GRAND RAPIDS — A lot of parents are feeling the same right now, stressed, overwhelmed and struggling to find the balance.
Dr. Nicole Beurkens shared some ideas on different ways to keep the kids occupied in a meaningful way, while still learning and developing valuable life skills.
1. The first is cleaning and organizing shoes. Get some soapy water and a rag and a toothbrush and have them work on scrubbing the shoes. Even young kids really like to get involved with this kind of activity! Pro tip: a magic eraser works great!
2. Folding and organizing items in your linen closet. This is a great activity even for young children to get practice with folding simple items! They’re learning a great life skill and can work on math skills with counting and sorting. And spacial skills with sorting and organizing and putting things back in in a neat way.
3. Cleaning out the fridge. We’re eating at home more and this is a great opportunity to get the inside of that fridge clean. Have kids work on taking things out, using some math skills and some thinking skills for getting rid of items that are expired based on the dates, things that are old. Then cleaning everything out really well and using their spacial and thinking skills to organize and put everything back in.
4. Cooking! Little ones can help mix things! Big kids can make dinner for the night! Lots of learning opportunities there!
5. Trying on clothes and getting rid of items that don’t fit. This is something that parents have to go through on a regular basis as kids are growing. Dr Nicole says this provides a triple win of not only cleaning out your space, but also giving an opportunity to express gratitude for all of the things that we have and giving back by setting aside these things that don’t fit anymore and donating when this is done!
“I think that giving kids chores and household activities is a great way to not only build their learning skills, but help them gain some valuable life skills, and help out because parents are looking for some help right now. They’ve got time right now and often when you get them started and give them some instructions they can then take the lead and get those things done,” she said.
For more information and tips from Dr. Nicole: https://www.facebook.com/drnicolebeurkens/