Your kids are at home on Winter Break right now and that means, two weeks of keeping them entertained while trying not to lose your sanity. Dads’s we know it’s not always easy but there are a few tricks and tips to help you along the way.
As you probably know, pediatricians don’t recommend sticking them in front of a TV or screen for hours a day, no matter how much it keeps them quiet. So how do you fill all that time? Jeff Freeland Nelson a fellow father and founder and CEO of YOXO toys offered these tips to keep the creativity flowing and boredom at bay.
- Create a maker space. Clear out an area of your home of traditional toys and fill it with “maker” materials: tape, paper, boxes, etc. When creative inspiration strikes your child, they will be ready to create in their own “workshop.”
- Issue a creative challenge: Kids often need a push to get creative and surprisingly, scarcity is good for creative play. Issue a challenge like “build the tallest tower possible” and then add a constraint like “using only straws and tape.” It is amazing how quickly kids rise to the challenge.
- Host a temporary black out. Turn off lights, smartphones, iPads and other gadgets. When the house goes dark, kids’ imaginations light up. A trip to the bathroom with a flashlight becomes an adventure, and reading stories by candlelight will stick with them more than just another movie night.
Creating games out of situations is the foundation for critical thinking and expanding skills for children. “Our goal is to help kids realize that the world isn’t full of problems, it’s full of raw materials needed to create solutions. They just have to know where to look,” Freeland Nelson says.
So don’t panic dads, with just a little planning you can keep your kids busy and your sanity in check this Winter Break. In fact, this can be the perfect testing ground for summer. Put some of these ideas to work and see what your kids love. Then replicate it this summer to keep them inspired and creative before they head back to class.
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