was on their own.
The biggest suggestion I have for you is to take charge and make up a schedule. Even my kids do better on their own when they have a specific schedule to follow. For instance, I had to leave for a meeting during the day today. (We homeschool so they are here.) I had them watch Arthur, then set the timer for 20 min and everyone read silently. Then they set the timer for another 20 min and did play dough. (Then I came home.) Anyway, I have found that this works with my in laws too. I help take care of my sister about twice a month and leave my kids with the in laws. I used to just take their activities there and I figured their work would get done. It didn't. Now, I write up a schedule and have Grandma come here. So it reads, First DD needs to do her math, this should take her about 30 minutes. While she is doing that, please read to the boys these three books. Ect. I have found at other times if they don't need to get school work done, it still helps A LOT if I have specific plans for what they should do. Way less hectic that way!
You could for instance leave a little schedule.
Playdough at the table
Watch library video
Go outside for 30 minutes
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