Today is going to be more about preventing the phrase "I'm Bored". There's this line in Cheaper By the Dozen where the kids are complaining that none of the other kids on the block have chores and the parents retort with:
Well, we're not like other families.
My kids always chuckle at that line because it's funny, but it also rings true. They've definitely let me know that some of their peers don't have many chores and in fact have most things done for them. Gasp! That would never happen in this house. We've expected our kids to pitch in and help out since they were able to walk. Since Maria is our littlest, it's easy to think of examples of her helping out. She can open the kitchen drawer and pull out a pile of forks which she will place mostly in the correct spots at the table. She can pick up and sort toys into baskets. She can wash down cupboard doors with a cleaning wipe or wet washcloth.
As a parent it's so easy to want to just get it done, but it really is to your benefit to include kids in the work. Because one day those toddlers will become teenagers. And teenagers that can't do basic housework or home repairs can easily become an enemy, where as teenagers with skills are your allies helping the household run smoothly.
Not only does a child learn valuable skills they'll one day use in their own home, but it teaches them to use their time wisely. Working in a diligent manner results in a job well done, quickly. However, working slowly with lots of distractions is a waste of time and doesn't allow much time for play.
But this is supposed to be about keeping kids from uttering the words "I'm Bored" and nothing works better than real work.
Need a chicken coop door built - enlist a teen.
Need a chicken coop stained - enlist 2 teens
Need some brush cleared - enlist 2 teens and a boy
Work. It does a body good.
So there you have it. That's how we keep our kids from being bored. Of course, there's still plenty of time left for fun.