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I'm not a SAHM just yet, but I've already thought ahead about this. My plan is to take a Mommy & Me class, once she's old enough for that. Then eventually I'll join this mom's group in town and we'll do play dates and activities. Our library also has free events every week where they do fun things for the kids. I bet if you do a google search on your town you could find lots of free activities.
Cassie, wife to Andrew, mommy to Sophia and expecting a baby boy in February!
DS#4 is 2.5 and we just do a lot of playing and learning but not in a structured environment. He's just potty trained so that was our most recent adventure! He knows all his letters and numbers to 20 and we're working on sounds so we can start reading, hopefully in a few months or so (depending on how quickly he picks it up).
He picked up his letters so quickly and without much help it hit me that I needed to grab onto the opportunity while it was still fun for him.
We also have an iPad he uses for some apps that are associated with shapes, patterns, etc. I must admit, having a 7 month old, I do keep Sprout, PBS or Disney on most of the time. But all the programs are also valuable teaching tools, I think. You can't be all places all the time so the programs they put on teach school activities, socialization, caring/empathy and music, etc. I know some people don't like TV but I think it can be an effective tool sometimes.
Otherwise we do a lot of playing. My boys are pretty physical and love to play. We run around, play chase, go in the backyard or to the park before it gets too hot and just have a great time. We also recently got some gliders and stomp rockets for DS#4 and it's so fun for him but it also improves eye/hand coordination, teaches about cause and effect, and flight. All things I talk to him about while we are playing. He doesn't get all of it, he's only 2.5 but I know he picks it up after a while because he repeats me once he gets it.
Well, right now I have two neighborhood teenagers doing crafts in the other room with the kids so that I can have some downtime to myself. They only charge $5 an hour because they aren't old enough to actually babysit but they are babysitters in training.
Aside from when they come over, I usually take the kids somewhere because I find it is SO much easier for me if the kids are happy and busy. Boredom = misbehavior in my house.
I have memberships to a few places in the area like the zoo, wild animal park, the science center and the botanical gardens. I also take advantage of all the free activities like every Tuesday, there are different museums for free in the area, the first of the month the local aquarium is free for all bank of america customers, the library has a TON of activities like story time and puppet shows. I'll also take them to the open gym like I did yesterday and they get to play on the gymnastics equipment for one hour. I have to be frugal about activities like this though because at $8 a child, it can add up if I do it more than once or twice a month.
We also go to the park a ton - two houses down is a little park we go to every day or other day and we'll also pack picnics to take to other parks. Once or twice a week, we'll head down to the beach with a picnic and collect rocks or seashells.
I also have a craft room off of the garage where I store craft supplies and we'll do a craft once or twice a day.
The kids also watch a program on TV in the morning while I catch up on email and get breakfast ready.
I don't have a set schedule, but I usually like to go somewhere in the morning, eat lunch out and then have Penny fall asleep in the car on the way home. In the afternoon, my hubby comes home around 2:00-3:00, so we'll hang around the house with him and I'll get some much needed down time.
(edited to add our at home stuff)
We usually spend our early morning doing chores together... she helps clean up and has chores she likes to do - pick up before I vacuum, dry dishes, help load the dryer... helps get dinner ready - I try to prep/cook early on so i just have to heat/bake/whatever real quick before dh comes come... she really likes to help bake things
I let her watch cartoons in the morning ( usually only pbs - i think she gets more out of it)
we have a big Pre-K book that has all kinds of activities in it and we will do a few pages from it most every day.
She knows all her shapes, colors, and numbers (visually) up to ten ( but can count to 18!)
She can recognize most letters of the alphabet - but I think shows like Sesame Street, and Word World helped a lot with that... also I have apps on my Iphone that help her with those and she will sometimes play that in the mornings instead of books - she also plays them in the car
We do swim lessons every day so that gets us out of the house... otherwise we go on walks around the neighborhood a lot - ride bike to the park, sometimes we go to the splash pad, check the regal cinema website if you have a regal theater near you... they do a summer movie program where you get a couple movie choices for only $1 on Tuesday! Theres a kids summer bowling program in our area too that gets you free bowling twice a week!
Its been really hot here though, and when it gets this hot (100-106!!) we find spots inside to run play and burn off energy like bounce house places or interactive learning play places...
Last edited by ** Tay **; August 8th, 2012 at 11:21 AM.
I found a lot of websites for things like making board books and learning tools to use with my 2 year old (almost 3 now). Like Punky Brew's my boy LOVED learning his letters early on and could tell you what letters were what by the age of 17 months. So then we worked on numbers and colors, and counting. We are also working on letter sounds so hopefully he'll be an early reader as well. I made a big binder of different learning cards from multiple websites and printed things on cardstock and put them in a binder. Things like colors, pictures of "first words" pictures going from small to big, etc etc......He loves to page through it by himself as well.
We do a lot of learning games and spend about an hour a day on "school" type things. Whether it be playing with bath letters and just saying things like "A is for....." and he say something that begins with A. If this is still too advanced, You pick up the A and just say, "A is for....APPLE! " and possibly show a picture of an apple. Dollar stores have great flashcard packs for early learners as well with letters, numbers and first words. I always take advantage of these.
We also use PBS as a learning tool and I believe that shows like Super Why and Word World got my son into loving his letters so much.
