We go in a circle around here. It goes something like this:
We’re doing all kinds of activities, they’re fun, kids are in a good mood and we’re generally a happy home!
Because the kids are being so good, I start to slack. I let them play on their own, which I love to see.
The kids become bored of playing on their own and they start getting into trouble.
I try an activity here and there and it just goes awry. The kids don’t want to do it. They’re not in the mood. I’m not in the mood. There always seems to be an excuse. And we’re not that happy home anymore.
I tell myself, like I’ve told you a few times that its okay to not do activities with the kids.
And it is okay.
But when I get into that funk of not doing activities, I question myself:
Why is it important that I do these activities with my kids anyway?
The answer, hands down, is always one of these three below.
And by reminding myself of these reasons, it gets us back to the beginning of that circle and doing activities in a good way, for the right reasons. So I’m writing it out as a reminder to myself and hopefully to remind you, too. Take a moment to write down your reasons. Hang them somewhere for that day when you get in a funk, too.
Reason #1: So my kids will love to learn!
I, honestly, don’t care if my kids learn anything right now.
There’s many times I even think that I don’t want them to learn too much because I fear that they’ll be bored in school because its just review.
But what I feel they can’t get in school, or at least I wish they would get more of, is the fun that comes with learning.
Learning doesn’t have to be work.
Kids don’t have to be sitting at desks to learn. [I have a thing against worksheets.]
Kids learn by doing things! And by doing what they love makes it fun.
When they love learning, they’ll want to learn all the time! It’ll just be part of their play. And I just hope that they will continue to foster this love of learning as they get older.
I love learning. I actually usually jump from hobby to hobby, project to project, because I want to learn more. Once I learn it, I move on.
I hope my kids will do the same and want to learn more and more and more!
And I already see this in Henry, my oldest.
He asks for activities to practice his sight words. The other day somehow we even got to talking about multiplication problems and he’s been asking me to show him how to do them since. He has this love for learning.
He wants to soak up anything and everything I give him.
That’s one major reason why I keep doing activities with my kids.
I want my kids to love to learn. To find it fun and beg to learn something new.
Reason #2: To Get, and Keep, My Kids Moving
The next major reason is that I believe that all kids need to move… a lot.
In any way really. It doesn’t even have to be a gross motor activity necessarily. They just need to have movement, involvement and thought.
But I have made a conscious decision as a parent that I need to keep my kids moving. They’re busy kids, and they need to be busy kids. And I want them to be busy kids.
They’re kids. And they should just be kids. They should be moving.
Its so very important to me to say that. They SHOULD be moving at this age. Well, in all honesty, I think at all ages, I think we should be moving too as adults. But I’ll focus on young kids, since that’s the age of my kids now and what hands on : as we grow is focused on.
This goes off of the learning to love learning. Ditch the worksheets and get them up and moving to learn. Its just not right for a 3, 4 or 5, or even 6 or 7 year olds to be sitting at the table, or desk, doing worksheets, solving problems with pencil and paper… especially for hours on end.
When they are at home with me, I really want to make sure they’re moving!
When my kids are involved in something, they get into trouble a lot less!
Our activities usually stem off into other activities that they do on their own. It stirs their imagination to create freely on their own.
It also has the added bonus of wearing off their energy so that when they do need to sit still (like at dinner for instance) that they’re able too.
Kids really need to have movement in their day, and probably a lot more than what we think is necessary. They’re wired to move around.
I recently shared an article about why kids fidget on my Facebook page. And it came down to… what?
Because kids need to move!
I am by no means an expert in this field, so I’ll share some articles that I find very interesting.
These confirm my parenting style that I’ve always had excuses for. I tend to let my kids go when many other parents hold them back.
- Why being upside down helps kids
- The problem is that fidgety is a problem
- And 30 activities to get them up and moving (and burning off energy!)
Reason #3: To create memories and just have fun!
Often what gets me into the slippery slope of not wanting to do activities with my kids is their behavior.
Or maybe more specifically, my behavior.
I become overly expectant of how they should do an activity.
How it should turn out.
I get so wrapped up in the activity itself, that I often forget about what the main purpose of doing the activities is.
Because, really, really, its not to have yet another piece of paper to save. The stacks are already too high.
Its because I want to cherish our time together.
Okay, that sounds cheesy.
But I really do want them to remember spending time together doing fun things.
I have so many memories of my mom and I playing cards [Nerts anyone?] at our kitchen counter.
And creating bunches and bunches of tin can pencil holders too.
Not to mention fabric/Styrofoam ornaments for the Christmas tree.
My mom and I did activities like this all the time together.
They are my favorite memories.
I want that for my kids.
But I do get caught up in the product at times and I realize then that its time for a turn in my attitude and get me back on track.
And those are usually the happiest times.
I put down the camera. Put away my expectations. And be present with them.
See my Every Kid, Every Day resolution I made this year – try it yourself.
That’s when I hear the giggles. See the smiles. And take mental photos over and over again to capture the memories.
And that is why I love doing activities with my kids.
That’s my 3 main reasons for doing activities.
What’s YOUR reason for doing activities with your kids?
Leave me a comment and let me know! I may put together some quotes in a future post or email in my newsletter – I’d love to know what drives you!