Recently, I have had the question asked about occupying young children when you need to something. It has come up more than once, so there are probably more of you who wonder the same thing.
Here’s a typical scenario I hear often. You just finished a meal, and the kitchen needs to be cleaned. If you do it right then, the kids will disperse and make a mess somewhere else. Sound familiar?
When my children were little, I had something planned for them after a meal. It became a part of our routine. In the morning, I would start cleaning up the table as they finished breakfast. I would wipe them off as they finished and quickly get the dishes into the dishwasher. Then we moved into the morning routine of brushing teeth and getting dressed.
After lunch, I would put them down for a nap. Then I would clean the kitchen and do some dinner prep.
Dinner time was a little trickier though, but we would tag team someone playing with the little ones while the other one did the dishes. Waiting to do the dishes after bedtime is just not fun, and our goal was to get the dishes done and the dishwasher going. Then it could be emptied before bedtime.
As far as decluttering, home blessings, or homeschool time, I would rotate the activities the little ones had while I did the things that had to be done. For my babies, I would rotate stations for them. They had a high chair, playpen, bouncy chair, etc. We just moved school around the house to keep the baby close to us and occupied.
If I needed to fold laundry, I gave the little ones a job. Even a toddler can sit near you and play with a washcloth. (smile) I have two children who were very active, and if I could keep them from tearing my house apart, you can, too. It just takes a little creativity.
When I did my home blessings, I included them in those, too. The benefit now is that they can do anything around the house that I can do. I have worked myself out of a few things, but I know they will eventually grow up and move out. Then, it will be my tasks again.
Give me some of your tried and true ways of occupying younger children when you have something you desperately need to do. (I know a few of you would just like to get a shower each day.)
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
Your Zone Mission for today is to declutter items from one kitchen drawer.
My menu plan for Tuesday is Shepherd’s Pie.
Have a blessed day!