Sunday, August 16, 2009

5 Tips for keeping children occupied while working

First, wash face after PB&J sandwich!

Even though our offspring may be hovering around the age of 30, we still consider them our children. Ah, and while we are sleeping, or so it seems, grandchildren appear and our lives are changed forever. Since I am a grandmother working at home, I am sometimes faced with a challenge: How do I spend time on weekends with my grandchildren and still meet a Monday deadline. Planning better would be one way but the surprise visits often pre-empt it. Here are some tips that I use that sometimes work (and sometimes don't).
  1. "Don't forget to color the trees green and the sky blue. I can't wait to see what color you make the house." Always have coloring books and crayons in the house. Coloring is a positive form of entertainment for a child that takes concentration.
  2. "Make me a donut," or "See if you can make a dragon." Play Doh is one of the best inventions for allowing children to use their imaginations. It is non-toxic, not that my 3-year old would eat it, but it's good to know that it's safe. Cleaning the carpet afterward can wait until the deadline has passed.
  3. "Use this little plastic putter to see if you can get the golf ball into the hole. Start close to the hole and then move back a little each time you make your shot." It is very important for little tykes to practice coordination and motor skills.
  4. "See if you can get all the puzzles pieces in their slots before Grandma finishes her paragraph." Make sure the puzzle is age appropriate but still challenging.
  5. "Here is a video I know you'll like because you liked it last time you were here." I hate to resort to this one and prefer to watch the video with the child so we can talk and laugh together, but if the deadline is pressing and the child liked the video the first time, it's likely that they'll want to see it again and again.
Once your work is complete be sure to bake cookies, play a game or take a walk together. The deadline may be tomorrow, but you never know if you'll see your grandchild again. A bit of advice from a grandmother who knows the meaning of that statement.

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