Other things we do during the day: I have a "set routine" of activities usually. Morning walks or drive if it's rainy where we go check out the town or drive through the tractor implement parking lot to see tractors (my son is CRAZY about tractors)
Outside time (and LOTS of it). I will give him certain chores like taking water to the potted plants and pouring them on them to give them water. he also likes to try and sweep up the patio for me. Outside we will explore the rock garden and say what color different rocks are or we will look for bugs.
I love just looking for new ideas on different stay at home mom blogs. They give great ideas and keep things new and fun here!
Totally forgot to add: join a playgroup too! I've been a part of a playgroup for 4 years now and we meet once a week. We are all really good friends now too, it's a lot of fun.
Also adding, we do a lot of reading time too and there are some great enrichment activities online: my 4 year old has really been into chemistry and physics lately, so we've been doing a lot of experiments and "potions" with kitchen ingredients like making rock candy and examining crystals, making explosions with vinegar and baking soda, observing how ice is made, ect. Lots of fun stuff and there are great ideas all over Pinterest. PM me if you want my Pinterest page because I have a lot of ideas there.
I find that discovering ideas is so much easier when you follow your child's individual interests and branch off from there. A while back, the kids were really into bugs so we did a lot of bug explorations in the backyard.
Well dd is only 17 months so there isn't a lot to do with me on bed rest but we read books. We are working on colors. I don't expect her to be a super smart but will know enough. We have also been working on potty training. Our local kids program is qubo and it's on all day even when we are doing other things. She also likes to help me mix up batter for brownies or a cake. We do clean up and her newest game...what's/who is that lol she is already in the question phase
We attend a playgroup during the school year (it doesn't meet during the summer) and we have swim class and tumbling. We also grocery shop during the week one day. Those are our only away from home activities during the week since DH and I share a car and it's a huge PITA to drop him off at work so I can have the car.
At home we spend a lot of time outside. My kid LOVES being outside (he's 2 1/2, almost 3). Though with it being so dang hot this summer we've had to let a bit of that go, which has sucked. We're both going stir crazy! I try to do something somewhat educational with him at least once a day. I used to do more, but since getting pregnant I've been SO tired that I am just physically and mentally burnt out at this point. haha. So we've been a little more laid back than we used to be... Anyway, I made a a few games I found online to help learn the alphabet, numbers, etc. and we also have some flash cards. We have some other games for sorting, etc. Sometimes he'll color, paint, etc. but honestly he's just not that into it. He's loves playing with cars, so we do that. Or play with his toy kitchen... Or just whatever he's into at the moment. I have a playroom set up in teh basement, but we also play on the main floor and in his room just for a change of scenery. He also gets some Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Occasionally Thomas... He gets more TV now since I've been pregnant, it just be me an hour or so tops per day. Now, well, I won't even admit that. haha. Oh, he also helps me with chores. Unloading the dishwasher, dusting, cleaning toilets, baking, cooking, etc.
We don't follow a schedule or routine (although I keep thinking that it might be good to get into a more regular one).
The boys get to watch a video in the morning (it is usually Curious George). Then we do lots of play -- inside and out. We also do playdates a few times a week so that they are playing with other kids. We try to get outside (whether here or elsewhere) as much as possible because it gets their energy out. Reading, games, projects. And then once school is in session, it is back to preschool a few times a week.
One quick question -- do any of you use any sort of preschool lesson plans and if so, have any recommendations?
I was doing a "learning poster" with my preschooler and he really loved it but once my second came along, it became harder to keep it up because the younger guy typically would interfere with the learning poster time.
When this baby comes along, I will actually be watching my brother's new baby too (so I will have 4 kids home with me) and I am thinking I will need to get back into some sort of preschool learning routine again.
Mine are older but this summer has been a challenge, they get so bored! Libraries, museums(local boring ones but they like getting out), playing in the water outside, our local zoo(only 45 mins away and family pass is CHEAP), even going to the store gets them out and about when they feel couped up. I am quite happy they go back in the morning to school! I just know they will enjoy getting back to school with friends. And now begins the hours of homework....
Wife of 18 years to Anthony
Mommy to 4 daughters Elinore 05/27/95,
Phoenix 12/14/01, Pascale 06/03/05
& baby Wren on 12/10/12
My lil guy has some great qualities, but entertaining himself for 5 minutes isn't one of them (even as an infant/baby) When at home he constantly requests my attention, so we admittedly spend most of our time out. Like some others, we are part of several playgroups & I am actually an event coordinator for one with over 700 moms. We do a playdate 1-2 times a week. I work out once a day while Zayd enjoys playing with the kids in childwatch. We go to children's museums, storytime at local libraries, parks, water parks/pads, mall play areas, etc.
At home, he's tough to entertain, but we'll do a bit of drawing on his Ikea easel, lots 'n lots of building with blocks, racing toy cars, & playing in the backyard with his sandbox. We do almost no TV or electronics for him, which I'm sure would make life a bit easier sometimes
I'm not technically a SAHM but I'm home with Matthew quite a bit. I pay 35 bucks a month for a membership to 24 hour fitness and that includes unlimited daycare so we go there three or four times a week. I have a couple of friends from church that don't work and so we meet up quite a bit too. Today we are meeting at Chick Fillet. They have a great playground. Before that, I will take them to the library because the library has toddler time every day from 930 to ten and Matthew loves. Then he will play for an hour with the legos and stuff. We just keep busy with that stuff alone!