Keeping them busy
Red Chief has a few days off school this month. He's been so happy in kindergarten, largely because his teacher keeps him so busy. He loves having things to do.
So I'm going to do my best to keep him and Tiger Lily busy while there's no school. Today I made them this bread play dough. That kept them busy for about half an hour, and cleaning up kept them busy even longer. We dirtied a few dishes, messed up the kitchen table, flooded the kitchen and soaked two sets of clothes, but I think the five minutes of clean-up was worth it.
Now we're off to muck out Red Chief's room. Later today we'll work on homework (which, to Red Chief's delight, includes testing all our smoke detectors), and I've promised Red Chief we'll do some experiments with fire.
Lately I've been trying to say yes more to the things my kids want to do. It's so easy to say no when you know it will make a mess, but I've decided that the messes are usually worth it. It's worth it to me to show my kids I respect their opinions; to let them pursue their interests; and to keep them busy with real, non-screen-based activities.