We are living through unique times, which may have some families feeling stressed and others feeling bored. If you're still social distancing, the Chandler Public Library is sending you hugs. You may be looking for ideas for distraction or you may be looking for ways to connect. There is no one right answer. However, as parents and caregivers we naturally hit on the 5 Early Literacy skills on a regular basis. We hope our ideas will spruce up your boredom buster toolbox.
- Take breaks to read. You can read books you have at home. Explore the illustrations. Talk about the story. What do you think will happen next?
- Tumblebooks has animated ebooks that read along with your child. You can also find ebooks and audio ebooks with Cloud Library. Log in with your library card and PIN numbers.
- Your library card will also gain you access to Kanopy, which is full of TV shows and movies. Some of our favorites to watch are the Story Time episodes. You will also find episodes of Reading Rainbow. Log in and click "Go to Kanopy Kids."
- Read the beginning of a story and let your child act out the ending. You can then go back and finish reading the story. It is a great opportunity to talk about how you thought the book would end.
- Bust out your sidewalk chalk and write encouraging messages and draw pictures for your neighborhood. Trace your child’s body and let them color it in. Write a thank you note to delivery drivers. Let your neighbors know that we are all in this together.
- Play with play dough or slime to build the hand strength that is needed to learn to write.
- Paint on the sidewalk with water. It is a super simple idea but it can be such a relaxing activity.
- Encourage kids to talk about their feelings. Give those big feelings names.
- Start each day by talking about what everyone is going to do that day. It is reassuring to know what the plan is. Allow your child to have as much input into the plan as the day allows. Shifting the focus to the things we can control helps children feel a sense of control.
- Tell each other stories. Make up silly stories. Share stories about your family. Encourage your child to ask questions and share memories of their own.
- Sing the alphabet song together
- Make up a silly song together
- Listen to music as a family as you play and work. Pick music that makes you feel calm and relaxes the family. Use your 5 free downloads per week from Freegal to create a Family Time playlist.
- Make a scavenger hunt: This could be a simple list of 5 things to find outside like a pine cone, a rock, a toy, something red and so on. You can also send your kids on missions. Send them off to find something hard or something soft, something blue or something that makes you smile. Little kids may surprise you with their choices.
- Allow time for free play. Sometimes some of the best exploring takes place out of boredom.
- Challenges: Give your children fun challenges each day. Have them build a robot with blocks or see how high they can stack their stuffed animals.
Remember, we are all in this together and we will get through it together. We hope these few simple ideas will help to keep it fun. Stay safe, Chandler!