*HELP WITH THE HOUSEWORK
All our little guys want is to have fun (usually energetically) and to be close with and adored by mum or dad, especially in the younger years. Therefore the idea of doing ‘tough’ work for mum or dad would be right up their alley. If you need to get some housework done, why not enlist some help from little hands, particularly with the jobs that require some elbow grease. Helping out with cleaning various parts of the house is a great way to get those arms moving and muscles strengthened up. All you need is a large sponge or cloth and some water. The use of shop-bought cleaning products is not advised as they may cause skin irritation at best and poisoning at worst.
Other jobs that would work up a mini sweat include moving laundry from machine to basket and sweeping or hovering the floor. A truly fun one would be to help wash the car. I find some good disco music in the background makes for even more fun (or maybe that’s just me as I try to get through the drudgery of it!)
TIP: Encourage large arm movements to help burn more energy
*BOWLS OF RICE
This is a great activity for your bundle of fun. It’s quite a calm activity but the combination of movement and concentration as well as the opportunity for conversation lends to the connection between the left and right sides of the brain. For most boys, in particular the more energetic ones, there is a tendency to use the right side of the brain more than the left which makes them the action-packed bundle of energy that we just adore. The hormone, testosterone, slows down the growth of the left side which is where those language and reasoning skills are worked on, so it’s good to take every opportunity to help connect the two sides. Here, our little guy is perfecting his already inept spacial awareness while language and communication skills can be encouraged by mum/dad while simply chatting with him about what he is doing (or anything else that pops up in conversation).
Okay, enough with science and let’s get to the practicalities.
For this fun activity all you need is…
- Some large bowls or saucepans (whatever is to hand in your kitchen)
- Rice, uncooked. Plenty of it!
- Tubs, spoons, whisks, plastic bottles… anything that can be used to scoop/pour/stir
And that’s it! Put rice in at least one bowl. Place all the items on a counter or table and let your child sit or stand (whichever is safest!) so that he has comfortable reach of everything in front of him. Let him explore the rice with his fingers and the utensils. Encourage conversation and describe what you see as he pours, scoops etc.
This may become a chatty moment or there may be complete silence. Don’t be pushy with the chat, us mothers can ask way too many questions at times. It’s taken me 19 years and I’m still working on it!
TIP: Add food colouring or a couple of drops of essential oil for added interest. I’ve had this activity keep my little guys busy for up to 2 hours. Imagine all that quiet calm. You’re Welcome.. 🙂
A wall that is free to draw or paint on is a dream come true for most children I know, but is the opposite for most adults I know!
A happy medium is to stick a roll of paper onto a few walls of your kitchen or hall with plenty of blue tac and let the kids have at it! A good way to burn off energy here would be to run from one end to another with paint brush in hand or making large arm movements to decorate the wall. You could even suggest that he takes off his socks and paint with his feet onto the art Wall.
A day could be spent coming and going to the Art Wall. Leave up the paper for a whole weekend to quench any “I’m bored” moments from arising.
To calm things down a bit, here are some Quiet Indoor Ideas