Planning activities for children everyday doesn’t have to be hard. As a mom who has raised 4 children – all 2 year or less apart, I love to plan kids activities for my preschoolers and toddlers. Let me show you How to Plan Kids Activities at home.
I have been planning play activities for my own children this way for years. I share two methods below.
How to Plan Kids Activities for Early Years
When I shared my routine for toddlers, many people told me that 7am-7pm routines don’t work for them because they don’t know how to keep their toddlers entertained for so long.
I have been through this myself and understand it very well. Children constantly need activities and ideas to keep them engaged, active and learning or else they get bored and resort to tantrums and wailing.
Planning kids activities taught me to love to craft with my kids. It gave me the satisfaction as their mom and made the whole ‘I want to be a SAHM to play with my kids’ feeling feel so real. We made great memories together and I got to capture some fantastic pictures of kids being kids!
When I had an activity for them daily, I found that, it also meant that I had, purposefully, set aside quality time to spend with them.
Why should you Plan Kids Activities
They also learn what a beautiful world it is and that there is loads of fun things to do… not just screen time!
They love to show off their creativities to everyone too. I am giving them confidence as well as the power to do something by themselves.
But, I didn’t always plan activities for my kids. There was a time when I would randomly choose a craft for the day. I didn’t have the time nor the patience to sit down and plan things for myself, least of all them. But when I tried it once, I found how easy my life became.
More than that, I found a dramatic change in my children’s behaviour. They got along well, they were calmer, more cooperative and happy!
Here are a few reasons why you should consider planning your child’s play too:
- Kids need structure to their day. Free play is good and it should be encouraged but they need structured play and learning too. When a child is playing by himself all day long, they get bored easily. It becomes boring to play those same toys all the time too. They then resort to troubling. For example, have you noticed how your child will only get on the table and throw all the things off it when he is bored and wants your attention?
- Time for yourself: I have found that my kids are the most troublesome when I am in the kitchen cooking. The lunch time was really my most stressful part of the day. I have found that when I had special activities for them during that time, they would actually enjoy when I left them alone. They wanted me to go away!
- Kids need sensory play. In the life that we are living these days, sensory play is very important. The effect of technology and white noise on children is stressing them out. Kids have trouble sleeping, they have sensory issues even though they are absolutely normal. I have found that sensory play really benefits children. My children are so relaxed and feel so contented after an hour of sensory play.
- Fill that Power Bucket: Have you noticed how toddlers throw a tantrum when you don’t give in to their demands? That is because they want to do something important too. It isn’t just toddlers, older kids want to be important too. I have found that certain activities can really help satisfy that need. For example, when you let them cook with you or work in the garden or just let them do your chores, it makes them feel so ‘grown up’!
- One simple way to minimize screen time: Have you noticed how children demand more screen time when they have nothing better to do? I have often seen how my two year will quickly go switch off the TV even before her time is up because she saw me preparing for an activity.
All these reason and more is why you should plan activities for your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have toddlers because all these reasons hold even for older kids. My 7 year old loves our afternoon craft time and our cooking time on the weekends. It makes him feel so attached to me. I have often seen how it is easy to talk about any topic with him when we are crafting or working on an activity together.
When you plan learning activities for your child, beforehand, it also has the benefit that you will always have the supplies on hand. It will mean there will be less mess and chaos but more fun because everything is all planned out.
How to Plan fun Activities for Kids to do at home
There are two ways to plan your child’s daily activities. DIY it yourself or let someone else (who is an expert at it!) do it for you. Lets start with the first one…
1. THE DIY METHOD OF PLANNING KIDS ACTIVITIES
Also known as the HARD way.
Until I had my first two children, this is how I had been planning kids activities for years. If you have just one child and you are the type who likes to do things DIY, this is for you.
Here is how to do it:
First Step: Find fun, engaging activities for your child:
If you have the time to sit down and select the activities for your child yourself then, you can make your own activity plan for your child this way.
I would either:
a. Curate content on Pinterest:
Pinterest is my BFF! It is one place where I have access to all the ideas in the world by people who have done it.For planning kids activities, this is the first place I start.
I have several Pinterest boards to which I add cute, fun activities that I come across the internet and want to do with each of my children. You can follow me on Pinterest where I pin all my inspirations. I have boards for Kids Crafts and DIY, Playdough, Alphabets, books, sensory play, science activities and so on. I also have boards for stuff that I love.
b. Buy some craft and activity books for inspiration and ideas:
I also have a few craft and activity books at home in my library that I like to choose ideas from. I snap a picture of these ideas and make idea boards from time to time. I upload these pictures to my Pinterest boards too.
I have co-authored a Kids Activities book with a few other mom bloggers. There are over 150+ activities, crafts and parenting tips in it. It is available in ebook version in my store.
Step 2: Make a list of Supplies that you will need:
Whenever I need a list of ideas for the week, I hop on over to either my pinterest board or to the books and select my activities. On pinterest, I have to click the links, go to the respective activity to get my supply list. From the books, I just write down directly on my phone.
Next, I schedule a day when I am not that stressed to go and buy those supplies in bulk as most of the times, it is just the same supplies that we need.
Step 3: The Pinterest boards + books together make up up my kids routines.
I do all this on my phone so that I have the activity and list saved in either OneNote or Calendar. Later, I will choose to either print it or write it down or sometimes, I just browse them as it is.
As my children are a bit bigger now, I print the plan and stick it on our notice board so that the kids know what we are doing that day.
2. THE EASIEST WAY TO PLAN KIDS ACTIVITIES EVERYDAY
I’ll share with you a secret. I am sure you know that going the above method is so time consuming.
My friend Jamie from Hands on As We Grow has created a Kids Activities Plans that do all the hard work for you.
I have been using this method for my younger two and we love it! There is no pre-work on my part as everything arrives in my inbox!
Jamie has seasonal as well as evergreen ideas. The activities are very engaging and complete with the material list. I don’t have to do anything except print, make sure I have the items (generally they are stuff that I already have around the house) and then we start making memories or clicking pictures!
From time to time Jamie conducts challenges like the one given below. My girls and I love her ideas.
I hope the ideas that I shared above help you in planning for your kids. Let me know what your method is in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.
Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image below. <3