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How to keep the kids busy

Lifestyle

Posted: July 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Deseret News / Courtesy photo

 

Want to keep your kids occupied for hours? Tell them to photograph Santa Claus riding a dinosaur.

A parent posted a picture on social media of a game he created to keep his children busy while he and his wife are at work during the summer.

In the letter explaining the game, the father asks his children to draw cards from three bags: one that names an action, another that names the object of the action, and another that names the action the object is performing.

The child then has to do their best to complete the task listed on the three cards.

This leads to some interesting combinations, such as:

Create a dance of a ghost riding a dinosaur.

Make a movie of your parents having a pillow fight.

Take a photo of an astronaut fighting a bear.

Not only will this exercise your children’s creative abilities, which a new study by the University of Colorado shows is good for children, but it will also keep the kids busy for hours during your time in the office.

“Unscheduled, unsupervised playtime is one of the most valuable educational opportunities we give our children. It is fertile ground: the place where children strengthen social bonds, build emotional maturity, develop cognitive skills and shore up their physical health,” writes Jessica Lahey of The Atlantic.

In her article, she explains how free play helps increase a child’s “executive function,” which includes skills such as organization, self-discipline and drive.

This also helps families where both parents have jobs, leaving the kids on their own to find new ways to stay busy.

“It’s challenging to find all-day care that starts early enough for parents to get to work, lasts long enough and doesn’t require transportation in the middle,” said Cindy Mall, a senior program manager for California’ Child Care Resource and Referral Network.

The National Safekids Campaign recommends that no child under the age of 12 be left at home alone, but not all parents think it is that black and white, according to She Knows.

In fact, a U.S. Census survey from 2013 found that about 1 in 10 American kids end up caring for themselves during the springtime. And those numbers only increase during the summer months when parents are working.

But, this isn’t the only unique way that parents are keeping their kids occupied for a low cost in the summer.

The Signal’s latest Health & Family magazine focuses on local and regional activities for the family. Visit signalscv.com for the full publication.

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