It is important to stimulate growing children’s minds daily. On the science side, it helps neurons make connections but it also helps with development. Babies are easy to play with, you make silly faces to get them to smile. You sing to them and hold them. Older children become more of a challenge. I incorporate fun and play into my children’s daily activities.
When we wake up, I sing silly songs to them. I sing a Good Morning song. This gets them off to a great start. With my younger daughter we sing days of the week so she knows what day it is.
Although getting dressed is not always fun, I try to involve the girls and give them choices. We talk about what my 6 year old has at school. If she has gym class, we pick sneakers. We do silly dances to make sure they are the right shoes. If she is dressing up we try her shoes and outfit and have a fake fashion show, complete with the runway walk.
Another thing the girls hate is having their hair combed. I try to tell them the story of Rapunzel, although with all the Disney Princesses having such long hair, I tell them a story while I brush their hair. If I get to a tangle, I tell them to tell me their favorite part of the movie.
We do double duty in the kitchen. We pack our lunch and talk about what is for dinner. If we are putting meat in the crockpot for dinner, we talk about fun things to use it for to pack lunch the next day. I make shredded chicken and then the next day we pack a taco roll up.
When my daughter is packing, I tell her to pick what type of sandwich, what type of fruit and usually crackers. She always wants bananas. We quiz my younger daughter on what is in the lunch box.
We also pack her backpack together in the morning to make sure everything is there. She has a homework center with her calendar hanging right above it so she knows what is going on that day. She helps her sister put on a backpack every morning when we are taking her to school so she doesn’t feel left out.
We check the weather 5 minutes before we leave. If we aren’t in a hurry, we draw pictures of the sun, or rain. This helps the girls decide what coat to put on before we leave and whether or not to take an umbrella.
When we pick my oldest up we have her tell us about her day. Sometimes we play thinking of something and I have to guess their snack choices.
I try to give my kids 30 minutes of outside time to unwind and then we do homework. If the homework involves any art project, we do a nature walk to collect items for the homework.
Before bed, we all brush our teeth together and check under the bed for monsters. They both have little flashlights hanging next to their beds so they can shine them during the night and scare the monsters if they think they hear them.
Although we stay on a schedule, I try to make every day fun. I think it is important for the kids to have fun and use their imagination.