Use Arts and Entertainment to Perk Up Playtime

The Situation: Your child has invited some friends to play in your house. The kids start to run around your home shouting at the top of their voices and going berserk. What do you do?The Solution: Children who begin to fight or scream a lot just need to move around and let go of some excess energy. So why not channel all that volcanic force into a mini marching band? Get the kids busy making their own musical instruments and paper hats (you can go online to research for directions about paper hat making). Probe your kitchen cupboards for make-up instruments. A plastic bowl and a wooden spoon can be a fantastic drum, while two aluminum lids make for great cymbals. And small plastic containers filled with dry rice or beans can become cool shakers. Once the band is pulled together, ask the children to march around the house or the backyard and play their music. Let them put on their funny hats, grab some bedspreads for capes, and have them march to the beat of their own drums. Literally.Another Situation: A younger child is wailing and grumbling that her older sibling and playdate won’t play with her. They’re telling her to “go away and play somewhere else”! How do you fix this and save the day?The Solution: Cook up a joint activity for all to participate in. For example, make a simple cookie recipe. (Note: Be sure to find out from a parent if her child is allergic to any foods.) Each child has her own thing to do, either measuring, mixing or stirring, but working together. They are to bake a product that is delicious and fun! The kids can spend more time in shaping the cookies, and then decorate it with chocolate frosting, jellies or colored sprinkles.