Are you looking for ways to help your pre-school-aged child entertain him-/herself? Read on for tips.
- If your pre-schooler likes reading, you might set up a comfy reading space that is home to a variety of books that are tailored to your child’s reading level. Or have the digital equivalent (i.e., V-Tech, etc.) in your child’s “book nook”. Other items commonly found in a “book nook” include: large, comfortable throw pillows; a light blanket; a reading light; etc.
- If your pre-schooler likes music and dance, s/he may love to have a small music and/or dance studio in your home. All that is needed to create a pre-schooler’s music/dance studio is a small space with a hard floor, a mirror that abuts the floor and is at least as tall as your child, an age-appropriate stereo with your child’s favorite CD’s, and some large throw pillows. (Note: your child’s music/dance studio should not be placed next to rooms that need to be quiet, such as bedrooms, adult entertaining spaces, etc. This is because the music played can typically be heard in adjacent room and can thus be a disruption.)
- If your pre-schooler enjoys creativity, have a “creativity corner” full of Play-Doh, Silly Putty, Crayolas (the kind that won’t mark on walls), coloring books, a computer with drawing software tailored for children, an Etch-a-Sketch/IPad, etc. Ensure that the “creativity corner” is a minimum maintenance space (i.e., washable paint on the walls, no carpet on the floor, and furnishings and decorations that clean easily and are hard to stain, damage, or break), just in case the creativity runs amok.
- If your pre-schooler enjoys outdoor experiences, a sandbox, playground, or tree house added to your backyard may be ideal. Sandboxes should come complete with sand molds, a plastic garden hand tools set, several small plastic buckets, etc. Playground equipment should be safe and allow for a variety of play activities. A tree house should come complete with throw pillows and a blanket (or, if there’s room, a child-size table and chairs), children’s plates and cups, individually wrapped snacks (wrapped individually to avoid an ant infestation), and a rope or wooden ladder with which to enter and exit the tree house. (Note: if your child will be playing in your backyard without adult supervision, make sure that you have a fully fenced backyard. Also, make sure that your child has been well trained on stranger danger.
These are but a few of the myriad opportunities that exist for your self-entertaining pre-schooler. Once you know what your pre-schooler likes to do in his/her alone time, you as parents and nannies can create the space that is right for him/her and foster his/her self-entertainment.