Mamas, it's the time of year when there are a lot of snow days/teacher training/Monday holidays going on, and that means that there are a whole bunch of days where your littles won't be going to school when they normally would be.
It's just one day, right? How bored could your kids get?
The answer? Very. Very bored. Like, 'will not leave you alone and will constantly be asking for entertainment' kind of bored.
We need to be nicer to teachers.
The fact is it can be tough when your littles are being engaged at school regularly to find things for them to do when they are home all day (can I get an amen from my toddler mamas?!), but I thought I would put together a few things that we can all do to keep our kids busy when school is cancelled that won't include you cleaning up finger -painting messes, making slime, or using glitter of any kind!
This might sound silly to some mamas out there, but I swear giving my kids a duster or a rag to clean windows will keep them busy forever! I love the idea of letting our littles take care of chores (even if they're tiny) to help us when they're home and to help them keep busy. If you don't want to deal with your kids using their dusters as swords (inevitable), then maybe have them focus on making their beds, putting away the clean silverware from the dishwasher, or putting their dirty socks in the laundry hamper. Don't want to monitor that much? Hand over some water-safe toys and dump them in the kitchen sink with some soap and some sponges. Let them hop up on their stools and go to town "cleaning" their toys while you get the real work done!
This was something that I'm sure all of us did while growing up, but our littles aren't so used to pulling out a busted up box of their fave game and frantically searching for the dice or a few of the missing pieces to play together. We've started a small collection of board games at our house, and my kids LOVE them! It's a little bit frustrating when you have to explain all the rules (and then explain them again, and again, and again), but being patient, and setting up the game at the table with some snacks is absolutely so fun! It helps them learn about taking turns, winning and losing, and following directions. You can find board games now for even the littlest kids, and it's a fun way to spend the day as a fam!
If you're in a place that's getting cancelled because of cold/snow, first of all, I'm sorry, because I know that can be kind of miserable. But if the weather is permitting, and there's no school, then make it a point to get outside and let your kids run, run, run. Pick a park with a wide-open space and bring your kites. Get the bikes out and let them roll around the neighborhood. Pack up the stroller and walk to the park (and bring your headphones for some mama time) and spend the day letting them play away their energy. If you're not able to play outside, then think about heading to an open gym time, story time at the library, or go get lunch and make the play-place your home for a couple of hours. The last thing any mama needs when school is cancelled is kids full of energy with no where to let it out!
This is one that is probably obvious for mamas with big kids who actually do need to get caught up on school work, but for mamas who have little ones who aren't quite to the homework stage, then print out a few things and have them do a little bit of school work. It doesn't have to be anything super intense, just hand over the tub of crayons, a couple of print-outs of letters/numbers/sight words, and let them do some work. Make it a point to read a few books with them and point out the words or letters they're learning. Maybe have them help you cook or bake that day and have them help you count out and measure the ingredients. Pull out the measuring tape and let them find out the length and height and width of all the things in your house. There's so much we can do to help our littles learn at home without having to hold the pencil for them (and the best part is it'll keep them busy!).