Busy Bodies | A Guide to Keeping Kids Busy

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Boys (and Girls) can be wild, unpredictable and spontaneous little creatures of habit. One moment they are sweet and loveable, the next they're little typhoons! Twisting through your house like the Tasmanian devil! Usually, it never fails (for me anyhow), that the typhoon starts right as you finish tidying up for the day and are about to sit down and relax, and do what Mom's do when their duties are all checked off, one by one.

Me, I have three boys and one girl! Today, they're 13, 14, 17 & 19. So, when they fall off kilter and go from blissful siblinghood to sibling rivalry, it's never good! Brothers, they love each other more than anyone else could, but can hit harder than they ever intended to as well. So what's a Mom to do when your boys (or girls, doesn't matter) are disgruntled and board, or hitting a category on the Fujita Scale that's unheard of? Here are a few things that I always did to redirect their attention. These suggestions can be tailored to fit boys or girls, of course.

Anything sports related! Most (not all, but most I think) boys (or girls) like to do anything competitive when they are small. Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, anything that keeps them moving and not thinking about whichever brother or sister just started the meltdown your trying to divert. Make up new rules to the game; this will force them to think and cooperate, even an old-fashioned game of kickball or H.O.R.S.E (basketball) could use a tweak or two to keep it new and exciting. This will keep them outside too, getting the fresh air they need, while really you're getting all of their excess energy used up! You can get reasonably priced outdoor play equipment at Amazon online HERE: http://amzn.to/2tvL55b  or Sporting goods HERE: http://amzn.to/2tS4rDE Even better, if you sign up for AMAZON PRIME  you get the first 30-days of your membership FREE, and you'll automatically get your shipping upgraded to 2nd-day shipping at no cost, just for signing up.

Another great idea that my kids always loved (both my 3 sons and daughter) was to join them! If you can't beat them, join them, right? Whether we were going for a nature walk together (which they all still love), walking the dog, or doing an art project; whenever Mom was involved, that seemed to bring them all together and they seemed to reach a common ground (even if just for the moment). Trust me, 4 kids meeting a common ground can be pretty difficult at times. But it does happen! Speaking of an Artistic project, depending on your children's age ranges the activity you pick will vary. But get creative! Here's one that my kids always loved. Preparation is quite inexpensive (just the way we tight budget, big family Moms like to see things) not too messy, and they loved it! Here's what you will need:

  • A roll of Kraft paper (get here: http://amzn.to/2tw97go ) or other types of paper. You can even use a roll of packing paper, it doesn't matter as long as it's on a roll. You'll see why shortly.
  • Markers (get here: http://amzn.to/2uwyi2f )
  • Scissors (get here: http://amzn.to/2tScIHL )
  • Glitter glue (get here: http://amzn.to/2uwmixY ) stickers, glue, noodles, etc. any art supplies (get here: http://amzn.to/2tvFkEl ) you can think of to spice up the end result (keep reading)

DIRECTIONS: Start by rolling out the paper on the floor (preferably a hard surface) to equal the length of one of your children. Have him/her lay down on the sheet of paper, and trace his/her entire body with a black marker. Cut this length of the roll and repeat for each child you are trying to keep busy. THE GOAL: they create their ‘perfect me” or “future me”. They draw, color or create with scraps of fabric etc. their clothes, shoes, face, and hair. You can use noodles, pipe cleaner or yarn for hair, get creative! It's an anything goes type of project that my kids LOVED, and it kept them all busy for quite a while! When they finish, we always chose a special place to display their creative and futuristic selves too, of course. Even hanging them on their bedroom doors. I've included links for everything you will need for this above. SUGGESTION: we always kept this project to be a creation of themselves, we did try the “create your brother or sister” once, but this caused discontent because the creator usually depicted the other in a manner they didn't want. Just a thought to avoid more sibling rivalry, the point is to avoid rivalry, so I thought I'd share my experience on that decision.

Sometimes siblings (not just brothers, all siblings) need a break from each other. No matter what you do, or how hard you try to bribe their cooperation, they can resist to all ends. In cases like this, it may be best to choose an activity that separates them. It's times like this they usually resort to either riding a bike to their friends or heading to their own space (bedroom) and picking a solo activity that they like to do. If your child enjoys reading, you can also join Amazon KINDLE UNLIMITED  FREE for 30-days, where you will have access to unlimited e-books and audiobooks! If you have 4 kids like I do, I like the words FREE and UNLIMITED! Reading on a Kindle or other electronic device gives them the sense that they are playing with an electronic device, but we Mom's are okay with that because they are reading! What a great way to get our kids to read, and feel like they are spending their time on electronic devices. We all know this day in age kids want all the fancy video games and electronics. Which is all well and good, but too much time spent playing video games and what have you, can get on Mom's nerves. A great reverse phycology way to compromise is to have them pick a book on their Kindle (you can access your Amazon Kindle Unlimited account on more than just a Kindle too) using Amazon Kindle Unlimited to read before they jump on their Playstation 4 or Xbox One. With your FREE 30-day enrollment, there won't be any limitations on the number books available to your rambunctious, typhoon-ish and Tasmanian devil like children. Plus, their teachers will approve, as they will be getting the summertime reading in that they all always need to do!

If anyone has else has any suggestions for others of activities to keep their kids busy, post them in the comments. I'm sure all the Mom's out there will appreciate your suggestions! We Mom's need to work together and share our ideas. Especially with summer vacation being in full effect! I'm sure we could all use some fresh ideas, even being a week or two into this stretch of no school!

**The links provided above will bring you directly to Amazon's website, where I've marked all the items I've included a link for**


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