Here is a quick tip from your Bergen North Moms.  With three children of different age levels, abilities and interests, sometimes its challenging to find activities that are simple, easy to set up, and will occupy their time.  My oldest is and 8 year old boy, who loves sports, history, is old enough to be almost completely independent, but young enough that he will still love adventures, imagination and doodling.  My middle child is a 4 year old girl who LOVES to color and draw, run and jump, imagine and create things.  My youngest is 2 and a half.  She enjoys coloring, but mostly just wants to do what her brother and sister are doing.  What is the 1 activity I can do to occupy all of them…LITERALLY DO ANYTHING with easel paper.  I cover my whole table in paper, give them markers, pencils or crayons and let them go.  It is so great because the LOVE that it is so HUGE and they can just create.  Here are some quick and easy ideas of things we have done this week, to kick off summer…

  1. Summer Goal Sheet:  Every summer we have come up with a few goals to aim for over the summer.  Now that my middle daughter is old enough to understand and get excited about it, she created goals too.  Even our 2 and a half year old got into it.  The kids came up with their own goals, (only 3 or 4 per child)  Then I came up with some goals for myself, and then we all came up with goals for our family.  They are meant to be fun things for us to achieve.  Then color it in and hang it in your playroom or a place where you can all see it!
  2. Create a themed mural to color.  Pick a theme, roll out the paper, and create a temporary mural!  My daughter loves mermaids and my son is into sharks so under the sea was a good one.  The kids drew for HOURS then we would bring it back to add more things throughout a couple days.  Great for a rainy day!
  3. Trace your body and turn it into something!  My daughter will say, Mommy, make me a mermaid!  So I just roll out the paper, trace her body and then she colors and makes herself into a life sized Mermaid.  My son turned himself into a dragon!
  4. Just doodle.  Roll the paper out onto the table use it as a table cloth and let the kids doodle.  I will do this sometimes for dinner (especially after a long rainy day).
  5. Have fun.  for the little ones Roll the paper out on the floor, draw a Red Circle , a Blue Circle , Yellow Circle , and Green Circle.  Spill out those mega blocks or legos on the floor and have the kids sort their blocks, or crayons, or markers.  Reuse the color circles for older kids to draw different red things (strawberries, stop sign), blue things (blueberries, jeans), Yellow things (bananas, sun) or Green things (Broccoli, trees).

Just a few ideas to keep the kids occupied, away from technology, and help them to stay creative! Best part is…after you are done you just clean the paper up and recycle it, or flip it over and use it tomorrow!  Happy Summer!

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