I know I am not the only one who has already heard the “I’m Bored” cry this season. Between the cold, the wind, and the rain, it seems this weather is determined to keep my kids cooped up and going crazy. We are an energetic bunch. We are always moving and doing and playing, so when the weather keeps us cooped up, it can go south quickly.
Legos get thrown around.
Random toys go flying down the stairs.
Loud rough play spontaneously erupts
And the fights! Lord help me when the bickering begins.
So what do I do to keep
chaos at bay?
We have tried rotating suggested daily activities for bad weather days. Basically, when there is bad weather I pick a board game and I pick an art activity that each can take quite a bit of time to do and I set them out on the coffee table. The kids are welcome to do it any time they are bored and want something to do and they can do it multiple times. My kids became bored with that quickly.
We have tried bord jars. Little mason jars filled with strips of paper that a child reaches in and picks one. On the paper is written a chore, a fun activity, or book work to do. While this sounds wonderful and like it could be a huge help, it did not work for my family. It only took a day or two for my kids to realize that if they complain they, might have to do work. So instead they went and picked a fight with one of their siblings.
Another thing we have tried is setting up a youtube informational playlist with online learning games that connect to the videos. While the kids enjoyed this a time or two, they become burned out on this activity quickly and so can only be used occasionally. Also, since they are sitting still looking at a screen, they are not using their energy which means that when they get up, they suddenly think they are the Flash.
None of these worked for us, maybe they will work for you
What worked for us was exercise. This may seem odd but it works for my high energy kids. A little back history. A number of years back, McDonald was introducing their new salads and with the salad came a free work out video. I purchased these. The videos are 10 to 15-minute workouts and you can choose to ease into the workout or to push yourself. There are four different discs: yoga, strength, cardio, and core. When my kids start getting rambunctious and loud, I tell them to pick two of the discs to do.
I do not wait for fights to start.
I do not wait to hear “I’m bored.”
I do not wait for me to lose my patience.
I am very purposeful in telling them when to do these exercises because I want them to recognize when they need to be more active. I want them to connect their current behavior with the need to be active and get energy out. I don’t want them stuck on the fact that mommy was angry with them and that was why they had to work out. The hope is that they will become better at recognizing when they are being energetic and will start choosing to do things to take care of that energy instead of whining or fighting.
The videos are only part of our solution. When they are done with the videos, I want to engage their mind so I suggest they get on prodigy and their typing lessons for a while as well. The kids really only do 10 or 15 minutes of typing practice but prodigy they tend to play for 30 minutes because it is fun. All in all, they use up over an hour of time, burned off energy, and engaged their minds in a fun way.
I now have calmer, more respectful kiddos stuck in my house.
This season can be a stressful one. The weather during this season makes things more stressful but if we can keep our wits about us, just a little bit, we can make it a fun one for our kiddos and keep the stress level lower in our home. Plus, they won’t feel the need to whine about being bord….. as much.
Greetings! My name is Joy and I am currently a stay at home mom who is homeschooling her three kids in South Carolina. I love learning and I love sharing the love of learning with others so getting to home school my kids and watch the “ah-ha” moments when they understand something is unbelievably rewarding. I have been homeschooling since my twins were preschool age so we are going on 8 years now. I am also a military spouse so we have the added joy of being a military family with some of the complications that come with it. As a family, we stay busy with our scouting groups, American Heritage Girls and TrailLife, and we do many camping and hiking trips with them. When I have downtime, I am typically reading books I have sitting around the house, on YouTube/websites getting more information on different home school programs or working on plans for homeschool. I look forward to being able to share our experiences with everyone and help encourage all homeschooling families.