Activities with young children

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robc

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I'd be interested in hearing from others with young kids. What types of activities are you able to do to keep your kiddos entertained?

My children are 4 & 6. While I'm still pretty mobile (cane or walker in the house, wheelchair out of the house), I tire very easily.

I'm also new to retirement and being with the kids all the time. Any suggestions would be appreciated :)

Thanks!

-Rob
 

CindyM

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Hi Rob- my grandchildren are a bit younger than that but I make use of their fertile imaginations. We play a lot of make-believe games where I lie on the sofa. My biggest prop is a toy cell phone. My favorite trick is to use the "phone" to call some unseen "personality" that injects a new theme into their play, or inspires them to use different toys or even re-directs their play if things are getting too intense. All this and I don't have to lift my head. :-D Talk about necessity being the mother of invention!

Course I am not there 24-7 as we live far apart. Some more experienced PALS may have even better ideas! Cindy
 

Rhonda

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Hi Rob,
This info is from a grandparent. I have a 4 year old grand daughter. She and I play with blocks on her table she gets a kick out of building me things. Now that my shower is done, when her mom comes to bathe me she gets in the shower with her toys and she plays. We let her be involved in everything that we can. I have a peg and she holds the syringe while they pour. She also massages my feet and legs. She lays in the recliner with me and we watch movies. I feel like if you include them in doing what they can with you they will be ok. That was one of my main concerns was her ajusting to my illness. Shes a trooper.
Rhonda
 

CindyM

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Oh Rhonda, the relaxing in the recliner sounds delicious!

And Rob, I forgot to mention that there are a lot of on-line craft activities that young kids like. We are doing "pre-scrapbooking" activities with my twin great-neices. I call it pre-scrapbooking since they are too young and my hands too clumbsy. So they draw a picture or stick down a photo and I help them decide how to decorate the rest of the construction paper with stickers. I just needed to get creative about how to amend the craft project to take into consideration my abilities and theirs.
 

liz

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Hi Rob -

We play board games and my kids don't mind a bit when I ask them to spin the wheel or move my piece for me. There are checker sets with a cloth board and very large pieces which I can grasp - I'm just a little tired of getting my butt kicked by my 8 year old.
When my kids were younger we used to hold "Olympics" where I basically just sat and made up events (e.g. - who can stand on one foot the longest, who can find ten pine cones first) - then judged the results. This worked indoors and outdoors as long as I tailored the events accordingly.
We still hit the library once a week. Our kids' section has some toys and activities mine enjoyed when they were your kids age, like a puppet theater, building blocks, and tons of puzzles. They also enjoyed playing with the other kids there. The space is confined enough that I could sit in a central location and just keep an eye on them.

Liz
 

kelly

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activities

Hi Rob,
My husband is also (retired) now at age 40. We also have boys that are 4 and 6. My husband is able to walk(major balance issues. Speech still understandable..sometimes better than others..fine motor skills majorly limited. So, a big activity at our house is webkinz. It is an interactive computer game...but there are lots of good free websites if you have access to a computer. My husband can sit and watch...and help when needed. We also definitely watch alot of family movies. I have my kids bring books to my husband and tell him about the pictures. The kids can turn the pages..kind of fun how they make up the story. It amazes me how happy the kids are when they just have his attention...a smile in response ..is often all the kids need to know that there Daddy is still Daddy. I pull play dough out.....good OT for my husband. Remember...kids love any kind of attention...even if it is different attention than before this illness. Good Luck...I will write more as I think of them. I think it is great that you are keeping engaged with your kids! Fondly, Kelly
 

KateO

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Hi Rob -

My children are 11 and 14 years old. I just finished watching "Hair Spray" with them. Great movie - not for your age kids though...

I use a walker outside of the house, am fairly mobile inside the house. Here are some things I do with my children: take short walks, watch them at their soccer games, pick them up from school (I can drive as long as it's not too icy or I'm not too tired), take them to a drive-in to get a milk-shake, cook with them, go out for a milk shake or hot dog. They also help me re-arrange the house to make it easier for me to get things done. Examples: yesterday we re-arranged the towel shelf in the bathroom, couple weeks ago we re-arranged the pots & pans in the cupboard: heaviest on top shelf, always have lids on top of pots & pans. My kids have made their school lunches since they were in first grade. They love it and it's always been a big help.

While I definitely try to live "in the present" I also want to prepare them to cope after I am gone. Part of my effort to do that is cooking with them each night. I figure that is fun for all of us, it helps me because I can't do it by myself, and it is teaching them how to cook. My husband used to be a chef, so our kids were cooking when they were your kids ages. Have them get out the bowls, pots and pans for you, tear up the lettuce, grate the cheese.

We also love to go swimming. Swimming is great for me and they love to go with me. I think options are limitless to what you can do with your kids. Play games, watch movies, short walks. It is an opportunity for our children to spend more time with us.

Best wishes
 
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