Keeping the Kids Occupied

word search
(Photo credit: morgan frederick.)

With Christmas less than a week away, you may have trouble getting the kids occupied while you quickly wrap a gift or vacuum the floor. I’ve been working hard on getting a range of activities together to keep the kids occupied.

I’ve certainly used the television more times than I can count to keep the kids occupied. What’s interesting, though, is even the kids get bored and will start playing with toys. If they’re in a good mood, I can get a lot done. If they’re not in the best mood, not even the television helps.

I introduced my older child to Pinterest. He got addicted quite quickly. However, it was never an activity that would give me lots of quiet time. “Mommy, can we make this one? Do we have the materials for this one? Can you type in [insert dinosaur that didn’t exist in the 80s here] for me? Why can’t I find anything with a [dinosaur that didn’t exist in the 80s]?” I’m of course happy to explain the science behind searching, but not when I’m trying to get something done.

My older child loves searching for things, so whether it’s the I Spy series of books or crosswords, he’s quite content. The I Spy series can keep him occupied for a little, because they show the items on one page and he can then look for them on the other. Other books have written descriptions, and then I have to help him read (though, excitedly, he’s starting to work on that himself).

But I did find this: Create Your Own Free Word Search / Wordsearch / Wordfind / Word Find Online – Edcreate. As the website title suggests, you can create your own word searches here. I used a list of the first 100 words that kids learn in English (these are the most frequent words used in English) and created a bunch of word searches for him. When this activity gets pulled out, he’s engaged for easily 15-30 minutes (usually 15 – I underestimated his abilities and made the word searches too easy) and he’s working on his reading skills.

Next up, word searches with dinosaur names that didn’t exist in the 80s. Even I’ll have to look those up!

Merry Christmas!

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