Stuck Inside With Kids

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Journal Day 1 – Stuck Inside With Kids

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill


Because of the weather I have found myself stuck inside with my Little One and my Teenager. Both are used to going outside to play for hours on end. One of the things I am so thankful for is that we do live almost in the middle of nowhere and they still can go outside and play to their hearts content.

Except for today. This rainy, drizzly, snowy, slushy weather has kept them cooped up and going bonkers. Which in turn is driving me bonkers. I know that the Teenager can entertain himself. He has a myriad of electronics and got a Kindle this past Christmas that he has been utilizing daily(best investment EVER).

But the Other One…

The Toddler on the other hand, he requires more interaction as he is just starting to learn how to play on his own. And this is ok, but it is also a lot of work. Work that I enjoy doing, but still work.

So as the rain is coming down outside, and the temperature is in the low 40s, he starts asking to go outside. Over and over and over again. Each time getting more and more frustrated that I won’t just let him outside even though he keeps bringing me his shoes and asking to go outside.

Then I remembered that I had bought some sidewalk chalk I had seen at the store the other day and go get it. In his playroom there is a chalkboard propped up against the wall. It’s the exact same one that I used to draw on when I was a little girl. It has a wood frame and cardboard backing, and I have some very fond memories playing with my little sister and a big container of chalk.

So why not? I lead the Toddler to the board and give him the chalk. He just stares at it obviously not knowing what he is supposed to be doing. I grab a different colored chalk and draw on the board. His eye light up and he draws a couple lines. Then he looks at me, his eyes searching for the “it’s ok” from me to what he is doing.

It Was

I smile and draw a couple lines too. He then gets super excited and just starts drawing line after line after line. The Teenager comes in and asks what we are doing(as if he couldn’t tell from just looking at what we are doing). I tell him that we are drawing with chalk and he can too if he wants. He mumbles something under his breath then just walks away. Typical Teenager.

Toddler keeps doodling, pulling more and more of the different colored chalks out. I wander over to my computer(this room is half office, half playroom). The next time I look over at the chalkboard to see how Toddler is handling himself, Teenager is sitting next to him doodling right along. This make my heart soar and I go back to my work.

The next thing I hear is Toddler naming the different colors of the chalk that we have. Then Teenager is saying “blue bird” “red cat” “white dog”. Upon closer inspection, I see that he has drawn different animals with different colors. So this fun activity became a learning exercise for Toddler as well!

I could not have been more pleased with how yesterdays events turned out. Not only was there fun and a break from trying to go outside in some dreary weather, but there was also an impromptu learning session between Toddler and Teenager. They both spent about an hour doodling and talking about the different colors and animals that were on the board.

And one of the best things about this…

I didn’t have to worry about Toddler marking anything up permanently!! Yes, he took the chalk and went and drew on the wall. But guess what? I didn’t tell him no or try to stop him. It’s super easy to wipe off and no lasting damage was done.

I believe that a Toddler should be in an environment where he can be free to explore and try new things. Everything is new for him. He doesn’t know what happens why he does x, y, or z. He has to learn it through experience. So I try to provide an environment where he can explore and learn without me constantly telling him “No” or “Stop”. These are limiting words for a toddler.

Don’t get me wrong, I do use those words when something is dangerous. And he listens very well when I say them. I attribute that to the fact that he doesn’t hear them often so knows when I do say them, it’s important. At least important enough to pay attention to.

I highly suggest that everyone with a toddler get a chalkboard of some kind and let them have some fun. If you join along then you can explore different colors, shapes, animals, objects, etc(all depending on your level of creativity). This in turn could turn into more, such as looking at books together, or naming objects in the room. Everything can be a learning exercise for a little one.

Keep on smiling and life will smile back.

 

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12 comments

  1. Hello Angela, I can totally relate with this post because I have 2 boys, as well ( 3 yrs and 1 yr). We also recently bought a white board as a part of homeschooling them (informally) especially due to covid. It’s a joy to see both kids having fun and playing together, but there are also times that they’re fighting over toys.

    I am also doing my best to refrain from saying “no” all the time. I also read it in the past that it’s not a good word to say all the time. But it needs practice to refrain from saying it. I am still strugging.

    1. It completely does need so much practice in not saying “no”. I have to bite my tongue all the time because I want to “save” my toddler from making a choice with an outcome I know he won’t like. He needs to learn these things for himself.

      How do you little ones like the white board? Have you had any accidents with the markers getting somewhere other than the board? I never liked the smell of them myself so didn’t want mine to be smelling the same thing. Plus he still puts stuff in his mouth occasionally and that just didn’t sound like a good combination.

      Angela

  2. Hey, I found this article very real, it’s the best thing when you share quotes from your daily life challenge, you will help more people to make those positive things from you and avoid negativity from you thanks a lot and I’ll follow you stay safe for can success
    anas

    1. Thank you so much for the reply! Yes I believe it is very important to be real with people in order to show that I am a real Mom. Life happens, and sometimes you just have to roll with it.

  3. I can perfectly understand you because I have 3 children and they are all one after other and they are this age in which they get a lot into trouble. I have been struggling to control my temper because I don’t want to be as I remember my mom. But now I can comprehend her also. We were five and all hyperactive.

    1. Wow! 5 kids under one roof, one right after the next! You have got your hands full! The best advice that I can think to give you is:

      1. Make sure you are taking time for yourself every day. Even if it is just 5 minutes in the bathroom.

      2. Remember to breathe. Take several breaths and count back from ten before you respond to their antics(unless it’s life threatening then do something quick)

      Good luck with all of them!

  4. Hi ! this was an amazing story from you. I did enjoy reading through.. It  used to be hell for Me be until i found a way to enjoy their company by doing video game or a workout? You decide. Either way, it’s fun for any age. It gets everybody moving while keeping their minds on their edge

    1. Hello and yes I completely agree! It is very important to keep them engaged. Often times I will put on some music and we will all dance around and just have fun. 🙂

  5. I really love your story about your kids. When i was young as little boy that how i behave. I like crying for nothing. Just to go at and play. Please i really understand your pain in the tutelage of your children.But in all, you should remember that your are precious in the eyes of God as a parent. Just read Proverb 31:10. Thanks once again.

    1. Oh yes, both my boys are very precious to me. I just find them a little trying sometimes. Thank you so much for your comment.

  6. This is such an interesting topic of a new normal that we all live in. Not only that we now stuck with the kids because of the weather, the pandemic made it hard for us as well. That is genius, I have seen chalk board for years mainly because I am allergic to the dust and so as my nephews. I guess I can do the same thing with white board and find some markers that is safe for kids to use. I am sure my nephews will be so exited about it too. Thanks again for giving me the idea how how to make home school fun! 

    1. Yes, this day and age has really made it trying for those of us with kids in our lives. I have a white board as well, but decided not to use it because giving the toddler pens could encourage drawing other places besides the board and I didn’t want harmful fumes with something they were playing with. I totally understand about being allergic to the dust, maybe try setting up a big sheet of paper and crayons or even colored pencils? That way they can still have fun, easier mess to clean up if a mess comes of it, and no harmful fumes. Good luck with home schooling:)

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