In anticipation of the X'mas holidays, here's a question that I have had for the last few years now. I have a 6 yr old who is bored like anything. His typical routine is come home from school, watch TV/Wii, homework (which does not last more than 20 min. max) followed by extra-curricular activity like martial arts and swimming. We live in an area where the kids are all grown-up and it would be an understatement for me to say that I have been chewing my nails off trying to figure out how to keep him busy. We have no family in town and he gets really lonely. I mean, how much TV can he watch - and how much can I let him watch? We have playdates but those can be only so frequent. I do play with him, but as I have gotten older and with the responsibilities of a 2nd child, it has gotten harder.

I have now come to dread vacations and spring breaks. Because every day that I don't take the kids out (museum, park, movie,aquarium etc.etc.), they (and I) just go crazy. I have no family that I can take the kids to. My husband's family lives in another continent. My husband and I have talked this thru and it seems like moving to a kid-friendly neighborhood may be the only option. Then again, there are no guarantees with that either - people move, neighborhoods are not what they seem until you move in and so forth. I was wondering if there are other parents who have similar issues.

asked 04 Dec '09, 21:46

user-650%20%28google%29's gravatar image

user-650 (google)
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edited 08 Dec '09, 02:49

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

My kids go to a summer program that at our daycare while I work. But an Idea might be to find out if there are any art camps ( In TX we use Camps to mean week long class), Dance camps, Science camps or even swimming camps. you could schedule some during the summer maybe a couple weeks apart so they are with you for a while then they get to go do something and learn at the same time.


answered 05 Dec '09, 05:12

Mary's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

In college I spent a couple school breaks working at a "free play" daycare. Instead of having structured classes, the kids were dropped off and allowed to play as desired until they were picked up. We did try to include some arts and crafts, music time, etc, but we didn't have a set schedule or curriculum that missing a day or showing up only now and then would mess up. The model worked really well since we overlooked a mall's parking lot. During the Christmas break, a lot (in fact, most) of the kids dropped off were only there for a few hours while mom or dad did their holiday shopping. What was great about it for the kids is that there were all new toys that they probably didn't have at home, and a variety of age groups to play with. The adults were mostly there to prepare the snacks, and provide supervision so that no one got hurt.


answered 06 Dec '09, 00:43

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

edited 06 Dec '09, 01:53

There's no mention in your question of toys or books - what does he enjoy on those fronts? Our 6 year old gets a lot of pleasure out of reading, and also devours Lego. Are there creative toys he could play with (the "creative" side being for the sake of variety - building new vehicles etc)?

Does he use the computer at all? Again, our eldest son is very happy playing on safe web sites (like CBeebies here in the UK).


answered 07 Dec '09, 07:57

Jon%20Skeet's gravatar image

Jon Skeet
accept rate: 35%

During summer holidays, families often overlook summer camp. It's a great environment to learn social skills, nature skills, physical skills etc.

I'm struggling with the fact that many outings seem to be church based, but we always went on a ski trip during Christmas break with our youth group. Easter was spent at Grandma's. Long weekends were spent in a hotel in a neighboring city as a "mini vacation". (It is important to note, too that I grew up quite poor, so if you play your cards right, these things need not cost too much money.)

But I think it is important, too, that outdoor play, or just play that is not centered on TV during the regular school year may be what is preventing him from keeping interest in non-TV activities. Many books on infant/child cognitive development (The Philosophical Baby, Buy, Buy Baby) , not to mention a whole educational movement (The Montessori method) suggest that non structured play time is essential to the development of the whole person, and also that TV greatly impedes that development.


answered 06 Dec '09, 18:56

DarwinsMom's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

My situation is a bit similar, in that I live in a different country to my parents, my husband is an only child, his family do not live too close and we live in the city centre, while a greater majority of her school friends live in what can be described as the suburbs of the city. I only have one child so it has been easier for me I think.

Do you have help at all? Can you get someone to assist you on a part-time basis with the children, this would then give you a bit of time for yourself and also the opportunity to enjoy the time together with your 6 year old.

To me it sounds like you have a very healthy 6 year old because he doesn't want to say glued to the t.v or play Wii, and thats a great thing in my opinion, so I would try and find ways of spending good quality time with him.

Edit: I have edited parts of my answer because I felt there were unnessecery details but would still like to say that in my opinion if you are constantly on the go and if you have no family other than your husband to help out then I can truly understand that it's not too easy.

I do wish you good luck.


answered 06 Dec '09, 20:44

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 07 Dec '09, 16:18

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Asked: 04 Dec '09, 21:46

Seen: 7,781 times

Last updated: 08 Dec '09, 02:49