When you’re looking for a career that’s intense and rewarding at the same time, being a stay-at-home mom can fit the bill. You don't need a wardrobe of tailored suits and separates, or expensive nail or hair appointments. You've traded your designer digs (Shh -- they're all discount!) for something money can't buy. You don’t get regular coffee breaks and you work around the clock – and your boss can be a pint-sized tyrant. Even though you wouldn't trade your life for anything, there are days when everything's upside down. Save your sanity with a list of activities to keep you and your little buddy busy.
Arts and Crafts
A craft bin or cupboard filled with arts and crafts supplies will keep the little ones busy for hours. Create a designated work area where your little ones can work on projects. A well-stocked art area should include lots of different materials. Paper products like lunch bags, cardboard, envelopes, junk mail, magazines and newspapers are a must. Add household odds and ends like paper plates, egg cartons, muffin liners, toilet paper rolls and wrapping paper. Toss in trinkets like cotton balls, dried pasta, fabric scraps, felt, old socks, paper clips, pine cones and string. Don't forget some ribbon, rubber bands, sponges, craft sticks and yarn, too. When kids have access to these and other art materials, you never know what they’ll make. Try to spend time every day making some sort of art or craft project and display them proudly around the house.
It’s never too soon to start reading to little ones. Even babies enjoy the close snuggling and the sound of your voice as you read colorful books. By the time your kid reaches toddlerhood, he's probably got the patience to sit through simple board books on your lap. Preschoolers are usually focused enough to read books several times a day. Reading is Fundamental is an organization which states that reading aloud makes kids stronger readers, better listeners and more successful students. Not only this, but reading aloud also develops strong vocabulary and hones language skills. Spend time chilling with a book and you show your kids that reading is important.
Out and About
As nice as it is to stay home with your kids, getting out is cool, too. There are lots of activities for you and your kids when you’ve got the flexibility of staying at home. Find a story time program at your local library. Sign up for a playgroup that meets near your house to get your kids some interaction with peers – this helps you meet other moms, too. Make it a point to get to the park often – the fresh air will do everyone good and your kids will probably nap better after running around. Take a "mommy-and-me" exercise class that gives you exercise time together. Some moms like to get out every day and others prefer to choose a few days a week. Do what works for you.
Staying home does give you lots of time to spend with your kids every day – but it can’t always be playtime. Life is full of chores, too. If you include your kids in your chores around the house, you accomplish several times at once. First, you continue the positive interaction of spending quality time with your little ones. Second, you teach them valuable skills that they’ll need to know about housework and chores. Third, you encourage them and help them feel important by teaching them how to help and giving them chores. A little one who dusts, sweeps or feeds the dog is contributing to the family and probably feels great about that.