With the kids out of school for a couple of weeks, many parents will have realized that a bit of planning for boredom may have been useful. As much as youth’s attention spans mimic those of fruit flies most of the time, they’ll often have endless attention for the TV, and many parents just don’t know how to keep the kids entertained without turning to the remote.
The savvy parent might Google for inspiration, but resources for entertaining the kids are endless, and most I’ve found fall flat. One service however, came across my desk recently that’s simple, well organized and worth a look.
Whattodowiththekids.com is the brain child of former stay at home dad Brian Presley. After being laid off from his job in 1999 Brian joined the ranks of mommies at library groups and play dates, and noticed that although the moms around him knew how to nurture and care for their children, many complained of not really knowing how to come up with games and crafts for them, and really play with them.
Presley had experience as a camp counsellor and program director for the Boys and Girls Club, and a sizeable bag of tricks for keeping kids entertained.
“So I thought it would be a great idea to write a book and protect my sanity of doing diapers all day,” he explains.
Presley wrote the book and created a website to market it, but due to career responsibilities, left it inactive for a period of time. When he checked back on it a few years later, Presley found that although dormant, the site wasn’t dead.
“When I went to check on it again one year I ended getting 170,000 hits with only 20 or 30 games and craft ideas on it,” explains Presley.
With the inspiration of the site’s success, and the reinforced faith in its need, Presley has expanded the site to include many crafts and activities, tips for party planning, special reports, a directory of resources and a “where to go in whatever city you’re in” section that Presley hopes to expand to include all major Canadian cities.
So, for teachers researching ideas, for dads wanting to “up” their arsenal of fun things to do with the kids, and for moms wanting to break into the role of “fun parent” this site’s worth a visit.
There’s a reason teachers lesson plan, and frankly there’s no reason that parents shouldn’t do a little activity planning too. Surprising the kids with an inexpensive craft or project will make them happy to have a new adventure, and having a plan makes it easier for parents to organize supplies and time. Sharing some fun time with the family is never time wasted, and as they say, a family that plays together stays together.