I was a stay-at-home mom for many years. I feel very fortunate for that time with my kids before they went to school – I loved it! Not to say there weren’t trying times but I was a latchke kid growing up and my family could not afford to have my mom stay home – I always thought if I was able to stay home with my kids I would. I am not being judgey to those who can’t but I would remind parents that very soon they will be off and to try to enjoy any time we get with them or any loved ones. So now mine are back in the house during the weekdays as teenagers and I feel so fortunate again that I get time with them before they launch off to college in few years.

Now – just wanting to be with your kids does not equal knowing what to do with them all day! Obviously circumstances are different- odd, weird, anxious at best and trying to fill the days might be a bit trying for the saintliest of parents! Here are a few activities I have found and come up with that I hope will help and sometimes they can be mutually beneficial.

Some of these are obvious, some maybe not and obviously you may need to alter for age appropriateness.

  • Be more involved in schoolwork – I am relearning about things like world history and I can’t wait to see what grades we get!
  • Read with them or have them read a book that they would not necessarily read otherwise or start a family book club – I gave my 17 and 15year old Bossy Pants by Tina Fey, but this can be at any age – I would love to analyze Brown Bear Brown Bear!
  • Painting and drawing – yay for creativity
  • Cooking – I love it and have always encouraged it with my kids. It can be a great way to teach math, nutrition and a life skill.
  • Have them do some banking with you – yes budgeting, balancing a “check book” again life skills
  • Laundry! – maybe it’s time for them to do a little if they haven’t started already
  • *Exercise – jump rope, jumping jacks, planking, situps, pushups, yoga
  • *Write, write, write – poems, stories – encouraging writing and illustration.
    • Example – be silent for “x” amount to time and write about that experience
    • Interview a family member in your home or call a family that you don’t live with and interview them and write about it
    • Write about dreams – the ones that you have in your sleep and the ones you have while you are awake
  • Measure area and perimeter of rooms in your house
  • Create a graph of the birds that you see outside your house
  • Build a fort
  • Puppet shows
  • Play charades
  • Fill in the blank “_ of the day” ex. word, bug, food, music, joke
  • Get dressed up one night and have a “fancy” dinner
  • *Create a Venn Diagram that compares and contrasts people that you are connected with
  • Have each person in your family choose some music
  • If you are lucky enough to have a backyard – do a camp out
  • Measure things in nonstandard units
  • Look out the window and record the weather and cloud types or shapes
  • Make paper airplanes

*there are so many helpful tips on the internet – check it out if you are having trouble thinking of things