Six Ways to Beat Boredom with Your Kids


While their brother or sister takes lessons or practices a sport, younger siblings don’t have to be restless. Here’s how to entertain them!

By Jennifer Burstein

 

Soccer practices, ballet classes and Little League games are fun for the child involved but these activities can be tedious for younger brothers and sisters who watch from the sidelines. With just a little creativity you can turn a potentially boring situation into wonderful bonding time for you and your child.

Here are six ways to make these hours enjoyable and productive for you and your children.

1.Always have snacks available Many lessons and practices are after school but before dinner. Young children can easily become hungry and restless

2. Card games are fun and easy to carry. Some games can be adapted to play more than one way.For example, Old Maid can be played using the traditional instructions; however, if you remove the Old Maid you can play a matching game.Simply shuffle the cards and turn them face down on a bench or a table. The child turns over two cards. If they match, he get those cards.If they do not match another player takes a turn. This continues until all the cards are gone. Whoever has the most cards wins the game.

3. Take along a MagnaDoodle so that you won’t have to worry about your child writing on anything with markers or crayons. Try drawing a basic shape (i.e. a triangle, square, oval, etc.) and have the child turn it into a picture. For example, a circle can make a snowman and a square can make a television set or house. If the writing space is large enough you can also play tic tac toe or hangman.

4. With adult supervision older preschoolers and school-aged siblings can help pass out water bottles, snacks, raffle tickets or fliers. Being a helper allows youngsters to feel as if they are contributing to the activity.

5. Conduct your own class on the side. This may not work for piano lessons but if the main event is on a field or in a gym, there may be an area where the younger child could practice the activity. For example, during a martial arts class for the older child, the little ones could practice kicks and punches on the side of the mat with mom or dad. A quick game of catch may be possible on the sidelines of a baseball practice. Always make sure that these kinds of activities do not interfere with the enjoyment of the other children or parents and do not impinge on the official practice or game.

6. Encourage friendships with others in the same position. If you incorporate other children in your activities, yours will start to look forward to seeing their friends.

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Jennifer Burstein is a freelance writer, mother and audiologist who lives in Southern California. Her blog is http://jlnburstein.wordpress.com