Asia Citro, the author and mom behind Fun at Home with Kids, is full of good ideas. We’ve been trying out projects and experiments from her three books since the beginning of the summer, and I can tell you that they put a stop to bored kids almost immediately.
Her three books are 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids (recommended to me by two different moms, including GeekMom Kelly Knox), A Little Bit of Dirt: 55+ Science and Art Activities to Reconnect Children with Nature, and The Curious Kid’s Science Book: 100+ Creative Hands-On Activities for Ages 4-8.
That last age recommendation is really pretty accurate for all three books. My daughter is four, and there were plenty of activities in these books for her to try out. But I noticed several that would keep all elementary school kids entertained.
I work at home, and that can be challenging when there’s a small child running around looking for constant entertainment. I don’t use these books as a crutch to entertain her every second. I use these books when she’s exhausted all of her own play resources and just wants to watch TV or have me entertain her. We have a routine, especially during the school year (she’s only in school half day). I actually keep a paper planner just for her, so I can keep track of her activities and appointments, and I can plan ahead for mother/daughter field trips, games, library trips–all while still getting my work done.
These books have given me so many ideas of activities I can prep ahead of time, so I can pull them out and set them up so they’re ready to go in no time. We’ve also done several of the activities together. The science experiments are a family affair; we’re planning to make the volcano from The Curious Kid’s Science Book next week as part of our Halloween fun. I’ve helped send dinosaurs through the shaving cream car wash I don’t even know how many times.
But, they also give her plenty of independence to explore. I made her a simple splat mat earlier this year so she could make a mess on her own without me worrying as much about the floors and furniture. Let kids make a mess, but plan ahead so they don’t take the house down with them. That’s my life motto, anyway.
Some items mentioned in this post were given to GeekMom for review purposes.