April 1, 2012

Strategies for parents and fun activities for children (cookies and crafts)

As parents, we all get busy so often and sometimes there isn't enough time to do everything we intend to. However, the time we spend with our children will be valued life long and if we don't try to squeeze in some time for memorable activities we might regret it.

On this post, I will share some fun strategies we can do with our children at home, while we are catching up with our own things.

Involving our children to be part of our daily life and routines makes things smooth and easier, while they learn a new skill. Let the children help with putting away or folding laundry, cleaning up the house, organizing the closet, watering the plants, raking, shovelling snow, setting the table, breaking the beans for dinner, taking part in washing dishes and throwing out the garbage.
Make sure children are close by when they are helping to do these tasks. These mentioned activities depend on the age of the child. For example ask a young child to hand you things to set up the table i.e. napkins. Or ask a toddler to help sort the cleaned laundry i.e. is it daddy's or brother's, where is the other socks etc...?

Make some chocolate chip shortbread cookies for tea with the children's help. Let the children help with the measurements, hold the hand mixer and press the cookies to put in the oven.
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Beat butter and sugar till it is fluffy. Add flour, salt and mix well then add the chocolate chips.
It could be made into individual sizes by making 12 balls then lightly flatten it about 1/2" high. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet in a preheated 375F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, it will harden a little once it is removed from the oven so don't over bake as it might burn on the bottom.

Instead of making individual cookies it could also be pressed it down 1/2" high into a ungreased cake pan and bake at 375F until the edges are golden brown for about 10 minutes.

Let the cookies stay on the pan over a wire rack for about 5 to 10 minutes before inverting or removing the individual cookies. Cut into pieces.

glitter paint craft

There are times when we all need to be left alone to catch up with things around the house and we rather do it without the children around us trying to help :) At these times instead of switching on the TV or the computer, try these.

Set up a writing station or caddy with supplies such as pencil, crayons, colour pencils, markers, stickers, coloured paper, recycled paper, glue etc...
When setting up this work station, get the children excited and ask them to help you i.e. make this homemade container to hold crayons.

With this type of station, if the children are young advise them to use these tools only at the table and not anywhere else in the house to avoid clean up and accidents on the walls :)
Each day change it up ask the children to make a collage with ripped paper, or paper that is cut, with cloth. Other days ask them to surprise you :)

Keep a writing/drawing journal and give the children a topic or ask them to write and draw about something they remember. This can be for any age group and it will help develop writing/thinking/drawing skills, while keeping them quiet and busy. It would be easier to save these journals to show them when they are big :)

These types of activities will make the children happy, independent and you will be proud of it.

Here is a simple paint and fold activity to make spring creatures i.e. butterflies, caterpillars etc...
crayola children's paint
construction paper

You might have to demonstrate one and leave the kids to do a few by themselves. Blot paint on the paper and fold it and press. Open it up and sprinkle glitter.
If the child has siblings put out some toys i.e. Lego, games or cards and encourage some quiet play. Take some time out of your busy day, get involved when children are playing and have fun, it will feel good and take away some stress :)

Hope you will try these strategies and benefit from it.
Thank you MC Canada for encouraging me to write this post and honouring me to be one of the recipients for the grant program.
mom central blogger award

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  1. Oh my! These look so delicious & I'm amazed

  2. Children like doing grown-up activities and if they can be taught new skills and made to feel like responsible little adults helping out in small household chores at a young age, it can instil good values early in life

  3. I love this recipe - much easier than traditional chocolate chip cookies. My child is outside helping my husband to rake as I type. He feels like such a big helper:)

  4. Looks awesome & delicious :)

  5. simple and easy cookie recipe. nice recipe

  6. Those cookies are gorgeous--I'm sure they'd be delicious with afternoon tea!

  7. If you make it fun and interesting children will surprise you at what they can do and how much they can learn. A good post here, Thanks.
    And the cookiea are great too. I made a giant batch of oatmeal cookies for the students at my spouse's SAT preparation class.

  8. Wow! these cookie loos so delicious and easy too...

  9. These cookies look great. It is a rainy day here so baking might just be on the agenda! Thanks for sharing. (Judy Cowan)

  10. Lots of great ideas here. We bought some Play-Doh yesterday for our 17-month old son. Should get lots of fun out of that.


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