MobiStories.com Guest Contributor Wendy Toone shares great tips on how to keep your kids occupied when you've got tons of errands to run!
As a mom of two, I know I'm not alone when I say how challenging it is to keep young kids occupied while doing any sort of waiting. And by challenging, I mean "grit-your-teeth, pull your hair out, I can't believe they're doing that in public" challenging. How many times have you had to stop in to the bank for a quick transaction with a toddler in tow, only to find a line so long you think you made a wrong turn and ended up at the DMV. What to do?? You look at your toddler...at the line...at the very important banking you need to do...at your toddler.... at the line. It may seem like a hopeless situation, but it's not. I'm here to help.
Here are a few of my tried and true tips and ideas to try the next time you find yourself in a queue, a waiting room, on a plane, or any other situation where you may need to keep your little ones quiet and at bay. They've worked for me; I hope they work for you. The basic premise is to keep your child busy. By giving them something specific to do you'll be combating boredom, and may have fun in the process. So, give your toddler a job...Part 1 offers Gross Motor Exercises. In my follow up article I offer some Fine Motor Exercises. And the series will finish with the all-important Cognitive Exercises, to keep your little one thinking all the time.
"Gross" Motor Exercises (exercises for the large muscle groups, not the yucky ones)
Youngsters need to be active. It seems as though they're wired that way. Running, jumping, rolling are all part of everyday life for toddlers - after all, physical and cognitive development is their job. So, since screen time may not be an option, how can we expect them to stand still for any length of time? That doesn't mean you can turn your little one loose in the lobby. But you can encourage the use of large muscle groups, keeping them active but in one spot.
1. Flamingo Stand - have your child extend his/her arms out to the side for balance, then pick up one foot and see how long they can stand on the other foot. Naturally you'll want to make sure you both have a bit of room in case of tips and tumbles. But the goal is not to fall down. The goal is to stay up...counting helps and creates an opportunity for improvement as each time they try they get to higher and higher numbers.
Once your child (and probably you as well) tire of the Flamingo Stand, move on to this one.
2. Little, Big - have your child do basic squats. For those of you who workout, you know how fatiguing it can be to burn those thigh muscles. Your child reaches as tall as she/he can, up on tiptoes, then squats down as little as they can, but staying on their feet. Think duck squat. In fact, you can even give a whispered little "quack, quack" if it helps. You can get big, now get little, as often as you'd like. Be certain not to go too fast.... otherwise you move into jumping, which may require more room than you have at hand.
We adults will probably feel the burning sensation in our legs much sooner than your child; however, you can probably stop at any time and watch your child go, go, go, go.
These are just a couple of gross motor exercises you can do with your child. By the way, why do they call them gross motor exercises? I'm sure you can now think of many others along these same lines. When it comes to waiting on long lines, giving your child something productive to do will make the waiting time pass more quickly. I look for anything to pass the time by. Whether it's Gross Motor, Fine Motor or even just watching digital picture books to exercise your child's brain. You know, whatever it takes. They're only this young once!
Wendy Toone is a child expert having owned and operated a leading franchise children's fitness center and now producing MobiStories, Virtual Books for KidsTM, as well as being a mom to her two children. To experience the world of digital children's picture books, visit MobiStories.com.
To download a free digital book for your PC visit MobiStories.com, click on Summer (in the Ages 2 - 4 category) add it to the cart along with Michelle Obama (Ages 6-10) then enter the code SUM0710 in the Coupon Code Box.
*This advertorial post is sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network.