With summer right around the corner, most kids will soon have more time on their hands. How can you prepare your home and plan ahead for ideas that will stimulate children’s imaginations and keep them from mischief? With a 12-month-old toddling all over I am trying to answer that questions for myself. After all, we all know what is said about idle hands . . .
I will be talking more about summer activities that engage the family, learning, and creativity over the next few months. But, if you’re wondering how you can make your home more fun for the children, consider these three areas of the home: the kitchen, the garden/yard, and bedrooms.
In The Kitchen
There are so many opportunities for children in the kitchen. I would encourage you to get your children interested in food from as early an age as possible. Children who have a real interest in food tend to develop healthier habits towards it. That’s right–if you want your children to grow up to eat healthy, introduce them to a variety of foods and flavors. It is also clearly beneficial to start teaching them the basics of food preparation and cooking as early as possible. Make the kitchen a central focus point of fun in your household, and you will be equipping them with skills that serve them well throughout their life. Heavenly Homemakers offers tons of ideas, resources, and healthy recipes to make with your children. You can find more recipes and ideas for cooking at www.bbcgoodfood.com. Cooking and baking together in the kitchen is not only a learning opportunity–it can be a ton of fun!
In The Garden
The yard and garden are areas where you will create really strong, happy memories which will last a lifetime. There is nothing better in the world than playing with your children in the garden on a sunny day. Regardless of the activity, any garden activity is likely to beat watching television! Plus, there is so much you can teach your children about nature, science, and conservation when you bring them into the garden with you. I have so many wonderful memories of planting seeds, transplanting plants, and harvesting buckets upon buckets of tomatoes. I loved it all, except for maybe the weeding. I am planning on letting Rebekah (as much as possible) help me plant some flower and tomato seeds this year. How fun would it be to let your children cook in the kitchen with food they grew in the garden?!
Outside of the garden, the yard in general can offer a stage to endless possibilities. I remember building earth lodges, attempting sod houses, making slip ‘n slides, climbing trees, and jumping in piles of leaves, and so much more. There are so many outdoor activities to choose from; it can sometimes be difficult to decide how to best cultivate outdoor opportunities. Stocking up on outdoor toys and supplies, such as those you can find at Letsplaycornhole.com can help you create an outdoor space your kids will want to spend time in. I am an advocate for anything that gets kids to put down the phones, video games, and turn off the TV. 😉
In Their Rooms
Creativity is an important skill which all children can and should develop from a young age. On those days where everyone wants to stay indoors or the weather limits you, encourage young minds and creative juices by playing with them to create all manner of things. It is a great idea to organize their rooms (or a play room) with various art supplies and board games. That way, whenever the mood hits them, they can get creating. The Artful Parent is one of my favorite go-to blogs for art and craft ideas for kids–seriously check out Jean’s ARTletter!
Surround them with quality music, art, and literature. These things inspire young minds to creativity. Also, summertime is a great chance to help your child redesign their room. Let their personality shine through with the colors they pick and let them create some of their own art or decor–this saves money and gives them ownership in the process.
I am excited to announce that Mitch and I are in the process of buying our first home! (We’ll share more on that later . . .) I am already thinking a lot about how to arrange and decorate the house to be a place of love, becoming, and belonging. Plus, I want it to have creative play and learning opportunities for Rebekah.