What Do You Do With Your Kids All Day?

by brenda on

How to Wisely Invest Your Kids (and Your) Time

By Kristi Knifong

 

Here are some ideas of how to wisely invest your precious days and at home with your children. These are only suggestions for you to glean from. For those who love to have a schedule, you might want to incorporate these “times” into your day in 20-30 minute chunks. For others, who like to take life as it comes, grab an idea when there’s a lull.

Beware of using television as a substitute for you, it doesn’t even come close! God has given you the honor and responsibility to raise these children for Him. Take pride in this position He has given you, do your utmost with the strength He provides, and you will have no regrets!

 

MORNING IDEAS

Get up before them to have a time of quiet re-fueling before the day begins!

Shower & dress

(Don’t let your kids out of their room until a decided time.)

Your kids need to learn to respect you by respecting your time.

Have your kids get dressed before breakfast,

(good discipline for when they start school).

Breakfast should be fun & full of communication.

Play worship music while you make breakfast.

Read a Bible story while you eat together or review something they’re learning.

Independent play time (while you clean up breakfast).

Game time: they choose, get down on the floor with them.

(Key: if you spend quality time with them in the beginning, they will be more content when you need to do something alone.)

School time: teach them their ABC’s, handwriting, sign language, verse, etc.

Craft time: make a mess together! Play dough, paint, clay, coloring, lots of variety.

Reading time: get at least 20 books from the library at a time;

picture books they can look at without you and story books for their age.

Try to read for at least 20 minutes. They don’t have to sit next to you to listen.

Lunch time: be creative! Eat a picnic on the floor or go to a park in the summer.

This is one of those predictable times in the day when you sit down together, use it to talk & teach.

 

Side note: Of course, you will have to run to the grocery store and other errands during the week. Try to keep this to one morning a week or go when they go to sleep so you’re not having to drag them all over town dealing with their displeasure the whole time! Another benefit to going once a week is you will not spend as much money!

Also, I highly recommend getting caller ID so you don’t have to answer the phone every time it rings. Designate a few times in your day when you can return calls. I don’t know about you, but my kids act up the most when they know I’m on the phone!

The only morning I spend away from home on a regular basis is on Wednesday’s for Women’s Bible Study. It is a great way to break up your week and give yourself a needed breather from your home and kids. There’s also the added benefit of knowing God and making new friends! Did I mention free babysitting?

 

AFTERNOON IDEAS

 

Exercise time: send them outdoors or into the garage with bikes. They need fresh air.

For ages 4+ use a treadmill, get them walking and listening to a book on tape.

Quiet time: for small children under 3 they will nap, but for older kids expect them to

play quietly in their rooms without coming out until the timer goes off. Quiet time is over when YOU determine. Have them use the potty BEFORE it starts.

This is a great time to have them listen to the Bible on CD or worship music.

(KEY: this is YOUR time. Take advantage of it! Rest, read, make phone calls.)

Clean-up time: they should be trained where to put away toys and clothes, set the          timer and have it be a race. Reward…snack time!

Snack time: choose something healthy and yummy.

Computer time: If you have more than one child, do something special with the

other kids and then switch after 20-30 minutes.  Check-out great educational      software from the library. We like Jumpstart, Blue’s Clues, Winnie the Pooh,     Busytown etc.

Skill time: While your other child is on the computer, do a one-on-one lesson with the

other and teach them a skill you think they need to learn.

Example, for my girls I teach one how to cook or dust or sew.

Creative play time: build a pillow fort, dress up, beauty parlor, bubbles, Legos;

make believe: vet, doctor, house, act out a storybook etc.

Help them be creative and have fun imagining.

Video time: our kids watch one half-hour video a day. They are entranced because it is

such a treat. Be very discerning when choosing videos or T.V. programs, even a

decent show can be destroyed by bad advertisements. Proceed with caution!

Church library highly recommended. Excellent choices: Hide ‘Em in Your Heart, Donut Man, Miss Pattycake, Sign-language for kids, Quigley’s Village……

(Key: Use this time for when you NEED it. Maybe it will be to take a shower in

the morning, maybe it will be best used while you make dinner.)

 

EVENING IDEAS

 

Dinnertime: mandatory house rule to always eat together. Studies show that families

who eat together stay together. Have Daddy share about his day.

Daddy time: this should be a special focused time for Dad to spend with the kids.

(KEY: use this small break to clean-up dinner so you don’t have to later.)

Bath time: a bedtime routine can be crucial for your kids going to bed easily.

Create a routine that works. Give them time to play as well as wash.

Rotate fun toys in the tub, so they don’t get bored. Buy fun bubble bath.

Jammy time: are they dressed, teeth brushed, drink, gone potty? Now it’s time for…

Story time: Have Dad take the lead and snuggle up with them to read from a

children’s Bible that’s age appropriate.

Bed time: Pray for them, have them pray, say “Good night!” Shut the door and don’t

allow them to come out!

CONGRATULATIONS! You’re done…for today anyway!

(Key: take time now to visit with your husband over coffee and relax.

Set yourself up for success tomorrow. Tidy up, make phone calls you’ve had to

put off, email, bills, make lunches.  Then do WHATEVER YOU WANT!)

 

REMEMBER: this is not the picture of a perfect day. These are only examples that you can pick and choose from. If you do them, watch out! Your kids will want more of it!

 

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