Play Routine: Use this simple printable chart as a tool to help yourself and slow down, not to add to your already busy schedule.
WHY YOU NEED A PLAY CHART
Do you stare at the clock until your husband comes home hoping to give you a break from entertaining, disciplining and feeding the kids? I used to, and it was miserable. If you’re living in survival mode when it comes to being a stay at home mom, I have an easy solution to help pass the time with intention.
A few years ago I created a play chart: a chart that presents activities already available in our home in a more organized way. This play chart has become a favorite in my family. The kids take turns picking activities off the chart by covering the next activity with a magnet. I enjoy the mix of independent and group activities, indoor and outdoor.
I tell the kids to “pick off the chart” when I need time to myself, they are bickering, or I want to be intentional in playing with them. Some days we do three things, some days we do 10. It breaks up the boredom of every day life and puts some routine and creativity into our schedule.
The greatest benefit from the chart is that it actually helps with preventing some bad behaviors that occur just from the boredom and monotony of everyday life. I also use it as a tool to train my kids how to be independent. After a few times of using the chart, the kids know where the items are, and put the activity away before they choose a new one (that will take some reminding).
Here are lots of examples of activities I’ve done with my kids over the years using variations of the chart:
A FEW TIPS FOR USING THE CHART
Use this as a tool, not another thing on your to-do list. For example:
- If the kids are fighting, tell them to each pick something off the chart and play alone.
- If the house is a mess, you can pick off the chart: CHORES. No kid is picking this one on their own! You may want to have a rule that you get to pick when TV time is used as well.
- Games and crafts are when I sit and play with the kids. Sometimes I tell them to pick something they can do alone, or tell them game time is always at the same time everyday.
- Be as flexible or rigid as you want to be with the chart to make it work for you!
CLICK TO PRINT:
NEED A MORE CUSTOMIZED CHART?
Print a blank one here
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
For more parenting tips, read:
- How to Teach Your Toddler a Letter a Week
- 50 Educational Activities To Do with Babies
- Preschool Curriculum for Stay At Home Moms
- Tips for First Time Moms
- Burp Cloths that Real Moms Will Actually Use
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