A change of scenery can do amazing things for your kid’s temperaments, not to mention your sanity. Here is how you can achieve this without much effort:
Stir craziness is not a new phenomenon.
Kids get it, teenagers get it, moms get it, and retired people get it. Even self-proclaimed homebodies need a change of scenery every once in a while.
When babies are very small there isn’t much need for change of scenery. In fact, too many changes of scenery in a short time will lead to overstimulation.
As babies become toddlers and preschoolers, children will begin flitting from one activity to another, showing their desire for new stimuli. While I don’t think activity hopping is a great thing all the time, I do think children benefit from changes in their environment.
Kids feel a renewed sense of interest and curiosity when their scenery changes. They find new things to focus on. Then, when it’s time to take a nap, they feel as though they’ve actually done something more than just run circles around the living room rug.
Here are some things to think about.
You don’t have to leave the house to make a change of scenery.
I know many mothers get cabin fever and pack the children up to run errands.
I think this can be a good thing, particularly when no one takes a morning nap. When I only had two children and neither took a morning nap, this worked well. We could get away for a bit, take care of some business, and no one was tired enough to get cranky.
Add a baby to the mix and I didn’t just pile them all up to go somewhere.
Could I handle 5 kids in public? Yes. Would it be fun? It’s touch and go.
That’s why I use the next methods to give the kids a change of scenery without having to cart them all around town.
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A new activity is a change of scenery.
Have you ever been doing one thing and then – all of a sudden – stopped and started doing another. Like cleaning, then you sit down to scroll. Or working outside, then you go inside to sit in the a/c.
It feels good because you changed the activity.
If your toddler is free playing and starts acting antsy, try switching to a structured activity. Structured doesn’t mean you have some kind of teacher lesson plan projecting an alphabet activity on the wall. It just means doing something with an agreed upon end result.
- Coloring a page
- Painting a canvas
- Cutting construction paper
You get the idea.
Give them another activity to focus on and this will help capture their interest again.
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Try room hopping.
We try to room hop throughout the day.
You may move through various rooms of the house.
- Some time in the kitchen,
- then the living room,
- then mid-morning go upstairs to their rooms for independent play time.
Even taking a bath feels like something fun simply because it’s in a room of the house they don’t have constant access to (fun fact: the toilets are often in a completely separate room here in Australia).
You can play hide in go seek in the entire house, do a scavenger hunt in the backyard, or hop scotch on the carpet drawn in tape.
The possibilities are endless.
Take advantage of outside play to change scenery.
I love sending the kids outside to play.
Depending on whether your yard is fenced or more open, you can set some boundaries.
When kids are outside, the world is their oyster.
The other day I read a quote that basically said you must get bored before you start using your imagination, and that’s why outside is key. Sure there are big cars, rocks, and the sandbox, but I see them truly have fun together.
As they’ve gotten older I see them invent games and engage with their environment and one another.
Letting your children play outside is a great way for them to get exercise, use different senses, and feel as though they’ve actually done something.
Read These While You’re At It
A change in scenery is as good as a vacation.
I’ve written a post on this concept, that when most days look the same, a change is as good as a vacation.
Our routine is very consistent. Not because I think “oh my goodness, I must make our routine very consistent,” but because I very easily and naturally fall into a routine. After a routine is established I simply go on autopilot and don’t revisit the routine unless and until I find it’s not working for us anymore.
Some days, when I’m feeling stir crazy and my husband has the car (we only run one SUV), I’ll go wild and crazy and change up the routine.
It will sound lame and boring to those of you who are more spontaneous and easy-going, but I’m telling you the kids notice and love even the smallest changes.
Too many days without routine they start acting fussy and disobedient. Just the right amount of flexibility and change, they eat it up.
- We’ll have ice cream for lunch,
- or swim instead of independent playtime,
- or watch an movie instead of a short show
It could be anything different, but just breaking the norm works wonders.
During winter months, rainy weather or after prolonged periods of ‘blah’ a change of scenery may be just the ticket.
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